Can you build confidence?
People often reflexively reply
“No, you’re either confident or you’re not.”
However, confidence is not an attribute but a skill. Just like any other skill, every individual should and will be able to master the skill of confidence effectively over time. Here are 4 mental hacks that we can utilize to boost our confidence level effectively:
1. Practising “Power Pose”
According to Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and renowned professor at Harvard Business School, states that our body language carries the capability to change how we perceive ourselves.
This is because, a study was carried out where subjects were requested to stand in various power poses while their testosterone and cortisol levels were recorded. The testosterone and cortisol hormones are the ones that influence confidence and stress levels in human body.
Subjects who stood with high-power poses recorded a 20% increment in testosterone and a 25% decrement in cortisol upon standing in the pose for around 2 minutes.
This shows that our body language has the capability to hack our brain and here are five high-power poses that can help you boost your confidence:
- Lean back on chair with feet up on table while hands are folded behind our head.
- Stand up and lean over slightly with both hands resting on a table surface.
- Stand with hands placed on hips and legs apart.
- Cross ankles over other knee while leaning back on a chair with hands folded behind head.
- Legs apart while leaning back on chair and drape arm over a rest next to you.
According to a 2012 Psychological Science study “Grin and Bear It”, research placed chopsticks in subjects’ mouth with the purpose to produce various smile patterns such as genuine smile, standard smile, and neutral expression. It is later discovered that subjects in every smile group recorded lower heart rates and displayed traits of being less stressed.
Therefore, forcing, or faking smile makes you feel better and more confident.
3. Reach out to a “confidence buddy”
It is indeed helpful to lean on to our friends and family during our low times as its nice to know that people are there for us.
However, science suggests that acquiring social supports does exert a positive long-term effect on us. Based on an article written by Psychology Today, the deployment of support network helps people in managing their stress and strengthen their self-esteem. According to study conducted in 2013, introverts often had lower self-esteem when compared to extroverts.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to have a work colleague or a highly responsive friend as our “confidence buddy” as the relationship could benefit us when we are in the need for a boost on our self-confidence and vice versa.
4. Take on an “alter ego”
American Sociological Association’s Social Psychology Quarterly published a study which was carried out on Mixed Martial Arts Fighters where the fighters utilized alter egos in the ring to boost their confidence and stamina when fighting in the ring.
To apply this strategy, we must imagine that we are someone else on our next call. The person we imagine can be someone who we look up to or even someone we invented ourselves. We will just have to think and react according to how our alter ego will respond. This is because, getting out of our own head and focusing on others can be a very helpful method to give us a quick boost of confidence.