Get Rid of Your Inner Coward in 6 Easy Steps!

It was not too long ago that I found myself (ex-coward) at a family dinner in a cute restaurant downtown. The waiter brought me what I had ordered (which was salmon by the way) and soon afterwards I realized it was not cooked as much as I had asked. I still finished my dinner but certainly didn’t enjoy it as much. I thought about letting him know but my inner coward didn’t let me.

I am sure you’ve found yourself in a similar situation in the past. You want to speak up but something inside you says you should play “nice”. But what if playing nice ends up against you and makes people think you cannot stand up for yourself.

I am not talking about being over-aggressive but a certain amount of assertiveness will certainly make you gain the respect of your surroundings. Maybe even the admiration of the other gender.

So here are 6 easy steps to get rid of your inner coward that worked great for me:

1. Initiate conversation. Although this might seem like a huge hurdle to overcome it really is easy. Start by talking to people in the elevator. I wouldn’t recommend commenting on anything personal, just casual conversation about something general. Personal comments will make you look weird and too aggressive. Talk about something in your building, or ask a question about the area you live. Something in these lines. This will help you overcome the inhibition of starting a conversation and give you confidence.

2. Look at people in the eyes. The one sign that will mark you as a coward is avoiding eye contact. You will look like you are lying or have something to hide. It works in the opposite way too. Look at people straight in the eyes and the last thing they will think about you is that you are weak or a coward. Now don’t overdo it and don’t stare for too long because it can turn against you.

3. Next time you walk in the street hold your head up and make eye contact. It might seem silly but some subtle signs like these can say a lot about your personality. They can not only affect the people around you but also your own self-esteem. Again avoid prolonged eye contact but try to look at them until THEY decide to look elsewhere. Like a game.

4. Express your desires. Most of us that have not suppressed our “inner coward” yet think that expressing our desires will make us sound rude and aggressive. This couldn’t be any further from true. Letting other people know what your opinion is and what you want from them will not only make you sound honest but gain their respect too. It is OK to do what you want and avoid what you don’t like. But listen to them too and show respect to their wishes.

5. Do not apologize too often. “I am sorry, can I ask you something…” or “Sorry to bother you, but…”. Nothing wrong with talking like this except for the fact that you start a conversation by putting yourself at an inferior position. How about being in an equal position? “Good morning, can I ask you something…” or “I noticed that…” would make you sound more confident. It is all about subliminal messages you pass to the other person. He might not even notice why, but he will probably think you don’t have a very strong character. STOP giving messages that make you look like a coward when you aren’t!

6. Join the local gym. Not only will it make you look better and feel better about yourself. It will boost your adrenaline and make you more aggressive. If you think I’m wrong, give it a try and see why it will make you forget you ever acted like you were a coward when you are NOT!

Last piece of advice: Don’t expect all those tricks to work just because you practiced once. Give it some time. At least one month I would say. Building a stronger character can take a lifetime but you’ll see yourself changing very soon and be PROUD of it.