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Projecting Confidence - Even if You Don't Feel It in Choosing a Career or College

That old saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it,” has never been more meaningful than when dealing with confidence issues. Confidence is the most important personality trait you can develop in order to better deal with life’s transitions whether choosing a college or career and in both your personal and your professional – and to take risks to ensure your continued success.

Having the confidence to apply for those colleges that seem out of reach is an important element in creating the best college list for you. Too often students hold the belief that they will never be accepted into their dream college and pursue their dream career. In my career of over 31 years as an educator, lack of confidence is a common thread through my students. It didn't matter if you were gifted or learning disabled.

Lack of Confidence holds Everyone Back

These are some tools that I have found to work with most students and adults:

  • Be optimistic – Do you see the glass as half-empty or half-full? If you see the glass as half- empty, you’re likely not an optimist and could experience feelings of low self-worth and doubts. Seeing the glass as half-full places you in the “optimist” category and shows that you look for opportunity rather than failure.

  • Don’t take yourself too seriously – When you allow yourself to loosen up and enjoy life, you’re more relaxed in demeanor and most people find that refreshing. Most of us have to deal with stress and intense situations every day, so to be around someone who can relax is a real pleasure and can garner admiration. A Smile goes a long way of putting everyone at ease.

  • Pay attention to others – Making eye contact and listening intently to those you’re engaged with is a must when attempting to project confidence. If you constantly look around the room or up at the ceiling when you’re conversing, you seem less trustworthy and less like someone who demands admiration. This is something that is definitely difficult for most students and some adults.

  • Dress the part – Whatever you want to succeed at in life requires a certain look. Many colleges ask for an interview, students need to dress like they want to attend the college. Ripped jeans, even though fashionable, is not the image you want to leave with the Admission Counselor. Want to rise to a CEO level in your company? Stop dressing in jeans and t-shirts. Show others – with your looks – that you’re ready to step into that career, that college and that position. The Old Adage "Dress for Success" is still true.

  • Watch your language – When you speak, speak clearly and watch your own language to be sure you’re not using buzz words or contradictory language or interject phrases such as “you know…” That’s referred to as “conversational clutter” and should be avoided at all cost. Again, you need to look people in the eye and smile!

  • Accept and give compliments – This is sometimes hard to do. Accept compliments about your accomplishments gracefully and give compliments to others when warranted. Accepting compliments show that you realize the value in what you’ve done and giving compliments show that you consider yourself a good judge of character. Be a gracious receiver and giver!

Projecting a certain amount of confidence, even when you don’t feel it, shows that you’re ready to meet challenges head-on. Sometimes, we are unsure of all the knowledge or skills that might be required to perform and be successful at our Dream College or our Dream Career, but you can project determination, work-ethic and enthusiasm to meet the challenge which is 90% of battle.

So don't be afraid of Stepping Up and Stepping Out!

Tom & Maria of Career and College Counselors can help both adults and students choose the Right Career based on an assessment that will help you answer the essential questions: Who Am I? Where Do I Shine? And What Is My Purpose? We are “COUNSELORS AT YOUR KITCHEN TABLE.” Contact us today for a FREE Consultation! Call or Text 570-460-4855

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