Three Ways to Increase Your Self-Confidence

Self-confidence definitely belongs in a conversation on health, since it makes for better mental health, and being self-confident means that you’ll be happier, make more money, and meet more beautiful women. In general, self-confidence just makes life a whole lot better. Here are three ways to increase your self-confidence; these methods have scientific backing.

The first step is to understand that hardly anyone is thinking about you.

I’ve sometimes thought that despite a fairly long life in which I can’t remember many things that I’ve done or said, every embarrassing thing I’ve ever done stands out clearly in my memory.

But almost undoubtedly, no one else remembers any of them. How do I know this? Because I can’t remember any embarrassing thing anyone else has ever done. Or if I possibly could, by digging deep into my memories, I don’t feel embarrassed for the person that did the action. I  attribute it to common humanity, to foibles of which we’re all capable.

If I can’t remember others’ past embarrassments, or don’t care about them, why should I care about mine? Why should you care about yours? They happened, they’re over and done with. Dwelling on them only harms you. Forget them.

The Spotlight Effect

Perhaps my biggest barrier to increasing my self-confidence was the idea that people would look down on me if I did something out of the norm.

One of the main features of self-confidence is doing what you want without caring what others think.

And the first step in not caring what others think is to realize that they don’t think about you very much at all.

People are ensconced in their own lives. Each of us are at the center of our own life. How much do you think of your neighbors or coworkers when they’re not right in front of you? Exactly — hardly at all.

The spotlight effect is the name given in psychology to the idea that people think they are noticed much more than they really are. (I was surprised to discover that psychology only recently gave it this name, which I learned from Titus Hauer.)

Egocentrism, the fact that we are the center of our own world, explains the spotlight effect. We just don’t know or care much what others are doing.

Are you worried about what others will think of your new clothes or haircut? Most of them couldn’t care less.

Concerned about being rejected when you approach an attractive woman? Even if you do get rejected, the woman in question will forget about it much faster than you.

No one is thinking about you.

Fake it ’til you make it

The fact that people don’t think about you, or even know you all that well, means that they take what you say and do at face value.

If you act with self-confidence in what you do, others will believe that’s just who you are.

So fake it ’til you make it. Act as if you had all the self-confidence in the world, and soon you will.

Muhammad Ali used to boast, “I am the greatest.” That wasn’t just boasting — although it was that too — he was faking it until he made it. He had yet to face the toughest fighters in the world, yet he insisted he was the greatest.

And Ali became the greatest.

He was bucking himself up. He was infusing himself with self-confidence.

The philosopher Pascal said that the key to belief was not professing that belief, but acting like you already believed it, and then the belief follows.

Believe that you are important. Believe that you are confident. Your beliefs will help to create the facts.

The Impostor Syndrome

The impostor syndrome is the belief that you are somehow a fraud, that you don’t belong in your position, or don’t deserve accolades for what you do, or even that you’re incompetent and fraudulently representing your skills, intelligence, or status.

The impostor syndrome is very prevalent. According to Infogalactic, “Psychological research done in the early 1980s estimated that two out of five successful people consider themselves frauds and other studies have found that 70 percent of all people feel like impostors at one time or another.

The impostor syndrome is almost the opposite of self-confidence. It’s crucial to increasing your self-confidence to conquer the impostor syndrome, and if you’re intelligent and/or ambitious, chances are good you have it.

The way to overcome the impostor syndrome is very similar to the way to overcome the spotlight effect: realize that it’s very common, and many or most successful people have it to one degree or another. Another way to overcome impostor syndrome is as stated above: fake ’til you make it.


A man who is fully self-confident, who acts with honor and in good faith, doesn’t care what others think. He uses his own judgment, and acts.

But if you still care about what others think and want to overcome it, just realize that others are not thinking about you, and they care even less.

If you act to overcome a lack of self-confidence by faking it until making it, you will overcome.

And if you feel like a fraud in acting with self-confidence, realize that this is an extremely common feeling, of little consequence.


PS: Another great way to build self-confidence is by building muscle, as described in my book, Muscle Up.

PPS: Check out my Supplements Buying Guide for Men.



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Three Ways to Increase Your Self-Confidence | Technology and Longevity Feed says October 14, 2016

[…] Original Article: Three Ways to Increase Your Self-Confidence […]

Laguna Beach Fogey says October 14, 2016

ZFG! Within reason, of course.

    P. D. Mangan says October 14, 2016

    Yes, exactly right, LBF.

Nick says October 16, 2016

Excellent point about how nobody else cares or even remembers the things that you torture yourself over having done.

That said, I will never forget how that kid that puked milk out his nose in Kindergarten that one time 46 years ago. Hope he’s gotten over it.

Barrington says October 16, 2016

Mangan great post at a great time for me, things are really rolling, finally got over the hump of starting a side business, small but it’s doing great. All of these feelings I can relate to in the past couple weeks. Hope you’re still dead lifting! I go for my 6th blood donation first week of November!

    Barrington says October 16, 2016

    6th of this year alone

    P. D. Mangan says October 17, 2016

    Hey Barrington, impressive! I am still deadlifting, yes.

AO says October 17, 2016

One of the best posts I have read on what is truly a blog with consistently outstanding content.

I actually do or did all of these things to greater or lesser extents, and often lack the self awareness to notice. Having it told to me is really eye opening and humbling. I’ll be taking notes tonight.

    P. D. Mangan says October 17, 2016

    Thanks, AO – very much appreciated. I actually hesitated in publishing it.

      Barrington says October 19, 2016

      We are glad you did publish it, this definitely ties in to health.

René says October 17, 2016

Excellent post. You are absolutely describing my (unnecessary) thoughts in a lot situations. Will read this article a few times again.
Don’t hesitate to post more of this kind of wisdom. It’s always great to learn from men twice my age!

    P. D. Mangan says October 17, 2016

    Thanks, René. Sometimes I think, like the Habsburgs (or was it the Bourbons?), I’ve learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

Paloma says October 19, 2016

This post has surprised me in a very good way. I did not expect this subject here, but I am really happy that I read your words. I was the kind of person that is always obsessed and embarrassed about their past failures, now I am on my way to overcome it, and this is the kind of stuff I need to go through.
Most men live in fear and emasculated in many ways, I believe that it is a real common problem nowadays.
However, I find that your words can also apply to women. Thank you!

    P. D. Mangan says October 19, 2016

    Hi Paloma – 1. I’m glad you’re still a reader, you’ve been around here awhile. 2. That’s great to hear that you’re overcoming some of your past failures, and that I may have helped. As I mentioned above, I hesitated to write this on the grounds it was a subject outside of my self-designated area. While I can consider myself an expert in health and fitness, I’m much lees an expert in psychology, or in motivation and success, and merely consider myself an ordinary (albeit smart!) man. So it’s good you and others found this useful – stay tuned, another similar article is coming today.

Paloma says October 19, 2016

Hi P.D.! Yes, I have been here ever since I discovered this great blog. It is one of my favourites 🙂

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