It’s great to feel confident. In the real world, however, sometimes you need to project confidence even when you don’t feel it, at least not at first. The good news is that if you exude confidence effectively enough on the outside, you can start to feel it on the inside. So, with that in mind, here are some tips to project confidence.
1. Deal with anything that makes you uncomfortable
This means both mentally and physically. In either case, it’s generally very helpful to think ahead and, ideally, test ahead of time.
For example, if you have a job interview, then physically put on the whole outfit you intend to wear ahead of time. Make sure that you’re happy with it, and that it’s clean and free of any rips or tears.
In particular, make sure that your shoes feel good as well as looking good. Never underestimate the importance of good footwear. With COVID-19 on the way out, visible smiles are back on the way in. This means that you should also deal with any issues relating to your teeth.
For example, if you bite your nails, think about covering up the evidence with false ones (as a temporary workaround). Make sure you have an alternative outlet for your nerves, such as something else to bite on.
If you have issues with your teeth, consider getting them fixed. These days you can get clear aligners that are both effective and very discreet.
2. Verbalize good vibes to project confidence
If you can, actively verbalize good vibes with mantras such as “powerful and strong” or “I feel confident.” This may sound like a myth, but there’s actual science behind it.
The brain absorbs information based on relevance and repetition. If you repeat something often enough, your brain will eventually absorb it.
Obviously, your ability to verbalize mantras is going to depend on the situation. Fortunately, there are other possibilities.
Most of the time, you’re likely to be able to access audio content. This means that you can listen to anything from guided meditations, stories, and poetry to confidence-boosting songs.
3. Focus on breathing slowly and regularly
One of the most obvious signs that someone is lacking confidence is that they become short of breath. This usually leads to a number of other obvious signs, such as speaking quickly and acting with short, fast movements. Generally, the key to dealing with all of this, and hence projecting confidence, is focusing on your breathing.
If you’re feeling really nervous then you may want to start by taking long, deep, slow breaths. Be very mindful as you inhale, hold for a few moments, and then exhale.
This activity achieves two benefits. Firstly, it draws a lot of oxygen into your body (including your brain). Secondly, it diverts your attention away from your nerves and onto your overall well-being.
Once you’ve managed to achieve a certain level of calmness, you can then switch to maintaining and building on it. Aim to take breaths that are slightly slower and deeper than normal or, at least, breath at your usual rate. Avoid letting your breathing speed up.