by sonja thorsvik

How to Build Your Inner Confidence

So much of my career has been jumping before I fully felt ready. I’ve been working since I was 13 years old, but my career-career began working in higher education in study abroad offices where I developed international programs a year or more out. Following, I moved into publishing where I worked at a newspaper and then a magazine, before launching my flagship company, Gigging for Gold, in 2012, where we pull back the curtain for entrepreneurs around the globe.

In short, I’ve shared the table with my fair share of big wigs, top CEOs, and renowned leaders. I’ve had to present programs and plans to professionals very much my senior with experience (both in life and professionally) that far surpassed my own. And while I’ve been intimidated at times, I’ve had to buck up and figure out how to appear more confident than I often felt in these high-pressure meetings.

I’m guessing you’ve found yourself in some similar scenarios: speaking in front of important people, pitching yourself to big clients, and selling your services to people you thought you’d never sit across from a year ago. And you likely know the nerves that set in as a result, right? The shaky voice, the clammy palms, the racing heart. The fully second-guessing of yourself and your capabilities.

It’s a natural part of going after big opportunities, but there are also ways to calm the anxiety and naturally appear more confident than you really feel. After all, so much of sales and success lies within the image we portray. So, if you can master coming across as effortlessly confident and carry yourself with conviction, you might just wind up supersizing your career.

Here are my top tips to appear more confident in any situation:

1. Master Your Body Language

One of the most telling signs of someone’s confidence is how they carry themselves physically. Their posture, their eye contact… It all points to the attitude they have about themselves and the situation they’re in. A few small shifts can make you look more confident, even if you’re super nervous or uncomfortable in a high-pressure scenario:

  • Carry your head high with your chin up.
  • Resist fidgeting, picking your nails, touching your hair, or tapping your legs or feet.
  • Look someone in the eye when you’re speaking, AND when they’re speaking to you.
  • Keep your posture open. No crossing your arms or facing away from someone when you’re speaking with them.
  • Sit and stand up straight with your shoulders back.

2. Dress The Part

Clothes might seem like a small, menial detail, but how we present ourselves is a direct representation of how we feel about ourselves. Dress in shabby, wrinkled clothing, and it looks like you just don’t care as much as a pulled-together, thoughtful outfit.

Now, that doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a Gucci suit and $500 loafers because that FEELS professional and put together. But—wear what makes you feel confident, collected, and like your best self. It could be a Madewell button-down and trousers or a knee-length cocktail dress. Whatever makes you feel and look your best is always the right choice, and remember that it’s always better to be overdressed than under.

3. Practice Your Answers

Particularly before big meetings with someone you’ve never met (pitching a new client, meeting a referral, etc.), spend some time practicing your answers to generic questions you know, or assume, you’ll get asked. You don’t need to fully rehearse or memorize anything (this isn’t Hamilton), but having a general idea of what you want to say and practicing some key talking points will keep you from nervously rambling or losing your train of thought. Here are a few good questions to practice answering ahead of time:

  • What do you do?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What’s your professional background like?
  • What are your rates?
  • What is the extent of your services?
  • What kinds of clients/customers do you serve?

4. Do Your Homework Ahead Of Time

Where will you be meeting? What is this person’s background? What can you find out ahead of time? Do your homework on the person, place, and event well in advance so that you’re not caught off guard by anything. One of the biggest things that can throw you off your game is an unexpected change or unknown circumstance that frazzles your state of mind.

When you go into a meeting feeling prepared and ready, you’ll automatically feel more confident and at ease. The more you can do to prep beforehand, the better you’ll feel going in, and there won’t be any stopping you.


One of the most common misconceptions about confidence is that it’s a personality trait. You aren’t born with it, but rather, it’s something you can practice, hone, stretch, and grow. With a few simple tweaks in how you carry and present yourself, you’ll be appearing (and feeling) more confident in no time—and winning way more big-league opportunities as a result. THAT, I’m confident in.

SHARE 

Meet YOUR HOST

SONJA THORSVIK



I started my own entrepreneurial career in 2012 scaling up from $0 a year to over $100,000 each and every year. I firmly and wholeheartedly believe there are ways for all of us self-employed entrepreneurs to reach six-figures and beyond and I'm unapologetically here to show you how I do it so you can make your next best move. Let's go.

foUNDER of gigging for gold
i like my coffee black
@sonjathorsvik

Obsessed With Increasing Your Odds of success