15 Ways to Fake It Till You Make It (How To Project Confidence Even If You Don’t Feel It)

Speakers Institute
7 min readMar 9, 2020

Confidence impacts so many different areas of your life. Even if you aren’t feeling as confident as you should, project it anyway. Here are some tips to show you how.

One of the key factors to a successful speech is confidence. But confidence doesn’t stop when you’re off the stage.

Confidence can change the way you’re perceived by others. And how you see yourself.

It can also impact your interactions with others. Even your daily work or mood is subject to your current confidence levels.

You may not want to try faking confidence. It seems dubious at best, right?

However, researchers found that the brain is capable of learning the new way of “acting.” There’s a reason why the phrase “fake it ’til you make it” is still very popular. You can train your brain to project confidence until it’s second nature.

In addition, different hormones activate depending on posture and breathing. This can further impact your mood and confidence levels.

Will you be super confident overnight? Probably not. But you can keep faking confidence until the brain treats it as the new normal.

Take a look at a few simple tips to get you started on the new, more confident you.

15 Ways to Project Your Confidence

Check out some simple ways to project confidence. Even if you aren’t feeling it, you can project it like you are.

Tip #1 — Power Pose

Do you have your superhero pose ready? No, you don’t have to put your fist on your hips. But you do have to stand tall.

Body language speaks a thousand words. It also goes a long way towards how others perceive confidence.

Researchers also found that holding this power pose for as little as 2 minutes releases positive hormones. And you know those feel-good hormones can help you physically feel more confident.

Tip #2 — Focus on What You Already Know

Next, remember why you’re awesome. When you feel your confidence flagging, go and do something you’re great at. Or simply remind yourself about how great you are at them.

Sometimes, confidence levels can flag or deflate when you tackle something you’re unfamiliar with. You may feel anxious and unsure.

Remind yourself that there are some things you’re awesome at. Doing so can help boost your confidence even if you’re in a situation that makes you feel uneasy.

Tip #3 — Maintain Eye Contact

The eyes are the windows to the soul. And maintaining eye contact speaks volumes about your confidence.

But holding eye contact may be easier said than done. If it starts feeling awkward or unnatural, don’t look away! That may be counterproductive to your confidence efforts.

Instead, try shifting your focus a little to the person’s mouth. You may even watch their nose or chin.

Shifting your focus a little still gives the impression that you’re attentive and engaged. But you don’t have to worry about awkward eye contact.

Just remember to look away when the conversation breaks naturally. Staring after the conversation winds down may seem odd and off-putting.

Tip #4 — Play with Voice Projection

Voice projection is a speaker’s greatest trick. Think of the greatest orators in history. They certainly didn’t mumble or pull back.

You can try the same trick. If you tend to mumble when you’re nervous, play with projection. Speak a little louder than you normally would. It can help you come across as more confident.

Tip #5 — Dress Like a Power Player

You may hear that you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have. This is a power play that helps boost your confidence levels. But it works in different situations, too.

The key factor is that you dress the part. If you wear things that make you look good, you’ll also feel good. So, put on clothing that makes you feel confident.

Furthermore, you don’t have to break the bank to overhaul your wardrobe. Confidence-boosting accessories like a great pair of shoes or bold jewellery also do the trick.

But don’t stop at your clothing. Take a look at your entire look. From your hair to your shoes, make sure they all help you feel confident. Otherwise, the smallest thing may throw you off.

Tip #6 — Smile! Everyone’s Watching

People perceive confidence as friendly and positive. Even when you don’t feel like it, try cracking a smile.

In addition, you get a physical boost from smiling. The very act of smiling releases feel-good chemicals in your brain that may also help with nervousness.

Tip #7 — Get Your Superhero Playlist Queued

Music has the power to influence moods. But if you’re feeling a little down, you may not want to queue up your favourite power tunes.

Listening to happy music, on the other hand, can help boost your mood. And your confidence levels.

One study revealed that actively boosting your mood with happy music can help boost positive feelings. So, get out your earbuds and find that playlist. Get happy and more confident with your favourite tunes.

Tip #8 — Practice Mindful Breathing

Mindful slow breathing isn’t just for yoga classes. Slowing your breathing can help slow your heart rate.

Does this directly help you boost confidence? Not necessarily.

But a slower heart rate can limit those tell-tale signs of anxiety by making you feel more relaxed and centred.

Tip #9 — Loosen Up — Your Jaws and Shoulders, That Is!

Another way to exude confidence is to loosen up your jaws and shoulders. Consciously making the decision to loosen up these target areas can help decrease anxiety and boost confidence.

The physical body sometimes responds to emotions. That’s why you tense up when you’re anxious. However, the reverse is also true. Get your anxiety under control by changing your physical state.

Tip #10 — Be an Empathetic Listener

Confident people tend to be good, empathetic listeners. They’re secure in themselves and the conversation.

But nervous people give themselves away by tuning out the other person. Also, nervous people stop listening and focus on what they’re going to say next.

Tip #11 — Write Down and Remind Yourself About Victory Moments

Are there specific moments when you felt the most confident? Write them down! Don’t just forget about them.

Sometimes you do the things you’re good at without realising it. It’s second nature.

But keeping a log of your confident moments can help you build confidence over time.

Take the time to celebrate your confidence victories and remind yourself about them often. Revisiting confident moments can give you a confidence boost. Try taking out the log the next time you tackle a new task or situation.

Tip #12 — Act as If You’re the Most Qualified Person in the Room

Imagine how many times a lack of self-confidence kept you from potential opportunities. Maybe you held back because you thought you weren’t that qualified?

So what if you’re not the most qualified person in the room? Give yourself a chance and believe in yourself. Don’t cut yourself out of the running because you think you aren’t qualified enough.

Chances are that you may be the most qualified. But you’ll never know if you don’t act as if you believe it.

Tip #13 — Cover That Uncomfortable Feeling with Questions

Does the idea of being in the social spotlight fill you with anxiety? Don’t run away from the situation. Instead, turn the spotlight onto someone else.

Generally, people like to talk about themselves. Redirect attention and ask insightful questions. Not only does it help others feel positive about you. It may also give the impression that you’re self-possessed and in control because you’re leading the conversation.

Tip #14 — Accept All Compliments

Accepting compliments graciously is a trait that all confident people possess. Don’t deflect compliments by pointing out your faults or turning it around.

You earned those compliments. Accept them with a smile. And remember that confident people know that they’re great. So, it’s time to fake it like you are until you feel it.

Tip #15 — Focus on the Learning Experience and Enjoy the Process

If you’re in the process of faking it until you have confidence, failure may be a struggle. You may think, “If I was truly competent, I wouldn’t have failed.”

However, even the most confident people make mistakes. It’s all a learning process. And if you’re taking chances, you’ll make mistakes along the way. That’s part of the process.

Try smaller failures first to help shift your perspective. Pick up a new hobby and keep a log of what you learned with each mistake. As you learn this new skill, you’ll see how failure is part of the process.

Learning from the small failures first can help you transition when you fail professionally. As mentioned, it’s all a learning process, and confident people embrace the experience and try again.

Fake Confidence Until You Own It

Confidence automatically helps you become a more credible speaker. People are more eager to listen to your words if you project confidence.

Many people feel paralysed when they’re lacking in confidence. But there’s truth in the saying that you should “fake it till we make it.”

Science says that the brain can learn new ways to act. And that includes projecting confidence.

So, strike your power pose and smile. For many, body language is the first step to oozing with confidence. It’s possible even if you don’t feel it.

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