How can you be more confident? Well, I’ve got a confession to make. About ten years ago, when I was just starting college, I had no confidence. I couldn’t raise my hand in class. I couldn’t talk to women. I felt awkward in like every social situation. But let’s contrast that with who I am now. I make these videos and put them on display for tens of thousands of people. I can walk into any room, talk to anyone, meet anyone, and have a great time. I can speak about my ideas, my projects, my business with unwavering confidence. How did I develop this confidence? Well, I’m Derek Halpern, the founder of Social Triggers, the place where entrepreneurs and executives go to learn about influence marketing and more. And the answer might surprise you. I’ll never forget this. It was the summer between freshman and sophomore year of college, and I finally was fed up with my lack of confidence. So what did I do? 00:01:00.480 --> 00:01:04.580 I faked it.
I would think, “how would a confident person act in a situation just like this?” And I would act just like that. Seriously, I wasn’t in a confident person, but I pretended to be confident. And after an entire summer, I actually taught myself how to become confident. Now, you probably have one of two questions. First, does this really work? The answer is yes, and I’ve got some interesting research to back it up. And the second question is, “Derek, I know how confident people act, but I could never act that way What can I do?” Well, I’ve got a simple solution for you as well, so keep watching this video. First, let’s talk about the research. As Amy Cuddy revealed in her remarkable TED talk, your body changes your mind. Now I recommend you watch her full TED talk when you get a chance because it’s awesome, but for right now, here’s the gist of it. When you hold a pen in your teeth like this, you feel more happy.
Why? Because you’re forcing a smile. And that smile tells your brain you’re happy, even if you aren’t. The act of smiling makes you feel happier. You know what? Try it right now. Put a big cheesy smile on your face. I’ll wait. Amy took it a step further too. She discovered that when you assume a power stance like this for two minutes, your body release testosterone and you feel more powerful and confident. So, smiling makes you happier, assuming the power stance makes you feel more powerful and confident. And this is why faking confidence for an entire summer helped me to become confident. Just like Amy Cuddy said, my body changed my mind. So, I know your body can change your mind, too. Now, this leaves us with one question. How can you pretend to be confident when you don’t know how to pretend to be confident? I’ll tell you exactly what I did. I practiced, but I only practiced when I had nothing at stake. I’ll explain. As an example, every time I would walk up to a cashier or a server, I would take that opportunity to pretend to be confident.
I knew they were paid to be nice to me, so I thought, “Huh, why not practice on them?” I’d walk up and say, “Hey, how are you?” And I’d begin to make small talk and speak as if I was the most confident person on Earth. I’ll tell you exactly what I said to them in just a second, but this practice was essential. And soon, I became comfortable with pretending to be confident. And that allowed me to pretend to be confident in almost every other situation. Then I noticed, as the summer progressed, I was no longer pretending to be confident anymore. I was just confident. Thanks dude. So, if you’re working on your confidence, here’s what I want you to do: The next time you’re talking to a server or a cashier, pretend to be confident. What exactly should you say? When the person ringing you up provides you with the bill, just say, “Wait, it’s not free today?” And put a big smile on your face. You’ll laugh, they’ll laugh, and everyone will have a great time.
And that positive feedback will put you one step closer to being confident in social situations. Now, I have some homework for you. No matter who you are, whether you’re the most confident person in the world or you’re struggling with confidence… Today, I want you to go out and talk to a cashier and use this line that I shared with you today. I want you to say, “Wait, it’s not free today?” Then, I want you to come and leave a comment on this blog post and let me know how it went. Now, I have a request. Do you have a friend or colleague that’s struggling with their confidence? Send them a link to this article.