Seeking to learn how to fake confidence means three things:
- You are feeling unsure of yourself (either situationally or generally)
- You know that confidence would be an advantage
- You’ve decided to imitate confidence rather than acquire it genuinely
This guide from Destroy The Fear aims to be your diving off point into learning to take it til you make it.
Of course, genuinely acquiring confidence is a better path.
But is it always possible?
Of course not.
What if you have to give a presentation at short notice about a topic you don’t have a lot of knowledge on?
What if you get a date at the last minute and you don’t have time to settle your nerves?
There are plenty of situations where faking confidence can be useful.
We totally get it and we’re not here to judge.
So, with that being said, let’s check out some ways to wear the mask of confidence, even if your true expression is very different.
Faking Confident Body Language
Remember that old cliche about the amount of our communication that is non-verbal?
In a situation where you need to fake confidence, your body language is perhaps the most important thing to focus on.
It might sound obvious. However, our bodies often give us away. Often, we’re unaware of the exact body language we’re putting across.
So what are some ways you can ensure your body language helps you fake a confident vibe?
- Eye contact. Failing to meet someone’s eye is a sign of low confidence, but be cautious about going too far the other way. You shouldn’t stare too intensely. Instead, aim for normal levels of eye contact. This should equate to normally holding someone’s gaze, but not too intensely, and looking away from time to time.
- Posture. Confident people tend to take up space and walk with their chin up. Force yourself into a confident, ‘head held high’ posture even when your actual confidence levels are low. Just avoid being too extreme and coming across as a caricature of a confident individual.
- Gesticulate. Don’t go overboard, but use gestures to emphasize your words. To get a feel for the right level of gesticulation, watch a public speaker you admire. Note how often they gesticulate and what type of motion they use. Model this for your own use.
If you are aiming to fake confidence in a face to face situation, your body language will make or break you.
Taking the time to practice confident body language will pay off when you most need it.
Adopting Confident Jargon & Word Choice
The choice of language you use, and the way you speak, are key determiners of how confident you seem.
This is true for face to face contexts, as well as over the phone or even via written communication.
So what are some aspects of verbal and written communication which can help you to appear confident, even when you’re not feeling it?
- Learning a few key terms of jargon can really help. For example, imagine you had no knowledge of computers, but had to fake as much confidence as possible. If you learned a few choice terms such as processor, hard drive, and Operating System, you could sound a lot more knowledgeable than you actually are, providing you use them correctly.
- Avoid stuttering. People tend to fill gaps in their speech with placeholder noises such as ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’. You can record yourself speaking and work on eliminating such noises. With conscious effort, you can teach yourself to sound authoritative in any situation.
- Be aware of volume. If you switch from talking about a topic you are confident in to one you are not, the volume of your speech will often adjust. You might speak quieter to try and hide your lack of knowledge, or louder to fake confidence. To an attentive listener, a change in volume can be a red flag. Make sure your volume remains consistent and you are less likely to give away a lack of confidence.
Giving advance thought to your choice of words, and the way you say them, can be a lifesaver when you find yourself in a situation requiring false confidence.
Even giving yourself five minutes to rehearse in a bathroom stall can be effective.
Self Care For Quick Confidence
Often, situations where we feel a lack of confidence are out of our control.
However, even in such situations, there are usually things we can control that make a big difference in our confidence levels.
What are some self care tips we can use to assist in faking confidence?
- Extra time. If you have a situation that fills you with fear, give yourself extra time ahead of it. This means longer to get ready, longer to travel, longer to prepare. Doing this gives you breathing room in case of any screws up and delays.
- Wear your best outfit. Our physical appearance affects both how confident we feel and how confident we seem to others. If you have a situation where you need to fake confidence, try and dress just a little better than everyone else present. Don’t overdo it, or dressing too well will make you stand out in a negative way. Instead, choose an outfit which is likely to subtly impress others as well as making you feel physically at ease.
- Nutrition. It can be easy to get lost in your own head at a time when you need to fake confidence and end up neglecting your food and drink. Make sure you eat the type of meal which makes you feel satisfied, at ease, and energized. Make sure you’re hydrated and have had your favorite caffeinated beverage, if you normally drink caffeine.
Often, if we are able to control small things in a seemingly out of control situation, our overall confidence greatly rises. Give yourself a helping hand where possible.
Get In State To Fake Confidence
This is a little similar to the preceding self care tip, but it’s more psychological than it is physical.
Top performers in a wide range of fields often have a little ritual they perform in order to put themselves in a state of peak performance.
This is a great way to trigger a feeling of confidence even when it’s not your natural state.
What are some ways you can put yourself in state when the situation demands it?
- Special songs. Is there a song that makes you feel invincible when you hear it? If so, it’s well worth having this on your phone. If you ever need a quick confidence boost, excuse yourself for a few minutes. Pop your headphones in. Instant confidence!
- Recall a time of success. If you visualize a time of genuine success from your past, you can often bring that feeling into the present. Focusing on times of genuine achievement can also help fight back against negative or defeatist self-talk.
- Laugh. Laughter is an amazing thing. It can help dispel physical tension in your body. It changes your brain chemistry. Don’t underestimate it! Have you got a favorite comedy show or stand-up routine? Watch a 30 second clip ahead of an intimidating situation, and allow yourself to laugh deeply. It will be a lot easier to fake confidence after the cleansing power of laughter.
Our internal state affects our outward appearance. By learning a few shortcuts to put yourself ‘in state’, you make it a lot easier to fake confidence when the situation demands it.
Adjust Your Mentality To Feel At Ease
Often, a lack of confidence about something often stems from distorted thinking about that thing.
What do we mean by this?
Well, imagine you see someone attractive, and you want to talk to them. Often, not having the confidence to do so comes from the thoughts we have. We think rejection will matter (it won’t), we imagine they will be mean to us (they probably won’t, and even if they are, who cares) so we act accordingly.
So how can we adjust our thoughts to give an air of confidence?
- Worst case scenario. Often, our fear exists as a sort of unspecified cloud. By forcing it to be specific, we lessen its power. For example, imagine you are feeling unconfident about giving a talk in front of people. What’s the worst that could happen? You fall over on stage? If that happened, could you survive it? Absolutely. Could you laugh it off? If you wanted to. By doing this, we realize things are rarely as bad as we fear.
- Growth mentality. By adapting a genuine and deep rooted growth mentality, our confidence increases. That’s because we reframe failure as progress and learn lessons no matter what happens.
- Put things in perspective. A lack of confidence about something can come from giving things undue importance. If you’re feeling unconfident, take a moment to remind yourself that you’re an evolved monkey on a giant spinning rock orbiting a massive ball of fire. Life is absurd, so enjoy it!
Handling our mental outlook about a person or situation is a fantastic way to come across as more confident accordingly.
How To Fake Confidence – Destroy The Fear’s Final Thoughts
Thanks for checking out Destroy The Fear’s guide to faking confidence!
We’re confident (or are we just faking it?) that if you’ve read this far, you’ve found something of value.
As always, we’re totally open to your input.
When you need to fake confidence, what do you do?
Is there a time you’ve faked confidence and ended up regretting it?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments!