While Batman and Spiderman hide behind a mask, Iron Man wants the world to know that Tony Stark is the man in the suit. He’s a character who the world can relate because he’s not the perfect character as many Super Heroes are depicted. He has his flaws like the average person yet has built an empire that reflects his personality and passion for his craft.
When it comes to Tony Stark, the man oozes with the combination of many traits that result in a great leader. Self confidence is one traight that Iron Man has that can be seen throughout every scene. His self-confidence is the difference between his sense of being unstoppable and the being scared out of your wits in the face of controversy. The way Tony Stark carries himself has a direct impact on how we as the viewers percieve him. Whether it’s his dress, his demeanour or his witty comebacks – Our perception is his reality (in a fictional sense).
Here are a few things that you can do to start building your self confidence to the level of Tony Stark. Some of this may sound robotic but it’s quite the opposite, take these tips and inject them with your personality, your style and your voice. At the end of the day to be self confident you have to be comfortable with who you are and who you are trying or striving to become.
Tip #1: Talk Slower
Many people rush their words because they don’t want someone to have enough time to judge their thoughts. They think that the faster they talk the faster they will be able to connect with the person or the crowd they are talking to. They hope that by keeping the crowd on the edge of their seat with their speedy insights and thoughts they will be able to keep their interest. In reality however, it simply gives the perception of nervousness.
Three words: Slow. It. Down. When you talk slower, you will appear to be more smooth with your conversations. Think about Tony Stark in conversations, he embraces what many would call an awkward silence and strategically injects his presentations and speech with dramatic pauses.
Tip #2: Control Your Reactions
A lot of people allow their emotions to get the better of them in high stake situations. Rather than making sudden and instant decisions, control your reactions and make the appropriate decisions later if necessary. Most importantly, never let your emotions get the best of you and make you do something that you will regret later on. Controlling the way you react to situations is a difficult task and requires some inner conversations and habit building.
You must identify the smallest things such as the right times to laugh, the right times to frown and even the right times to walk away. It’s the combination of having complete control over your mind to ensure that your body acts and behaves in the way you know is strategically appropriate. This may sound very calculated and trivial but it’s important. You must control your nervous chuckle, your fidgeting and if necessary, get professional help for your nervous stutter. To ooze confidence you must have complete control over your body, mind and spirit.
Tip #3: Think of Dying
The more you think about death, the more you think about how valuable your time is on this earth. The moment you recognize and embrace the concept that everyday could very well be your last should be the moment you realize it’s time to love yourself and do what’s best for you. Upon thinking of death you start to do things that you truly want to do and take risks that you wouldn’t take if you believed that you had forever to make that decision. Death is the greatest reminder for each and everyone of us to get out and actually live. Do something worth doing and live a life worth living (tweet this idea). Steve Jobs may have put it best:
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. - Steve Jobs
As you start chasing a dream and start doing more of what you want and less of what society expects of you – The more confident you will become. You will realize that the only difference between you and anyone else is what you’ve done and what you’re going to do. Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day, everyone has the same amount of days in a week. It’s how you use those hours and days that will depict and determine what type of legacy you leave behind. If you strive to leave a legacy, you will most certainly be confident. Confident in yourself and confident in your goal of leaving a legacy. Know Your
Tip #4: Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Self Awareness is not only a key to success but it’s also the key to confidence. If you don’t know what you’re bad at, you can’t truly understand what you’re actually good at. More than anything, it’s important to identify what you’re good and bad at and what you hate or enjoy doing. If you’re horrible at public speaking but love doing it – This is one of those weaknesses you should strive to improve. If you’re horrible at content marketing or the understanding the art of the hustle and have no interest in it what-so-ever, then don’t focus on it. Focus on things that you’re either interested in or already good at. Ignore the things that will not contribute to getting you where you want to be and focus on those things that will. This is a chart that really frames up what you should and shouldn’t be focusing on:
Tip #5: Embrace Praise & Criticism
This one is difficult but something that those who are successful have perfected. While it’s easy to embrace praise and support it’s much more difficult to deal with criticism. Both have their complexities which result in or give the perception of a lack of self-confidence. When someone gives you praise it’s easy to dismiss the compliment and not take it as something sincere or meaningful. It’s easy (and wrong) to discredit the positive but hang onto every single word when someone expresses something negative. We assume that the person expressing the compliment was simply being nice or that they are inexperienced and didn’t notice all the mistakes. Sure, sometimes this can be true but for the most part it’s not. In fact, for the most part you deserve the praise you receive and need to embrace it.
Embrace negativity as well. The biggest issue with negative feedback is that it’s often difficult to differentiate between constructive criticism (the good stuff) and destructive criticism (the haters). Once you can identify the difference you will notice the benefits of both. Constructive criticism is great for actually making improvements to yourself or your business. Some constructive criticism is extremely valuable while others are simply one persons opinion. The destructive criticism has no value and is simply someone who doesn’t want to see you succeed or is being negative. Instead of watching what they say, count how many of them you have. I haven’t done the statistical analysis yet but I have a feeling the more successful you are – The more haters you have (tweet this idea).
Tip #6: Dress to Impress
Clothes may not make the man but they most certainly play a role in how you feel. A lot of people when they first start their career are strapped for cash and don’t have the budget to pay for the nicest clothes. I understand this and have been in that situation before. That said, I’m here to tell you that the way you dress and your appearance can take you a long way. Even if you’re going to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party you can set yourself a part by rocking just the right cardigan or pullover. Never under estimate the importance of style.
If you’ve watched Iron Man you will notice that Tony Stark is typically wearing a stylish suit, an iron suit or a designer t-shirt. Now, I’m not saying you have to throw all your graphic tees in the garbage or your favourite baseball cap in the dump. All I’m saying is that it’s important to dress to impress and understand the ROI of dressing well. Not only will it improve the way people perceive you, it will also make you feel better about yourself. Create your own style. Be comfortable but don’t dress like you just rolled out of bed. At a certain stage, it’s time to stop shopping at Hollister and time to start wearing something that screams confidence and not “I did a Keg Stand last night.”
So there you have it, if you can exercise these tips you will be six steps closer to creating your very own Stark Industries. Yet we can’t forget the most important part of this entire puzzle. Tony Stark is confident because he has the resume to back it up. It’s great to be confident in yourself but you must also put in the hours to become a true expert in your craft.
Understand your industry, understand your role and understand what you’re looking to become. At the end of the day, developing self-confidence can help lead you into a role of great power, but as Uncle Ben said, with great power comes great responsibility. Wrong movie? Don’t judge me…
What other qualities do you think allow for Tony Stark to become a success? What traits would you like to emulate?