Who’s ready to add some “swagga” to their spring?

I believe that one of the most common desires is to simply feel more confident in life. The ability to walk into a room with conviction and experience every moment with confidence is an essential key to success.

Hmmm … but how do you “get confident” (aka swagga)?

Some people seem to have oodles of confidence.

When asked what they do to “get it,” you tend to hear, “It comes naturally” or “I don’t know.” However, to a person who is seeking to build that confidence, this advice is not very helpful. At all.

There is some timeless advice I have received and given over the years that I would like to share with you … so here we go:

1. Snap out of it … and take action!

Stop overthinking and obsessively planning every single step. Get up and go do whatever you want to get done. Constantly saying you are “going to” and then not following through not only hurts your confidence, but those around you lose it in you too. So … want to get organized? Start with one drawer, one shelf, one room. … Been meaning to start exercising? Get up and take a walk. Want to start blogging? Type your first sentence — now. Be bold … and get out of your own way!

typewriter image via Shutterstock

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” -Dale Carnegie

2. Stop being comfortable … and get curious.

When you shift from being comfortable to being curious, the world just opens up. Curiosity is filled with anticipation and enthusiasm. It opens you up — you have more fun and actually experience life! So get on it … OK, what exactly does this mean and why is it so important? To build more confidence in yourself, you have to get to know yourself better. Face some of your fears. Take risks and fail … understand that failure isn’t really the end of the world. Swagga intensifies through such experiences. Figure out what really excites you. When you know more about who you are and what you want out of life (not what other people say you want), you will have more confidence in yourself and what you can do.

And remember, do one thing every day that stretches you. Need some ideas? Learn your favorite word in another language. Try a new food. Test a new technology or app. Memorize your favorite quote. Make something with your hands. Bungee jump or sky-dive. Even harder for many: Put your phone away during dinner … (yes, you … Put it away and focus.)

3. Be authentic and true to your values!

Stand for something. Embrace your values, honor them. You have heard me say this before: Knowing your why, being true to your values, and shining authentically is epically important to true confidence and swagga. So, let’s get real. Have you read your “About” page on your website lately? Does it truly reflect who you are today and share what your WHY for being in real estate is in a way that inspires consumers to want to call you?

Reality check: You must stop worrying if people will agree with you, share what you are passionate about, or even accept/like you. You can’t and won’t please everyone all of the time, but you can always be true to yourself. Before you take on the next client or project, ask yourself, “Does this align with my values? Will this get me closer to my personal or professional goals?”

Stuck on defining your values? A revered friend of mine, Jeff Turner (@jeffturner ), wrote a two-part blog post on the topic that will get you headed in the right direction, so start here: http://www.jeffturner.info/values-true-brand-one/.

“Values are the moral and ethical rules we all live by. They serve to guide our actions, our behavior and the decisions we make in operating every aspect of our business every day.” -Jeff Turner

4. Be your own experiment.

Embrace change, delight in progress … and always be reassessing. The world moves so quickly that every once in a while you need to step back and assess where you are, how you got there, and if you want to continue down the same path. Shame OFF you if you are not what or where you imagined you’d be … maybe you woke up on Monday working somewhere where you no longer connect to the vision/culture or finally realized that your depressing attitude is being fueled by a client or friend who is sucking the life from you with their negativity. You KNOW what you need to do. It is OK not to be OK. But take steps to fix it. Now. Immediately. Go!

5. Step up your style … add some swagga … I dare you!

You know THAT feeling … the one you get when you slip into your ultimate power suit/tie, a pair of jeans that fits perfectly, maybe sassy new shoes or even a fun new accessory! They can all add swag to your step in no time! Why is it that there are so few pieces like this in our closets? Why do so many lament “I don’t have a thing to wear” in a closet packed with clothes? Well, maybe it is time for you to get your spring cleaning on in that closet and then call a personal stylist for a consultation to give your wardrobe a swagga-tastic makeover.

closet image via shutterstock

6. Be grateful

When you focus too much on what you don’t have, your mind creates reasons why you can’t be successful, happy or complete without it. The best way to avoid this is to consciously focus on gratitude. Set aside time each day to write down at least one thing you have to be grateful for. In other words, count your blessings. Recall a key event that brings you joy; unique skills you possess; loved ones in your life; or that meeting or presentation when you totally nailed it. You need to remind yourself of what you have going for you and harness this to motivate yourself to take that next step towards success … which is certainly linked directly to a confidence shot!

thank-you image via shutterstock

Need a journal tool? The fabulous Teri Conrad (@tericonrad) reminded me of an app that we both love called I Journal … or for the Evernote lovers there is Post Ever — you can try the free LITE version first.

“Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart.” -Sarah Ban Breathnach

7. Smile

Yes, smile! Studies around the “facial feedback hypothesis” state and confirm that facial movements can influence an emotional experience. A smile can actually encourage your brain to register positive emotions. So by just looking in the mirror and smiling at yourself every day, you might feel happier with yourself and more confident. In the end, being your own positive advocate is powerful. Speak good words to yourself, not negative-filled advice. Encourage yourself as you would a friend and SMILE while you do it! Want more? Write a 30- to 60-second speech that highlights your strengths and goals. Then recite it in front of the mirror aloud (or inside your head if you prefer) whenever you need a confidence boost.

8. Connect and contribute in your community

It is easy to become spellbound by your own wishes and dreams. This leads to forgetting to focus on the needs of other people. Stop obsessing over yourself and concentrate on the contribution you are making to the rest of the world, the help you are providing a friend, or work you are doing with a local charity in your town. Have fun with your community on this one! Wave when someone lets you in on the freeway. Say thank you in an unexpected way like writing a review for a local business … or one of my favorites: Pay it forward in the Starbucks drive-thru line! These types of contributions will make everyone involved feel great, and they will bring smiles to many faces and increase confidence all around! And, of course, these contributions will add swagga to your attitude, your community and your step. That’s a TRIPLE WIN!

“Our inner strengths, experiences, and truths cannot be lost, destroyed or taken away. Every person has an inborn worth and can contribute to the human community. We all can treat one another with dignity and respect, provide opportunities to grow toward our fullest lives, and help one another discover and develop our unique gifts. We each deserve this and we all can extend it to others.” -Author Unknown

I believe that so many moments in our lives have the potential to be rich experiences. What better gift can you give yourself than living confidently in and boldly through those experiences — with a smile? So now, sit up straight, choose at least one of these swagga-building points above, and repeat after me: “I will take action … I will take action … I will take action.”

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