Fake Confidence vs Real Confidence and Steps to Get the Latter

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First, fake confidence works to an extent and if it’s all you have — use it. I’ll be the first to admit that I have used “fake” confidence to get things done.

The most memorable time I used fake confidence was my first ballroom dance competition. I did not know what to expect, I had only been dancing with my teacher for six months, and here I was in a competition with people who had danced this style of dance for years. I prayed and then I channeled my inner goddess. Keeping it real, I looked the part, I felt the energy, but my dance moves were so-so.

Fake confidence works for a short period of time. After some time and for a good number of people, the fake confidence actually becomes an insecurity. You develop the belief that you’re just faking it, that you’re really not that good, and the self-doubt starts to eat away at any blooming confidence.

What’s the difference between real confidence and fake confidence?

In the context of what we are talking about, real confidence is “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” As in the sentence, “she’s brimming with confidence!”

Fake confidence is pretending to have self-assurance over one’s own abilities or qualities. The key word is “pretending.” When you have to fake confidence you don’t really believe you’re good at what you’re doing or that you possess those personal “qualities.”

The adage, “fake it till you make it” has a ring of truth. This phenomenon of first not having confidence and then somehow, through immersing yourself in the “thing”, you develop confidence, works for some things and some people. For example, in the beginning of my career as a Pilates teacher, I was faking my confidence. After some time and after repeating all the various exercises over and over, I became confident in my ability to teach Pilates.

This method works when you can immerse yourself in the thing you’re faking. If you are able to apply yourself for hours upon hours on the skill you want to develop, then yes, at some point you do “make it” and gain confidence. This is one way to take “fake” confidence and turn it into real confidence.

But many things in life that we want to be confident about — like ourselves and our qualities — are not something we can “immerse” ourselves in.

Some examples would be wanting to feel confident that you are a good person, that you are a lovable person, and that you deserve good things to happen to you. How do you fake that till you believe that? You can’t. At least not in the methods I previously spoke about. I don’t know anyone who has faked being “lovable” so that at some point they realize themselves to be truly — a lovable person.

Limiting beliefs such as these stem from life lessons and repeated experiences where a person’s perception of each experience has made them conclude that they are unworthy in some way. (And it generally happens at a very young age.)

Any attempt at faking confidence at one’s personal qualities is useless because in fact this person will only continue to attract situations that perpetuate the negative self-belief. (So a girl who learns and believes she’s insignificant, will grow up experiencing situations that prove her right. Do you know what I mean?)

Imagine an example where a person has a deep belief that they are unworthy. This can happen when a child grows up ignored as in situations with multiple siblings or parents that are constantly gone or maybe when there isn’t enough “mother-bonding” in the beginning of life. There are many reasons a child can come to believe “I’m unlovable”, “I’m not good enough”, and so on.

As an adult, this negative belief may play out where the individual will continuously choose romantic partners or situations that are not beneficial. Point of fact, they generally choose partners who are emotionally unavailable and / or can’t  give them the kind of love they’re seeking. The person holds hope to be in a loving relationship, but because of their limiting beliefs — which many don’t think they have about themselves — keep sabotaging any love that they might be receiving.

How to Get Real Confidence

I’ve divided this section into two categories. First category will be how to get real confidence in your abilities or skills. The second will be how to get real confidence in your personal qualities.

Top 3 Ways to Get Real Confidence in Your Abilities

1. Choose to be confident in a few skills rather than pretending to know everything. You can still be a “jack of all trades” if that’s your thing, but to have real confidence in a skill, you have to possess more than just “passing” knowledge.

2. Immerse yourself in the skills you want to be known for. Dive in. Learn everything you can about whatever it is you want to be good at and become so well versed that you could teach it to anyone. When you can teach something to someone successfully, that will boost your confidence like no other.

3. Pick skills that you think are fun because when you’re having a good time doing something, the more you will be at ease with it. Being at ease and enjoying the moment lends you to becoming comfortable and the more comfortable you are with something the more confident you are about it. (Ironically, when you’re “faking” confidence in a skill, you actually get yourself in some pretty uncomfortable situations.)

Choose to be confident in a few skills rather than pretending to know everything. Click To Tweet

One of the few skills I’m confident about is my ability to teach others how to move their body. Having been a dancer for most of my life and a fitness professional for over 12 years — from teaching 2nd graders how to dance, adults to stand with good posture, and seniors to move with ease — my experience has taught me that I’m really good at this. Also, I enjoy “moving” so much, that it is a pleasure to teach others, to give them body confidence, freedom through movement, and a way to stay healthy.

Top 3 Ways to Get Real Confidence in Your Personal Qualities

Before I show you how to get more confidence in this regard, name 5 qualities you want to be known for. Here are a list of some admirable qualities:

  • Adventurous
  • Affectionate
  • Assertive
  • Authentic
  • Balanced
  • Benevolent
  • Bold
  • Brave
  • Capable
  • Cheerful
  • Compassionate
  • Confident
  • Creative
  • Curious
  • Decisive
  • Deep
  • Dependable
  • Devoted
  • Disciplined
  • Easy-going
  • Enthusiastic
  • Fair
  • Flexible
  • Forgiving
  • Funny
  • Generous
  • Gentle
  • Good
  • Grateful
  • Helpful
  • Honest
  • Humble
  • Integrity
  • Intuitive
  • Inspiring
  • Intelligent
  • Joyful
  • Just
  • Kind
  • Knowledgeable
  • Lively
  • Logical
  • Loving
  • Loyal
  • Nurturing
  • Optimist
  • Original
  • Passionate
  • Patient
  • Playful
  • Positive
  • Powerful
  • Resourceful
  • Respectful
  • Responsible
  • Sensitive
  • Sincere
  • Spiritual
  • Strong
  • Soulful
  • Thoughtful
  • Trustworthy
  • Understanding
  • Virtuous
  • Visionary
  • Warm
  • Wise
  • Witty

1. Pick a quality you want to be known for and define what this quality means to you. Use a mixture of the dictionary definition and your own words to create a meaning that best suits your ideas of how you want to be perceived. Then, write out how your life would change and benefit if you had more confidence about this. (Do this for your top 5 personal qualities sister!)

This process helps you to “own” the trait by creating your own definition and internalizing  the meaning by articulating how you could benefit. When you make something your own — you accept it as yours. This attitude of ownership — a claiming of “this is me” — helps to develop real confidence.

2. Visualize yourself being the quality you wish to possess. How would you interact with others when you embody this personal quality? Use your mind’s eye — how will others treat you because they see this quality in you. Would they respect you, love you, see you as a valuable and genuine person because of this trait?

Visualizations help you to see the potential in yourself and how your life could be. It also helps you to embody this energy and attract more situations where you can showcase this quality about you. The more that you are encouraged to see yourself as this quality and act in this quality, the more confident you will become that you are this quality.

Visualizations help you to see the potential in yourself and how your life could be. Click To Tweet

3. Heal the issues that have you believing the opposite of what you want. Through some form of self-help or  therapy, remove the blocks that prevent you from possessing the personal qualities you wish. Exercises such as forgiveness work, changing negative belief systems, prayer, and positive thinking are some ways that can help.

At some point in life, you learned that you weren’t “something”  (replace this word with a good quality) and that you were this other “negative” thing (replace this word with a less than admirable quality) — fix that. Close that chapter and throw tons of love at it.

When you heal your negative self-beliefs, the more confidence you will have about the kind of person you want to be. And when you feel good about yourself, the more you are empowered to contribute, share, and shine the light that is within you. (And the world needs you ma!)

When you are able to show people who you really are — that speaks more about your confidence than anything else.

BONUS:: How To Get Real Body Confidence

I wasn’t planning on adding this section, as it wasn’t on my original outline, but earlier this week I got an email from a client who is on my Better Posture in 30 Days Program and her words gave me the confidence to share these ideas too!

1. Improve your posture and raise your body confidence. Standing taller and straighter not only gives the “look” of confidence, it actually helps change your body physiology which goes to improve mood. When you have a better attitude, you are more sure of yourself.

2. Improve your relationship with your body to increase body confidence. The more you accept and love your body, the more you treat your body well and appreciate it. When you are in harmony with your body, you move with an air of pride — like you and your body are in this adventure together (um, because you totally  are!) and it makes you feel like you are on a team of sorts — your body-being and your soul-being run the show together!

3. Heal any bad memories, trauma, and negative beliefs you have regarding your body. To me, this is the most helpful in increasing one’s body confidence. You can decide how you want to heal and where to get help, but I urge for my sisterhood to do this as truly loving and accepting your body — and all its beautiful imperfect parts — will be such a mind and soul reliever that so many things in life will seem like cake after.

Yes, we live in a culture of body-shaming tactics and energy, but we are also the biggest perpetrators of unloving, sometimes — down right hateful — thoughts against our body. We need to stop that. Your soul picked your body to inhabit. If it’s good enough for her, then it must be pretty awesome. (With that said, I’m all about treating one’s body like a temple because that’s just good housekeeping. And yes, because our beautiful soul calls it home and we want to show our gratitude.)

Choose real confidence. This is who you’re meant to be.

Tweet it like you mean it!

Everyday I get a little more confident. I like who I'm turning out to be. Click To Tweet

Need to boost your mojo? Check out my life-coaching service. I got you. 😉

And you got this mama — ROAR!

Your coach,

Jeanne

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