5 Tips To Boost Confidence Whenever You're Feeling Insecure
As the co-founder of Quest Nutrition, the co-founder and president of Impact Theory, and the host of the Women of Impact show, Lisa Bilyeu knows a thing or two about public speaking. And yet, that doesn't spare Bilyeu from feeling insecure from time to time: "People started reaching out wanting me to publicly speak, and I was very fearful," she shares on this episode of the mindbodygreen podcast. "I was so scared. I was like, there's no way I'm going to do it. I don't have the confidence yet to get up on stage."
Bilyeu learned to face those insecurities by "life-hacking" her way to feeling more confident, as she recounts in her new book, Radical Confidence: 10 No-BS Lessons on Becoming the Hero of Your Own Life. What are those life hacks, you ask? Well, to master the art of confidence, it's important to have a few mindful tools at your disposal. Here, Bilyeu shares her blueprint for eradicating insecurities in a flash:
Just say yes.
The first step, says Bilyeu, is to accept whatever opportunity or task is thrown your way. It can be difficult to put yourself out there, and if you wait to feel confident before you say yes, you'll likely be waiting for a while.
"I was so scared to even accept an offer, so I had a rule: The very next person that reaches out, I would just say yes," Bilyeu recounts. You can address any uncomfortable feelings after the fact, but try not to overthink any of those emotions while making your decision. "I've already said yes, and now I can deal with the panic," she notes.
Find your hype song.
Now, the task becomes: How do you actually get yourself on stage? Bilyeu recommends using confidence-building tools to your advantage. First up: Do not underestimate the power of music. "Music has an ability to change our emotions," she says. For example, certain songs can help calm feelings of anxiousness, while others can put you in a productive headspace. According to Bilyeu, it's important to find the specific songs that motivate you. Your "hype song," if you will.
What's your go-to song that instantly elevates your mood? "I played [mine] on repeat as I was gearing up," Bilyeu says.
Find your cape.
Just like music can affect your emotions, certain visual cues can help you feel more powerful. According to Bilyeu, power dressing is super helpful—in fact, she refers to her confidence wardrobe as her superhero "cape."
"The reason I use this language is to soften the fear I actually have about going on stage," she says. "What is my cape I can put on? It makes me more lighthearted." So think about it: Is there a certain garment or style that makes you feel instantly more powerful? For Bilyeu, it's a pair of knee-high leather boots. "Every time I put them on, I gain confidence, I gain an element of power," she adds. "Don't negate the power of clothes, fashion, and style."
Add subliminal messages.
Bilyeu is her own biggest cheerleader: As she gears up for an event, she relies on a technique called "You've Got This Roulette" to ease any nervous jitters. "I type in, 'You've got this' with a little muscle emoji, close my eyes, and I spin my alarm," she explains. "I don't know what time I've set it for, and I just press save. So now what happens is at random moments for the next two weeks, I'll get a notification on my phone at random times that says 'You've got this.'"
These subliminal messages are what help keep her motivation and mindset strong, even when she's feeling fearful. "We all know subliminal messaging works, so use it to your advantage," she adds. That way, you can overcome the negative voice inside your head that might be telling you you're not enough.
Give yourself grace.
At the end of the day, it's important to recognize that there is no such thing as perfection—and if it's the first time you're doing something out of your comfort zone, know that you will get better with practice.
"With speaking, I gave myself the grace to say: 'Lisa, as long as you get up on stage and speak, I'm proud of you.' I didn't hold myself to being as good as Oprah…I just said, 'Get on stage and do the talk.'" she says. It's natural to want to excel at whatever opportunity you're given, but try to give yourself the space to falter. "That encourages me enough to not back out," Bilyeu adds.
With these steps, you'll have an easier time preparing for the actual opportunity or event rather than fixating on feeling confident. As Bilyeu notes, "Just focus on: Do I have my cape on? Have I got my mindset right? Am I listening to my hype song? And then just get on stage."
Jason Wachob is the Founder and Co-CEO of mindbodygreen and the author of Wellth. He has been featured in the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Vogue, and has a B.A. in history from Columbia University, where he played varsity basketball for four years.