For some of us, appearing confident is a challenge. Walking into a crowded room, meeting new people, or having to lead others are much more difficult when you listen to the little voice in your head that likes to put you down.
To make matters worse, low self-confidence could prevent you from progressing toward your goals, be they personal or career-related. Without a little confidence, you’re a lot less likely to go for that promotion or introduce yourself to potential new clients or friends. In this article, we’ll discuss what confidence looks like, why it’s important, and how to increase yours.
Let’s get to it!
What Confidence Is, What It Looks Like, and Why You Want It
Defined simply, confidence is the feeling you get when relying on or trusting someone. This could be applied generally or could relate to a specific task. Self-confidence, therefore, is the ability to rely on and trust yourself.
There are several characteristics that, when we see them in others, make us perceive them as confident. The first is positivity. A person with a can-do attitude appears able – or at least willing to try – to accomplish just about anything.
Self-confident people also seem nearly fearless. They’re willing to try new things and they approach tasks without worrying about whether they will make a mistake. If they do mess up, they simply fix the problem when it happens and keep moving forward.
Sincerity is also a trait self-confident people exhibit. They appear genuinely interested in others’ lives and concerns. Ambivalence and disinterest aren’t very reliable feelings, but you can probably count on someone who seems invested in your concerns.
In a general sense, confident people perform better in their jobs, are happier and more comfortable in social settings, and tend to have better mental health than people with low self-confidence. Whether you’re struggling in your career or having trouble meeting friends, working on your confidence could help you accomplish your goals.
How to Be Confident in Life and Business (3 Tips)
Before you can be confident, you have to believe in the possibility of being confident. The following tips will help trick your brain into seeing you as a confident person, which can improve your sense of self-worth and help you move forward with genuine confidence.
1. Look the Part
What a person looks like doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about their abilities or how responsible they are. However, studies show we tend to make judgments about others’ confidence and capability based on their physical appearance.
While it’s unfortunate that we’re programmed to form fast impressions this way, if you’re trying to boost your confidence you can use this fact to your advantage. Investing in your physical appearance could improve others’ perceptions of you, and your perception of yourself as well.
Start with basic grooming and hygiene, which you may already practice. People without good grooming and hygiene practices are usually seen being less invested in themselves, and probably less invested in their work or relationships as well. Getting a haircut, brushing your teeth, and showering every day can make you feel refreshed and ready to face the day.
Your clothing makes an impact, too. When you feel comfortable and well-dressed, you’re more likely to project confidence. You don’t necessarily need to look like you’ve walked into work fresh off the runway, but choosing professional-looking clothes will elevate you in the eyes of others and yourself.
There is always the risk of taking this concept too far and tying your self-worth a little too tightly to how others perceive you. However, if you’re careful to maintain a balance between putting effort into your appearance and trusting in your abilities and not just your looks, dressing for success could be your ticket to self-confidence.
2. Mimic Confident Behavior
Your body language says a lot about you, and if you’re trying to be more confident, training yourself to behave in a self-assured way could help others see you as a confident person. Something as small as how you stand could have a huge impact on how you’re perceived.
People who are ‘curled in’ on themselves, have their eyes glued to their phones, or keep to the edges of the room will have trouble getting the attention of others. This kind of closed-off body language is uninviting and unlikely to encourage people to come up to you.
Mimicking confident behavior can start with working on small things like your posture. Focus on standing up straight and looking ahead, not down. Then you can move on to making eye contact, greeting people with a firm handshake, and speaking slowly and clearly.
You may have experienced someone introducing themselves to you at a work function or other gathering and felt awed by their confidence. You can have the same effect on others by taking the initiative to make the first move.
Even if you don’t feel confident walking up to a stranger, with time you can get better at starting introductions and grow more comfortable with it. You could also try practicing your introductions in the mirror at home.
3. Fake It ‘Till You Make It
The essence of becoming more confident is to fake it until you make it. This means pretending to be confident by maintaining your personal appearance and practicing confident behaviors until you actually build up your self-confidence.
If you make mistakes along the way, try not to feel discouraged. Taking mistakes in your stride is a part of being confident. Even if you feel your illusion of confidence has been shattered, keep faking it, move past your mistakes, and learn from them instead of dwelling on them.
Some people may feel uncomfortable with the concept of pretending to be something they’re not, but this method isn’t designed to deceive others, as much as yourself. Sometimes our confidence is so low we can’t imagine improving it. Faking it is a way to prove to yourself that you’re capable of confidence.
Confidence may feel out of reach for you a lot of the time, but it’s really not far off at all. Everyone has the ability to be confident – it’s tapping into our innate confidence that’s sometimes difficult. In a nutshell, there’s nothing wrong with faking confidence until you’re able to access the real thing.
This post has looked at how to be confident. Let’s quickly recap the tips we’ve offered throughout:
- Look the part by dressing suitably and carrying out good personal hygiene.
- Mimic confident behavior, which involves getting in among people and not shying away.
- Fake confidence until you’ve legitimately earned it.
Do you have questions about how to improve your confidence? Let us know in the comments section below!
Article thumbnail credit: FGC / shutterstock.
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