Have you ever seen someone from across the room at a conference or company meeting, and you can tell right away they are confident, certain, comfortable, proud, and accomplished? Now, have you also seen someone from across the room and immediately you knew they were feeling uncomfortable, shy, intimidated, unsure, and unfitting? How did you know?
Because body language speaks the loudest. Because unspoken behaviors make a greater impact than spoken words alone. Because people believe what they see over what they hear.
You don't have to say anything for someone to pick up on your signs. Your body language exudes your level of confidence and certainty with or without your words. To be like that first person, stop doing these seven things:
Own your tall. Stand tall, sit tall, speak tall. What does that look like? Shoulders back, chest out, chin up. Sit with a straight back. Speak slightly upward with your chin up.
Running your fingers through your hair is not cool. You combed it when you left your house, possibly even gelled or hairspray'd it. Now leave it alone. The more you move your hands toward your head, the more insecure you come off.
It's a bad habit. There are some moments when fidgeting just happens... learn to be aware of those moments and control it. Put your hands in your pockets. Keep them there if you need to do so. Sit on them if that works for you. Fidgeting shows nervousness and being nervous rarely works in your favor.
Avoiding eye contact is a deal breaker. Look at people. Make eye contact. Here's an easy trick, start with the 3-Second Rule. You only have to make eye contact for three seconds. That's it. You can look away and look back if you want, or not look at the person again. You've done your part. It's a good starting point.
Drop the stare. Blink. Look away. Don't freak people out with your frozen glare. It comes off creepy and completely uncouth. If someone has made eye contact with you and broken it, apply the 3-Second Rule in the opposite direction this time. Wait three seconds to see if they reconnect. If not, then look away.
It's untrustworthy when your words don't match your actions. You come off distrustful when you do that. For example, you say to someone "I'm not mad at you anymore" yet your arms are still crossed and the anger line between your brows is still burrowed deep. People will believe your body language over your words, and it tells that you're still mad. So match up.
Distracting your attention to things less important, which includes everything that diminshes your presence, is a turn-off. Put your phone away and stop looking out the window. Give your attention to the moment/meeting/person in front of you. Being distracted is a lousy way of showing that you feel uncertain of your presence. It's a cheap excuse and no one buys it. So just drop it.
If you stop doing these seven things, the next time you show up, you'll be sure to bring a little bit more of your confidence, certainty, comfort, pride, and sense of belonging with you. It will make for a more credible you.