Everybody wants to look and feel confident.
I did a lot of research on this subject for years. Here are the best hacks I found on both looking and feeling confident. All tried, based on scientific facts, and tried by yours truly.
I like this video from Tony Robbins where he talks about the fastest way to build confidence:
1. Switch off the negative self-talk: Notice how Tony in the video above talks about how what we tell ourselves about who we are, ends up defining our true selves. This means that telling ourselves we are not confident enough will result in acting and feeling less confident.
2. Switch on the positive self-talk: Many Navy Seals talk about how important it is to give self-positive self-talk. So, a good place to start is to stop the negative self-talk: stop telling yourself that you are not confident enough. Replace that with positive self-talk, which happens to be a Navy Seal advice.
3. Practice makes perfect: I asked a friend special ops officer about how he does not get afraid especially on critical real missions. His answer was that he was never able to eliminate fear. He even believes that fear is beneficial. Because it keeps you alert, observant, careful, and respectful of the situation. However, he says that he was able to manage fear better because he got a lot of practice before he went on his real missions. So, to build self-confidence, practice as much as you can. If you are not confident of your public speaking abilities, practice it more. If you are not sure about your networking abilities, do more of it. The next two tips will help you do just that.
4. Put yourself in your hero’s shoes: Think of the most confident and able person you admire. Ask yourself, what would she or he do in this situation? What would she or he look like? Do it. Act the part and you will be the part, as they say.
5. Imagine yourself as an action hero: You cannot go wrong. You are most competent and capable. How would you act? You are the hero of this movie. How would you act if you were that hero? Do it. Can it be as simple as that? Try it.
6. Associate positive outcomes to the task: Amazing research done in 2016 shows that brain waves can subconsciously build self-confidence. How? They associated positive rewards with thoughts of certain outcomes. So, associate rewards with the confident actions you would like to take. For example, let us assume that you are trying to learn public speaking. The next time you do public speaking, rehearse a certain part so you get good compliments from your audience. Your brain will associate that positive outcome with public speaking and hence build your confidence in your ability to speak in public.
7. Panic Control: Breathe slowly and be in the moment. Observing, accepting, and smiling. You will project confidence, even if you were afraid. When breathing slowly your body is telling the mind that everything is under control, and the mind in turn signals the heart to calm down because the breath is under control. This is proven scientifically. But it needs a bit of practice.
Finally, over confidence can lead to negative consequences and reduce self-confidence. Because over confidence leads to carelessness and lack of preparation, and that leads to making mistakes and failure.