It’s been proven time and time again that confidence increases your chance of success in basically all areas of life. It’s an attractive trait that helps you push your limits, take risks, and be bold. However, it’s not easy to be confident all the time. The key is faking it ’til you make it—here’s how to do it. Eventually, you might even start to truly feel that way.
- Create a habit of making eye contact with people. Especially when you’re first meeting someone, making eye contact automatically makes you appear more confident. You don’t want to come off as creepy by making eye contact to the point of overkill, but avoiding someone’s gaze definitely comes off as lacking confidence. It seems silly, but it makes a difference.
- Do your research. If you can do research in advance that will benefit you in situations you can prepare for, definitely do so! For example, if you have a job interview, research the company, the job, and even the interviewer if you know their name. You don’t have to go crazy and stay up all night cyberstalking, but even just knowing a few simple facts about the company or the person interviewing you will not only make you look prepared but also will make you feel more confident during the conversation. You can do research for your personal life too, but most likely random situations and topics will come up that you can’t prepare for.
- Speak with authority, but don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know something or that you were wrong. Even though it’s a difficult habit to break, cut words such as “um,” “like,” and “uh” out of your vocabulary because those terms make you appear less confident. You don’t have to know everything and it’s totally fine to say that you’re unsure or that you were wrong. It actually makes you appear more confident when you take ownership of yourself, good or bad. Whether you know what you’re talking about or you admit that you don’t, all you have to do is say it slowly and calmly without stuttering with a strong voice and with your head held high.
- Think and act positively as often as you can. We all go through times when we’re stressed out, tired, anxious, and just need to vent and complain. It’s pretty much unavoidable. However, the power of positivity is vastly underestimated, especially when it comes to confidence. Try to reframe your thoughts and look for solutions instead of giving up when something seems difficult or impossible. Take it to the next level by letting your positivity rub off on the people you interact with. You’ll find that things that you thought were difficult or annoying are actually a lot easier to deal with when you simply look at them with a glass-half-full mindset. Plus, you’ll appear more confident to others who admire your ability to be optimistic.
- Comfort is the key to confidence. If you’re uncomfortable with yourself, what you’re wearing, and/or what you’re doing or saying, then you’ll definitely come off as unconfident. Wear what makes you feel comfortable, whether that’s a bikini or full-on clothes at the beach. Do things that you enjoy, that you believe in, and that you like. Surround yourself with people who build you up rather than breaking you down. In doing so, you will be more comfortable, which in turn allows you to be more confident.
- Pay attention to your body posture. Slouching or crossing your arms are often things we do without even realizing it, but both can totally send out vibes to others that your self-confidence is lacking. Try to keep your shoulders back and sit and/or stand straight and avoid fidgeting in order to appear more confident.
- Identify what weaknesses you have that you’d like to strengthen. Sometimes our strengths are natural talents that we were born with; other times, they’re things that we’ve worked hard for and practiced at in order to be good at them. Are there skills you lack that you want to learn? Habits that are harmful you’d like to change? Questions you often wonder but don’t know the answers? Set aside some time on a regular basis to work on self-improvement. For example, if you want to become a better writer, set aside 30 minutes every day (or every few days, if that seems overwhelming) simply just to write. If you feel like you don’t know much about politics and therefore are uncomfortable when people bring them up in conversation, spend that time you set away researching the topic. If you’ve always wanted to do more extensive makeup techniques but are nervous to wear them out in public because you don’t want to look silly, use that time to practice and watch YouTube tutorials. Knowledge will make you feel AND appear confident.
- Know what your life mottos are and live by them. Spend some time truly just thinking about your core values. What are they? Do you actually live by them or just claim to? Whether you write them down or just think them over in your mind is a personal preference, but making a conscious effort to identify the values that are important to you and then also really holding yourself to that standard on an everyday basis will make you come off as self-aware and confident.