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It's an elusive thing don't you think?
One day we wake up feeling indestructible;
Our messy buns work on the first go.
We're feeling inspired and ideas are flowing.
Communication with others is effortless.
Other days we may feel about as charismatic as a potato.
Sometimes, being around certain people can make us shrink into ourselves.
A request to speak in front of others can send us into a panic frenzy.
Even asking for that thing you need can seem entirely beyond you, depending on the type of day you've had.
The truth is; there aren't very many of us who wouldn't like a few confidence hacks for some area of our lives.
Confidence is a trait highly admired and respected by others.
It's become a valuable source of social currency.
Generally, when we think of confidence, we may often think of people who do and say all of the right things.
However, according to Van Edwards, social researcher and author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, 60% of our ability to communicate confidence is non-verbal.
It's all about body language, babe.
Going to a job interview?
Have a hot date?
Naturally, you're thinking about what you might say.
BUT by doing this, you're only really thinking about 40% of the overall ways you can express your best and most confident self to others.
But don't worry.
We've got you covered for these moments.
Here are 5 science-based hacks to be more confident instantly.
And help you channel your very own Sasha Fierce—whenever needed.
It may feel counter-intuitive, but when you're feeling low on confidence, take up space.
Quite simply, those who take up a larger volume of space with their bodies are perceived as more confident and credible to others.
Not surprisingly, women have been taught to do the opposite.
Two key things to avoid:
Do these instead:
Not only will this make you appear more assertive and in control to others, there's also a growing body of research to suggest that moving your body into power positions will trick your mind into believing you actually feel this way.
We know that when we force ourselves to smile, it can make us feel good.
It's the same with our bodies, so stand tall girl!
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy believes that our body language is more than a simple expression of ourselves.
Our body, she believes, has the power to shape and re-shape who we are.
Her recent research into "power posing"—standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident—can boost feelings of confidence and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
Cuddy conducted a social experiment in which some subjects stood in high power poses (hands in the air, hands on hips) and others in low power pose (hands on the neck, arms crossed around the body, shoulders crossed) for exactly two minutes in a private room.
She found a couple of things:
Firstly, 86% of the high power posing subjects were shown to take a gamble or risk immediately after their conditioning, versus only 60% of the low power poses.
Secondly, the testosterone levels (responsible in part for competitiveness and confidence) in the saliva of high power posing subjects rose by 20% and dropped by 10% in their low power counterparts.
And thirdly, cortisol levels (the stress hormone) dropped by a staggering 25% in the high power posing groups.
The hormonal changes revealed in this study from just two minutes of body language exercises is quite remarkable.
In less science-y terms...
Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care girl!
Next time you need to get confident instantly, you know what to do.
Lock yourself in a bathroom for 120 seconds and go for gold!
When someone asks for your name, don't turn it into a question.
Read the following out loud:
“Hi, my name is Taryn.”
“Hi, my name is Taryn?”
The latter makes it sound like you're unsure about what you're saying.
Since writing this, it's been amazing just how many women I've caught doing this unknowingly.
What they're really doing is subconsciously underselling themselves and seeking approval and reassurance.
If it's confidence and credibility you're after, use an authoritative tone and practice speaking with a downwards or neutral inflexion with some girlfriends!
According to researcher Van Edwards, the first 7 seconds of meeting with someone is Very Important Time!
And of course, we make all of these judgements mostly in our subconscious mind.
Have you ever met someone and instantly decided there was something that you loved (or really disliked) about them?
It's because your brain has very diligently read all of that person's non-verbal cues and made a very quick decision about their character.
There is some pretty good news here…
If you're aware of this AND can nail your first impression in a job interview, meeting or date it's likely that you're in!
Edwards also suggests that those who use natural hand gestures are judged as being more trustworthy, charismatic and confident than those who use their hands minimally or not at all.
We've talked a little about some of the small changes we can make to maximise our chances of making a good impression on others.
But let's be honest, nothing screams confidence more than someone willing to admit their mistakes or laugh at themselves without guilt or shame.
Don't be confused.
This is not “I'm no good at this” self-deprecating talk.
This is not about what you can't do.
This is about accepting when you feel uncomfortable or vulnerable.
In circumstances that allow it, talking about the way you feel openly and honestly with others instantly shows you're a woman that's confident with yourself. Flaws and all.
Everyone experiences these feelings but very few are willing to talk about them.
Here's what you might not realise:
We can use our imperfections to connect with the people around us.
It'll be the glue that bonds you to others.
Don't get us wrong.
We love assertive women who radiate warmth and confidence.
But when we live in a world where anything less than perfection is omitted from our social media feeds...
...There's nothing more refreshing than a confident woman who can talk through her shortcomings and vulnerabilities.
It gives other women permission to do the same.
Don't be afraid to take up the space you deserve.
Know that you have SO much power to use your body to instantly change your mindset.
And remember; not feeling confident all of the time is part of what makes you a real, normal human.
Embracing your vulnerabilities and, perhaps even sharing these with others is a form of confidence in itself.
Happy power posing babes! x
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