How do you act confident in front of your peers when you have a low self-confidence?Also, how do you get rid of your low self-confidence and bad body image?
A great article lists some steps on how to build confidence. Some notable points:
A recent decent TED talk - http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html
Has a lovely illistration (scientific as well) of how acting confident (in terms of body poses) makes you confident...
Relevent quotes are
But our question really was, do our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves?
There's some evidence that they do. So, for example, we smile when we feel happy, but also, when we're forced to smile by holding a pen in our teeth like this, it makes us feel happy. So it goes both ways. When it comes to power, it also goes both ways. So when you feel powerful, you're more likely to do this, but it's also possible that when you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful.
Join Toastmasters. You'll have opportunities every meeting to speak in front of a group of supportive people who are trying to do the same thing.
In summary, improve your voice, appearance and posture.
Take voice and singing lessons if you can. In my case, my voice improved a lot when I started practicing reading aloud, singing, and giving presentations at home - by myself - even without any formal instruction. When you start hearing and getting use to your voice sounding confidently at home, you will bring that voice and confidence at work.
Get to the gym, keep yourself fit, and invest in stylish clothes. If you look like a million bucks, you act like a million bucks and people treat you like a million bucks.
A huge part of confidence for me was removing negativity in my life.
Be around people who love and support you. Try to limit time to negative people to times when you are strong and can help them. And remove all negative thoughts in your life. ALL. This is not done by ignoring them, or suppressing them, but by replacing them with a positive truthful outlook.
"This time being sick gives me time to focus on such and such."
Source: I've had a great family who boosted my confidence, and I have been nearly bedridden for 9 months due to incurable illness, and I am still super happy.
Let's take a few examples. Tell me which one you instinctively think is more confident:
While some of these examples may be acted confidence, one of them stands out as particularly fake. They all appear more confident than the average person, though some appear more insecure for several reasons.
Confidence has to be sincere. It cannot be acted. Acted confidence almost always looks insecure.
My approach to being confident is to find a greater purpose and don't let anything else get in the way. Your purpose can be anything. For me, it's religion. For some, it can be their career. It can be a spouse, or children. It can be a piece of art, like a statue, painting, game, or novel.
Everything builds around this purpose. Don't let people keep you from your purpose. If your daughter is the highest priority, turn down your boss when he asks you to work overtime during an important event of hers. If people make fun of you, ignore them, because your daughter's approval is all you need. Being devoted to a single purpose and having consistent values will earn you a lot of respect.
Avoid being extrinsically motivated - this is especially in regards to things like money, power, and position. If your identity relies on what others think, you won't look confident.
Oh, but a small note on body language: Standing straight makes you look confident.
Take an alpha male posture. Arms to the side, never crossed... don't deflect any attacks to your chest; you're an alpha and nobody dares to attack you. Pull your shoulders back, thrust your chest forwards. It's a sexually appealing posture whether you're male or female.
Some good reading material is Jack Canfield's The Success Principles. A lot of it may have little to do with confidence at first glance, but the principles all come together to make you a more confident person.
There was also a decent Linked In article on this recently.
You can not act confident if you are not. As for the other question, you will have to figure out what makes you like that. Find the reason why do you have low confidence and body image.
Once you figure out the root cause (let's call it "Subject Matter"), just work on it and get better with it, familiarize your self with the Subject Matter and gain more knowledge about it. You will start becoming confidant naturally as you go.
Low self confidence is nothing but lack of knowledge in the Subject Matter.