How to Appear Confident When You’re *So* Not Feeling It

We all have days where we don’t want to interact with the outside world. These are the times when you just want to crawl in a hole and hide.

The worst is when you’re actually expected to look confident, whether it be for a presentation at work, a long day at school or an interview. The good news is that, as the old saying goes, you can in fact fake it ’til you make it. It’s possible to trick others into thinking you’re confident, just so you can get through the day, sleep it off and wake up invigorated again.

How should you go about faking confidence, even when you don’t feel up to it? Read these tips for how to appear confident on those days when you’re *so* not feeling it:

No One Is Watching You

When you’re having an off day, it may feel like everyone in the world notices. That woman walking past you on the street totally knows you didn’t do your hair right. That guy up there can see that you didn’t take enough time to pick out your outfit.

It’s a good thing this isn’t true – could you imagine the stress that would be put on your life if everyone was watching? Look, the people you pass on the street only see you once, and they’re so busy in their own heads that it’s highly unlikely they would notice you, let alone your bad hair day.

Talk to Someone

The worst person to talk to when you’re feeling down is yourself. When you’re alone with your thoughts, it’s easy to feel lost and unconfident. That’s why you should take yourself on a walk and talk with someone. It can be anyone from a street vendor to a customer in line at a coffee shop.

These small conversations will ease you out of your head and into the moment. Talking with a stranger gives many people a confidence boost, as well.

If you don’t feel up to going out, however, you can always turn to friends. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and chat with an old pal. Even the quickest of talks with someone you love can be memorable and leave you feeling more upbeat.

Eye Contact

It really leaves an impression on a person when you can make proper eye contact. Don’t just look them in the eye when you’re speaking, either. You should look at them and listen when it’s their turn to talk, as well.

Whatever you do, don’t look at your phone when talking to someone – or anywhere in public, technically. Not only is it rude, but it also makes you a target for low self-confidence.

The next time you run into someone, try not to look away when you talk to them. You could practice this when you’re having a friendly conversation with a stranger, as suggested in the last tip.

Posture Is Power

It’s a shame that things have stooped low for you, but maybe it’s because you’re literally stooping low as well. Body posture is a key factor in how you feel. Research has shown that slouching causes decreased energy levels.

One great way to harness the positive benefits of posture is to strike a power pose. This involves making yourself open and full, taking up more space. Spending a few minutes in a power pose can help you maintain composure and confidence. Most of all, it’ll help you feel powerful.

Here are some examples of power poses:

  • Place your hands on your hips with your elbows out and chest puffed up.
  • Stand with your legs farther apart than normal.
  • Lift your arms over your head and spread them into a V shape.
  • Stand with your hands rest on a table, and lean over the table.


Speak Slower

When you’re nervous, you talk faster. One of the hallmarks of nervous people is shaky, rushed speech. In order to appear more confident, you must slow down.

Just think about the person you’re talking to. If you speak a mile a minute, they won’t understand your message as well as you thought. There’s nothing wrong with pausing. It makes you appear more dramatic and it gives you and the person you’re speaking to enough time to collect your thoughts.

Dress for Success

Nothing screams confidence more than wearing an excellent outfit. When you dress well, people perceive you as more powerful.

You’ve probably heard your friends say that they always feel good when they wear black. Try wearing an outfit with lots of black to feel slick. If you’re not really in the mood for the gothic look, just wear your favorite clothes. You’ll find that when you look your best, your mind will think so as well. Dressing sharply is enough to put anyone at ease for a while.

These tips should give you the confidence you need to power through an off day, and feel your best no matter what life throws at you.

What do you think? Share your confidence-boosting tips in the comments!

This post first appeared at

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Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and blogger sharing advice on career development, leadership, and finding happiness and success at work and in life. Catch Sarah on Twitter @SarahLandrum and be sure to subscribe to the Punched Clocks newsletter for more great tips.

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