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Chelsea breaks down the strategies, tips, and little tricks for how to be more confident by faking it until you make it. Want to boost your money confidence? Check out this video:


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Hey guys!

It's Chelsea from the financial diet. So this week I wanted to talk to you guys about something that's maybe a little bit less purely financial but which hugely impacts us when it comes to our professional lives, negotiating things or just generally, no matter how much I hate this word "adulting" and that is how to fake being confident.

Because adult life is nothing if not a series of firsts where you have to pretend like you know what you're doing, like you understand the rules and like you can competently advocate for yourself. Whether it's starting your first professional job, renting your firt apartment or even dealing with your first adult break up you're going to have to be navigating all of this situations where you frankly have no clue what you're doing. And you're almost guaranteed to feel a high level of impostors sindrome when you're doing any of these things.

But it's simply not an option to walk into the room and be like "I no idea what I'm doing so please forgive all of my mistakes". So the truth is we all have to fake it until we make it a little bit when it comes to confidence. But I found especially as a small business owner who is also a woman in her twenties in an industry where most people are older man, that faking it until you make it it's actually a pretty efficient way to became confident.

For the past few years my whole life has felt like just one thing after another where I had no clue what I was doing, Ifelt in over my head and I had to just figure it out as I went. But now I genuinely feel confident when I walk into a lot of these situations. For example last year we went to this finacial conference...

It was our first time we were a pretty new company still and we didn't really know what we were doing and we felt pretty overwhelmed by everything. But this year leading up to that same conference we felt totally prepared ahead of the curve and we knew exactly what we wanted to get out of it and the only way we were able to make that happen was by quote unquote faking our way through the first one. So I wanted to share with you some strategies that have really worked for me when it comes to faking my way to confidence.

You can use these when you're negotiating, but you can also just use them when you're walking through a store and you wanna get the best deal possible. Now the most important thing to remeber

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is that everyone is faking it to a certain degree.

The whole principle of moving to a higher job in any kind professional structure is that your first day on that job you're not really qualified for it, you're still figuring it out. So even the highest boss at your company at some point set foot that first day on that job in the office and felt way in over their head.

There's no one, or almost no one, who walks into every social and professional situation and just feels like "I got this, everything is under control, everyone is looking at me in the best possible way and not looking at me like 'who is that imposter that invaded this situation'". So just remembering that even the person at work who might seem like they have it all totally together is still struggling with having to fit into their perceived role, is very helpful. Never ever think that person's got it all figured out.

Because even if they have it all figured out about one thing, there's probably something else in life that leaves them totally overwhelmed. The other really important thing to remember when it comes to faking confidence is that opportunities will rarely just appear to you in the exact package you're expecting them to. One of my favorite maxims i life, which I find is actually super useful, is that it's much easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

Allowing yourself to not wait for things to come to you and rather to go seek out what you're looking for and to create the spaces that you want to fill, both in work and in life, is so empowering. Just as a random example when I started TFD as a personal (?) on the side, Lauren emailed out of the blue from her desk job at an ad agency and said "Hey let me design this for you, I'd love to do that as a project" that kind of initiative of creating an opportunity rather than waiting for someone to give it to you is exactly what leads to us doing the most fulfilling and empowering and unexpected thing in life. Remebering that is up to us to choose the lives we want and to decide when we're going to go for them allows us create the lives we want.

Because for example with things like a promotion, usually promotions will only come when you've already started to demonstrate in your current job that you're willing and able to take on

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some of the responsibilities of that next level job. The times in your life when someone is going to just march into your office, set a piece of paper down in front of you that has written on it in crayon "Dream Job" are basically never. Confidence isn't just being really good at something. It's about giving oneself permission to try. To say, "I'm good enough to try that. I'm good enough to go after it. I'm good enough to even ask for it."

In fact, one of the people that we talked to for The Financial Diet book, which is on shelves January 2nd at a bookstore near you, is Akilah Hughes, who's a Youtuber that you guys might be familiar with, and is someone who gave herself permission to really go after the career she wanted. And something she told us really helped her in doing that was going onto Netflix and just scrolling through, like, the thousands and thousands of, like, really crappy shows and movies that no one's ever heard of. And then, like, holy shit. All of those movies got funding, and they're on Netflix, and people actually made them. If those mediocre ass people can commit themselves to making this, I can also do it. Sometimes it's just important to remember that not all people who have gone for something or have succeeded in something are even that talented to begin with.

Something else that's very important to remember when it comes to being confident is that the more prepared you are, the more confident you will automatically feel. I'm someone who used to be -- when I say mess, that really cannot even describe the level of just utter chaos I was in. For example, a few years after I moved out of my parents' house, my dad showed up at the house I was living in at that time and literally dropped a giant Tupperware on my doorstep of just notes and notices and collections and red scary envelopes that were banks coming after me and just like an assortment of papers. A paper trail of all of the terrible avoidant decisions that I was making for several years in my adolescence and young adulthood. I never followed up with things, I didn't keep a calendar, I avoided things when I sensed they were a problem, and I procrastinated on everything. It constantly left me feeling

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completely unprepared, embarrassed, and totally unconfident, because I knew I had no right to be. What has really transformed my life, I think more than anything, is that I'm now almost a compulsive list-maker, spreadsheet-maker, calendar-user and organizer. We travel quite a lot for TFD now, and every single time I make myself a very cohesive spreadsheet, not just about what I'm packing, but also exactly what I'm doing on that trip, I also fill my Google Calendar with every last detail of what needs to be done, and I make (?~6:30) is prepared with a large, all-encompassing e-mail with my team members so that everyone knows what's going on and who's on schedule before I leave. I never go to the grocery store without a list, I never go to a meeting without reading up beforehand and I just generally make sure that I'm always airing to the side of being overly prepared than being caught unaware. This hasn't changed any inherent skills I have, it didn't make me any smarter or any better at my job, it just made me better at life. Few things will give you that extra boost of confidence like knowing you have your ass covered. So start using spreadsheets for your most logistically complicated tasks, start using lists for every time you have to buy something, do something or make something, and use the hell out of calendars. Being prepared is half the battle. Now, there are a few things that are just purely in terms of body language and presentation that really help you fake confidence, first of all you have to be wearing clothes that fit you properly, clothes that are clean, and clothes that make you feel like your most comfortable and presntable self. Close your eyes and envision yourself on your best day, it's a day that you're feeling great, you're looking great, and you know that everyone's looking at you the way you want to be looked at. What are you wearing in that vision? That's what you should strive to look like everyday, making it so that your physical presentation is just a comfortable after thought means that you're never pulling on your sleeves, or worrying about how something looks, and you can really just focus on what is important. And when it comes to body language there are a few key things that just project an air of pleasant and comfortable confidence.

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Confidence. First of all smile. Not in like, a creepy salesman kind of way, but just smile more frequently than you probably want to default to smiling.

Not only does it actually scientifically raise your mood to smile, it's also just a nice way to go through life.

When you default to doing things like *purses lips and nods head*, at the office for example when you see someone, start just smiling and you will notice the degree to which people respond to you warmly and there just becomes a nice warm feedback cycle in your interactions.

Another thing is make and maintain eye contact. Now this isn't some weird staring contest, this is not like when two bros meet each other in the office and do the weird handshake where they're both like, crushing each other's bones, it's not about like, dominance, it's about just showing that you're present, engaged, and listening.

Studies show that focusing on one eye than another than to the nose than to the mouth and just generally moving around a little bit but looking at the person's face is a great way to show that you're engaged without making it all weird and starey.

But bottom line avoiding or averting eye contact is a dead giveaway that you feel uncomfortable which will almost guarantee that the other person feels uncomfortable. Plus it almost immediately conveys that you're not really paying attention and at the end of the day most people just want to be paid attention to, and listened to.

You also want to make sure that your posture, but specifically your shoulders are giving off an air of confidence. One of the best and easiest things to do is just to imagine there is a string from the top of your head onto the ceiling that is pulling you up, right. It pulls your shoulders back, pulls your chest up, your head up along (?~9:32) the neck and yes, it's probably cliché and this point, but it really does work. And no, I have terrible posture, I don't follow this. It's like one of the worst things about myself confidence.

I am honestly just lazy and work at a desk all day so I tend to slouch.

Lastly, and this is an important one, give small signs of affirmation when people are talking. Lightly nodding your head, making small noises of agreement or of interest, makes people feel as you are extremely enganged in what they are saying.

And at the end of the day, people are narcissist. 

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They just want to know that people are really listening to them.

If you make someone feel extremely listened to and seen, they are going to walk away from that interaction feeling great about you, because you're a great mirror for themselves.

It might be opportunistic but if your M.O. is just to sit there in conversation and sort of blankly stare at people and never quite affirm or engage in what they are saying, force yourself to stop doing that.

And obviously if you are in a conversation where you disagree, it's perfectly fine to show that. But at least make sure you are giving small acknowledgement whilst the person is talking that you are at least internalizing and processing what they are saying.

Now, lastly there are few words that are important, especially at work, to be cutting out of your vocabulary. There is actually a fascinating article on the topic. Melody Wilding wrote in Forbes about the weak sounding words and phrases that we use in work enviroments every day, which may prevent us from being taken as seriously as we should be.

Now, just a few of them that I am hugely guilty of myself, are for example the word "just": just checking in; just dropping by; just wanted to know; just thought; just an idea.

It's a word that qualifies everything you are saying with an almost inherent level of insecurity and perhaps, insincerity.

If what you are saying is: "I'm checking in, because you haven't answered my important e-mail." You have every right to say: "Checking in if you've seen my e-mail." "Just checking in", not only removes the power from you but it also makes it sound as if you are apologizing for everything.

It's a word that women tend to use a lot at work because we are naturally raised to be much more cooperative and cohesive in the work environment and don't want to feel like we are poiting fingers at someone.

But at the end of the day, in life, to get shit done, sometimes you need to be poiting fingers. Not peppering every e-mail you send witht the word "just" conveys that you are sure of what you are saying and why you are saying it. It's almost guarantee to get you much better results.

Another one that I've also been very guilty of is "I can't". When we say "I can't do something" it puts it in the passive voice, meaning that it's for factors outside of your control, that you are unable to do something.

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And if what you mean to say is "I won't", as in: I'm not willing; I'm not prioritizing; I don't have the time; I don't have the energy, or the space, or whatever, you should say "I won't". It's a subtle change, but what it conveys is that you are in control of your decisions, you are in control of your schedule, and you are in control of what is important to you. 

It also really helps us be honest with ourselves, about what is important and valuable to us, and what we are willing to prioritize.

Saying "I can't" almost inherently implies that if you had the ability to do it, you would be. Which quite often means that the person will just come back and make you do it at a different time.

Another version of this is going from saying I don't have the time to it's not a priority. Now, obviously, you are not necessarily going to be saying that to someone's face but saying it to yourself is very important.

One of the most subtle but powerful elements of confidence is having the conviction over your priorities, your time and your decisions. Constantly giving up that power to factors outside of your control when it's not even true, makes it look like all of your decisions are weak and not really being made by yourself.

Even if it's just what you are going to make time to on a Saturday. Be in control of that decision and know why you are making it.

There are just some strategies that have really really helped me become a more confident person, via simply faking it and finding little cheat codes.

Over a while it snowballs into a more general confidence and you start to be able to feel like you can conquer things that used to feel totally insurmountable.

It won't happen overnight but if you start practising some of these strategies, I guarantee you, you will start feeling more confident.

So, as always, thank you guys for watching. And don't forget to come back every Tuesday for new and awesome videos. BYE!