Self-improvement takes time. You have to read self-help books. You have to master new life skills. You have to make changes to your personality. You have to add new habits and subtract old ones. Lots of work. It certainly doesn’t happen overnight.
But just because a great self-improvement plan takes a year or more doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy quick, simple improvements. Sometimes we just want to feel a quick win, an easy victory, an effortless improvement in our life. So here’s the fastest, easiest self-improvement tip I know. All you need is 3 seconds and, well, nothing else. Let’s see how it works.
How to Sound Smarter
I’m guessing if you are anything like me, often, in a conversation, you sometimes stumble your way through and then only later think of the absolute perfect think you should have said. I hate that. It’s as the universe is playing with me, taunting me. Jamie, here’s a great line to say, only, I’ll only let you think of it now when no-one is around to hear how clever you really are. Damn. If only I could sound smarter right in the middle of conversations. If only I could do it without expending a single additional drop of effort. Actually, you can. How? We’ll see in a moment.
How to Sound More Confident
The only thing I hate worse than not saying something really clever is saying something really stupid. I have this bad habit where I’ll screw up mid-sentence and say a Spoonerism. What is a Spoonerism? It’s a verbal mistake (or possibly a brilliant chance for humor) where you switch the sounds in words. Here’s an example. I want to say, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” but somehow say “Goldybear and the Three Locks.” This usually happens when I’m too excited, racing to get my words into a conversation. But here’s the thing. Does James Bond ever muck up what he’s trying to say? Better yet, does he ever even seem to hurry to say what he wants? No, right? There’s a direct link between sounding confident and talking slower than the average person.
The Easiest Self-Improvement Tip Ever
So let’s finally reveal the simplest self-improvement hack that you can start using right this moment. It’s the 3-second pause. Whenever someone asks you a challenging question, whenever someone calls you out on something and demands a response, whenever someone asks your opinion, whenever someone teases or mocks you – basically whenever you find yourself on the spot in a conversation – say nothing for 3 seconds. You can do that, right? See, we tend to get nervous at those moments and race to say something. But once you start racing, your clever thoughts and creative ideas are suppressed. You’ll come up with a cool answer, but it won’t be now, it’ll be later because you didn’t give yourself even a moment to think. You won’t sound cool and confident, because unlike James Bond, you’ll be scampering to say as much as you can as quickly as you can, and let’s face it, that just makes you sound nervous and needy.
So from here on out, when you are on the spot in a conversation, pause and say nothing for a count of 3. The first time you do it, you’ll feel really awkward, but trust me, it will command respect from your conversation partners. Then, once you do begin to speak, speak slower than you normally do. You’ll find that this is not only easier, it’ll also help you speak more clearly, more accurately and more confidently.
Usually in life, improving takes a lot of work and a lot of time. But occasionally, there are things you can do that are simple, fast, and make a big impact. This is one of those things.
Try this advice and let me know how it works out for you in the comment section below. Also, please subscribe and share this on facebook or twitter if you have friends who can benefit from this advice.