Is It Possible to Intentionally Increase Confidence?

Our teen workshop presenter, Matthew Clay, works as a prevention specialist with the Community Capacity for Prevention and Education (CCPE) grant project. A native of Douglasville, Ga., he has led thousands of hours of trainings and evidence-based practices with audiences ranging from youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness to Division 1 student athletes and international Olympians.

In this workshop, we learned that confidence can determine lots of things. We can choose to be confident, with a positive mindset, or to be uncertain and not confident.

How Does Confidence Affect You?

• Performance – You may not know this, but being confident affects the way you perform tasks. To demonstrate, imagine that you forgot to study for a quiz. There are two different ways to react. You could become nervous and panic, or you could tell yourself everything will be okay and that you’ve got this. If you are in a panic, your brain can freak out and not focus as well, which will affect how well you perform. 

• Looks – Confidence can also affect how you look. When you think of a superhero, the attributes of confidence, success, and accomplishments come to mind. This has a lot to do with the way they present themselves. The classic superhero pose is very open with hands on hips, feet apart, standing and looking ahead. This posture shows that the superhero is confident and ready for whatever is ahead. On the other hand, a person who is not confident is probably looking down, hunching over, and either standing with feet together or sitting down.

We have all heard the saying, “Fake it till you make it.” This attitude can be useful when projecting confidence. Confidence is a result of a spike in testosterone. You can also achieve this spike by asserting yourself. Assuming the classic hero pose can make you appear—and eventually feel—more confident, even if you are not actually confident at the start.

To conclude, we are the controllers of our own confidence. Learning how to improve it, and what it improves, is crucial. So, control it well!

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