Style Coaching: Building Self Confidence

I’m officially starting work today after a restful Chinese New Year. And it was a very gesture from one of my clients who gave me a red packet (ang pow) wishing me good luck for the year ahead.
 
In this predominantly people-oriented business of mine, it’s more than just the results you see. It’s also the quintessence of that personal touch that goes a long, long way. We are who we are because of our different backgrounds, identities and experiences. And that’s what makes life enriching.
 
On the way to coach a teenager, I reflected on my own life journey till date. I cannot find a single adjective to describe it as it’s always changing. Just like the people in our lives. Some come and make a huge difference while others are but mere passer-bys.
 
When I first got the email from the teenager’s mum, she asked if I could spend some time talking to her son (let’s call him Z). As someone who used to be a face in the crowd too, I understood where she was coming from. 
 
If you ask me, it’s not growing up pains. It’s not an identity crisis. Rather, it’s about accepting who you are, what you are good at and showing others you can and do make a difference.
 
Being strangers meeting for the first time, it does take some effort to break the ice and build rapport. If one goes straight for the onslaught, one might not gain total victory. So, it’s really about starting out firm, establishing common ground and getting the conversation going.
 
From the thousands of people I’ve trained, it boils down to just this one simple principle – getting others to talk. People like to talk about themselves. I do. And I believe so do you. 
 
When we talk about ourselves, our eyes naturally light up, our body language becomes more relaxed and our mood brightens. It’s as if the whole world is revolving around us.
 
When we talk about ourselves, you can even sense that beautiful smile on your face, which was in the case of Z.
 
Taking a cue from Rihanna’s latest hit, building self-confidence is therefore all about “talk that talk”.
 
Perhaps as Asians, we have been brought up in a society and culture that advocates humility. Humble as we may be, forget not it is our birth right to also be man or woman enough to extol our own rights. 
 
It’s a very thin line between confidence and arrogance. While the latter harps on being boastful, the former instead focuses on the unique qualities we possess that make us an invaluable asset to friends, family, school and society at large.
 
No one knows you better than yourself. As I’ve often shared, you are your best friend.
 
There is no magical formula for building self-confidence. It all begins with you and whether you are willing to take that first step. The world is your stage and when you step onto that stage, what do you say in that introduction? It could be anything. Anything that gets you smiling, makes you happy and relaxed. Because as long as you share from the heart, what you share will always be valuable to your listeners.
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