How Confidence Can Be Worked From The Outside In

We have all been scared to death for our job interviews, anxious to meet someone, or afraid to be in a new environment. You may say you have seen people who seem so confident when they walk in the room, but the truth is that even the most confident person on earth has struggles in these situations.

What sets this bunch apart from the crowd is that they know the key to being confident. So, how do we boost and build up our confidence? Fake it ’til you make it.

The key to confidence is to be able to act like you are confident even when you are not. How you present yourself is crucial.

The way you dress affects your psychological state.

How you dress is a basic rule that we follow when we go to different occasions. Others usually gravitate towards the person who “dresses the part”, and contribute positive attributes to that person. For example, a person who wears glasses[1] and dress up formally is perceived as smarter than one who dresses very casually in an interview. At the same time, what we wear affects how we see ourselves.

Researchers have coined the term “enclothed cognition”,[2] meaning that what you wear affects your physical and psychological state. The clothes you put on can either make or break your self-confidence level.

The researchers conducted a test on the effects of wearing a lab coat.

A pretest found that a lab coat is generally associated with attentiveness and carefulness. We therefore predicted that wearing a lab coat would increase performance on attention-related tasks.

Because of the symbolic meaning and physical experience of wearing the lab clothe, physically wearing a lab coat increased selective attention compared to not wearing a lab coat. Wearing a lab coat, which is also called a doctor’s coat, increased sustained attention compared to wearing a lab coat described as a painter’s coat.

Your posture very much represents your mental status.

How do you sit? What posture are you in right now? When a model walks down the runway, if they walk with a straight spine, they will be more confident comparing to those who slouch. Your posture is very important to show that you have confidence.

A study shows that having good posture affects a person’s testosterone and cortisol.[3] Testosterone is the dominance hormone, and cortisol is the stress hormone. A person with a powerful posture has an increased testosterone level, and a decreased cortisol level, meaning high self-confidence and low stress.

On the other hand, a person who slouches or has a bad posture is more likely to have a decrease in testosterone and an increase in cortisol.

Next time you are waiting for an interview, don’t hunch and crunch up your shoulders. Go to the bathroom and stretch out, the very small acts will probably make a great difference.

The way you act changes how others see you and also how you see yourself.

In relation to posture, a person’s body language also has a major impact on self-confidence. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy has previously done a study on body language and confidence.[4] She concluded that people who take a wider, more spread out movement tend to be more confident.

Strong body language and taking up more space contribute to a more dominant and confident image. At the same time, because of displaying powerful poses, one’s stress level is reduced, which in turn boosts a person’s confidence.

Make sure to watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk to find out more, or just save this article and watch it later!

Start with small changes for great confidence.

It’s simple, the principle of letting others believe that you are confident is to dress, look, and act the part to build self-confidence.

Stand up straight but relaxed

  1. Stand with your feet as wide as your hips
  2. Pull up your head to make yourself as tall as possible
  3. Then relax your shoulders and your neck

Sit up straight but not rigid

When you sit up straight, you will feel quite tall when sitting at a table. Keep your back straight, but relax as much as possible.

Position your feet at about hip width apart

Putting your feet closer together generally signifies insecurity, and a wider stance indicates confidence.

Smile like you are happy to be there

Smile like you really like what you are seeing. A single smile is so powerful that it can often turn a low self-esteem and negative person positive.[5]

Don’t lean on or against objects

Leaning on or against an object signifies passivity and insecurity. Try to remain a good posture all the times.

Dress up with what makes you comfortable in different occasions

Consider your body shape and style, find something that makes you confident and comfortable. You can check out the essential tips to dress with confidence: 6 Essential Ways To Start Dressing With Confidence

Make sure your body language is strong when you speak next time.

It will make you feel more confident and comfortable to speak your mind!

You might still wonder if you are naturally unsure or insecure, it might be a treacherous journey to boost your self-confidence. But don’t worry and just take your time. Don’t be afraid to invest more time and effort in fashion, don’t hesitate to pull your shoulders back, and don’t wait to take a powerful body position. Start small, finish big.

Featured photo credit: Ron Sachs—Picture Alliance/DPA/AP via timedotcom.files.wordpress.com

Reference

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