Everybody loves to be confident. Looking at a confident man and how well-received he is by his peers, it’s hard not wanting to be him. But the question begs: what exactly does it mean to be confident? Public speaking without stuttering like a fool? Strutting into office in a spankin’ new suit? A thick wad of cash?
However, for a man to bank on these fleeting superficialities to feel great about himself, he’ll find it’s over before he can spell c-o-n-f-i… you get the drift. Genuine Confidence is the finishing line you really want to cross, and it starts from the inner recesses of your mind. No one man is born beaming with confidence, but the good news is that Team SM has tried and tested 5 effective ways to “fake it till you make it”. So that even in the event you are stripped of everything that defines you, including your branded boxer briefs, you still feel pretty damn good about yourself.
Here are just 5 things you need to commit to memory, and each of them comes attached with a simple exercise to put it into practice:
- Cool, calm, collected
A truly confident man is always composed in any given environment. Even if he is put in a compromising situation, or unexpectedly challenged by a heckler, he remains significantly more relaxed than other parties in the room. As though he is chilling in a bubbly hot tub with a glass of Moet. He knows that panicking wouldn’t get him very far, and a cool demeanor allows him to come up with the best possible solution to handle the situation with finesse. At the same time, he leaves the others wondering how on earth he pulls it off.
Exercise: Pick a venue you usually feel uncomfortable in. Let’s say you’re an introvert who avoids crowds like a plague. Put yourself out in such environment as much as possible and frame it as your second home. If you’re still feeling the jitters, head straight for the restroom cubicle and do 5 minutes of simple meditation: inhale through your mouth, exhale forcefully through your nostrils. Now come out a brand new man.
The confident man is usually somebody who leads the wolfpack. Hardly do you see him being led by the nose. If you have to, take a cue from powerful political figures addressing huge crowds in a speech. Masculine, assertive body language show conviction behind their opinions and decisions. The next time someone goes “hmm, where should we go / what should we do next”, step up and make a definitive suggestion. Pounding a fist in the air might help your cause a little.
Exercise: Here’s a line you can use to make yourself appear a strong, confident leader: “You know what, we should totally check this new dessert bar (or any other places you wish to go) out. I’ve read so much about it. Let’s get moving!”
Intelligence is very sexy. But we’re talking more social intelligence here than IQ. What exactly does that entail? For somebody with high IQ, you would imagine a gentleman who can solve a Rubik’s Cube within 30 seconds. As for one with high SQ (social quotient), think of a sharply dressed gentleman who knows exactly how to conduct himself before differing levels of social hierarchy. He understands the power dynamics. In front of people who are his “seniors”, he tries not to out-talk him/her. Rather, he listens attentively and gleans the useful bits. In front of “juniors”, he would tend to take on the mentoring role and shares only the most awesome stories to inspire.
Exercise: Force yourself to sign up for as many social events as possible, and you will spot many interesting personalities. There are the awkward introverts, there are the alpha straight talkers, there are the wallflowers, and there are the blabbering drunks. The list is non-exhaustive. Soon enough, given the experience, you will realize you have different ‘approaches’ to confidently handle each personality type.
The drunks are fairly easy to win over. Just sayin’.
- Speak with your body language
We mentioned about body language under Confidence Tip #2: Lead and take charge. The confident man always exhibits strong body language that commands respect. It merely involves simple tweaks that people conveniently neglect: chest out, shoulders pulled back and purposeful strides. Whether you’re standing or sitting, your body language should project outwards. “Shrouding inwards” convey beta-ness. According to scientific studies, body language make up 55% in any given conversation, so make that 55% count. A strong physical presence can, amazingly, give you a burst of confidence almost immediately.
Exercise: Instead of thinking about how you appear (don’t worry, she doesn’t think you look stupid), or what to say next, pay a little attention to your posture. Or whether you’re giving proper eye contact. Gentlemen who are confident know that the body language can affect the state of mind, and it shouldn’t be in an adverse way.
Good news: these strong body language habits can be easily picked up, as long as you make that extra conscious effort in your daily lives. Stand in the mirror, detach yourself and ask: do I look like a confident, respectable gentleman?
- Unyielding self-belief
It is said that the mind is probably the most powerful thing that ever existed, and we are merely operating at 5-6% capacity. To optimize confidence, start doing some psychological tinkering. You can have all the powerful body language and conviction in the world, but it means nothing if you don’t have deeply rooted self-beliefs. Self-beliefs that you are an amazing, outstanding, remarkable, charismatic, extraordinary, (insert awesome synonym) gentleman. The more positive affirmations you drill into yourself, the more your confidence balloons.
Beware the thin line between confidence and cockiness, though.
Exercise: When you wake up every morning, instead of stumbling into the bathroom googly-eyed, put on your favourite playlist (hopefully an adrenaline pumping one) and bang out some push-ups. It helps to also keep a personal checklist of positive affirmations: write down all the unique selling points about yourself, and try to add a new one on a regular basis. By the time you have compiled a little dictionary for yourself, we are pretty sure you would’ve “made it” by then.