Ask Mariah: How to Improve Your Confidence

Q: How do you improve your self-confidence?

A: Confidence is like a skeleton key for the real world, in that it can open just about any door for you. So it should come as no surprise that we all are, at some point in our lives, on the quest for confidence.

Although I wish there was a magical solution to improve your self-confidence instantly; unfortunately, the answer to your question is quite cliché.

You have to “fake it till you make it.”

If you believe in manifesting, like The Secret, this should feel intuitive because if you fake something for long enough, it will start to become a reality.

How do you get yourself to the point of believing? Start make-believing. Be like a child and make-believe. Act as if you have it already. As you make-believe, you will begin to believe you have received.

Rhonda Byrne, The Secret (2006)

Now while I understand that can be easier said than done, there are two almost foolproof ways you can do this.

Your first option is to pick a confidence idol and pretend to be them, pretending to be you.

Behaving this way is a ridiculous concept, but acting as someone else can allow you to express yourself in ways you usually wouldn’t, because in your mind, your actions are that of the other person.

Being someone else is a fun challenge, but the pretending to be you part is vital here because you need to be true to yourself above all else.

For me, my confidence idol is Ariana Grande.

There’s no doubt the 26-year-old pop singer has BDE and the enviable attitude of someone who does not take herself too seriously.

When in a situation where I need a heavy dose of confidence, I always think of Ariana, specifically of her at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.

While posing on the pink carpet, Grande did what she wanted, and when paparazzi badgered her for it, she said, “and what about it.”

This statement is powerful because essentially, she’s saying, “I’m doing what’s right for me. What are you going to do about it?”

So if you are doing something that makes you feel comfortable and confident, like posing exclusively with you good-side, and aren’t hurting anyone or breaking any laws, then no one can stop you.

This has worked for me, because like with my confidence idol when I do what I feel is best for me, I feel more comfortable and confident as a result.

That said, while imitating your idol, you still need to be true to yourself.

You don’t need to dance on a bar because Tyra Banks did in Coyote Ugly, and you don’t need to try to become your idol by changing who you are. The idea is to think “what would (insert celeb) do,” and channel that energy.

If this approach doesn’t work for you, an alternative option is to boil everything done to an “okay, so,” scenario.

For example, “okay, so Jennifer is wearing an almost identical look. That means I dressed appropriately for the occasion and have a talking point with her.”

“Okay, so I didn’t make the best impression with my new coworker. All I can do is try to be polite and professional the next time I see them.”

Using this statement works because you can reflect on a potential confidence killer and reframe it for your benefit.

Gaining confidence through either of these ways will take time, but putting in the effort will have a lasting impact. Whatever you do, try not to take yourself too seriously, doing so will only hinder your chances of exuding confidence.

Ask Mariah is an advice column where there are no stupid questions, and nothing is off-limits. To ask Mariah a question of your own, send a direct message to @oddityandco on Instagram.

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