I’ve said before that you can’t tell someone, “Just go be confident!”. That may sound funny, but a lot of confidence-building advice I’ve seen online is really nothing more than that. Be a confident guy, then you’ll get laid (or make more money, or get that job, or whatever).
This is why whenever I talk about confidence I try my best to provide real-world practical advice on how to achieve that state.
The ultimate goal of confidence is to not need any “technique” to become confident. You should get to the point where you are automatically confident as a normal part of your personality or habit. These days I don’t need any technique to help me feel confident; I’m just confident. I’m not Superman of course, so there are rare times I’m doing something for the very first time where I might need to pump myself up. But in my normal day-to-day life of business, women, travel, fun, etc, I don’t need to “do” anything to feel more confident.
This was not always the case. I’ve always been a reasonably confident guy, but years ago when I first re-entered the dating world after my divorce, I was a decade out of practice when it came to women, so I indeed had to fake it before I made it. The same could be said when I was in my early twenties and started my first business. There were many times when talking to prospective customers that I had to pretend I was more confident than I actually felt.
In both cases, the habit of being (or at least acting) confident and the results that came from being confident reinforced my own sense of self confidence, and now I’m good to go. I don’t need to “try” any more.
Listed here are a few things I (and others) have used to help build a feeling and bearing of self confidence. Some of them will be obvious, others not so much, but all of them are very easy to do and require very little effort.
The next time you go out to meet women, or go out on a first date, or go to an important business meeting or interview, or have to speak in public, give a few of these an honest try. You will find they will noticeably assist you.
1. Dress two notches higher than you normally do.
Every man has a standard way of dressing. If you simply dress “two notches” higher than this, you’ll likely feel more confident. So if you normally wear crappy jeans and a T shirt, wear slacks and a nice long-sleeve shirt. If you normally wear a suit top with jeans, wear a full suit and tie.
You get the point. If you’re not really sure what to wear, screw it and a wear a full suit (unless wearing a suit is completely incongruent to your personality, then dress as nice as as you can). Honestly, when you’re wearing a suit and tie that fits you well, it’s hard not to walk a little taller and feel a little stronger and confident.
2. Wear shoes or boots that are loud when you walk.
I like to wear shoes that make very loud clacking noises when walking on non-carpeted floors. For some reason, making a lot of racket while you walk tends to fill you with an outcome independent vibe. “Yeah, my shoes are loud. What are you going to do about it?” If you’re a boot-wearing guy, those are good too.
When I’m buying shoes for the purpose of either dating or business intimidation, before I make the purchase I will walk around in them on non-carpeted surfaces to make sure they’re very noisy. If they aren’t, I’ll keep trying on other shoes until I find some that are nice and loud when I walk.
If you really want to go crazy with this, you can have small plastic tips installed onto the bottom-front of the leather sole of your dress shoes. (They’re made lengthen the life of the sole.) That’s probably overdoing it a little though.
3. Visualize a cord attached to the top of your head holding you up.
When you walk or stand, visualize a strong cord attached to the very top of your head pulling you upwards. Keep this in mind as you walk or stand. You will instantly stand taller and walk stronger.
4. Watch or listen to stand-up comedy right before you go in.
If you’re about to have a date or meeting where you feel not-so-confident, whip out your smartphone, hit up your favorite stand-up comic on YouTube, and watch (or listen) for a few minutes. The goal is to actually laugh out loud at least a few times.
I have a theory that laughter builds outcome independence. It’s just a theory but I think I’m right. Picture the guy in the bar or restaurant who’s laughing so damn loud that people at other tables are getting irritated. Do you think that guy has a confidence problem? Do you think he gives a shit about what other people in that place think? Hell no.
My late grandfather was like this. The guy was the loudest guy in the world, even when in quiet, public places. One day, he and my dad were having lunch at a quiet restaurant, and Grandpa started talking and laughing way too loud as he always did. My dad, seeing the annoyed looks on everyone, quietly said, “Hey, you know, we’re bothering those people.” My Grandpa glanced at everyone and said loudly, “Fuck ’em!”.
Totally outcome independent, he did not give a shit, and it was beautiful. (Damn. I miss Grandpa. They don’t make men like that any more.)
When you need some confidence, you need to assume the state of that guy, the guy loudly laughing and not giving a shit, not the polite guy in the corner no one is paying attention to.
5. Stick out your chest.
This might be an obvious one, but I’m going to mention it here for two reasons.
One, you may not have a very big or well-developed chest, so it may feel strange to you to stick it out. The interesting thing is the size or shape of your chest doesn’t matter. All that matters is the feeling you get when you puff out your chest. Just by doing this you will feel stronger and more confident, at least a little. Look at superheroes like Superman and Captain America in the comic books and notice their chests. Yes, they’re artificially big, but notice how they’re sticking them out at almost all times.
The second reason I’m bringing this up is that many of you more chubby guys probably grew up with a nice pair of man boobs just like I did. As a child or younger man, you may have assumed the habit of hunching over when you walk or sit so as to hide your chest. I certainly remember doing this kind of thing back when I was about 10 or 11 years old.
If that habit follows you into adulthood, this is not good. Stick that chest out and show the world your magnificent man boobs! Though they are much smaller than they used to be, I still have man boobs myself (and a naturally big chest which weight lifting has made a little bigger), but today I don’t care who sees those things. Instead of hunching, I walk around like He-Man from the 1980s, trying to stab people with my nipples.
So whether you have muscular ripped pecs, man boobs, or little chest, it doesn’t matter. Chest out, chin up, shoulders back. Use your body. It might feel a little funny for the first few seconds, but if you keep it up, you will feel a little more confident.
6. Take up lots of space.
This goes hand-in-hand with the chest thing. When you walk, hold your arms outward like you’re lifting weights at the gym. When you sit, lean back, put your legs up on a nearby chair, and spread your arms out, just like you were home on your favorite couch.
When you talk, make big, sweeping hand gestures. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, watch some John Wayne videos on YouTube. You can’t get more “big Alpha” than that son of a bitch.
You can also do this with clothing. Wear BIG jackets, that billow out, and spread out all over the place when you sit.
The point is, take up a lot of damn room. It’s a big world out there, so there’s plenty of room for you to do this.
I have more techniques, mostly based on visualizations. Maybe I’ll tackle those in a future post.