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In a society that demands perfection, it’s hard to foster confidence. To walk out the door everyday certain your outfit matches your shoes. To engage in conversation and not worry about saying something dumb. To be sure in even the tiniest of decisions you make, like what to have for dinner tonight. You’re taught to constantly question yourself, to pay attention to everything you could be doing wrong. You don’t ask to be this way; it’s simply been learned. But you’ve had enough. Maybe you don’t want to look like you’re shaking in your boots at your job interview. Or maybe you’re sick and tired of flying under the radar at work. Or maybe you just want to come across as a more confident individual. Whatever the case, it’s time to replace your self conscious, nervous self with a more confident one! The key? Fake it ‘til you make it. Here are 5 ways to radiate confidence and eventually feel that confidence within:

1) Put those pearly whites on display.

First and foremost, smile wherever you go, through whatever you’re doing: smile at the cashier when you go to pay for your groceries; smile at your boss when you walk into work; smile at people you pass on the street. And maybe even more importantly, smile through difficult or uncomfortable situations. Not only will this relieve the others involved, it will also trick yourself into feeling some relief. So smile, smile, smile! Let those pearly whites shine!

2) Utilize body language to your advantage.

Body language can be your best friend if you let it and really go a long way when it comes to exuding confidence. Firstly, stand tall. Nobody likes or respects a person who’s constantly slouching in their chair. Secondly, work on making eye contact with people. This means meeting their gaze in conversation, as well as in passing. Those people you’re smiling at on the street deserve some eye contact, how else will they know your smile’s for them? Also, practice power poses. This means keeping an open center, or avoiding crossing your arms or your legs. You look more approachable and sure in yourself. And lastly stop the fidgeting. Messing with your hair, picking at your nails, and tugging on your clothing are tell-tale sounds that you’re nervous.

3) Be assertive and add to conversation.

When we’re uncomfortable or timid, we typically keep to ourselves and offer the bare minimum. This definitely isn’t good when it comes to having potentially important conversations with, say, coworkers or future in-laws. Instead of closing yourself off, you should really engage in the conversation at hand and add your opinions and ideas. You don’t have to know what you’re talking about, but you can still ask questions and state opinions without looking or sounding like a total bimbo. The key is to find the balance between ignorance and cockiness, which almost anyone can do—just stay in your lane, and offer what you can.

4) Slow down.

Society has not only stripped us of our confidence but our peace and serenity: we’re always hustling from one place to the next, working in overload to get out everything we want to say, and ending the night dissatisfied because there definitely wasn’t enough time in the day. What we really need to do is slow down. Breathe. Take longer, slower strides both physically and figuratively. Take the time to actually gather your thoughts and invest your time in intellectual conversations. You’ll appear much more confident than the guy rambling next to you. You should also work on keeping yourself together. Avoid appearing flustered or hurried, which gives away nerves and definitely doesn’t present yourself as a confident individual.

5) Match your insides to your outsides.

Once you begin implementing these physical changes, hopefully it will be easier for you to adapt these changes inside and actually feel that confidence you deserve to have. While it will absolutely take some time, I’m confident that you will become an all-around more confident person. And remember: we’re all in the same boat. We all feel out of place sometimes and self-conscious about our appearance. But that’s okay. When it comes down to it, you have no reason not to be the confident self you seek. I mean look at that beautiful head of hair and that intelligent brain of yours! You, my friend, are on your way to a successful future.

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is the Content Development Manager at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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