Life Hacks: Confidence8:00 AM
|Fake it till you make it.|
Little bothers me more than a woman who lacks confidence. A woman who can walk through a crowd without cringing, who can make eye contact and smile, who can sit alone at a table without fiddling with her phone, who can tell a joke without petering out with embarrassment -- I admire her.
Confidence makes life easier for everyone. It relieves people of feeling uncomfortable when you open your mouth. It stops people from expending pity when you get to the front of the room. It keeps people focused on the song or speech or youness you have to share. And it helps you focus on the task at hand instead of distracting yourself with untimely introspection.
I like quiet confidence the best -- not brazenness but just holding your ground, not saying anything unless you need to say it. That sort of confidence.
Some confidence tips I've picked up throughout the years:
01. When you're walking to the front of a room, never try to hide yourself, shuffle your feet, or in any physical way apologize for your presence. Walk up there firmly. And yes, the high heels can click.
02. If you're trying to bring as little attention as possible to your cough drop wrapper, tear them open quickly instead of slowly. They make the same amount of noise regardless of the rate you open them, so get it over now. (Who knew?)
03. Ask for things. If you need the tissue box in class, get your classmate's attention and ask for the tissue box as if it's no big deal. Because it's not.
04. Always walk like you're going somewhere. It's the best way to draw zero attention to yourself.
05. If you're embarrassed about being recognized for an award or don't want to look snooty, don't apologize or groan or eyeroll or anything melodramatic or "humble." Just stand up, acknowledge the clapping with a simple thank you, and then sit back down.
06. Analyze your performance after your performance. If you start thinking about how stupid you sound, you're going to sound even more stupid. Ignore your inner critic until the end of the presentation. Panic averted.
07. Don't rush to fill silences. Let the silence sit for a second before you dig around in your brain for something more interesting than small talk about the weather.
08. Remember that if you take the lead, people think you know what you're doing. If you're there at the social scene when they arrive, you must know what you're doing. If you initiate the conversation, you must know what you're doing. Confidence inspires confidence. Take the lead and people will follow.
09. If you're the center of attention, don't pretend otherwise. Brides, smooch that new husband of yours. Speakers, speak your mind. Singers, sing out. The audience came to see you. Don't be worried about making yourself look better than other people when they made you the center of attention. Thank them for their kind attention by giving them what they came to see.
10. FAKE IT. If you have no idea what you're doing, fake it. Ad lib. Make it up. My boss swears that all his professional success comes from faking it when he needs to do something and has no idea what to do.
As a girl who botched two Shakespearean monologues back to back, I can attest to this.
What confidence tips do you use?