The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later. ~Russ Harris
One thing I know for sure is that before you ever FEEL confident, you have to do something that will give you that feeling first. ACTION!
I’ve learned this a long time ago which is why Russ’s quote above is one of my favorites.
Confidence is an interesting phenomenon. Most often, you get it AFTER you take some type of action, not the other way around as most people think. They wait to BE confident before they take action which is the biggest mistake.
And no one feels confident ALL of the time, but sometimes you need to appear confident, even if you’re feeling anything but. You might be on a date, have a job interview, or attending a company function.
But don’t fret. There are plenty of things you can do to appear confident.
How to Appear Confident When You Really Aren’t
- Maintain good eye contact. Consider where confident people look while you’re engaged in a conversation with them. They aren’t looking at their feet or gazing around the room. They look you in the eye. This isn’t a staring contest, but look the other person in the eye the majority of the time and you’ll appear more confident.
- Stand or sit up straight. Confident people don’t slouch. Stand tall and proud. The same goes for sitting. People that lack confidence slouch and try to appear as small as possible. Be tall and make people notice.
- Keep your hands out of your pockets. Showing your hands also shows confidence. Keep your hands where others can see them.
- Avoid fidgeting. Don’t pick at your clothes, your face, or your hands. This is a sure sign of nervousness.
- Smile. To appear more happy and confident, so smile. Smiling puts others at ease. It puts you at ease, too.
- Walk confidently. Watch how a confident person walks and you’ll see they have purposeful strides. Look like you have someplace to go without looking like you need to get there in a hurry.
- Speak slowly. Does James Bond speak quickly? No. He takes his time and enjoys the attention. Confident people have been shown to speak more slowly than the average person. Nervous people tend to speak more quickly. Slow down and take your time. People will assume you’re confident.
- Unfold your arms. When you fold your arms, it looks like you’re trying to protect yourself. There’s nothing to fear, so unfold your arms, be tall, and smile. Just allow your arms to hang naturally by your side.
- Keep your head up. There’s nothing interesting going on down on the floor. This is the human version of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand. If you’re pretending to be confident, keep your head up. By the way, an ostrich only sticks its head in the sand to check on its eggs.
- Speak at a reasonable volume. When you’re feeling shy, you’re likely to speak too softly. It’s better to be a little too loud than a little too soft if you’re trying to appear confident.
- Use gestures when you speak. Gesture naturally when you’re speaking. Watch your favorite actor or speaker for tips.
- Tell yourself that you’re confident. Repeat to yourself, “I am confident and powerful.” Keep repeating it to yourself. It will crowd out other thoughts, and you might even believe yourself. Try out a few affirmations and see which one makes you feel the best.
- Direct the attention to the other person. You’re probably worried about what everyone is thinking about you. Turn the tables and keep the attention on someone else. You can do this by asking a lot of questions and you’ll keep the focus on the other person. Most people love to talk about themselves. You won’t have to do much and you’ll make a great impression.
Over to you
You can convince others that you’re feeling confident, even if you’re not. By adopting the mannerisms of someone that is confident, you’ll look confident to the rest of the world.
What do you do to make yourself feel more confident? Chime in below!