One more thought this week on where confidence comes from. I think this one is be the biggest key of all of them: Who ARE you?
Imagine you're at a party where you don't know very many people. As you have conversations with various strangers, do you try to be someone you're not, to impress them or meet some unknown expectations? Or do you not worry about impressing anyone, and be yourself?
Which attitude is going to make you feel more confident?
I'm a natural introvert, myself. Parties where I don't know anyone are a special form of torture, when I'm not in the right mood. But there's an extroverted side of me I can pull out when I need to. When I put on that side of my personality, I can talk to almost anyone comfortably and confidently. I'm still being myself - I'm just being another side of myself. There's nothing fake about it, even though it's not my default mode.
"Just be yourself on stage." Bet you haven't heard that one before. Do you have a problem with that piece of advice because, like an introvert at a party, the "you" that you naturally are isn't the "you" that want to be on stage?
Some people do have the same personality onstage and offstage. These are usually the people who are naturally confident on stage, because they are just being themselves.
But what if your natural offstage personality isn't really who you want or need to be on stage? What if you sing high-energy music but you are an introvert? What if you write dark, aggressive music but you are gentle and retiring in real life?
If you are writing and performing music different from your offstage personality, there's probably a very real part of you hidden inside which identifies with that music. Your task is to find and develop and amplify that part of yourself.
A lot of people let out a different side of themselves on stage. It may not be a part of you that you live in daily life, but that's OK. There's probably a rockstar part of you that has been hidden for years because you believed it wasn't appropriate to let it out. The stage is the place to be the "amplified you."
So take some time to visualize who you want to be on stage. Use examples of other artists you like. Are there parts of those artists that you identify with and can adopt for yourself? Put together all the elements that you want to be - from the look to the attitude to the style to the personality. The things you identify with aren't fake - they're parts of you that maybe you haven't let come out.
Once you have a good picture of your alter-ego, you can "just be yourself" on stage and still be who you wish you were. It may not be who you are offstage, but it's not fake, either - it's a real part of you.
And when you don't have anything to fake, anything to pretend, you will be confident.