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Confident women smiling

Fake it,
till you make it:
8 tricks to feel confident even when you’re not

Think about the most confident person you know. Can you see them in your mind? They look good, don’t they? All full of confidence, as if they don’t have a care in the world. The kind of person that no matter what the world throws at them, you know they’re just going to pull through. Well, guess what? Even that person has moments of self-doubt.

No matter what we think, nobody is 100% confident 100% of the time.

If you’re starting out in a new job or it’s your first day of school there’s a good chance that you’re going to be a little bit nervous. Being nervous in new situations is completely normal and something we all go through. But that doesn’t mean we have to look nervous on the outside.

Let’s take a look at a few tricks that can help you look (and feel) more confident.

 

Stand tall 

This is exactly what your mum meant when she spent all those years telling you to stand up straight when you were growing up. Not only is standing straight good for your posture and breathing, a straight posture makes you look and feel confident. All you need to do is keep your shoulders back and your spine straight.

 

Speak slowly

We tend to speak quickly when we’re nervous which certainly doesn’t help us look or feel confident. We also run the risk of being misunderstood. Try and speak slowly and clearly. You can practice by reading your favourite book out loud so you can work on your delivery.

 

Listen way more than you talk

Just like speaking too fast is an obvious sign of insecurity or nerves, so is dominating the conversation with one sided talk. Really confident people don’t have anything to prove to anyone. They are far more interested in learning new things than telling people what they know. So, ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. It shows that you are generally interested and respectful of the person you’re talking too.

For more on practicing active listening check out this article over at MensLine Australia: https://mensline.org.au/mens-mental-health/active-listening/

 

Make eye contact

Sometimes making eye contact can make all the difference. Avoiding eye contact can make you look scared, shy or worse, shifty. Look into the eyes of the person you’re talking to and if you’re speaking to a group of people alternate between them all.

 

Choose your outfits wisely

If you look good, you feel good. And if you feel good, you’re more relaxed and likely to feel more confident. A study conducted by the Kellogg School of Management at North Western University found that people who dressed in what they thought were power clothes for their industry performed better.[1]

 

Rehearse public speaking

Public speaking can put the frights in almost anybody. The good news is that public speaking will get better with a little practice. If you need to give a speech or presentation, write down what you want to say and then spend an hour or two the day before reading that speech out loud to yourself in a mirror. You’ll find that when you have to give that speech you’ll deliver it confident and an engaging manner.

 

Burn off stress

There’s times in our lives when we’ve all felt stressed. It’s a normal part of life but it’s important to keep it under control. A good way to balance out and get back to normal is to go for a run or do some other preferred form of exercise. It’s hands down one of the best ways to burn off that extra stress.

For more ideas on how to manage stress check out the article on mindfulness meditation.

 

Don’t aim for perfection

Despite what we’re told in school, what we read in magazines and what society expects of us, there really is no need to be perfect. The reality is, nobody is perfect and chasing perfection is a sure way to increase insecurity. So don’t go beating yourself up.

 

References

[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022103112000200

 

If you’re having still worried about having low confidence you can always talk to one of our professional counsellors on 1300 096 269. It’s free to people in north, western and central Melbourne and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If it is an emergency call 000.

 

The CAREinMIND blog is delivered by On the Line. The views in each post do not necessarily reflect those of North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network.