Table of Contents
- 1. Push through self-limiting beliefs.
- 2. Never confuse memory with facts.
- 3. Talk to yourself.
- 4. Think positive to overcome your negativity bias.
- 5. Raise your curiosity levels.
- 6. Overcome self-doubt.
- 7. Face your fears.
- How To Be More Confident At Work
- This way of solving, or passing over, the ultimate problems of thought has had many followers in cultured circles imbued with the new physical science of the day, and with disgust for the dogmatic creeds of contemporary orthodoxy; and its outspoken and even aggressive vindication by physicists of the eminence of Huxley had a potent influence upon the attitude taken towards metaphysics, and upon the form which subsequent Christian apologetics adopted.
- He was a genial companion, frank and outspoken, and a good man of business.
- Here he distinguished himself by his outspoken criticism of the Austrian government, leading the opposition of the duchy to the exactions of the central power.
- “How much money do you have, Howie?” asked Martha, the most outspoken of our group.
- This having no effect, he issued the most outspoken of his works, De septem ecclesiae statibus, in which he reviewed the work of the reforming councils of his time, and, without touching the question of doctrine, championed a drastic reform of life and practice of the church on the lines laid down at Constance and Basel.
1. You love commenting on Facebook posts
In fact, you find it quite hard to scroll past a post or article without giving your two pennies’ worth in the comments section. Sometimes it ends up in a two-day-long debate with a complete stranger, which provides you (and us!) with some great entertainment.
2. You definitely rub some people up the wrong way
The price you pay for being outspoken is that you often gain some enemies along the way. But at least you stand by what you believe in and aren’t afraid to speak your mind.
3. People always come to you for advice
You give great advice because you’re so honest, and friends and family can always rely on you to speak the truth – and to tell them if they don’t look great in that dress.
4. Your opinion is often seen as authority
Don’t like your friend’s new partner? Think the staff are rude at that restaurant in town? You often find that once you believe something, others will think the same as you do.
5. You reveal too much, too soon
You don’t understand the phrase ‘sharing too much’, and you’re not afraid to tell people about yourself. Sometimes, your friends have to warn others prior to meeting you of this habit.
6. You find yourself screaming at TV debates
Forget being in the audience of Newsnight or Question Time, you should be on that panel!
7. Your outspoken nature has got you into trouble before
Whether it was when you were at school or later on in life at work, you sometimes found yourself in hot water for being outspoken.
8. If you don’t like your food, you’ll say so
If your meal is under/overcooked, or the service is extremely slow, you’re not afraid to tell your waiter – let everyone else cower while eating their cold Coq au Vin.
RELATED: ARE YOU A ‘HEAD’ PERSON OR A ‘HEART’ PERSON?
9. People mistake your outspoken nature for something else
In the past, you’ve been called ‘bossy’, ‘a bitch’ or ‘a drama queen’, but you know they’re only jealous of your assertiveness.
10. Your relationship with your partner/family/close friends is often stronger
Thanks to being outspoken, you aren’t afraid to say when you’re upset, angry or disappointed, which means your relationships with loved ones are always very honest and open.
11. You worry about upsetting others
You often worry that what you’ve said will hurt someone’s feelings, or your opinion will make people think badly of you.
12. You’re not afraid to stand up for yourself
You never let anyone walk all over you – or your friends, for that matter.
13. People know you for your loud mouth before anything else
You’re known as ‘the loud one of the group’ among your circle of friends, and people often know you for your loudness and your opinions before anything else.
14. You’re not afraid to call people out
Nothing winds you up more than someone giving incorrect facts or sharing scaremongering articles. You often call someone out for their incorrect, inappropriate behaviour, and you’re not embarassed by that.
15. Live Tweeting is one of your favourite pastimes
Tweeting along with a TV show is one of your favourite things, especially if it’s on a subject that’s controversial and will engage you in debate with random people on the internet.
16. Your friends are your true friends
Because who else would put up with your complete and utter honesty?
17. Regardless of how outspoken you are, you know when to hold your tongue
Because even you know when some things are best left unsaid.
RELATED: 13 THINGS YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE AN OVER-THINKER
Growing up, most kids have the same thing drilled over and over again into their minds from parents, relatives, teachers and other adult personnel: “Do not talk to strangers.”
Having been told the same thing repeatedly will eventually stick into your mind, something that most of us still carry through our every day life, even as adults.
In fact, this “rule” that was taught to us as children is only part of the reason that even as adults we still don’t like talking to strangers.
The big question here is, could that teaching of potential safety, actually cause more harm than good in later aspects of life, particularly when we become adults?
There are actually many good things that can come from speaking with strangers, here are just a few of them.
Lets say that you are sitting on a train, a man comes and sits next to you; most people would not openly talk to them out of sheer fear.
Now, for instance, lets say that you go out of your comfort zone and strike up a conversation.
You might learn that he could be going through some of the same personal issues as you are currently fighting.
Maybe, the two of you could help each other by sharing some helpful ideas to deal with the problem.
Maybe, he majored in English in college and you are currently struggling in that subject, there is a possibility that he might have some very helpful advice to get you through the semester.
A positive thing to remember is, every single person we come in contact with in our daily lives, knows something that we do not.
Knowledge is power, learning from others is the most efficient way to enhance personal growth.
Being outspoken with acquaintances might not only help you become smarter, but it can also help one of the biggest problems we face as a community; ignorance and empathy.
The more often you find yourself in a conversation with someone that maybe you would have normally never spoken to in a prior engagement, might have this stranger opening up to you.
If this is the case, they will probably talk about past life experiences, some of them might be painful things that have happened to them.
When hearing about a situation some a personal victim, can be a lot more effective to the brain when you can hear the pain in someones voice, see the remembrance in their eyes when talking about a certain subject.
Maybe, this stranger was bullied, and maybe lately you have found yourself not being so nice to another person.
Hearing and seeing first hand by a complete stranger what the effect of such behavior actually are, might change the way you look at a situation and evaluate your own actions to essentially be a better person.
When we are facing a personal problem with work, relationships, jobs and other personal life issues.
Sometimes it can be the best cure to let all of these feelings out to a complete stranger, than to someone we know or a family member.
You never know who you might be around that is really in need of getting a few things off of their chest.
If you spot someone who might look like they are having a hard day, never be afraid to approach them, maybe you could not only help them, but then understand the problem better for yourself if you ever have to face it later in the future.
Being outspoken could possibly safe someones life.
If you are a regular viewer of the news or any internet channel, you will see obscene videos of people being hurt, robbed, beaten, kidnapped and many other crimes in public settings.
While watching these videos that all have one thing in common, there is normally a crowd of by-standers doing nothing, but watching this crime unfold.
Most abusers do not handle irruption in a crime well, they normally play the plan step by step through their minds before they actually put the idea to action.
If even one little thing goes off of the original way they assumed this crime would happen, the attacker normally goes into a panic mode and nine out of ten times will flee the scene.
If you see someone in any of these situations, the best thing you can do to help is make sure the attacker knows that someone is on the victims side and they are not alone.
To do this, you could beginning yelling, screaming or just asking normal questions to the attacker such as, “How was your day?” or “What is your name?” is a calm, stern voice.
It will distract the attacker enough to allow the victim to escape.
Being out spoken with strangers can help protect you against harassment, safe someones life, help you grow as a person, open your views of other cultures and help build your confidence.
Next time you are in a public setting, talk to as many people as you can; you never know where the conversation might lead.
On my first day at the FBI Academy, I didn’t feel like a superhero. In fact it wasn’t until after four grueling months of being placed in dangerous and awkward situations that I built the self-confidence necessary for my career. Boosting confidence is the primary goal of the Academy—before they send agents out with a gun and badge.
There were days when my heart raced and my palms sweat just thinking about the new challenges that faced me. But I learned that success would not make me confident—confidence in myself and my abilities would make me successful.
Related: 8 Ways to Be a More Confident Person
On the first day, I was filled with doubt. I had never shot a gun, made an arrest or investigated a foreign spy—these challenges pushed me outside my comfort zone. I felt like I was at the mercy of the unknown, not knowing how I would land on my feet. But I held onto my dream of becoming an agent and plodded forward.
I’d venture to guess entrepreneurs, leaders and business owners might share some of the same fears I faced at the FBI Academy: How can I pull this off? But in my 24 years in the FBI, the only four-letter word I didn’t hear was “can’t.”
Confidence is the cornerstone of leadership. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can others believe in you? Here are seven ways FBI agents learn to boost their confidence—mental hacks you can use to be more confident in yourself, too:
1. Push through self-limiting beliefs.
As children we think we can conquer the world, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood, our enthusiasm and natural inclinations to dream big are squashed. Parents and teachers start imposing their own beliefs—about what we can and can’t do in life—upon us.
If the instructors at the FBI Academy were not pushing us past our self-limiting beliefs, they weren’t doing their job.
How to make it work for you:
Find your limits by exposing yourself to different situations and pushing through the uncomfortable. Once you have confidence in yourself, you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish.
2. Never confuse memory with facts.
Our memory does not store information exactly as it’s presented to us. Instead we extract the gist of the experience and store it in ways that makes the most sense to us. That’s why different people witnessing the same event often have different versions.
Your brain has a built-in confirmation bias. That means it stores information that is consistent with your own beliefs, values and self-image. This selective memory system helps keep the brain from getting overloaded with too much information.
So recognize that your memory does not always provide you with accurate information. For example if you have low self-esteem, your brain tends to store information that confirms your lack of confidence. That will be all you remember about a specific event.
How to make it work for you:
Revisit the facts of a memory loaded with self-limiting beliefs and try to gain a more accurate perspective on the event. Talk with others that might have a different perspective.
3. Talk to yourself.
This might seem crazy, but it works. Talking to yourself can make you smarter, improve your memory, help you focus and even increase athletic performance. The documentary The Human Brain claims we say between 300 to 1,000 words to ourselves per minute. The Navy SEALS and Special Forces use the power of positive self-talk as a way of getting through tough times.
For example by instructing recruits to be mentally tough and speak positively to themselves, they can learn how to override fears resulting from the limbic brain system, a primal part of the brain that helps us deal with anxiety.
Be positive, because the way you talk to yourself influences your neurobiological response to it. When you say, I know what to do here or see things as a challenge rather than a problem, you’ve turned your response into a positive one.
Related: 4 Ways to Be More Positive
4. Think positive to overcome your negativity bias.
Since the early days, humans learned to get lunch or be lunch. Our natural negativity bias has kept us safe from danger for thousands of years. But not every new or different thing is a threat to our survival. This negativity bias can chisel away at our confidence because we’re hardwired to pay attention to all that we’ve done wrong.
FBI agents are taught to hunt the good stuff. It can be hard at times because positive information is like Teflon and easily falls away. But negative information, like Velcro, sticks.
- Come up with five positive thoughts to counter every one negative thought.
- Let every positive thought sit for 20 seconds before moving to the next positive thought.
- Acknowledge both good and bad emotions.
- Do not try to suppress negative ones.
- Label the emotions for what they truly are and move on. Do not enter into inner dialogue about the negative emotion because then it becomes more powerful.
5. Raise your curiosity levels.
Curiosity is an important trait for FBI agents working investigations and anyone who wants to be confident and successful.
Curiosity is the foundation of life-long growth. If we remain curious, we remain teachable and our minds and hearts grow larger every day. We can retain our beginner’s mind by always looking forward and discovering new experiences and uncovering new information.
Ask questions and be curious because:
- It makes your mind active instead of passive.
- It encourages you to be more observant of new ideas.
- It opens up new worlds and possibilities.
- It creates an adventurous response that leads you in a new direction.
6. Overcome self-doubt.
If you lack self-confidence, you will always feel like you’re at the mercy of other people. When you assume a victim mentality, you are no longer resilient to life’s inevitable obstacles and roadblocks.
FBI agents go where they are needed, not to where they feel most comfortable. I was assigned investigations I had no idea how to solve. But my thinking was this: Drop me into the middle of any squad or any situation, anywhere, anytime. I will not be scared because I am confident I will succeed wherever I am.
No one but you is stopping you from achieving what you want to accomplish. It’s time to identify the areas in which you doubt yourself and remove those barriers.
7. Face your fears.
When we feel in control, we’re not afraid. When we have a level of comfort with something, it’s not scary. When we don’t feel in control, we don’t think clearly because our emotional brain is in the driver’s seat and takes over. This is why fear often seems random and irrational—our emotions are in control.
To increase safety, FBI agents are taught to move closer to the threat. It does no good to avoid, deny or ignore the fear.
Harvard Medical School professor Ronald Siegel recommends this in his book, The Mindfulness Solution:
Think about your worst fear. Spend time with it. Now make your fear worse by getting closer to it. Imagine the worst that could happen. Now focus on your breathing. Feel your body relax. See, you didn’t die, did you? You’re on your way to conquering your fear.
If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anybody else to? Start today.
Related: Your Thoughts Create Your Beliefs
LaRae Quy is former FBI counterintelligence and undercover agent and founder of the Mental Toughness Center. She writes for audiences who are hungry, scrappy and ambitious in the pursuit of their goals—and drawing upon her own experiences as an FBI agent, she shows them how grit trumps talent by combining hard-nosed neuroscience with social psychology.
How To Be More Confident At Work
There are many reasons you can lack confidence at work. Maybe you’re in a job that requires skills you don’t have, or you’re less experienced than anyone around you. Or you’re new to the company and feel uneasy about your ability to succeed. Or you feel threatened by colleagues, fear losing your job, or are simply too hard on yourself. Public humiliation and errors in judgment can also do the trick.
There’s just one most common reason, though, says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: “Overall, the most common reason that employees lose confidence is very simply because of a bad relationship with their boss. That insecurity will last as long as the relationship is strained.”
Negative peer relationships also often disrupt confidence, especially if there’s a pack mentality, she adds. “A group may feel threatened, for example, and try to undermine a worker. But since managers hold the cards to the employee’s future, the state of that rapport has the greatest impact on confidence levels.”
In Pictures: 10 Ways To Be More Confident At Work
The good news is that you can manage behavior around you to improve relations, boosting both your self-esteem and your career, Taylor says. And you’ll definitely want to do that.
Why be more assertive? For one, you will be taken more seriously if your words and action have conviction, Taylor explains. “This will help you advance in your job and career.” However, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, so be sure you don’t overcompensate by getting egotistical during moments of low self-esteem.
“Regulating and balancing feelings of confidence requires considerable self-awareness and knowledge,” says Dr. Katharine Brooks, director of Liberal Arts Career Services at The University of Texas at Austin and author of You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path From Chaos to Career. “In the same way that you don’t want to lack confidence, you also don’t want to be over-confident. Over-confidence can make you take on projects that are beyond your capability, and you might not be able to complete them.”
A healthy level of confidence, however, will make you more likely to engage in challenging but manageable projects, will help you get outside your comfort zone, and allow you to achieve new goals–all of which are valued characteristics of successful workers, Brooks says. “Employers will know that they can trust you with a project and that you are likely going to be good at motivating others as well.”
William Arruda, a personal branding expert and author of Ditch. Dare. Do! says confidence is important because it is the most attractive personal brand attribute. “When someone exudes confidence, we want to work with them. We are more likely to follow their lead. Confidence is the number one byproduct of the personal branding process, because in branding you uncover what makes you exceptional and use it to make career choices and deliver outstanding value.”
Confidence is also a key leadership quality, Taylor adds. If you are a decisive person with the credentials to back it up, you will be better positioned to advance in a company. “You’ll also be able to attract and retain a quality team, because they will trust you and feel you have matters under control. If you know your subject and stance, believe in yourself, and speak with poise and conviction, you will naturally exude confidence.” Conversely, uncertainty begets uncertainty. If you doubt yourself, so will others.
Deborah Brown-Volkman, a career coach and president of SurpassYourDreams.com, says that without confidence you won’t stand out, you won’t be assigned great projects, and you’re less likely to be recognized or get raises, bonuses, and promotions.
In Pictures: 10 Ways To Be More Confident At Work
It turns out your confidence can benefit your employer, as well.
“More and more, employees are the face of the company,” Arruda says. “When employees are confident, they are better spokespeople for the company. With a lean workforce, companies need everyone engaged and inspired. Lack of confidence impedes full engagement.”
Taylor adds that employers benefit from confident workers because they are more positive contributors, more productive, good motivators and make great role models. “In addition, self-assured employees, particularly in customer-facing or sales positions, directly contribute to brand perception, beginning with the receptionist or administrative contact,” Taylor says. “Companies want to put their best foot forward in a macro sense, too, projecting leadership and confidence–and employees represent the parts to the whole.”
Good employees spend a lot of time being modest, says Alexandra Levit, the author of Blind Spots: The 10 Business Myths You Can’t Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success. “Sometimes we actually feel that way, and sometimes we don’t but think that’s how we’re supposed to act so that other people will like us. At times, though, I believe it has the reverse effect. Other people don’t view us as talented or as worthy because we don’t appear to view ourselves that way.”
If you have low self-esteem or your confidence has been threatened in some way, here’s what the experts say you can do to strengthen your backbone and boost morale:
Stay focused on you
Taylor says you should do the best you can to stay on-task and focused, regardless of politics, rumor mills or non-productive maneuvers that are as common as the office water cooler. “Confidence emerges from time-honored good work combined with a great attitude,” she adds.
Identify your strengths and capitalize on them
“One of the best ways to build confidence is to get clear on your strengths and find ways to integrate those strengths into what you do every day,” Arruda says. When you lead from your strengths, you’re engaged and energized. You’re self-assured.
Once you take inventory of the things you do better than anyone else, ask yourself how you can use those strengths to do your job, Arruda adds. “If your current role does not give you opportunities to maximize your strengths, think about other roles that will.
Identify weaknesses, and work on them
If there are weaknesses that are affecting your confidence, make a plan to reduce or eliminate them, Arruda suggests. You shouldn’t obsess over these things—but know that addressing your weaknesses and making a diligent effort to overcome them can help boost confidence.
Believe in yourself
It may be easier said than done, but try to tell yourself “I can do this,” and believe it. Arruda suggests saying three affirmations to yourself each night before going to bed–telling yourself three things that you like about yourself or three things that went well that day.
Closely monitor your successes
Keep track of your daily accomplishments, Taylor says. Make a “to-do” list. This way, when you cross tasks off your list, you’re more aware of your constant achievements.
She also suggests keeping a digital “kudos file” to record your successes. This is where you can store congratulatory e-mails, milestones reached, kudos from bosses or peers, notes to yourself on challenges overcome, thank you letters, and recognition and praise from inside and outside the company. “Refer to the file regularly for a reality check of your talents and a personal pat on the back. It’ll also come in handy when you launch a future job search.”
Know that your confidence may be threatened at times
“Accept that this is going to happen,” Levit says. “If you are on the receiving end of a mean comment that shakes your confidence, give yourself 24 to 48 hours to recover before responding or making any important decisions.”
Seek encouragement from others
Ask people you respect what they think are your three greatest strengths, Arruda says. “Then find ways to use those strengths.”
Brooks says, “Get feedback from colleagues, friends or even your supervisor about how you are doing. Ask them to identify your strengths and places where they’d like to see you do more. Sometimes other people see more talent in us than we recognize in ourselves.”
Accomplishing things that you didn’t think possible can be a great way to boost your confidence. Find projects and assignments that give you an opportunity to use your strengths and take on projects that stretch you, Brown-Volkman says.
“Try something new, even if you’re unsure or afraid,” Brooks adds. “Take baby steps if needed, but begin to immerse yourself in the new project or activity and see how it goes. Try to refrain from judging your performance too early in the process, or comparing your performance to someone who has been doing that activity for a much longer period of time.”
Be a role model of positive attitude
Develop a positive attitude, Brooks says. Positive doesn’t always mean “happy”– it can also mean resilient. “Focus on how you can provide solutions rather than spend a lot of time discussing the problem.”
Taylor adds, “Workers are drawn to those with an upbeat attitude, especially when challenges emerge, and it can start with you. It’s contagious, even with your boss, and it will project confidence as you make this part of your ‘personal brand.’”
Carefully consider how you react to your boss’s and colleagues’ actions
“One of the most effective ways to gain confidence is elevating your emotional radar in the workplace,” Taylor says. “Read through the actions of your boss and co-workers, especially when they affect your self-confidence. Understand that they may be acting out in ways that we are all capable of, like children or even toddlers, when under stress or frustrated. “
Once you use this “levity lens” and see human beings protecting their turf or ego, or wanting praise like children, you will respond more appropriately, versus suffering in silence or blaming yourself. “Try parenting up without patronizing under these circumstances. This will empower you and engender confidence, which others will want to emulate.”
In Pictures: 10 Ways To Be More Confident At Work
I’m confident and outspoken – sometimes too much so. I’m not shy. I’m known to speak my mind, even if that means openly disagreeing with teachers, my boss or other authority figures. I’ve occasionally been called argumentative or stubborn.
I can spend days on my own without ever feeling lonely or bored.
I have this incredible rich inner world that is full of ideas and inspiration. I can just sit here, think and daydream for hours without needing anyone or anything other than just me.
I have a loud and strong voice. I can deliver presentations in front of 1,000s of people without breaking into sweat. I can walk up to a stranger to strike up a conversation without even feeling nervous.
I’m at my best when I work on something on my own. When I get a chance to think things through in my head, on my own. I usually think long and hard before I talk.
Last week I delivered a training session to 30 strangers and I was only a tiny bit nervous. It barely got my heartrate up. But afterwards I felt like I had run a marathon.
I have an amazing group of friends. I love each one of them deeply and would do just about anything for them. I love spending time with them. But I also love when they leave. There is this sense of relieve that comes over me when I’m alone again.
I love to smile at strangers on the street and say hello.
I often have a quick chat with the owner of a shop or the barista making my coffee. I like to ask them how their day is going.
But I only enjoy long conversations with selected people – usually those I know well.
I like to go to parties and social gatherings – for about 30 minutes to an hour. After that my energy is drained and I want to leave to re-charge.
I often withdraw from lengthy group conversations and debates. I just stop engaging or, if I can, even walk away. It’s not because I don’t care or because I’m rude but simply because part-taking takes more energy than I have.
I’m a natural leader. Somehow, I often find myself in positions where people look to me for direction and advice. I often initiate activities and motivate others to come along.
I like people but being around them is exhausting.
For every minute I spend around people, I need at least two on my own to recharge my batteries.
I’m confident in who I am. I’m not afraid to be different. I don’t need to always fit in.
I can fall asleep in the middle of a thunderstorm but people quietly talking or the TV running in the background drives me crazy.
I love that I’m never afraid of being on my own. I wish I had more energy for spending time with other people.
I love that I’m comfortable with silence. I wish I was better at dealing with the constant noise and stimulation of the world we live in.
I love that I don’t need other people to feel happy and content. I wish I was more open to meeting new people and getting to know them – and letting them know me.
I love that I don’t need external stimulation to be creative and have ideas. I wish I was better at sharing them with people.
I love that I’m living and traveling in a campervan all by myself. I wish I had more energy to meet other travellers and locals.
I’m a woman, a reader and a writer, a friend, a (wannabe) surfer, a daughter, a dreamer and a realist. I’m creative and strategic, I’m friendly and open, I’m independent and strong.
I’m confident and outspoken. And I’m an introvert!
I love how well I know myself these days. Realising that I’m an introvert and what that actually means is a huge part of that. I wish more people would understand what it means to be an introvert. It doesn’t mean being shy. It doesn’t mean that I walk around with my head down afraid to talk to anyone. It doesn’t mean that I spend all my Saturday nights home along with a book – just like being an extrovert does not automatically mean you’re outgoing, constantly parting or that you get bored if you’re alone for 10 minutes.
Being an introvert or extrovert doesn’t define you – it doesn’t put you in a box.
All it does is determine where you get energy from. Extroverts get energy from being around people. Introverts get energy from being on their own. That’s it. It’s that simple and at the same time that complex.
I really wish there was more awareness around what it actually means to be an introvert – and that it’s not about being shy. If you relate to this story, please share it to help spread awareness. Or even better, write and share your own story and perspective. Let’s show the world that being an introvert can mean all sorts of things – just like being an extrovert does.
My name is Lisa, I’m 33 and I live in a campervan.
I’m traveling around beautiful New Zealand while I explore what life has to offer if you don’t want to follow the traditional path around work, marriage and kids. I share my journey, stories and thoughts on my blog and on Instagram and Facebook. Follow me if you’re keen to see and read more.