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Creating confidence in your first impression
Welcome
Now that you have completed the Can you see the real me? questionnaire you’re probably thinking a lot more about the first impression you make when you meet new people.

Chapters

Whether you scored 100% or 25%, there are always ways to improve your first impression. Did you know that people will form an opinion about you within the first few seconds of meeting you? This will be based on your body language, mannerisms, demeanor, style and conversational skills.
Although this may sound daunting it’s important to remember that there are so many ways you can improve each of these areas so you can feel confident that you’re always making a great first impression.

2. Confidence building basics

In this work book you’ll find expert advice and practical exercises to help you banish insecurities, focus on your qualities and remember positive experiences. We have even included tips on how to exude positive body language, build on your conversational skills and maintain positive relationships.

8. Beyond first impressions – building relationships

1. You are a ‘perfect diamond’
3. Banishing the gremlins
4. Solid confidence
5. What’s the worst?
6. What in the world to say?
7. Body Language

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1. You are a ‘perfect diamond’
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?
Marianne Williamson
If you want to be a naturally confident person, making a good impression with ease, the first and most important step is to know – absolutely know – that you are special, wonderful and magical.

the horse manure to the world, so we cover it with nail varnish, and this becomes the face we show the world.
But even the most beautiful nail varnish can never compare with the diamond.

Here’s a concept for you: each of us is a flawless, sparkling diamond. But because not everyone operates out of a place of love, we encounter fear in the form of insult, bullying, control, envy, jealousy, judgment, rejection, unkindness or even hatred. This, and our own egotistical responses, heaps doubt and insecurity on us, and we can think of this as horse manure all over our precious diamond. Obviously, we don’t want to show

If you can let your diamond break through, you’ll be your true self, and that will make an outstanding first impression! When you let your special qualities and traits shine out, you’ll naturally attract people who you’ll enjoy being with, too. Do this short exercise if you want to make this idea work for you. It’s an ideal starting point before moving on to Confidence Building Basics.

What makes up your horse manure?

See left for explanation

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e?
What is the nail varnish lik

ent or behind when you fear judgm
This is the façade you hide sionalism, or coolness. ness, ultra-profes rejection. Examples are shy

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Describe your diamond.
Go on – this isn’t about vanity. It’s just the truth.

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What would be so terrible about showin g your diamond?
How could you be more your diamond and less your nail varnish?

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2. Confidence building basics
There must be a million things you could do to build your confidence, but here are three simple exercises and habits you can use to be the most self-assured version of yourself.

Basics checklist:
If you follow these basic rules, you can be sure you’re on the right path to being a well-liked person.
How many of these can you honestly say you already do?

Be yourself

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Be yourself – such an old saying, but true. It simply requires too much energy to be something you’re not. If you can’t be yourself, you might be with the wrong people, or need the gremlins exercise
(below).



Don’t try to be a comedian/party animal/super clever if it isn’t naturally you - yes, just like the first on this tick list, but these are the classic ones to get badly wrong.

Take pride in your appearance

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Take time to do your hair, makeup and nails. There’s nothing more satisfying than pampering yourself you’ll instantly get a confidence boost and will reap the benefits all day. For a special treat, why not book yourself in to a spa for a treatment!
Choose a perfume you like and wear it every day.
Even keep a small bottle in your handbag for topups. Research shows that pleasant scents can help you feel positive and attractive; increasing your sense of wellbeing. See It’s All in the Nose: Fact sheet on Smell for more information.

Be truthful. You’ll have less to remember.

Show interest


Ensure you look your best – it gives oodles of confidence. Find clothes that flatter your shape and make you feel beautiful. If you don’t have a natural knack for this, some clothing stores will provide you with a personal shopper who can help you with styling. Alternatively, ask a close friend who has a good eye for clothes to come shopping with you.







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Ask people about themselves – people love this, and they love the sound of their own names. Do some research about the person you’ll be meeting beforehand if possible.

Control your nervous energy
Be positive


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Don’t whinge or focus on all the problems in your life – you’ll drain people of energy and they won’t want to hang around you.

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Control your fidgeting – we often need a place to put our nervousness but try to simply focus on your breathing when you find yourself doing some distracting behaviour.



Use confident posture. See body language section below. Created by

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3. Banishing the gremlins
We all have voices inside our heads that remind us of fears and insecurities. They are like little gremlins bringing our confidence and energy down – things like, ‘He’ll think I’m silly’, or ‘I look awful – what will people think?’ These voices play so often in our heads that it’s easy to accept them as permanent. But we don’t have to. Do the following exercise to turn them around to become mental ‘angels’ that will build confidence.

ntal gremlins that reduce
What are your top three me first impression? ga your confidence in makin ntion to the voices in rry. Just pay atte
If you don’t know, don’t wo your awareness of next week or two, and raise your head over the back to this give yourself. Then come the negative messages you exercise. .

What statements could you design that will
‘challenge’ these gremlins and increase your belief that they are stupid and false?

For example: I am a loving friend, I am fun to be around, I’m positive and cheerful, I have great sense of style, I have a beautiful smile.

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How will you remind yourself of these statements when gremlins rear their ugly heads?

For example, making a poster of one or more and putting it by your bathroom mirror, or making it your scre en saver.

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Whatever you wrote above, take action on it now!

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4. Solid confidence
If you feel you have little confidence, you might ask, ‘What’s there to build on?’ but there is always something. We can easily recall times when we’ve failed at something, or not showed our best self. But there are also personal successes we can remember, write down and focus on when we need to boost personal energy. Try this exercise to make your confidence rock solid.

and part of a group.
Describe a time when you felt accepted
? What one word would
How did you behave? How did you feel you use to describe how you felt?

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Describe a time when you felt successful. How did you behave?
How did you feel? What one word or phrase would you use to describe how you felt?

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Now, make a poster using these words or phrases, and put it near your bed where you will see it first thing in the morning and last

thing at night. Look at it and repeat the words to yourself, and do this every day for three weeks. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

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5. What’s the worst?
The next exercise to help with your confidence in making a great first impression is to ask yourself,
‘What’s the worst that could happen?’
Imagine a situation either at work, at a party or meeting a potential new friend where you would be nervous and lack confidence. Take a moment and recall what goes through your head before or during those situations. Do you imagine things going badly, people not liking you, saying something silly or disastrous? Write down your ideas about bad outcom es in those situations. After each idea
, score its likelihood on a scale from 1 to 10. A score of 1 would be a chance in a million
, and 10 would be an absolute certainty. What’s the worst?

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Score out of 10

lf. ‘How likely
If you have lots of high scores written down, go back over them and ask yourse easy to see how are these outcomes really?’ Usually, when you put these fears into writing, it’s ridiculous they are. don’t? If you truly believe they are likely to occur, then how can you prepare so they

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6. What in the world to say?
Here’s a chance to think about some questions you can have up your sleeve when you’re in a social situation and you feel awkward. That’s right – questions. If you want to make people feel special, ask them about themselves. Of course you want to make witty contributions to the conversation, but if you are feeling self-conscious, ask someone a question.
You might really want to know what they do for a living, but you can probably do better than:
‘And what do you do?’
Here are a few ideas to get you started:

questions you
Try to think of some more ation going. could ask to get the convers

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‘What did you do at the weekend?’
‘Have you been on holiday this year?’
‘Where did you grow up?

Here’s another exercise that will improve your listening skills and have people think of you as good company. You’ll need a partner for this one. Get the other person to talk to you for five minutes (time it!), and during this time, the only talking you can do is to ask clarifying questions or for further information.
At the end of five minutes your job is to play back as

much as you can remember of what they told you.
Then you can reverse roles and do the exercise again.
Although it will improve your confidence to have better ideas about what to say in a conversation, don’t be afraid of short silences. They are nice ‘rests’ and natural punctuation for conversations.

One last bit of advice on what to say: remember to en note when someone’s bo dy language tells you it’s d a conversation on a happy time for it to be over (see in the next section). You examples can say something like. ‘It’ s been great (fun, interesti talking to you’ or ‘I love ng your outfit.’ Why not jot some ideas of your own he ) re? .

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7. Body Language
Did you know that 93% of expression is non-verbal? Our actual words make up only 7% of communication, while 38% comes from tone of voice, and 55% comes from body language! It’s a dead give-away when our words and bodies don’t match. What can you do to convey (and build) confidence?
Here’s a list:

• Upright posture – imagine your spine being stretched up by a string attached to the top of your head.
• Shoulders back and down, with arms in an ‘open’ position. This lifts and opens your chest. An unprotected chest says ‘I’m not afraid of you.’ It also conveys, well, openness.
• hin lifted. This conveys that you are equal to the
C
other person.
• Smile. It’s a people-magnet.
• Lean in toward a person to show interest in what they are saying, and once you’ve established a rapport, you can ‘mirror’ their body language
(without being too obvious) to engender trust and agreement.

• Wherever your chest, knees and feet point conveys your interest. Lean forward to show interest and attention. If you are speaking to two people and you want to include both, you can point your chest to one, and a knee or foot to the other. You’ll be turning your head to both, and this is obviously important, too.
• Avoid rubbing the back of your neck as this conveys that you don’t want to be there. You literally have ‘a pain in the neck.’ When people are uncomfortable or are being dishonest, they typically scratch the backs of their necks.
• Shake hands holding the other person’s hand right up to the curve between forefinger and thumb. Not limply, but not squeezing hard. Just nicely firm.

• f you want someone to believe what you are
I
saying, turn your palms upward. It conveys that you aren’t hiding anything (for cave men: I’m not holding a weapon).

Don’t be embarrassed to try these body language signals. Sit and stand in front of a mirror and practice until you feel comfortable with a more confident posture. Imagine you were meeting someone for the first time. How would you use body language to make a good first impression?

• Leaning back or sitting back when he/she had been leaning forward

Here’s a list of body language to look for when someone wants to end a conversation:

• Turning shoulders away from you, looking away for brief moments

• Sitting on the edge of the seat, ready to stand up
(very different to leaning forward)
• Gathering up their handbag, or checking inside it

• Checking their watch

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8. Beyond first impressions – building relationships
There are some guiding principles if you want a lasting, loving (or at least liking) relationship. Here they are, plus an exercise to help you use them:
1. Listen and speak in proportion to the number of ears and mouths you have. Always seek first to understand, then to be understood.
2. Do things for people out of love, or not at all.

4.

Assume the best intentions. If you think you can’t, then ask the person nicely for clarification. This is amazing for not escalating situations.

5. Praise, praise and never criticize. This is magic.
6. When you need something, ask for it. Nicely.
7. Be brave about difficult conversations.

3. Never pass up an opportunity to compliment someone.

cult,
What relationships in your life are diffi or decreasing your confidence?

Where can you praise more?

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What do you think the underlying causes of this are?

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Is there a difficult conversation you need to have? When will you take action on this? If your answer is vague, then ask yourself –
What have I got to lose?

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What could you do to be able to assum e the best intentions? .

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