‘Fake it till you make it’ – We’ve all heard some iteration of this term and even practice it when we feel a bout of impostor syndrome coming on. Confidence is the mantra and projecting a confident aura has come to define the millennial and Gen-Z discourse around assertiveness and personal development.
Confidence is a vital skill to possess we want to be successful on all fronts. Whether you’re interviewing for a job, speaking in front of a crowd, or just meeting new people. People who project confidence are perceived as more competent, charismatic, and even attractive than those who don’t.
What exactly is self-confidence, you might wonder? Think for a moment about the person that comes to mind when you think of a confident person. Does the person seem sure in their abilities? Is the person always composed and always eloquent?
If you ask that person, you’ll find out that their confidence comes from an innate sense of self worth. Manifesting this kind of self worth we want for ourselves takes a bit of practice and even the best of us have moments when our confidence needs a boost. Thankfully there are certain practices that can help nudge us in the right direction.
The Power of Posture
One of the most effective ways of projecting confidence is by improving your body language. When you stand up straight with your shoulders back, you appear more energetic, alert, and assertive. In contrast, slouching can suggest laziness or low-energy, diminishing your perceived competence.
Good posture does a well of good in the way others perceive you. You’ll look more confident, reliable, and capable in virtually every situation you encounter. So whether you’re at a job interview, conference or business meeting, make sure your posture will communicate that you’re serious about what you’re doing and that you’re in charge.
Apart from seeming more confident with your posture, good posture also have mental and physical benefits that will help you feel more confident. According to a study published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, good posture can also cause positive psychological and physiological changes, including increased positive mood, reduced negative mood, decreased stress and improved cognitive performance.
A straight back and elevated features signal to the next person that you are more confident than you feel.
Tips: If you’re standing in front of someone, position your feet in their direction, which communicates that you’re interested in them and what they have to say. If you’re sitting, make sure your back is straight and not slouching.
Additionally, try to maintain eye contact, but don’t overdo it. Constantly staring at someone can make them feel uncomfortable, so make sure to look away from time to time. Focus on active listening and responding empathetically as this can build credibility, rapport, and project confidence.
In a world where success depends largely on perception & people judge the proverbial book by its cover, it’s important to project confidence and believe in yourself. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is by improving your posture. By standing tall with your shoulders back, you communicate assertiveness, openness, and self-assurance. Not only does it make you look more confident, but it can also have a positive psychological impact on your mood, stress levels, and cognitive performance.