5 Tricks to Feel Confident When You're Freaking Out

You probably know someone that fits this description: they’re fabulous, confident, and on top of their game 24/7. They’re never frazzled or stressed and they wear their confidence like a nice suit (they might actually wear a nice suit, too). Ha. So not me 24/7 of my days.

I think we’re all a little jealous of seemingly flawless people like this—I know I’m guilty. But the good news is that they don’t have some hidden superpower that the rest of us were born without. They’ve just mastered these 5 tricks to feel more confident even when they’re freaking out inside.

1.     Don’t panic

“Life is 10% what you experience and 90% how you respond to it.”
—Dorothy M. Neddermeyer

It’s totally okay to feel nervous before taking a big step. Just make sure to stop that small case of nerves from becoming a full-blown panic attack. Panicking leads to brain farts which leads to more panicking. Not pretty, trust me.

So instead of thinking “I’m going to blow this presentation and then my boss will think I’m an idiot and then I’ll never get that promotion and then...” take a few deep breaths and pump the brakes on that negative train of thought. The hijack of the stories we make up in our minds is definitely paralyzing.

2.     Run a mental playlist of wins

Remember your most awesome “hell yeah!” moments and think about how great you felt. Now imagine adding another moment to that album. It sounds corny, but professional athletes can tell you that going through a mental playlist of wins quickly pumps up your self-assurance.

3.     Check your body language

Time to echo your mother: stand up straight! Seriously, body language can be just as powerful as everything going on in your mind. Whenever I have to give a big talk and I’m afraid I won’t knock it out of the park, I stand up tall, pull my shoulders back, and widen my stance. It’s like a power pose that instantly snaps me into champion mode. (Watch Amy Cuddy's TED Talk to learn more about power posing.)

4.     Smile

A smile, real or fake, can decrease stress and boost happiness. So slap on a grin, even if you have to force it. Who knows? You might actually feel more confident. Plus, wearing a smile can make other people believe that you’re more confident than you feel, which is a total win-win when you’re looking to make a good impression or hide those sweaty palms.

5.     Get Moving

I always more clearheaded after a good run, but honestly finding the time proves tough for me. The good news is you don’t need to hit the gym for hours to feel the same way. Get up from your chair, walk around, or stretch at your desk to get your blood pumping. These simple actions help clear your mind so you can focus on taking actionable steps toward small goals.

Next time you find your panic rising, for whatever reason, enlist one of these 5 tricks. I promise, you'll feel more confident faster than ever before.

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