How to Exude Confidence – 15 Steps Any Man Can Follow

How to Exude Confidence – 15 Steps Any Man Can Follow

How to Exude Confidence – 15 Steps Any Man Can Follow

how to exude confidence

I hate the old advice of “fake it til you make it”. How can pretending to be confident lead to the real thing? It’s like traveling South to get to the North Pole.

That being said, becoming more confident is a hell of a task, and it requires that you do things that don’t feel natural to you. This is not the same as being fake, in fact it’s more about putting an end to the comfortable fakery.

And while my work as a confidence coach is focused on the long-term goal of true inner confidence and integrity, I also understand that it helps to feel more confident as you work on building it.

And even though hoping other people will see you as confident is actually a trap that makes you care too much about what people think, it can help in your journey to get positive feedback and admiration for your confidence, to validate that you’re on track.

So in this post, I’m going to give you some of my quickest confidence building tips. Hopefully these will be easy self-corrections that will boost your confidence in the short term so you’re better able to do the long term inner work.

These are in no particular order, and not all of them will apply to everyone. Pick and choose ONE to get started with today, and then come back to the list once you’ve mastered it, to choose another.

Note: for a working definition of “confidence”, check out this post I did a while back.

1: Be honest (don’t lie or manipulate)

Confident people don’t have to play games to get what they want. Being honest is the easiest way to ensure you’re not playing games.

People admire and respect honesty because they know how scary it is, and they find it refreshing.

But honesty is a lifelong piece of self-development work. It’s dependent on courage (being brave enough to face the consequences of your honesty), and awareness (knowing what your truth actually is).

Push yourself to be as honest as you can handle being right now. And when it’s too hard, at least don’t lie. Stay silent or leave if you must. Think of every lie as a step backwards in the journey to being confident.

2: Strong posture (no slouching)

Your body movement and posture can actually control your neurotransmitters to some extent. With the right posture, you can provoke the release of dopamine and serotonin.

The simplest thing to keep in mind is your chest being prominent. Not sticking it out like a gym-gorilla, but more like exposing the chest and neck like a lion who has no fear of competition. This makes you immensely more respectable and attractive.

Take a deep breath in all the way, and pull yourself up to the most straight and perfect posture, like a ballerina. Pull your shoulders back and push your chest out.

Then let out half a breath while allowing your body to naturally relax with the release of air. Pause when half the air is out. That is about the best posture for confidence without being too military-rigid.

3: Show true emotions (don’t fake or squash feelings)

Another word for confident is shameless. Your long-term goal is to become a man with nothing to hide because he has no fear of other people’s opinions.

Shame is lying about your emotions. Confidence doesn’t mean the absence of unpleasant emotions; it just means you’re shameless about experiencing them.

Share them like they are just a cloud passing in the sky. Nothing to be too serious about, but not dismissing them either.

It’s perfectly confident to say, “I get anxious in situations like this,” especially if you say it with strength, like it’s OK to feel this way.

If anyone mocks your emotions, give them a look like they’re a bizarre alien who doesn’t understand how life works, and then say, “Anyway…” and continue, ignoring what they said completely.

4: Maintain eye contact (no looking down or away)

Your eyes tell people a story about where you are focused. When you look down and away in response to eye contact, the story is, “I’m scared of you seeing me”.

That being said, you don’t want to stare at people like a freak. A basic guiding principle to get you started is, 90% when they’re talking, and 50% when you’re talking. 

Or put it this way; if I were to quiz you, you should be able to tell me the eye color of everyone you’ve spoken to in the last 10 minutes.

5: Listen carefully (don’t think of what to say next)

Ironically, giving other people a sense of confidence in themselves is the strongest way to make them feel that you are confident.

People rarely listen well. Everyone’s always just waiting for their turn to talk, or panicking about what they should say next. 

Give someone the gift of being truly heard, and they will tell others that you’re a confident person.

Let go of whatever it is that comes up in your mind while they’re talking. Dismiss it and come back to paying full attention to them… no matter who they are. Listen to them like they are giving you the most rich and meaningful information you will ever hear. 

I call this “charismatic listening”.

You might notice things you never noticed, like maybe they’re lying, or they’re nervous, or they find you attractive. This stuff is easy to spot when you’re actually paying attention.

3: Seek the optimistic viewpoint (don’t complain)

False positivity is not confidence, quite the opposite really. But optimism is confidence.

Optimism is about seeing the good, the opportunities, and the strengths in every situation and every person. It doesn’t mean you try to be happy all the time or pretend that you like everything, it just means you’re always looking for things that are in your favor.

Insecure people are either falsely positive or pessimistic. Confident people acknowledge the hardships of the world but approach these with the optimistically responsible attitude of, “So how can we make the most of this?”

4: Humorously agree with all criticism (don’t get defensive)

Getting defensive projects the idea that you need defending; like there’s something wrong with you, or something you have to prove.

Confident people don’t have to prove anything to anyone.

So when you’re attacked with criticism, mockery or scorn, do the opposite of what you feel urged to do (i.e. fight or flight), and humorously agree with them instead!

I don’t mean pretend that you agree, but rather find the truth in what they’re saying and double-down on it. This will steal the attack away from them while simultaneously showing humility and humor.

For example, if someone says that you’re stupid for what you believe in, you can smile and say, “Well, I have been wrong at least twice before in my life, so there’s always a chance.” This will do more than any counter-argument ever could.

5: State your thoughts with a headline (don’t ramble)

Insecure people either overshare in an attempt to keep people’s attention or to perfectly share their thoughts, or they keep quiet out of fear of judgment.

Confident people concisely state powerful truths and don’t explain more than is asked for. Think of it like reading a news article. Start with a ‘headline’ that sums up the main point in a single sentence. 

For example, rather than telling a long, rambling story about your travel experience, you could start with something like, “Thailand is, without doubt, my favorite country in the world.”

Then you wait for them to ask for more.

6: Strong voice tone (no mumbling)

Your voice can betray you, and if it sounds weak you will feel less confident, even when what you’re saying is correct.

Talk like you’re in a large noisy room and need to reach a person further away. Don’t shout, but talk loudly enough that you’re impossible to ignore (adjusting for the situation you’re in).

Speak slowly. Pause between sentences. Allow the bass from your chest to project your voice.

Avoid using the Nice Guy “gentle” voice that you often hear from retail staff. Talk with balls, as if you’re the leader of the tribe.

7: Stand up for yourself and your loved ones (don’t tolerate disrespect)

If you slip with maintaining boundaries, you lose massive respect points from others while also feeling disappointed in yourself.

No matter what else you do from this list, you cannot ever tolerate disrespect. This doesn’t mean you need to fight a battle, it just means you need to speak up whenever someone crosses the line.

Keep it simple and calm, like you’re keeping your favorite nephew on track. Just state simply whether you like or dislike something, and remind people of any agreements they’ve made with you that they are now breaching.

You don’t need to win the argument, you just need to show resistance to being disrespected. Even if the whole group turns on you, stand strong.

8: Do everything like it’s your passion (no half-assing)

If you can’t do something like it’s the most important thing to do, then don’t do it.

As I always say, “Confidence dies in Maybe.”

Whether it’s listening to your date’s life story, or washing the dishes, or writing an email, give it your full focus and do it to the best of your ability.

No multitasking unless you absolutely must. Give each task and activity and person your entire attention. Go all in rather than being distracted and split.

9: Observe the strengths in others (don’t judge and criticize)

Insecure people judge others, as a reflection of how much they judge themselves. Confident people look for the good in others, as they look for the good in themselves.

Whenever you’re observing someone or interacting with them, set your radar to look for strengths. No matter how superior you feel to them, push that ignorance aside and search them for qualities you respect and admire.

Once you find those qualities, share them with that person or others who are observing. Be the guy who sees the potential in others rather than the guy who bitches and gossips.

10: Take your time (don’t rush)

As Henry Hill said in Goodfellas, “Paulie moved slow, but that’s because Paulie didn’t have to move for anybody.”

Move like wherever you are and whatever you’re doing and whoever you’re with is exactly what is supposed to be happening. A confident person never has somewhere else to be. They are the event.

Move slowly. Think things through (but don’t overthink your decisions). Consider what you want to say before you speak. Walk like you’re enjoying the scenery.

11: Constantly improve your health (don’t disrespect your body)

While confidence is an experience in your mind, your brain – the house of your mind – is just an organ. It depends completely on the healthy functioning of your entire body.

Every bite you eat is a point for or against confidence. Movement, or lack thereof, determines your overall energy levels and therefore the limits of your confidence. Nutrition and exercise are the gateways – you can only be as confident as you are healthy!

Think through what your choices are before you eat. Which choice most respects your body? Do you really need to drink alcohol? Can you survive skipping that ice cream today?

And finally…

12: Work on genuine confidence (no faking it!)

While this list will give you some quick-fix techniques, the overall work should always be about long term inner confidence and self-worth. Don’t sacrifice feeling confident in the future for feeling comfortable now.

This means whatever you do, avoid short-term tactics that have bad long-term side effects. Things like faking confidence, or spending money to look rich, or using dishonesty to seduce girls. These things ruin your long-term efforts and take you backwards.

Always start with some core values you admire, like honesty, bravery, compassion etc., and only take actions that align with those values.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and check out some more articles you may like to continue your self improvement journey!

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