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Perhaps there are some situations in which you find it difficult to tune into your indisputable awesomeness. Or maybe you have a deep sense of self-assurance, but there are times when you can’t quite seem to turn it on.

Confidence can be tricky that way. Sometimes you’ve got it, and sometimes you don’t. Maybe you are the type of person that feels comfortable while talking with a small group of friends, but you feel like a nervous wreck at a large party. Perhaps you are confident of your knowledge in a particular subject, but feel utterly incapacitated when you have to share it with an audience. Think of your confidence as a muscle you can strengthen. These tips will help you out.

Work Your Strengths
A surefire way to lose your confidence is by attempting to be someone that you are not. Perhaps you admire someone else’s demeanor – the way they carry themselves or the manner in which they communicate – so you decide to try it out for yourself. The problem with this is that it can often feel a lot like lying. Instead of borrowing someone else’s personality, focus on what’s great about yours. It will come more natural and it’s why people like you anyway.

Be Aware Of Your Body Language
We all have certain “tells” that indicate that we are nervous. Like if your hands get a bit too expressive, your eyes dart around the room, or you cross your arms. These habits are unconscious, and we do them as a means of soothing our own discomfort. While it can be helpful to tune into what our specific tendencies are, it’s likely that this awareness might cause even more anxiety. Instead, if you find yourself feeling tense, focus on just two things: your posture and your breathing. By simply putting your shoulders back and breathing deeply, you immediately assume a more confident stance. In doing this, you will start to relax, and you may find that you have less of a need for those self-soothing physical habits.

Be Prepared
Much of our anxiety is a result of a lack of preparation. This is especially true in matters of public speaking. If you haven’t taken the necessary steps to ready yourself, even if you are knowledgeable, it’s likely that nervousness will creep up. Physiologically, when you are unprepared, your sympathetic nervous system takes over. It’s that rush of adrenaline that happens in situations that feel life threatening. We can all agree that this is a terrible condition under which to give a speech or talk about something you care about, so that being said, do your homework! Know your stuff. Practice. Over-practice. Do whatever you can to avoid that feeling of impending doom.

Assume the Best
The worst thing you can do is go into a situation expecting failure. Our expectations are powerful, so much so that they can actually have an affect on the outcome of a given situation. If you expect that you will be nervous or uncomfortable, it’s possible that you are just setting yourself up to be exactly that. Instead, assume the best. Assume things will go great. Assume that you will say all the right things and that the people you are around think you are awesome.