Ever had one of those moments when you’re hit with the intense feeling of impostor syndrome – also known as the feeling that you’re faking everything in your life and just don’t feel good enough? It’s actually common in almost any professional environment. That uncertainty can sometimes really get to you, no matter how positive you try to remain. However, there are ways to combat it. Sometimes, if you think you aren’t confident at something that you really do have experience in, it’s all about positive thinking and convincing yourself that you’ve got this.
Science has proven that the “fake it ’till you make it” method actually works in many facets of life. So, take a look at some ways to look like a pro, even if you’re not quite sure what you’re doing.
Here Are 8 Ways to Feel Confident, Even When You’re Not
“The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence.” – Blake Lively
1. Act Like You Own It
This is one of the most important points. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, let other people believe that you do. Avoid “empty” words such as “like” or “um” and control your talking speed. Look like a pro by keeping your voice even and authoritative. Make sure everyone around you knows that you’re the expert on whatever it is you’re talking about.
Most importantly, always think about what you’re going to say before you actually say it. That way you won’t get caught mumbling and stumbling over your own words and it’ll be much easier to show that you know what you’re doing.
2. Be sparing with your words
It’s a natural human reaction to seek validation for the things we do. Normally, when we get caught up in this, we tend to babble a lot and get lost in our own words. Try to avoid this as much as you can. Be one of the people who says a lot with few words. Besides, silence tends to make people at least a little bit uncomfortable – so make use of it. Choosing your silence and your words will make it seem like you’re fully confident and you know exactly what’s going on.
3. Work on your critical learning skills
Knowledge is the best leverage you can have in any situation. Quick learners have the benefit of being able to pick up on conversation points, rapidly synthesizing information, and then forming an opinion. If you can do that, don’t be afraid to jump in with your point. You’ll feel more confident and no one will know you came up with it just a few minutes ago.
If you don’t have that ability, fill your free time with learning as much general knowledge and trivia as you can. You never know when it’s going to come in handy.
4. Stay positive
Has your boss asked you to do something you’re not quite sure how to do just yet? Be honest yet positive about the outcome. Don’t just say “Yes,” because then they will expect you to be an expert in it and it’ll be hard for you to live up to their expectations. Instead, say something like, “I’m not quite sure how to do this, but I’ll put some research into it. Don’t worry. I’ll achieve those results.”
However, like we mentioned in point 2, don’t overdo it in your response, because then you might come across as agitated and unsure about your abilities.
5. Don’t be confrontational
A lot of people think that the best way to be confident is to prove someone wrong. That’s not necessarily true. In fact, not many people look intelligent when they’re deep into an argument, because the other person will constantly find something wrong with their points. When you’re in such a discussion, focus on trying to agree with the other person. It’s never an easy thing to do, but when you try hard enough, you’ll see there are several points on which you’ll find common ground.
Not only does that help show that you know what you’re talking about, but it also paints you as the bigger person who doesn’t let themselves be embroiled in petty fights.
6. Approach everything with a sense of humor
People are always attracted to someone who can make light of a difficult situation – even if they don’t quite realize it. Don’t take yourself too seriously and try to joke whenever appropriate. That way you’ll show that you’re not too bothered about making mistakes. This can lead people to the conclusion that you know more about your subject than you actually let on.
7. Stay humble
Just as with a sense of humor, another very attractive quality in anyone is humility. Don’t paint yourself as someone with a massive ego, or someone who can’t let other people have their place in the spotlight. If you stay on the down-low about your knowledge and keep it casual, it makes your intellect look even more believable.
8. Get the last word
That doesn’t mean to steal other people’s ideas; however, it has been proven that the person who speaks last in a conversation is normally the one who makes the biggest impression. Even if you don’t have anything important to say, rehash what has already been said and make a clear, concise summary to look like a pro and leave a good impression.
Those are just some tips that can help you kick that annoying lack of confidence out of your life. Remember, no one’s really 100% confident in what they’re doing at any time. Even if you don’t feel confident, you can definitely make it seem like you do – and look great doing it.