Bar lighting and bad karaoke set the mood for Bridget O’Connor’s night out with friends. While waiting for a watered-down Long Island Ice Tea and talking to an attractive guy she had just met, she was feeling good about herself. But when he complimented her good looks, she instantly responded, “I know,” which she instantly regretted.
“I feel like I shouldn’t have said that and I should have been more taken aback or shocked. It sounded cockier than I meant it to,” O’Connor tells MiLLENNiAL.
O’Connor is not alone in this thought process. 59 percent of millennials described their generation as “self-absorbed,” according to Pew Research Center.
It can be difficult to discriminate where the line between self-assurance and self-absorption is when placed in a nerve-wracking situation. Implementing these three simple tricks will allow you to gain confidence and dispel notions of conceitedness.
Add Some Secret Sauce to Your Online Dating Page
You may be behind a screen while online dating, but that only adds to the pressure of properly presenting yourself to potential suitors. From tone-appropriate punctuation to timely responses, a variety of elements can throw off your online dating game.
Julia Spira is the founder and CEO of CyberDatingExpert.com. She has spent over 20 years helping men and women discover love on the Internet.
“Confidence is the ultimate aphrodisiac,” Spira tells us. 15 percent of American adults have used online dating sites or mobile apps, with 18-24 year olds usage increasing threefold, according to Pew Research Center. Spira has what she calls the “secret sauce” that turns a good profile into a radiant one.
“Poses matter. Guys look more confident when they cross their arms,” Spira says, “for women, her smile and the sparkle in her eyes will evoke confidence.”
Spira points out that good poses emits approachability rather than cockiness, noting that highlighting the right attributes makes your page inviting, allowing you to stand out from the rest.
Relate to Others in a Positive Way
Deborah Feltz is a distinguished professor of kinesiology at Michigan State University. She has studied self-efficacy in individuals, athletes, coaches and sports officials for 35 years. She says, “Self-efficacy is a special confidence in which you determine what you think it takes to be successful.”
While in graduate school, Feltz saw a group of women running in a 10K. While these women didn’t necessarily seem athletic, they certainly had an impact on Feltz.“It made me think, ‘Hey, I can do that, too,’” she admits.
Other people can have a big impact on how we see ourselves, but instead of comparing yourself to others in a negative way, admire other’s success as a means of fueling your own. This will not only emit confidence within, but it will allow you to practice humility.
“If you have been successful in the past or you see people similar to you being successful, then you will feel more confident about your future success,” Feltz says. Adopting a role model or mentor could also benefit your confidence.
“A boss, coach or any person who thinks you have the quality to achieve your goals can serve as a source of confidence,” Feltz insists, “However, they have to have some type of credibility and they have to be trusted. Your mom telling you that you can do anything does not count.”
Create a Pre-Interview Power Playlist
Isabelle Fontaine is an expert in performance psychology and emotional intelligence. From being asked to do her own TED Talk to being the keynote speaker at the Charlott’ lingerie convention in Pairs, Fontaine practices what she preaches about courage. One of her tips for boosting confidence gives practitioners something in common with Olympic athletes.
“Olympic athletes have three to four songs they listen to while training,” Fontaine says, “the composition of these songs resonate with the athletes and releases endorphins.” This release doesn’t solely apply to athletes. Creating a power playlist to listen to before going to an interview, giving a big presentation at work or going on a first date can also turbo charge your confidence.
For Evan Boyd, a junior at the University of Wisconsin, he could use a pump up playlist as a warm up before rocking out on his radio show at WSUM FM.
“Pre-show jitters are unpreventable, and when you’re about to talk on air you don’t want your voice to crack like a pre-pubescent boy,” Boyd shares, “and if something goes wrong, my first reaction, as well as plenty of other DJ’s, is to panic.”
Luckily for Boyd, he has the key to confidence at the tip of his fingers in the station. Some pre-show music in the studio could drastically improve his mood.
“Music can be a source of your confidence if you are what [psychologist’s] perceive to be psychologically ready, or ‘psyched up’ as we say in sports psychology,” Feltz explains.
If you fear that you are coming off as vain instead of poised, remain calm. Confidence is attainable even when your mind is temporarily clouded with nerves and expectation. Utilizing these different methods will allow you bring out the confidence that you have always had within you.