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The late entrepreneur Richard DeVos once said, “I have seen countless people make a choice to be confident. If you don’t naturally feel bold and confident, you can choose an attitude of confidence.” Sounds simple—just change your attitude. However, researchers have found that people are more likely to shift their attitudes when they modify their behaviors to reflect those attitudes. In other words, when individuals notice themselves behaving in new ways, they begin to view themselves in a new light, and thus their attitudes follow suit.

Emily Jaenson, who formerly worked as general manager of the Triple-A Reno Aces, can attest to the power of gaining self-assurance through behavior modification. In her TEDx Talk “Six Behaviors to Increase Your Confidence,” she shares confidence-building behaviors derived from interviews with over 90 female executives in the sports industry. “They, like me, did not possess this confidence necessary to increase their level in their career from the get-go,” Jaenson says. “They had to work on the behaviors associated with this attitude in order to propel their career forward.” 

Here are Jaenson’s six tips:

Count yourself in

When feelings of trepidation strike, it’s time to start counting. Inside your mind, do a countdown of “5-4-3-2-1-Go!” just before beginning the nerve-wracking task, going into the spotlight, or starting an audition. “Counting will get you started, and momentum will keep you going,” Jaenson asserts. “I’ve used this technique. I’ve had more uncomfortable conversations than I care to recall.” She’s also in the practice of asking herself, “How does the person I want to become behave?” Each situation may call for a different response, but there are times she answers that question: “I’m a person who’s not too shy to stand up for what I believe, what is right, and stand up to conflict.” And she proceeds to count herself in.

Be brave for 20 seconds

Nerves have a way of making things seem daunting. When Jaenson second-guesses herself or worries about how others will respond to her, she pauses and tells herself to exhibit a brief moment of courage. “Give yourself 20 seconds of courage. This behavior helped me enormously when I published my podcast,” she shares.

Take a seat at the table

There’s a saying: “The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.” That includes sitting down at the table, as it shows your readiness to tackle the issues at hand. Literally sit down, speak your mind, and contribute to the conversation. After all, a hesitant mind can keep you standing on the sidelines. When this happens, the first step of sitting down at the table can be impactful. 

Cheer for other peoples success

“Rather than feeling sorry for yourself that it was not you accepting the accolades,” Jaenson encourages people to help others as they come up in the business and celebrate their successes. She insists, “Confident people celebrate the success of others rather than feeling threatened.” Jaenson asks people to remind themselves: “This is her celebration—not mine. And when my time comes, isn’t it going to be great to have the support of so many people around me? Wins are so much better celebrated together. Join in; cheer someone else on.”

Bolster your confidence for a new activity through your already great performance in another

Jaenson urges people to reflect on their past accomplishments, fully appreciate them, and to use them to propel themselves forward. “What are you really good at?” she asks. “What is easier today than it was one year ago? What is your most proud accomplishment? Answer those questions. Think about those answers. Those answers [are] where your confidence is born. Confidence is born in all we’ve already done and already achieved.” 

Celebrate constantly

Each time you experience a success, even if it’s small, Jaenson urges people to celebrate it in some way. Those more minor successes tend to be overlooked and minimized as people set larger goals for themselves. But by not taking the time to celebrate, Jaenson warns of the risk of associating the success with the stress it took to achieve the accomplishment. “Find ways to celebrate that are meaningful to you, like creating a highlight reel in your cell phone of your most proud accomplishments,” she suggests. Gather with friends or colleagues, order a favorite meal, get a massage, or add it to a gratitude journal. By making sure to celebrate, Jaenson says, “This will create a marker in your brain to rewire and reinforce the behaviors that led to the success in the first place.”