If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
~Vincent Van Gogh
I step into the debate round. I am not prepared for this. My stomach churns at the sight of my opponent’s fancy briefcase. I really really want to go home. I shuffle to my place and fumble with my papers. When I speak, I sound like a lost child. I lose the debate round and, it feels to me, the respect of my teammates. The frustrating thing is that if I knew then what I know now, I could have debated the kid so hard he would be in tears. Even with a crummy case and bad organization skills.
It’s all about confidence.
Had I walked in there faster, talked louder, and acted more important, I could have won because in competitive debate as well as in life…it’s all about confidence. Whether or not you have the upper hand in a situation, if you act as if you do, you will be more likely to succeed.
This explains the semi-attractive girls with the crowds of men at their feet. She is not actually better than you (I promise.) she just acts like it. Studies show that if women think they are hot, more men tend to agree with them. Who wants to be with someone who doesn’t even like themselves anyway?
But I am sure you have heard this before. It sounds simple, right? It’s not. I know it. It’s hard to be confidant, no matter who you are. So here are some tips to help get your started.
- Fake it ‘til you make it. Let’s look back at my ill-fated debate round. In competitive debate, half the battle is in the suit. Who ever has the nicest suit will probably win. Why? Because the person in the nicest suit feels hot. When you know you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you perform better. So, even if you think you have no chance of doing well in an interview, or getting that special someone to go out on a date with you, if you walk in thinking “I am awesome.” It will show. Nothing is more intimidating in debate than a guy with a black suit and matching briefcase. Even if the briefcase is his dad’s and is full of blank papers with doodles on them. Those guys win. A lot.
- Do what you are good at. This is a trick I implement before dates and interviews alike. Before I go, I set aside time to do something that I know I am really good at. For example, I will often write poetry before going on a date because when I complete a poem it makes me feel better about myself. This has been much more successful for me than spending 30 minutes before the date scrutinizing the size of my butt in the mirror. So, next time you need to make an impression, do something you know you are good at before hand. Then, even if the guy doesn’t ask you out again, you are still a freaking amazing poet.
- Be prepared. To go back to debate again, I also know that I was not prepared for that round. I hadn’t done my research, and I lost. You are more likely to appear confident if you are confident (Duh, right? But sometimes it helps to have “duh” things written out and solid.) Do your homework; it’s almost always worth it.
These are only a couple of examples that have turned out very helpful in my experience. I certainly hope they work for you too. Good luck!
(originally posted on my old blog on May 18, 2008)