Confidence is critical for success, both personally and professionally. One simple yet powerful way to build real confidence is to practice going first - taking the lead and being proactive, rather than waiting for someone else to make the first move.
Here are some everyday ways you can challenge yourself to go first and build your confidence in the process:
When you enter a networking event, be the first person to introduce yourself to others, extending your hand for a firm handshake and warmly stating your name. Don't hesitate for others to make the first move.
Walk into the office or elevator in the morning ready to be the first to smile and give a cheerful "Good morning!" to colleagues. Break the ice with your positive energy and friendliness.
When entering an elevator with strangers, take charge by pressing buttons for others and asking what floors they need. Be the proactive elevator steward.
Notice litter in a public space? Don't assume someone else will handle it. Go the extra mile by taking the lead to pick up trash first and keep your surroundings clean.
Stepping up to go first in these everyday situations demonstrates confidence, care, and leadership. The more practice you get, the more natural it becomes over time. Your confidence will flourish as taking the lead becomes a habit. Soon enough, initiating conversations, making plans, and taking action will feel second nature. Over time, what once seemed daunting will become second nature. You'll no longer have to psych yourself up just to introduce yourself to someone new or speak up first in a meeting.
Identify one scenario today where you can push yourself to go first. Step outside your comfort zone and lead the way. Gain momentum by going first in a variety of settings and interactions. With consistency, you'll be amazed by how your confidence grows. Soon enough, leading and initiating will be a habit that comes as naturally as following and reacting do now.