That old saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it,” has never been more meaningful than when dealing with confidence issues. Confidence is the most important personality trait you can develop in order to better deal with life’s transitions – both personal and professional – and to take risks to ensure your continued success. Some ways to project confidence, even if you don’t feel it, include:
- Be optimistic – Do you see the glass as half-empty or half-full? If you see the glass as half-empty, you’re likely not an optimist and could experience feelings of low self-worth and doubts. Seeing the glass as half-full places you in the “optimist” category and shows that you look for opportunity rather than failure.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously – When you allow yourself to loosen up and enjoy life, you’re more relaxed in demeanor and most people find that refreshing. Most of us have to deal with stress and intense situations every day, so to be around someone who can relax is a real pleasure and can garner admiration.
- Pay attention to others – Making eye contact and listening intently to those you’re engaged with is a must when attempting to project confidence. If you constantly look around the room or up at the ceiling when you’re conversing, you seem less trustworthy and less like someone who demands admiration.
- Dress the part – Whatever you want to succeed at in life requires a certain look. Want to rise to a CEO level in your company? Stop dressing in jeans and t-shirts. Show others – with your looks – that you’re ready to step into the position, even if you’re much lower on the ladder.
- Watch your language – When you speak, speak clearly and watch your own language to be sure you’re not using buzz words or contradictory language or interject phrases such as “you know…” That’s referred to as “conversational clutter” and should be avoided at all cost.
- Accept and give compliments – Accept compliments about your accomplishments gracefully and give compliments to others when warranted. Accepting compliments show that you realize the value in what you’ve done and giving compliments show that you consider yourself a good judge of character.
Projecting a certain amount of confidence, even when you don’t feel it, shows that you’re ready to meet challenges head-on. Sometimes, we don’t yet have the knowledge or skills it takes to perform at the top of the game, but you can project determination and enthusiasm to meet the challenge.