FAKE IT TILL YA MAKE IT: pretending to be confident

wpid-wp-1446065607453.jpgI’m not really a outgoing person. I get anxious when the supermarket is too busy or someone stands too close to me, but I’ve overcome a lot of my problems in the past few years, and even when I’m not feeling 100% about a situation, I’m better equipped do deal with unfamiliarity and stress.

1. SASHA FIERCE IT. Do like Beyoncé and let your imaginary alter-ego do the hard work. You don’t have to name them or release and album about them, but just acting as though you’re playing the part of a confident person is a great way to get through uncomfortable situations.

2. DOMINATE YOUR SPACE. Don’t like, get up in everyone’s face or anything, but open gestures create a sense of ease and confidence in your surroundings. Unfold your arms, stretch your legs, stand up straight! Actively cowering from the world doesn’t help you confront it.

3. BE NICE. Even if that means putting yourself out of your comfort zone to be extra polite to people. If you come across as a bit prickly, you set off a vicious circle of people avoiding you, then feeling bad, then acting miserable, etc. Break that cycle with a few kind gestures and you’ll soon find life more manageable.

4. SMILE! You don’t have to go around grinning like an idiot, but forcing a smile is an instant mood lifter. Sometimes when I’m sat at the computer by myself I’ll smile and I feel good immediately. Something to do with what the body associates with smiling, perhaps? I read an article about it years ago and honestly I think it works. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, crack a big fake one, it feels great, I promise. You’ll also look more approachable and CONFIDENT!

5. GET INDEPENDENT. Do things by yourself. People look at me like I’m mad for going to the cinema or sitting in restaurants by myself, but it’s a great exercise in self-reliance and the more I do it, the less I care about what other people think. Do I look like some girl who got stood up on a date? Doesn’t matter! I’m enjoying myself and that’s all that matters. You soon stop worrying about whether you’ll have company to do the things you love, unless it’s tennis or something, in which case, definitely find at least one person to do that with.

And you guys? What have you found helps get you through anxiety? I don’t think any of these tips are quick fixes, but they were certainly huge aids for me in terms of growing as a person.

– Niko

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