Even the most confident women feel self-conscious at some point. It affects all of us. Whether we’re at a big meeting at work or meeting our partner’s parents for the first time, paying more attention to our body language can help us look and feel more-self assured – no matter how nervous we really are.
After all, body language is more important than you might think. Studies show that almost 55 per cent of our communication is through non-verbal cues, like facial expressions, gestures and posture. Meanwhile, seven per cent of any message is conveyed through words and 38 per cent through certain vocal elements.
The Power of Body Language
Since non-verbal cues are such a big part of every interaction, Christine Gagnon, a synergologist and expert in non-verbal communication, helped me disect how we can use our body language to make us feel more confident instantly.
“How we feel on the inside is portrayed through our body language,” says Gagnon.
“Keeping your chin up, using and moving your body without any constraint, and taking up space in your environment are a few signs of confidence demonstrated through body language.”
Read more to learn all about Gagnon’s tips on how to appear more confident in some of life’s most nerve-racking moments:
How to Feel More Confident When You’re… At a Job Interview
Chest up! “This will force you to sit up straighter and lean forward, showcasing your interest in the subject, and confidence in what you’re talking about.”
How to Feel More Confident When You’re… On a First Date
Look deep into their eyes. No, seriously! “Take the time to look your date in the eyes, to touch him or her when appropriate, and to take up your space in the environment.”
How to Feel More Confident When You’re…Meeting Your Partner’s Parents For The First Time
Keep calm. Charm them on. “Relax your shoulders – they will likely be hunched over because of nerves. If they are relaxed, they will move more often and with more fluidity, showcasing confidence and openness.”
How to Feel More Confident When You’re… Public Speaking
The goal is to look like you’re a natural, even if you hate speaking in front of others. “Do not remain completely still. Remember to move, use your space, and you will not only look more confident but give off the impression that you truly believe in what you are presenting.”
How to Feel More Confident When You’re… In an Big Meeting
Be expressive. “The hands are a visible extension of the brain. Use them to express your emotion, your ideas and your personality to others. Your employer will notice how dynamic you are and believe in what you are saying because you believe in it too.”
The Body Confidence Hack We Love
A common confidence issue Gagnon notices often is when people are trying to cover up a part of their body that they’re self-conscious of.
Whether it’s a case of keratosis pilaris (small bumps on skin) or a scar, people tend to unconsciously project their insecurity to the entire room when they’re trying not to bring attention to a certain part of their body, she says. If you’re new to the world of body makeup, she recommends Dermablend Professional Leg & Body Makeup.
Using body makeup can help you spend less time and energy trying to hide or conceal parts of yourself so that you can focus more on being in the moment.
For example, if you’re insecure about something on your arms, you might be giving the impression that you’re closed off and want to keep to yourself, Gagnon explains.
Our Journey to Self-Confidence
Remember that the road to self-confidence isn’t linear. Some days we’ll feel like we’re Beyoncé. And other days we’ll be using these tips a bit more often. Try not to sweat the small stuff, we’ve got this!