Fake it Till You Make it: 10 Ways to Feel Confident (Even When You Aren’t)

“Original Fake” Photo Credit: courtesy of MashKulture

Is your self-confidence natural, or a daily struggle?

Many people’s confidence naturally wavers from day to day, leaving them too timid or confused at just the wrong time. Whether you are naturally confident or could use some better eye contact with your life, setting in place a few simple strategies goes a long way to stoke your inner confidence.

If you think you’re not especially smart or capable, or that failure is a given no matter how hard you try, you’re right.

And if you believe you’re brilliant and can accomplish anything you set your mind to, you’re right.

Amplifying your inner confidence is like any other skill you develop; you can do it in a blink. Day by day, step by step, you will get closer to your goals. No one runs a marathon fueled by decision alone. It takes days, weeks, and months of consistent exercise before your muscles, lungs and stamina will harmonize enough to give you winning results.

Same with confidence. Use these 10 tips to start appearing as confident on the outside as you will soon feel on the inside.

1.  It’s not about you. Understand people’s actions, even when hurtful, rarely have anything to do with you. It’s easy to read into the negativity of others and see it as a slight to our personality or challenge to our ego. Yet this type of reaction can trigger unnecessary stress and prevent you from focusing on the positive things in your life. People are people; there’s never a need to link their behavior and your happiness. Knowing this gives you freedom to feel the confidence you deserve.

2.  Buy clothes that fit. Wearing clothes that fit well and flatter, no matter the shape of your body, provides an enormous boost to your self esteem. Don’t wait until you’ve arrived at a magical ideal to start dressing your best. Clothes never make the person, but it’s hard to feel confident inside when your outside sends signals of uncertainty. Love what you’re wearing and the world is likely to love it too.

3.  Keep laughing. Let your brain give vent to the endorphins that will fill you with authentic happiness and internal confidence. Laughter releases some of the tension that invariably builds in your body each day. Pepper your routine with the people or media that make you most happy. You don’t have to overdo it, but a bit of levity goes a long way toward elevating your level of confidence.

4.  Embrace the quiet. Many people are eager to populate every waking second with activity. With a world moving at the speed of broadband, the problem blooms more with every passing day. Realize you can be comfortable alone with your thoughts and you will provide your internal processes the space needed to develop. This will make you more comfortable with yourself, helping you appear more confident to others.

5.  Make a budget. If this isn’t natural for you, take the time to do it anyway. Claiming control of your finances is an early step to a healthy attitude about money. Though many people believe confidence comes with having lots of cash, confidence accompanies a clear picture of what you have and what you need.

6.  Don’t gossip. Exit conversations that swim in hearsay. Indulging in idle chatter might make you feel in the loop, but the feeling is fleeting and will leave you wondering what others are saying about you when you’re not around. Take the high road – you’ll feel better inside and appear far more confident to others around you.

7.  Do as you say and say as you do. This doesn’t mean you have to draw neat lines through all of life’s to-do’s, but if you articulate your goals, and start to accomplish them, easy ones first, you will develop a mindset of success. This, in turn, makes it easier to feel confident. Your goals could be anything from running your first 5K to finally cleaning out the garage; learning how to strum a guitar or play the piano. Whatever your goals, find something you truly desire, make a promise to see it through to the end, then feel the confidence of success.

8.  Make peace with your body. You will always want to stay active and improve your health, but your confidence comes with the understanding that no matter your size, shape, number of wrinkles or height, you are a person who deserves love and dignity from yourself and those around you. Truly know this, and confidence will bleed through your skin.

9.  Realize you know more than you think you do. All those things you think everyone else just knows? Well, they don’t. If you don’t know something, there’s no shame in asking for the answer. Admitting you don’t have the answer is the first step toward finding it, and the right answers pave the road to confidence.

10. Be enthusiastic. Playing it cool is a great way to ignore your honest emotions and bury the authentic you. Be happy and excited, and allow the world to see it. Your joy will be infectious, your confidence contagious.

You don’t have to follow all 10 of these tips, but they are starters that will help you find your internal confidence and boost your sense of self belonging. No one feels confident 100% of the time, but there are steps you can take to make yourself feel far more confident than you probably do now.

Start with any of the 10 items on this list, and start feeling better inside out today!

Confidence is the key to EVERYTHING.

Ever wondered exactly how self confident you actually are?

Sean Platt is a content marketing specialist and better life blogger. Follow him on Twitter.

Don’t Forget To Follow PickTheBrain On Twitter!

Related Articles:

How To Increase Self Discipline

How To Motivate Yourself

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  • Some solid tips here! I like to merge number 3 and number 10 together. For example, yesterday I went into a government office for small business owners looking to gain more exposure for my coaching program. From previous experience there, I knew they people were very serious and sometimes hard to get a positive reaction from.

    I went into the office with an almost over-enthusiastic attitude and made it my goal not to get them to look at my offer, but to make them laugh… at something.. anything! By changing my intention, I was more focused on being personable and engaging and the response was awesome. By the end of the conversation, both ladies I spoke to were very interested in my program and gave me the direct email address to send all of my marketing materials to.

    Confidence was never an issue during the entire meeting because I setup the mindset of “being funny and engaging” before I walked in.

  • This is a really helpful article and these are really good steps to follow. I find #1 especially helpful and will remind myself of it often! Very empowering information, thanks!

  • I love number 10 Be Enthusiastic. I started feeling much better about myself and started enjoying my life more when I decided to ignore those that seem to think happiness and enthusiasm is a sign of being stupid or cheesy.

  • Some very useful tips and I am sure they will help out many people. However, I am not sure if all Underconfident people would be able to pull off the fake it till you make it concept due to thier unconfidence.

    • Haha, slhuodn’t you be charging for that kind of knowledge?!

  • I agree with the previous comment.

  • #3 Is a model in which I live by. I have found from the cliche saying that “laughter is the best medicine.” I spend a lot of time building my confidence with a sense of humor. Oddly people like to be around me because I make them laugh. This in turn builds my confidence. This is a great list that I find extremely beneficial.

  • Great ideas Sean. I’ve also found that it helps to break things down into achievable pieces. Perhaps do one thing at a time and practice little by little. I’ve noticed that we sometimes tend to bite off more than we can chew and then get discouraged when we can’t do everything at once.

  • Interesting post. I like the last point about being authentic – I can see that working. Other small things like enjoying your body and buying clothes that fit will go a long way in my opinion.

    • I also like the inclusion of appearance. When I am dressed to impress, I feel the vibes I am getting from people and their good vibes boost my confidence.

  • Very awsome post. Hope it will always be alive!

  • This is really great. Thank you so much for posting it. I think a lot of times people forget that they’re not the only ones that life is “happening to.” If they compare their own issues to the issues of the world, they may find their confidence level increases just knowing they have an easier chance to make it. At least we here in this country are free to dream and excel. These are all awesome tips to boosting confidence and happiness.

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  • Anonymous

    Great list!

  • Trite and banal.

  • Trite and banal.

  • I agree that when you’ll improve your outer game, you’ll improve your inner game (it’s especially true with improving your clothing style and your body). However, I think it’s not everything. You also have to change your mindset and that needs some serious thinking and education. Reading philosophical books (I recommend Seneca) has greatly helped me improve my confidence.

    #4 is a really good tip – spending time alone in some quiet place tremendously helps in thinking. It’s also very relaxing so it improves your confidence. Try it!

  • Wakeup

    10. Be enthusiastic. Playing it cool is a great way to ignore your honest emotions and bury the authentic you.

    Why in the world would I lie to myself and ignore what I’m truly feeling ?
    I’d rather appear depressed when I am depressed and appear happy when I am happy . People aren’t stupid , they know when someone’s pretending or hiding themselves .
    Burying the authentic self would mean to put up a phony character .
    How would Ignoring our honest emotions help us to understand ourselves more ?
    The Truth is always the way to go .

  • Wakeup

    10. Be enthusiastic. Playing it cool is a great way to ignore your honest emotions and bury the authentic you.

    Why in the world would I lie to myself and ignore what I’m truly feeling ?
    I’d rather appear depressed when I am depressed and appear happy when I am happy . People aren’t stupid , they know when someone’s pretending or hiding themselves .
    Burying the authentic self would mean to put up a phony character .
    How would Ignoring our honest emotions help us to understand ourselves more ?
    The Truth is always the way to go .

    • Ralph Graham

      You might be missing the point of this a bit. If you are in trouble you may need some help. If you are grieving no one will expect you to be cheery.
      But when you want to change your mood and improve your confidence,THEN, apply these at the level you can and your mood will raise along with your confidence. With practice, these higher levels will become your new truth.
      It is like: drills done enough at practice will become second nature on the field:)

  • Wakeup

    10. Be enthusiastic. Playing it cool is a great way to ignore your honest emotions and bury the authentic you.

    Why in the world would I lie to myself and ignore what I’m truly feeling ?
    To pretend I’m confident when really I’m not right now ?
    rather appear depressed when I am depressed and appear happy when I am
    happy .
    People aren’t stupid , they know when someone’s pretending or
    hiding themselves .
    Burying the authentic self would mean to put up a phony character .
    How would Ignoring our honest emotions help us to understand ourselves more ?
    The Truth is always the way to go .

  • Grg

    Be unique, be authentic, quit playing the “US” vs “THEM” game ( this is what creates wars people). a) Be in your heart, mind, spirit what you want then b) Do what ever it takes to make that happen then you will c) Have those things. 

    • San Rocco Cane Corso

      I agree. You must start someonewhere, starting is often the hard part since non one ever gets started. Confidence is built but sometimes we must fool ourselves.

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  • Useful advices! I forgot them already and i think that i’m not the only one…

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  • Fantastic post, Sean, and extremely needed on the landscape of the net, I feel :)

    Favourite line: “Confidence is the key to EVERYTHING.”

    It really is, it often goes under the name “faith” as well (ie: Faith is the key to everything.)

    This is not a new teaching but it most certainly bears repeating, and I love your 10 methods. (Favourite: Be Enthusiastic.)

    Thanks so much for this man (and anyone reading… DO THIS STUFF. Be more confident, the world loves it.)

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  • Razza

    “Wakeup” has misread number 10 of the post.

    “Be enthusiastic.
    Playing it cool..”
    (meaning: playing it safe and hiding the wonderful you)
     ” is a great way”
    (meaning: is, unfortunately, an effective way)
    “to ignore your honest emotions and bury the authentic you.”
    (and we DON’T want to ignore or bury these).

    So the writer’s intent is for one to be authentic, but suggesting that enthusiam is a good state of mind to get into to encourage you to uncover the authentic you and show your honest emotions.


    This is just what I needed today… I’m doing a speech today…

  • I totally agree with these suggestions, as hard as it may be. I am a Wrongful Death Law suit filing clerk, and I always had image issues, dressing up for work was a bit of a problem, but buying clothes that were fitting and flattering made it alot better. Don’t try to be a size you’re not.

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  • All incredible tips. Confidence is the strongest trait one can carry, and a strong one at that! ♥

  • Fxlivedaytrading

    I like #6 – leave when gossips starts.

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  • really nice article

  • Cloverallovermd

    You left out self-fulfilling prophecies, AKA positive affermations. Most people do it with index cards. There’s actually a book by/about a girl who started leaving “You are beautiful” post-it’s all over the place for other people to find. Posting positive messages for yourself allows you to see, speak, and hear the positive message. My favorite is, “A smile comes from the eyes, not the mouth. You get what you give, so share a REAL smile.” My bathroom door is covered with inex cards lol

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  • Nelabaynel

    Thanks for sharing…..

  • Templar

    All this is so hard when you’re depressed and have the self-esteem of a paving stone. Can’t I just have a self-esteem pill? A nice, pink, sugar-coated pill that’ll make me feel as if I’m twenty years younger, sexy, confident and attractive. I have the wardrobe of a bag lady, but I can’t see that improving while I still feel lousy about myself . I dress how I feel. Vicious circle.
    Plus – how can you convince yourself that you’re a worthwhile human being when no-one else has ever thought so? Short of living in your own little world where you know you’re wonderful but no-one else can see it. I know you’re not supposed to care about what other people think, but I struggle with that. I care! I do!

  • Alve1625

    as a naturally -and ridicusly- shy person, it is quite difficult just to make eye contact with other people  -much less smile… it’s not about self-confidence, it’s about not being able to even bond with people

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  • SB

    A very good article! Most others are just pure b.s. this makes a lot of sense, glad I stumbledupon it.

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  • Great tips! confidence means everything to me.

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  • Nyomi

    Great tips!!

  • Micheal Clark

    Your blogs and its stuff magnetize me to return again n again.

  • Thats amazing article.

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    thank you for the post. Self confidence is so important as we go through life we must remember this, i will post this on my blog at

  • Steve Warden

    I agree with the fellow about using confidence along with sense of humor, it helps me to build my insecurities and become a better person. I am focused on my new career and it is boosting my confidence. I day trading bitcoin now for a living. I am also studying a lots for my cpa test.