Men and women, boys and girls, of all ages can have difficulty with self confidence and a lack thereof. A lack of confidence can manifest itself in several ways, for example:
* Difficulty engaging in a conversation one-on-one
* Inability to speak in public before a group or large audience
* Difficulty speaking up for oneself
* Hesitancy with others in maintaining boundaries
* Difficulty or inability to try new and unfamiliar activities
+ a fear of failure
* Fear of rejection
Self confidence comes from having accumulated several small successes. Added up, these successes can really work to bolster a person's sense of self, self worth, and, confidence.
Act your way to success. Just like an actor or actress in a movie or play, act the part of the person you wish to be. Doing this enough you should find that your actions will become second nature and a part of you.
Do not be afraid of failure. Learning something new means you may not always succeed. Don't be critical of yourself. If the failure happens in front of someone, apologize if necessary, and let it be known you are learning.
"Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!" As I tell my dance students, do not go to a dance to dance because for a guy with a fragile male ego, it means he has to "perform"; rather than, going to a dance to practice. Practicing means we are free to make mistakes, then pick ourselves up and continue on all the while learning and becoming better. There is no pressure to "perform" flawlessly. The same holds true for developing self confidence. Next, if you feel good about yourself and who you are, then let this show through for others to see. If you are shy, fix this aspect of your personality, first, using the same technique.
It's about attitude, also. Believe that you can, not that you can't.
The idea behind "acting" your way to success and developing confidence is to change your behavior by doing small acts and then relishing in their successful completion. Your tasks can be anything as noted, above. One additional purpose is to bring a smile to your face with each success.
A word of warning, however; do not adopt a cocky attitude or an arrogant attitude in the process. Doing so will remove any hint of success in the eyes of others.
A confident person is one who in part stands tall and straight having good posture, makes eye contact with others, smiles, asks questions in order to learn, does not monopolize a conversation, listens well making mental notes of what is said, and, periodically uses people's names in a conversation with them, having a masterful handshake (guys: no hurtful squeezing!). Thank people for compliments received. Give compliments when deserved.
Do you really lack confidence? You might ask others what they see in you. While you may not feel very confident, this does not mean other people see you as you do. Ask people for their feedback on how they perceive you then use this information to develop your personality. It may just be that you will only have to change minor aspects instead of making a major overhaul. Either way, acting your way to success is one way to begin.
When talking to women, one great approach is to ask an opening question and then listen. Many women are chatty creatures by nature, so you can often carry on a conversation by simply asking a leading question and sitting back and listening. Next, by interjecting a comment or question, the conversation is revitalized and will most likely continue--all with little effort on your part.
When the time comes to talk about yourself, do not tell all, all at once. Pay the information out over time. Save some information for later, or, over another date or two. (Keep the person wanting more....)
If a person rudely interrupts a conversation or a gathering or comes between you and another person, quietly and politely inform the individual that this is either a private conversation or meeting, and now is not an appropriate time for his/her involvement. If, on the other hand, you need or want to talk to someone who is occupied, wait for a pause and quickly excuse yourself then quickly ask if you can talk to the person, later, when s/he is not busy.
Gaining confidence takes time, so do not be in a rush. Enjoy the journey as you undertake new tasks or activities and solidify familiar ones. Package all these things together under your cap and before too long you should have a "feather in your cap".