THE BLOG
08/16/2013 01:37 pm ET Updated Oct 16, 2013

What Is Confidence, Really?

Do you ever wonder what it is about some people that makes them so confident? So completely comfortable in their skin and radiating such positive, charismatic energy? I used to wonder this too. And then I learned that confidence really comes down to one incredibly simple thing.

Owning it.

When you're "owning it," it means that you're totally and completely at peace with who you are in every moment, interaction and experience. You make no apologies for being awkward, nervous, excited, loud, soft spoken or other... you're just you.

You radiate charismatic energy whether or not you have an extroverted personality because you are genuinely content with yourself and your present experience.

I know, I know... this is easier said than done. But today I'm going to share with you some simple tips, tricks and adjustments you can make to appear (more importantly feel) confident no matter what.

How to own it and be totally confident, all of the time.

1) Get out of your head!

When you stop engaging in the present moment and begin to think about how you look, sound, feel, smell, etc., you're creating an immediate disconnect. Whether you're disconnecting from a conversation or general experience, the effect is the same: You immediately lose confidence.

This loss of confidence creates an energetic wave that is felt by everyone in the same room, interacting with you or listening to you speak.

It took me some time to understand this concept myself, but it's amazing how someone else's perception of and connection to you can change the instant that you disengage with the present moment and go into your head. It makes it harder for them to connect to your message or to you, leaving them uncertain and uninterested.

The trick to living in the present moment is constant practice. When you catch yourself engaging in a viscous thought cycle rather than the present moment (or the person you're with), use your senses to gently guide you back. Speak, take in the smells, notice the textures that you can feel.

People that appear totally cool and collected, they are 100 percent engaged in the present moment.

2) Own it. Whatever "it" is.

The second way to create instant and unshakable confidence is to totally own it. Whether it's your opinions, emotions, feelings, words or choice of dessert, just own it. Don't give a single thought to what anyone else would think of what you're doing.

You're you, you want what you want and you do what you do.

No apologies. No explanation. Just own it.

This concept is easy to grasp in terms of ordering whatever you want off the menu or picking a movie, but what about your feelings, emotions and experiences?

For the longest time I struggled to own my personality, my view of the world, my way of thinking and my feelings. Not only did I lack confidence, I was stressed, uncomfortable and completely miserable trying to "fit in" with the rest of the world.

I can tell you from experience, it's a waste of precious time and energy.

If you're feeling sad or moody, just own it. Be sad, be moody. Are you nervous as hell? Own it. Tell everyone that you're nervous as hell! It stops the process of entering your head dead in it's tracks.

Before I was practicing the art of owning it, I used to get extremely nervous going to networking events, especially the ones where you have to introduce yourself! There were so many times that I was so lost in my head and fighting my feelings that when I sat back down after introducing myself, I honestly couldn't remember if I said my name right. So instead of pretending that I was anything less than I was in that moment, I just told people, "I'm not very good at this 'speaking in front of people thing' so just bare with me!"

You know what I got? Smiles, applause and real connection to everyone in the room instead of the typical glazed over stares and uninterested faces. I showed them I was a real person the second that I chose to own my feelings. Being totally okay with whatever emotions, sensations or feelings you're experiencing in any given moment results in the appearance of total confidence.

It also allows you to out your feelings which weakens their power over you and allows you to just "party with them" as my mentor Josh Pais says.

Ever heard someone do what I just described? Say that they're nervous and not good at public speaking, yet they make it look so easy that you think they're lying? They're owning it, and that is what gives them the confidence that you see.

3) Just. Be. You.

This is similar to the last step, but hear me out. When you honor who you really are, you will do things like wear the clothes that you really love... this in turn makes you feel comfortable, and that produces confidence.

Have you ever dressed up in a fancy suit or some clothes that aren't your normal style? Did you feel uncomfortable the entire time? I bet you did. That triggers your mind to run wild with thoughts that do nothing but zap your confidence and make you feel like crap.

By honoring who you are and what you truly prefer in life, you're creating an environment for confidence. You're allowing yourself to be comfortable and express yourself. In turn, you attract the right people, opportunities and more into your life. When the right people and opportunities come along, you feel confident because things are easy. They work for you and your personality.

Don't ever pretend to be someone or something you're not! Just be you. You are amazing. You are unique. You will be so much happier and more confident when you just settle into who you are.

Take Action Now!

Leave a comment below letting me know the last time you felt totally comfortable and confident. What were you doing? Who were you with? Can you identify any of these steps at play? I would love to hear your own personal experiences with confidence (or lack thereof)!

Click here to access the free Foundations for Unshakable Joy video training series and learn the three essential tools for living a life you love.

Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to access her Foundations for Unshakable Joy free video training series now!

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