Fake it Till You Make it: 10 ways to feel confident (even when you aren’t)
Is your self-confidence natural, or a daily struggle?
Many people’s confidence naturally wavers from day to day, leaving them too timid or confused at just the wrong time. Whether you are naturally confident or could use some better eye contact with your life, setting in place a few simple strategies goes a long way to stoke your inner confidence.
If you think you’re not especially smart or capable, or that failure is a given no matter how hard you try, you’re right.
And if you believe you’re brilliant and can accomplish anything you set your mind to, you’re right.
Amplifying your inner confidence is like any other skill you develop; you can do it in a blink. Day by day, step by step, you will get closer to your goals. No one runs a marathon fueled by decision alone. It takes days, weeks, and months of consistent exercise before your muscles, lungs and stamina will harmonize enough to give you winning results.
Same with confidence. Use these 10 tips to start appearing as confident on the outside as you will soon feel on the inside.
1. It’s not about you. Understand people’s actions, even when hurtful, rarely have anything to do with you. It’s easy to read into the negativity of others and see it as a slight to our personality or challenge to our ego. Yet this type of reaction can trigger unnecessary stress and prevent you from focusing on the positive things in your life. People are people; there’s never a need to link their behavior and your happiness. Knowing this gives you freedom to feel the confidence you deserve.
2. Buy clothes that fit. Wearing clothes that fit well and flatter, no matter the shape of your body, provides an enormous boost to your self esteem. Don’t wait until you’ve arrived at a magical ideal to start dressing your best. Clothes never make the person, but it’s hard to feel confident inside when your outside sends signals of uncertainty. Love what you’re wearing and the world is likely to love it too.
3. Keep laughing. Let your brain give vent to the endorphins that will fill you with authentic happiness and internal confidence. Laughter releases some of the tension that invariably builds in your body each day. Pepper your routine with the people or media that make you most happy. You don’t have to overdo it, but a bit of levity goes a long way toward elevating your level of confidence.
4. Embrace the quiet. Many people are eager to populate every waking second with activity. With a world moving at the speed of broadband, the problem blooms more with every passing day. Realize you can be comfortable alone with your thoughts and you will provide your internal processes the space needed to develop. This will make you more comfortable with yourself, helping you appear more confident to others.
5. Make a budget. If this isn’t natural for you, take the time to do it anyway. Claiming control of your finances is an early step to a healthy attitude about money. Though many people believe confidence comes with having lots of cash, confidence accompanies a clear picture of what you have and what you need.
6. Don’t gossip. Exit conversations that swim in hearsay. Indulging in idle chatter might make you feel in the loop, but the feeling is fleeting and will leave you wondering what others are saying about you when you’re not around. Take the high road – you’ll feel better inside and appear far more confident to others around you.
7. Do as you say and say as you do. This doesn’t mean you have to draw neat lines through all of life’s to-do’s, but if you articulate your goals, and start to accomplish them, easy ones first, you will develop a mindset of success. This, in turn, makes it easier to feel confident. Your goals could be anything from running your first 5K to finally cleaning out the garage; learning how to strum a guitar or play the piano. Whatever your goals, find something you truly desire, make a promise to see it through to the end, then feel the confidence of success.
8. Make peace with your body. You will always want to stay active and improve your health, but your confidence comes with the understanding that no matter your size, shape, number of wrinkles or height, you are a person who deserves love and dignity from yourself and those around you. Truly know this, and confidence will bleed through your skin.
9. Realize you know more than you think you do. All those things you think everyone else just knows? Well, they don’t. If you don’t know something, there’s no shame in asking for the answer. Admitting you don’t have the answer is the first step toward finding it, and the right answers pave the road to confidence.
10. Be enthusiastic. Playing it cool is a great way to ignore your honest emotions and bury the authentic you. Be happy and excited, and allow the world to see it. Your joy will be infectious, your confidence contagious.
You don’t have to follow all 10 of these tips, but they are starters that will help you find your internal confidence and boost your sense of self belonging. No one feels confident 100% of the time, but there are steps you can take to make yourself feel far more confident than you probably do now.