From great dates to slam-dunk workdays, confidence is the secret ingredient that makes every situation less awks. Sadly, though, we’re not all born Beyoncé. The good news is that, when it comes to confidence, it’s pretty easy to fake it ’til you make it.
1. It’s all in the body language. In the animal kingdom, there’s a great deal of posturing that goes on – from predators to birds, animals always try to make themselves look bigger in order to intimidate others. Humans aren’t that different. Walk into a room with your back straight, your head up and your eyes straight ahead, and you’ll own it – even if you’re cringing on the inside.
2. Smile! You might feel super-cheesy doing it, but giving someone a genuine smile immediately puts them at ease – and when the people around you feel comfortable and relaxed, you do too. Be warned though – there’s a big difference between an easy grin and a faked grimace.
3. Look people in the eye. Looking down at your feet while you talk to someone gives them the upper hand in an instant. On the other hand, looking into their eyes during a conversation shows them that you’re interested and paying attention, and that you’re not afraid to meet their gaze.
4. Stop fidgeting! Tapping your nails and bouncing your knees are giveaway signs that you’re not feeling in control of a situation. To counter this, take a deep breath and loosen your shoulders or any other area where you’re carrying tension.
5. Think about how you talk. Speaking slowly, in a low voice, gives you an instant air of authority.
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6. Stop asking for approval. You might not even be aware that you’re doing this, but verbal tics like ‘right?’, or even looking at someone to check out their reaction in an obvious way, indicates that you aren’t fully convinced of what you’ve just said. Look, not everything that comes out your mouth is going to be a pearl of wisdom, but since you’re not the Dalai Lama, no one’s expecting it to be.
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7. Get perspective. Here’s the deal: everyone’s actually too mixed up in what’s happening in their own lives to take that much notice of you. Once you realise that, you can kiss your self-consciousness goodbye.