So you have an exciting date with someone on the weekend, a nerve-wrecking meeting for your dream job, or an amazing event to organize for your peers? In case you’re a shy, contemplative person, any of these occasions could make you have palpitations, however, don’t stress yet; you can figure out how to fake confidence regardless of the fact that you’re not one of the most confident of people. There’s no compelling reason to worry yourself sick, because by following these tips, you will be a pro at faking confidence. You don’t have to pretend to be another person, someone that you’re not, or bedazzle people with your charming personality— you can put on a show to be confident and still remain the real you.
Faking confidence until you unconsciously feel confident is a great way to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. It does not only boosts your self-esteem but also makes you look ten times more attractive. Here are 8 ways you can “fake it till you make it.”
A smile depicts confidence and professionalism. A smiling face also tricks people into thinking you’re an outgoing and friendly person, worth knowing. Whether you’re in a social gathering, addressing a crowd, or exchanging pleasantries; smile wide. People feel more comfortable talking to a person who smiles and spreads positive vibes. However, make sure you’re aware of the situation and context in which you are smiling and keep it genuine.
2. Eye Contact
Too much of eye contact is automatically considered rude, impolite and intimidating. Too little, however, can make you appear uncomfortable, insincere and distracted. According to research, the standard percentage to maintain eye contact ranges between 30 to 60 percent. More eye contact when you are listening and less when you are speaking. A balance of eye contact can create a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. Meeting new people and encountering new social situations can be a little empowering. My advice is to do what comes naturally and don’t make it look forced.
3. Dress Up For the Event
It is a well known fact that choosing a perfect outfit is similar to choosing the right armor for a battle, and what we wear has control over others. I personally believe this to be very true. Try dressing up sharp and formal for meetings, regardless of the fact that whether the organization is more laid back and modern with a broad perspective. This is important, in making the employers realize, that you take your work seriously and you are confident in what you do. This also represents a more professional persona.
Try the same for informal events, a date night or a friendly gathering. If there is no clothing theme, generally dress up good, so you exude a strong charisma.
4. Stay Fresh
If you’ve had a rough day at work and you’re not feeling fresh or yourself, don’t risk going off to the event when you’re not feeling your best. When you reach your destination, whether it’s an important meeting with customers, a date night, or a birthday party – the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether or not you smell foul, when actually you should be enjoying yourself. The same theory applies to your teeth; if you’ve had too much garlic in your lunch or loads of confectioneries and your stomach is feeling a little harsh, go home to ease up.
Then again, in case you really want to go and are short on time, make sure you always pack a disposable toothbrush, some wet wipes, and deodorant in your bag, so you can freshen up anytime and anywhere. Being prepared for such situations really boosts your confidence and self esteem.
5. Change your Mindset (Be confident)
If you believe that you have low confidence, there are chances you are already feeding a negative mindset that prevents you from moving forward. The way to boosting your confidence is to begin scrutinizing your inner voice and replacing what it says with positive, insightful, cherishing self-talk. It is undoubtedly true when you think negative thoughts, you perform less well. You block your mind from seeking more positive and creative thoughts and situations. Cynicism affects both your confidence and creativity. You can overcome negative thoughts by surrounding yourself with confident, positive people who boost your self-esteem. Try pondering over the great things you have in life- friends, family, spouses, dream job, an apartment etc. So to be confident you need to change your mindset!
6. Manage Your Body Language
Tweaking your posture is a part of how you can be confident. Tweaking it only a tad bit with the goal that you are making yourself greater as opposed to little can “altogether change how your life unfolds” says Harvard Business School teacher Amy Cuddy in her prominent TED Talks, the way we position our bodies communicate to other people, and to ourselves. In easier words, if you stand tall and confident feeling accomplished, you will trick your mind in believing you are confident and already feel like a winner. But if you stoop low, your esteem is likely to get lower making you feel uncertain and uncomfortable. Your brain is designed to send message to your brain, so stand tall and be confident in what you say or do.
7. Take the First Step
You may find yourself in a formal meeting, a school event or a presentation to demonstrate your work to the class, or you may find your group sharing thoughts to a potential customer – whatever your situation, ALWAYS go first. By “going first” you are quickly getting the nerve-wracking action off of your path so you can unwind sooner, rather than staying nervous the entire time you’re sitting waiting for your turn. From my experience, putting yourself out there and volunteering to go first in whatever situation you’re in is amazing; It appears as though you can hardly wait to share your thoughts or that you believe what you need to share is extraordinary. By being the first to start in every situation, individuals may think you are a great deal maybe more than you truly are, regardless of the fact that you’re sweating, nervous and making an effort not to physically shake. That’s part of how you can be confident.
8. Voice Tone
Speaking in a low tone, not saying much or hesitating while you talk all prove a lack of confidence. Recording yourself before addressing an audience helps you get over self-consciousness about your voice. To improve the way you converse try frequently backing off and breathing between sentences. The more you can unwind and act naturally with your voice, the better you will go over. In unpredictable situations such as meetings or introductions, we inhale high into our upper chest regions through fear and stress and this interferes with our ability to breathe while talking successfully. This technique is easy to learn and can be rehearsed routinely until they feel genuine. Sometimes it does get tough to be confident but confidence is made by a casual, open body act, low, simple breathing and a warm, resounding vocal tone. These aren’t really normal states for a few of us, yet they can be deliberately learned, rehearsed and connected in certain situations.
I’m sure we’re all awed by the presence of certain people, right? Their personality, strong confidence and charisma. What if I tell you there is a science behind it and you can perfect it as well. Social Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, explained in her most viewed TED Talks about the science of power posing and how it can increase your confidence. The way you stand- particularly the power pose might have an effect on your testosterone and cortisol level- two hormones known to maintain the confidence level of your body- and increase your chances of success.
The Wonder Woman pose is highly effective and has been experimented on dozen of people. Yes it’s the one in the above and below image!
How does it work? Well all you have to do is practice your power pose or the Wonder Woman pose. Whether you’re in the bathroom, leaving home for a meeting, preparing for an interview, a presentation or asking someone on a date; put your hands on your hips, spread your legs apart and look towards the sky. Try it for 5-10 seconds and see how your confidence level boosts. Surprisingly this actually has a huge effect on your confidence as your body remains calm. And trust me you will rock your interview or presentation.
For better understanding of how you can “be confident”, check out this amazing ted talk by the professor herself: