You're So Lucky You're So Confident...
And You Can Be Too
“It’s ok for them, they’re lucky, they’re confident, they’re…”
Have you ever thought anything like that?
Would you like just a little bit of whatever that is that they’ve got?
Let me share a couple of secrets with you right now…
What I’ve Noticed From Studying Confidence & Luck
Last year I finished a degree in psychology, with a little bit of philosophy thrown in (but that’s another story). I love the science behind our behaviours, patterns, preferences, and how we can use that knowledge to become a better version of ourselves.
I’ve spent a long time reading up on the studies around confidence and presence. This has been pioneered in the mainstream media by social psychologist Amy Cuddy with her ‘Stand like Wonderwoman’ Ted Talk. That wasn’t what it was called, but that’s what most people took from it!
And more recently I’ve been reading the findings of Dr Richard Wiseman, from his decade-long studies in to ‘Luck’.
And what I’ve realised is that there are ALOT of similarities in the behaviours and traits of both people who consider themselves lucky (and have stories to prove it!) and those who are perceived as having confidence and presence.
Ways You Can Be More Confident AND More Lucky
There are number of factors that Richard Wiseman identified that can help you to feel and be more lucky. He trialled them in his ‘Luck School’ and found that in just a few short weeks, individuals who had previously considered themselves unlucky (and had the stories to prove it) became ‘lucky’. And individuals who already considered themselves to be lucky, got luckier. Sounds good right?
What I found fascinating was the crossover of traits that were also considered to be demonstrated by ‘confident people’.
So here are 3 things that you can work on that will help you not only feel and be perceived as more confident, but will also help you to feel and become more lucky. And hopefully start to have the stories to prove it!
- Develop An Outward Focus: Those who lack confidence tend to focus very much on themselves, how they’re feeling and how they’re perceived by others. When you expand your thinking to wonder about the people, environment and situation around you, you come across as and start to feel less self-conscious and more confident. Others will perceive you as having a greater presence in the room and are more likely to take you seriously. And to top it all you will be more open to opportunity, lucky moments and serendipity. Think about it: if your focus is outward won’t you be far more likely to spot that old friend in the street or that fiver on the floor?
- Engage and Connect With Others: Wiseman’s research showed that more extroverted people made and maintained social connections and also placed themselves in the ‘lucky’ camp. Equally, when you show an interest in others, and involve them in conversation, you are seen to be not only more confident, but also more likeable. While we might want to be seen as capable, research suggests that people seek to connect with and like us first. If we’re more likeable, we are seen as more congruent and confident. And we’re more likely to be listened to by others.
- Develop A Relaxed Style: ‘Lucky’ people are more laid back and relaxed than their ‘unlucky’ counterparts. Equally, those who speak more slowly, and are more relaxed come across as having more authority and confidence. It’s as though they’re not worried about someone jumping in to the conversation. Whereas those perceived as less confident try, as much as possible to ‘hold the floor’.
How Do I Adopt These New Ways Of Being?
- A great tool to use to develop both an outward, more aware focus and a more relaxed style is meditation. Other forms of mindfulness will also help.
- Making a conscious effort to look around you and observe the scene, situation, or people you are with will also help.
- Even if you’re an introvert, you can make small changes to connect with others more. Why not start with re-connecting with old friends or work colleagues? Arrange to meet up 121 rather than in a group. Or chat on the phone, having agreed a timeframe that works for you. Most extroverts can talk for hours but you might only want half an hour to reconnect with your old colleague or touch base with your cousins.
If you want to improve your chance of being heard in a meeting, stop being overlooked by that particular manager, or would simply like to turn your luck around. All of these can be enhanced with the same techniques. So why not give them a go today?