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Confidence Tips from the Development Producer at BBC Factual, Harshad Mistry

In this piece, BBC Factual’s Development Producer, Harshad Mistry, shares some important but simple tips on how to give your confidence a boost.

“How do you increase your confidence?”

I think confidence is the big decider in a lot of things and even though many have the ability we lack the confidence to step up. In sport it can be the difference between being number 1 and being the runner up. For many of us short on confidence there are things we can do help us:

1.       Practice, practice, practice before whatever it is that you are about to do and are nervous about. Practice what you are going to say in front of a friend or in front of a mirror. Someone once said to me if you are comfortable saying it to yourself then you will be comfortable saying it to others. This is a particularly helpful to do when asking for a pay rise or promotion.

2.       Surround yourself with positive people who have belief in you. Their confidence in you will lift your confidence. When I have something difficult to do and am a bit apprehensive about a meeting or an interview I put a call into a friend who says nice things and reminds me what am I good at. It always helps because sometimes you forget you are capable!

3.       Make it an objective to lead the discussion or to make the first move rather than wait for things to come to you. If you wait it might never happen – so be brave and stick your neck out. Say what you want and feel. The worst that can happen is they say no, but at least you asked (starting to sound like a dating game!)

4.       Often it is hard to be different with the people you have known for years, whether it is family or friends, especially if you are shy person or always reluctant to say what you want. So whenever you meet new people or start a new job then it is a chance to reinvent yourself and try something different because they don’t know what you are normally like.

5.       Confident people take risks and any new endeavour requires taking risk and therefore needs confidence. It is bit of loop and for the less brave short on confidence it is understandably difficult to jump in at the deep end. So you can take small steps.  This could be just simple things like ordering something different on the menu to what you normally have; taking a different route to work, or wearing a different colour to what you normally do. In fact it reminds me that clothes are important part of increasing confidence. A simple experiment is to wear your best clothes to work tomorrow to work. Guaranteed you will automatically get at least one compliment and that compliment will make you feel taller and better and boost your confidence.