Body language that says it for you
Looking confident and being confident are often very similar. No-one feels confident all the time in all situations but what we can do is learn to look confident so that nothing holds us back from things we want to do.
Here at A Confident Start, we are all about confidence - did you guess? We recommend this really simple exercise you can do with your child at home. You may want to try this yourself first in a mirror to see how it works.
Lacking confidence causes us problems when it stops us trying things or stops other people from giving us opportunities because they don’t think we are up for having a go.
Get a mirror, preferably one that is big enough to see most of yourself in it, or film it on your phone.
Have a think about what someone who is really shy and not very confident looks like. If you find it hard to picture think about:
If you walked into a room with new children and one of them felt really shy, how would you know before you spoke to them? What would they look like? What would they be doing with their body? Their arms? Their face? Where would they be looking?
3. Now you do it. Show that shyness with your body. Exaggerate it, make yourselves look as shy and nervous as you can. Look at yourselves in the mirror or on the video.
4. Talk about what is happening.
Why does looking down at the floor make a difference? Is it easy or hard to tell if you are looking shy?
Looking down – means people can’t make eye contact and think you aren’t friendly or don’t want to join in
Crossing arms – means you look closed to people so they won’t want to approach you
Hunching up – makes you look smaller and less like you want to try
Shrinking into the corner – means people are more likely to look past you and not notice you
5. Now – do the opposite! Talk about what you would have to change to look as confident as possible. Get your child to practise looking confident...
Put on the most confident pose you can. All the things you spotted that make you look nervous - do the opposite! So look up, hold your head high, put your shoulders back, make eye contact, smile, hold your arms open by your sides etc. Breath deeply through your nose. Look at yourself in the mirror or on the video.
It is absolutely vital that your child sees their own confident pose. Now they have proved to themselves that they can do it! Practice it. Have sessions in front of the mirror of looking confident. Even better, take a photo of him/her/you looking confident and print it out – because you nailed it! Anytime you think it would help to look more confident, do the pose and just pretend.
Have fun, enjoy this exercise, and practice it lots. Do the confident pose and it is amazing how much more confident people will think you are, even if you feel nervous inside. You will also be surprised how much more confident you feel!
This guide is from A Confident Start at www.aconfidentstart.com - psychology that works for you and your family.