Even the most confident people experience moments where they feel anxious and uncertain, but they know how to handle it and use their nervous energy in a beneficial way.
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Having an aura of confidence can open up new opportunities for you, so even if you don’t feel confident, use the “fake it until you make it” approach to receive immediate benefits and work toward developing true confidence.
Try the following three fast ways to fake your confidence to start enjoying all the boons and positive attention that come from being a confident person.
1. Use The Right Body Language
Think about what a person without confidence looks like. He or she may slouch, take up as little space as humanly possible, hang their head low and shun eye contact. This posture and body language is associated with anxiety and submission, and using it yourself signals to others that you are nervous and unsure.
Changing your body language and posture will alter the impression you give others, their behavior around you and eventually your own perception of self.
- Stand tall – Always stand up tall with your head held high, and walk with your shoulders level and pulled back. Also keep your chin level and your face pointed ahead. You want to walk like you own the entire world, even if you don’t feel it.
- Be still – Work on being able to stand still. A person who is nervous will fidget, tap a foot or shift weight from side to side. Try to stand with your feet apart at hip’s width and keep your weight balance across your legs. Do this even when you’re seated, as nervous people tap or twist their legs while sitting.
- Own space – Be unafraid to take up space. This may mean fighting the urge to shove your arms under your armpits or lean forward in a chair. You want to power pose, which is being expansive and filling out the nearby space.
- Use touch as needed – If you need someone’s attention and the situation calls for it, lightly touch the person’s shoulder. Don’t do it too hard, as that could come across as dominant instead of confident and calm, and make sure it’s appropriate given the circumstances. If you can get a person’s attention by just calling their name, physical contact might come off as too aggressive.
- Have confident hands – When you’re sitting or standing, keep your hands as still as you can and in a confident position, such as clasping your palms together behind your head or back. For an assertive position, try resting your elbows on the table and lacing your fingers together.
- Watch your hand gestures – Be careful with hand gestures. Depending on the culture, using a hand gesture too often when talking can be perceived as energetic or anxious. Use controlled gestures occasionally instead. Have your arms stay at waist level and keep most of your gestures in that space to look more credible.
2. Practice Confidence In Social Interactions
- Go for eye contact – Keeping eye contact while you talk and listen to someone else is a sign of interest and confidence. Don’t stare at the floor, scan the room or check your phone while talking to someone else because this makes you look anxious and/or rude. Maintain eye contact for at least half of the entire interaction you have with the other person.
- Have a firm handshake – Be firm when you shake hands, as this can make you appear self-assured and confident right from the start. Put your hand out to offer the handshake when you approach someone. Have a firm but not painful grip on the other person’s hand when you shake. Shake for about three seconds, and then release. If you suffer from sweaty palms, keep a tissue with you so you can wipe your hand off before you shake.
- Speak clearly and slowly – If you find yourself mumbling or speaking quickly, work on speaking more clearly and at a slower pace. Pause a second before you speak so you can plan your response and appear more confident and relaxed to others.
- Smile more – A smile instantly makes you look approachable, warm and friendly to others. If you struggle with natural smiles when you’re not relaxed, flash a brief smile and return to a neutral expression instead. Well-timed laughter is also good, but try not to constantly do it, as that can come across as anxiety or be obnoxious to others.
- Say “sorry” less – If you seem to always be apologizing, it’s time to break the cycle. It’s one thing to apologize when you’ve actually done something wrong, but if you’re doing it over trivial things, you have to get out of that habit. On the other hand, start accepting compliments gracefully if you don’t already. Don’t downplay your accomplishments or put yourself down in response to a compliment.
- Be respectful – Treat other people with respect to show that you value them as people, you don’t feel threatened and that you’re confident in yourself. Avoid gossip so you can avoid the drama, and show others that you are comfortable with who you are.
3. Develop A Confident Lifestyle
- Look your best – Taking care of yourself is necessary for your well-being, and your hygiene, appearance and clothes do matter to others. When you look sharp, people will be more receptive to you, and you’ll also feel more confident.
- Appreciate yourself more – Acting more confidently will make you look surer of yourself, but it’s also important to see your own value as a person because that’s where real confidence comes from. Don’t be afraid to appreciate yourself, and if you need some help doing this, you can make a list of your own accomplishments.
- Control your fear – People who lack confidence often fear making a mistake or coming across poorly. When this anxiety pops up in your mind, remind yourself that you can do this and that your fear is unfounded. Acknowledge your setbacks and mistakes so you can learn from them, but stop dwelling on them.
- Start a journal – A journal can help you reduce stress because you can get your anxious thoughts out of your head and onto paper. You’ll also be able to see what you write down in a different light. One list to include in your journal is a tally of all the things you are proud of and need to remember whenever you’re upset.
As you work on developing a more confident you, remember that you can achieve your goals and be more confident by working on your fears and reminding yourself that you have plenty to be proud of.
Minor and even major setbacks will happen, but you’ll always be able to bounce back and live the life you’re dreaming of.