Are you wondering how to look confident, when you really don't feel confident? Did you know that most people fake confidence? Sounds weird, right?
I do it. And every one of my friends and family do it every once in a while. What's interesting is “faking” confidence is actually a great way to become confident.
There is a saying: “Fake it till you make it,” and it really is something that will ring true once you start practicing the appearance of confidence.
5 Ways To Look Confident (Even When You're Not)
In the moment, it might not seem like it. It feels awkward, and slightly uncomfortable.
But, imagine talking to a really cute guy (or girl!) You might feel nervous and worried you’ll make a mistake.
So instead of making a fool out of yourself, you just avoid it altogether. Once you go home you probably end up thinking about it a lot, going over in your head what you should have done instead.
If you went into that situation pretending you were confident, even when you weren't, you still would have given it a shot.
There's no way to know how a situation will turn out unless you just do it, no matter how scared you feel. It's nerve-wracking talking to people sometimes, but what you have to understand is that everyone feels that way.
You're not alone. Some people are just great at hiding it, and they don't let it hold them back.
When you act confident, you skip passed overthinking the situation and just jump in. Like when you’re getting ready to jump off the diving board.
If you stand there and wait, it just becomes scarier. But, if you just run and jump and do it without thinking, it’s done. It’s out there.
So, how do you look confident even when you don’t feel it?
1. Pay Attention
When your heart starts to race and you get nervous about something you're not fully confident in, it's hard to focus on anything.
Including listening to what that other people around you have to say. This can actually make the situation worse, if you're having a conversation with someone you like. And your not listening to them.
Then once they realize you're not listening, things get awkward. They will think you don't care, when in reality you are just so worried about screwing it up.
Instead of focusing so much on the fear, pay attention to what is happening in the moment.
- Fear is powerful, but a good way to fight it is by being present and listening.
Ask questions and listen to the answer. This is how you build up a conversation, and after you get past that initial phase of talking, you’ll be so focused on the moment that you'll forget why you were so scared in the first place.
This is super important. Especially when you leave and go home. You don’t want to be feeling like an idiot for not knowing how to respond when someone was talking to you. That can have a big effect on your confidence.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Smile and Make Eye Contact
Laughing or smiling feels impossible when you're not confident enough. But, it’s honestly the best way to loosen up.
When I was a teenager, I used to work at a restaurant with some really cute guys. I’m introverted, so I didn’t have much skill in talking to other people, let alone cute guys.
But, I just started watching Youtube videos of my favorite actresses and shows like the Office and Friends to bring out my funny personality.
I was awkward, but I totally used it to my advantage. I made jokes and sounded like a dork, because it’s truly who I was. This meant laughing at myself and not being afraid to make eye contact.
People like people who are easy to talk to and who don’t take themselves too seriously. So take a deep breath, and practice laughing.
Think about something funny you truly like and use that to make you feel good before doing something that tests your confidence.
3. Be Kind
Be kind to yourself, and to others. Communicating with other human beings seems like more and more of a challenge these days. Confidence is feeling secure enough in yourself to make others feel better.
When we lack self-confidence, our self-doubt can bring out negative thoughts.
If you’re feeling insecure, instead of giving into the inner critic inside your head, think about something nice to say instead. I have a strong belief that kindness and humor can go a long way.
Practice giving other people compliments, that truly comes from a good place inside you. Don’t just say something nice just to check it off your list. Truly mean it.
If you mean it, it will make you feel amazing.
Because you are making other people feel good about themselves. Which then makes you feel good about yourself.
The more you feel better about yourself, the more you’ll want to give to the world. And this will seriously boost your confidence.
4. Repeat People’s Names
Whether it’s a new job, a new class, or meeting someone at a bar for the first time, practice repeating the person’s name right after you hear it.
Not knowing someone’s name can affect your self-confidence, because asking “Sorry, what’s your name again?” is kind of awkward.
It’s not bad to ask that, but repeating someone’s name is a great way to appear more confident, while also letting the name stick in your head.
If you’re meeting 20 people all at once, then please don’t worry about remembering everyone’s names But, if you meet one new person, try shaking their hand and repeating their name back. It will stick a lot better.
Sometimes I think of how I can remember their name even better. Like if their name is Britney, I think “Like Britney Spears”.
Remembering someone’s name and saying it, later on, will give you a big boost in confidence. And the other person will be super impressed.
Because everyone knows how awkward it is to meet someone for the first time. Remembering a name will go a long way, I promise!
5. Go easy on yourself and celebrate the small wins
Everyone in the world makes mistakes. People stumble on their words, mess up their speeches, and generally just mess up sometimes.
Which is just proof that perfection isn’t possible. And the more you try to reach it, the further it will get. Leaving you feeling defeated and annoyed.
Instead, track your progress and the small wins. If you had the courage to get up in front of class and give a speech, way to go!
It really doesn’t matter how the speech even went. All that matters, to build up your confidence and appear more confident, is taking action.
Even if you totally butchered something, who cares? We all make mistakes and laughing about it later is all you can really do.
Sometimes, it’s not that easy. But, thinking about everything you’ve done so far is what you have to remember during those tough moments.
Fear is crippling, and every time you decide to go after something despite facing fear, you build up confidence. You become stronger.
Need a bigger confidence boost? Enroll in A Course In Gorgeous!