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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Faking Confidence (By Anshu Basnyat, LCPC)

This Week's Topic: Faking Confidence
            Why fake confidence?  Why am I writing about it here?  Well, we know that confident people are more successful in life than those who are not confident.  We also know that parents’ confidence level impacts their child's self-confidence.  Social learning theorists would say that if a child observes their parent with low self-esteem, not being sure of themselves on a regular basis, have negative thinking, not being assertive, etc. then this will be learned by the child.  And when this child becomes an adult and enters the world where high self-confidence is highly valued then they will have difficulties in social, academic, and work situations.  Likewise, if a child observes high self-confident behaviors in a parent then they are likely to model these behaviors in their own social interactions.
            The good news is that a parent can “fake” confidence to mitigate the effect their low self-esteem has on their child. Faking confidence can make you feel more confident. The bad news is that this is a temporary solution. If someone suffers from very low self-esteem then they should seek professional help.  Therefore, true self-confidence can come only from true self-esteem.  Furthermore, true confidence is not based on factors such as looks, money, intelligence, status, designer clothes, etc.  True confidence is fostered in childhood into adolescence by our role models such as parents and teachers (See previous blog post).

10 Ways to Feel More Self-confident:
1.      Smile!  When you smile, you appear more self-confident. People are attracted to those who smile.  Besides, it’s the cheapest way to improve anyone’s looks!
2.      Good posture. It includes standing up straight with your head and chin held high.
3.      Accept and give compliments.When someone pays you a compliment, thank them. This communicates that you agree with the compliment but also acknowledges their kind words. When you say something nice to a person, you feel good, they feel good.  It’s a win-win situation!
4.      Accept “thank you” like you know you deserve it!  Let’s say someone thanks you for something you have done. Would you respond by saying “it was nothing” or a simple “you’re welcome?” Go with the latter! 
5.   Be Assertive. Stand up for your beliefs without hurting others.
6.      Positive thinking. Make it a daily habit to remember the positive things in your life.  As a challenge, for every negative thought you have, turn it into something positive! For example, “I can’t do this” into “I will try my best.” You will feel the difference instantly!
7.      Project your voice. Self-confident people have good voice control.  They do not use soft or mumbled voice. Nor do they use obnoxiously loud voice.
8.      Good eye contact. When someone is speaking with you, maintain good eye contact. This communicates that you are actively listening and that you are ready to meet any challenge they may present.  Caution: Maintaining eye contact may be against social norms in some cultures.
9.      Good appearance. Good hygiene, clean attire, etc. are important in feeling confident. When you look good, you feel good!
10.  Good nutrition and exercise. There’s nothing like eating junk food to bring you down. Likewise, there’s nothing like endorphins released when exercising to give you a natural high!


  1. Good post Anshu! I am always saying that my kids push me outside of my comfort zone on a regular basis. And that's not such a bad thing!

  2. Book Mom: Thank you for your encouragement! You're so right! It's amazing how our kids challenge us in every aspect of life. I also see this as a good thing (most of the time) because it forces us to, for lack of better words, "sink or swim."