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Volume 8, Issue 9

Be Confident Without Faking It

Have you ever been nervous or stressed and tried to pretend that you weren't? Chances are, you weren't that convincing.

"Attempting to suppress genuine emotions requires so much conscious effort that it is rarely successful," writes Carol Kinsey Goman, a leadership presence coach, in Forbes. "Whenever you attempt to conceal any strong feeling and fake another, your body almost always ‘leaks' nonverbal cues that are picked up consciously or subconsciously by your audience."

So instead of "faking it ‘til you make it," here's what you should do, according to Goman:

Tap into real past emotions. Use the theory behind method acting to bring previous emotions to your current situation. Think of an occasion in the past when you were genuinely successful and assured, remember what that felt like and then visualize yourself with that same attitude in the upcoming situation, writes Goman.

Expand your body. Posture can affect both your attitude and the way others perceive you, and research shows that people are more influenced by how they feel about you than by what you say, Goman explains. Before going into an important meeting, find a private spot and practice expansive poses to boost your feelings of power.

Dress for success. "Your appearance plays a huge role in creating an impression of authority and credibility," writes Goman. "The better dressed someone is, the more apt we are to believe them and to follow their suggestions—even if those suggestions are visual and subtle."

So, dress well and you'll come across as confident and influential even if you're not.

This article is from the Advancement Weekly, August 28, 2017 issue.

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