We’ve all heard the saying “fake it ’till you make it” and while a bit cheesy it does and can work, even with social anxiety.
If you’re anxious, you often worry if it’s outwardly obvious to other people, so being able to appear more confident even when you’re not, can at least dissolve some of those worries and hopefully lessening your anxiety a bit.
But, how do you appear more confident?
Your posture says a lot about your confidence. If you’re slumped and your head is down, it shows that you’re not confident in yourself but if you sit or stand up straight with your chin slightly raised and your shoulders back, you’ll instantly look more powerful.
I have a posture corrector to help me with mine, as I often find myself curling up.
This is something I’ve done myself and has helped me.
Look at people you feel exude confidence and take notes! What is their body language doing? Do they smile more? Give more eye contact?
Learn from their behaviour and try to incorporate what makes these people appear confident into your own approach.
Try your best to let go of words like “sorry”, “just”, “I don’t think/I think” and “erm” from your conversations. Be more decisive with your words. Replace “I think we should X” to “We should X” or “Sorry for being late” with “Thank you for being patient”. Don’t forget to speak slowly and clearly.
Practice it in the mirror and see how much more confident you seem when you are more sure of yourself… even if you’re really not yet.
Remember how confident you feel when you’re doing something you know that you are good at, even if it’s a hobby. Take that feeling and put into every situation. Imagine you really know what you’re doing.
I did this with my photography. I knew I was good at it and I felt more confident with a camera in my hand, so I started pretending I was still in photography mode when talking to new people and eventually that confidence became real enough not to have to pretend anymore.
Other tips for boosting your confidence:
You can also boost your confidence by achieving small goals. Make a list of small, easy to manage goals that you know you will be able to do and tick them off as you go along. It will make you feel useful and good about yourself.
If you find yourself thinking negatively a lot, replace those negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Replace “I’m not going to have a good time.” with “I can have a good time if I try to.” or “I look bad” with “I have a great smile/I like my eyes/I picked a great outfit”. Make it your mission to find something good in every situation.
Congratulate yourself on your small achievements, just as much as you would your bigger achievements. Got out the house today? Congratulations! Answered the phone without much hesitation? WELL DONE!
Remind yourself of times when you conquered a fear. When you were anxious about going to the big family dinner but you went anyway and you made it through.
Learn tips on how to have conversations and have a stockpile of questions to ask.
Say nice things to yourself in the mirror everyday. I like to smile at myself in the mornings, it makes me feel more positive even if I’m as tired as an old dog and not looking forward to whatever the day has in store for me. A quick smile in the mirror and thinking of one nice thing about myself, is a quick fix to feeling a bit more positive.
What things do you do to boost your confidence?
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