Psyching yourself up to do well can actually help you do well.
But letâ€™s face it: there are always going to be situations that make us feel nervous or not quite on our game. Here are a few ways to fake that confident feeling, even when youâ€™re not feeling it.
1.Stand up straight
Body language has a lot to do with how others perceive confidence. Try this: Stand up straight, throw back your shoulders, and lift your head. You can even put your hands on your hips. Feel a little like Superman or Wonder Woman? Thereâ€™s a reason we associate that pose with superheroes! It oozes confidence. Plus, research shows that holding a â€œpower poseâ€ like this for as little as two minutes actually increases positive hormones in your body â€” and physically amps up your confidence.
2.Highlight your competence to feel confident
Many times, we are good at what we do â€” but it comes as second nature, and therefore we donâ€™t notice it! A good way to build confidence over time is to keep a log of past successes â€” in your head, or on paper. Reviewing a list of successes before approaching a new task or situation can make you feel more confident in general.
3.Maintain eye contact
Weâ€™ve all been in an interview or other interaction where holding eye contact felt awkward or unnatural. If you ever feel that way, donâ€™t necessarily look away, which can make you look shifty or nervous. Instead, try watching the personâ€™s mouth, or even their nose or chin. This can help project the appearance that youâ€™re still paying attention and engaged, without the awkwardness of direct eye contact. Of course, remember to look away when the conversation naturally breaks â€” you donâ€™t want to look like youâ€™re staring the person down!
The glass isnâ€™t half full or half empty â€” itâ€™s both, depending on your point of view. You can choose to dwell on the negative or focus on the positive. When you want to come across as more confident than you feel, be sure to focus on the positive before and during the interaction. You can even couch the possibility of failure to yourself in a positive light: â€œEven if I mess this up, it will have been an amazing experience. Iâ€™ve learned so much.â€
When weâ€™re feeling nervous, different parts of our bodies can tense up, and that tension can be felt by others. Try this: When youâ€™re feeling nervous, stand up and try to identify where the feeling is in your body. Is it in your stomach? Your legs? Your shoulders? Once youâ€™ve found it, take a few deep breaths and try to send the breath to that area of your body. Then try speaking from that part of your body. Youâ€™ll likely see and feel an immediate difference.
If you have a tendency to pull back or mumble when youâ€™re nervous, practice projecting your voice. Speak just a little louder than you normally would to compensate, and come across more confident. Donâ€™t try to talk too much or direct the conversation. Pay attention and ask questions, and let the other person do most of the talking.
7.Upgrade your manners
Many people mistakenly believe that confidence is about drawing attention to themselves. Quite the opposite: the most confident people often direct the conversation to others. When youâ€™re feeling nervous, try complimenting the other person. Even something as simple as, â€œI like your shoes,â€ or â€œThatâ€™s a nice tie,â€ can go a long way to easing the conversation. Likewise, pay attention if you have a propensity for making rude or mean jokes when youâ€™re nervous. Lots of people try to cover for their nervousness with humor, but making fun of others doesnâ€™t make you look confident; it makes you a bully.
8.Dress the part
When you look good, you feel good, so put on your best suit for an important presentation, wear your most expensive shoes or tie to an interview, or put on a pair of brightly colored socks or bold jewelry when you want to feel more confident. Make sure you also feel confident about all aspects of your appearance â€” from your hair, to the shine on your shoes, to the way your breath smells. Donâ€™t let the little things throw you off.
Confident people tend to come across as positive and friendly. Smile, even when you donâ€™t really feel like it. The physical act of smiling releases brain chemicals that will make you feel better, and might even quell some of your nervousness.