We all remember the phrases and sayings we grew up with that we learned from our teachers, parents, and mentors. As young and impressionable children, it was often these short quips that helped guide our everyday lives. From "You are what you eat" to "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," we have gone years--and for some of us, decades--regarding these catch phrases as impenetrable truths.

But when is the last time we challenged just how wise these popular sayings really are?

Here's a longstanding catchphrase you are certainly familiar with: "Fake it 'til you make it." With this, we have learned that if we act as if we already have or embody the traits we desire, then surely we can realize those qualities in real life. This is supposed to ring true especially in the realm of acquiring impermeable confidence, something many of us seek.

However, this fake it adage may be doing you more harm than good. In The Confidence Code, written by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, the authors explain how "knowingly masquerading as something we're not makes us anxious." If faking confidence is not the best move, here are three alternative methods to authentically show and gain the confidence you need:

1. Recall past successes

Remember your last achievement, the one that filled you with pride? Take note of how you felt, looked, or even sounded during this moment. Recall how you managed to do so many things right at this time. Doing so will help you project and embody your most-confident self. When we are more aware of our strengths and past successes, we are more likely to believe in our capabilities and in ourselves.

2. Adjust your body language

Yes, the way you feel affects your body. If you feel depressed, you're more likely to slump and look down. However, the reverse is true as well! If you hold your body in a high-power pose--head held high, shoulders back, standing straight with a widened stance--this posture will lead to increased feelings of power and strength, and a higher tolerance of risk.

3. Look for small opportunities to be brave, and act!

It is the little things that count. "Do one small brave thing, and then the next will be easier. And soon confidence will flow," say Kay and Shipman. Whether it's talking to someone new or trying a new activity, you'll gain confidence by learning about your success or ability to survive.

We live in a world where all of our technological devices require occasional updates, so why not refresh the expressions we have been using too?

On the road to confidence, you'll have to put in more work than merely faking it 'til you make it. And, as they always say, there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Published on: Aug 14, 2017
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