I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “Fake it till you make it”, but have you ever put it into practice? Despite how trivial and common this saying is, there’s actually some truth behind using it as a legitimate tool.
Believe it or not, there is quite literally an entire career field that uses this expression. That would be actors.
Many actors use a technique called method acting. Method acting is when an actor quite literally puts themselves in the life of a character they will be portraying. Some go as far as to move to different parts of the world, take up hobbies and practice new mannerisms.
They fake this whole other life until eventually, it feels real. This realness is what allows them to give such convincing performances and why many actors choose this technique.
What Does Confidence Have To Do With Acting?
Alright, so maybe you’re not an actor. How does this still apply to you? Let me show you.
When we feel insecure and have low self-esteem, it shows. But that is only one version of yourself. Whether you believe in alternate universes, multiple dimensions or just plain character changing, there is a confident version of you! You just aren’t acting like that version.
Confidence can quite easily be faked. You can become an actor, playing the role of the confident version of you!
Easy ways of faking confidence include: standing up straighter, don’t look at your feet when you’re walking, and speak louder and clearer. These are all things that you can do, regardless of how you feel on the inside.
The Confident You
Alright, so I’ve let you in on the little acting secret, but perhaps you still aren’t buying it.
It is my personal belief that we can do anything we set our minds too. With willpower and determination, there isn’t any habit you can’t break or circumstance you can’t change.
Related: How To Activate Your Willpower
First things first, take some time and conjure up an image of what the confident version of you would look like.
What would you say? Would you wear power suits or crop tops and shorts? What kind of language would you use? Would you change the way you spoke?
Once you have a clear image of this new you, start practicing.
Stand in front of a mirror and play out scenarios. How would the new confident you respond to a backhanded comment? Would this new confident you send back plates at a restaurant?
Practice being your confident version until it feels second nature.
But What About My Insides?
Alright, so you’re faking it. But how do you change how you really feel?
I have a theory.
It’s a theory that has worked for me multiple times.
Once you start behaving like you’re confident. When other people start perceiving you as confident. Then you will begin to FEEL confident.
Many of the times we are insecure is simply because we don’t think we have what it takes. We think confidence has to be felt and since we don’t do anything to feel confident, we end up stuck throwing a never-ending pity party.
And the cool thing, science actually agrees with me!
Psychology Today, wrote an article about how behaving like you are confident can actually make you feel more capable. Fake it till you make it, is really just putting into practice the Placebo Effect. If we trick our brains, we can get real results, because our brains are THAT powerful.
So when people tell you to “Believe in yourself”, it really is awesome advice and not just offhanded pleasantries. (Although they might mean it like that).
So if you pretend and practice being confident even when you don’t feel like it… well, soon enough you won’t know why you lived any differently.
If you know me in the slightest you know I love examples! I can never really grasp a concept until someone lays out a situation for me. Call it a need for context, I guess.
So let’s dive into the memories of young Danielle when I first put this into practice.
So there we were my best friend and me, walking out of Kohls back into the hallways of the mall. I was pretty low that year, complete with self-deprecating jokes and watching my feet more than I did anything else.
But I was determined to find confidence. I wanted the kind of confidence my best friend had.
The same kind of confidence that made her elbow me in the side that day, point to two cute boys and say “Let’s go talk to them!”
I must have done a great deer impression, because she commented on how my eyes were, right before reassuring me that we were catches and these boys were losers if they didn’t see it. So what was the harm?
In lieu of my usual, “no, that’s a bad idea.” I stood up straight, looked at the two boys who now had noticed us staring, took a deep breath and said, “Okay”
I envisioned her, the confident Danielle, the way she would probably walk to these boys like she was walking up to someone who worked for her. The way she would hold her head high, smile a megawatt smile, knowing full and well she was worth more than any boys time. But she was going to grace these boys lives with her presence even for just a moment.
Now, that’s more of an arrogant Danielle, but at 15 you don’t really know the difference.
But guess what? We did talk to those boys, and they did seem impressed by us and when we left to continue our girls day I had a new sense of confidence. That man, if I could fool those boys, maybe I could fool anyone.
Maybe I could even fool myself.
Perhaps, I was worthy of room demanding confidence.
So whether it’s in your bedroom in front of a mirror, or in front of a random stranger or cashier at a grocery store. Practice being confident. Pretend that you aren’t riddled with fear and anxiety.
After facing your fear, you might find the next time it isn’t so scary.
And before you know it, you’ll be a regular cool kid. Confident, sure and strong enough to handle anything that comes your way.