Note: I know, I know…this post looks like every other fluffy blog post that you’ve been tricked into clicking on today, but it actually contains proven strategies that’ll make you more confident. If you wanna skip the fluffy stuff, scroll to the bottom.
“How do you have a social life while being sober?”
I gave up booze 16 months ago. For my 1 year anniversary I wrote the post “6 Things I Learned From Not Drinking For 1 Year” detailing my experience. Around 70,000 people read the post the day I published it and it still gets thousands of views.
Since publishing that post, I’ve received thousands of emails and comments. But there’s one questions I get asked over and over again:
“How do you have a normal social life?”
When I quit drinking I lost a ton of weight, increased my productivity, and saved a boat load of money. However, there was one major personality trait I developed that allowed me to enjoy a sober social life, improved my mood, and made me a generally happy person.
Wanna know what it is?
The power of confidence
My friends may have recognized me as a 6’2, slightly chubby asshat (I call that person Drunk Sam) but my inner self-esteem was that of a pimpled faced, Jew-fro-having, 8th grade twerp (yes, that photo is really me). After years of relying on booze for liquid courage my confidence was nil.
Once I got sober though I saw a HUGE change in my confidence.
Don’t be mistaken…I’m not some overly confident, chest-beating-alpha-male-gorilla, but a slightly above average secure and confident dude. I can now confidently have fun at the bars with buds, meet girls, and do MOST of the dumb things Drunk Sam use to do…all while sober.
I would’ve said hell no had you asked me to do those things without a beer or two when I was drinker.
The simple trick to developing confidence
The beauty of confidence is this: the more you fake it, the more you become it. There are entire books on this topic, but there’s one very simple trick that had a profound impact on my confidence: power body language.
Here’s how you do it:
- Before going out: . I know, I know, it sounds completely stupid and I felt like a moron at first, but works. Before heading out, or even each morning, do power posing. This is when you stand in a power positions for 2 minutes by yourself. A power position just like it sounds, when you hold your body as if you’re a person of power…which is basically just taking up as much space as possible. Here is what a power power looks like: example 1, 2, 3. Again, this sounds ridiculous, but power posing has been scientifically proven to boost testosterone and lower cortisol levels.
- When walking: Imagine there’s a string attached to your chest that’s being pulled to the sky. Stand up straight, shoulders back, and chest kinda puffed out.
- Smile: Study after study shows that smiling makes you happier, even if you fake it. If you’re at a bar, it’s important to not only have fun, but to also LOOK like you’re having. A fun person = a confident person. Whether you’re happy or not, fake a smile you’ll become happy. Again, this isn’t just a theory…faking a smile has been proven to make people happier and more confident.
- When sitting: Take up as much space as possible. Spread your arms wide on the back of the seat and keep your legs far apart. Do NOT cross your arms or legs ever. Sit in a powerful position.
- Important note for women readers: if you’re uncomfortable spreading your legs, use another power pose such as The Wonder Woman pose or one of these.
Why this works
Not only does our body language reflect our how we’re feeling, but our body language dictates how we feel. For example, when we’re happy, we smile. When we’re sad, we cry. But what most people don’t know, is that when we smile, we become happy. When we cry, we become sad. Similarly, when hold our body in a confident manner, we become confident Amazing, right?
But here’s where the fun comes in…you can totally manipulate your attitude by forcing into specific positions that represent emotions. Meaning, even if you feel weak and insecure, if you hold your body in a confident way your mind will follow. The phrase “fake it til you make it” should be “fake it til you become it.”
Now I’ve simplified a very complex topic, but I have given you the very basics that you can use right now. If you want to keep exploring confidence (you totally should BTW), then here are a few must read links, videos, and books.
Whether its related to alcohol or not, the following resources help with confidence:
If you’d like me to write more on this topic, please leave a comment below.
As always, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and here’s my Facebook…shoot over any personal comments or whatever it is you want.
“There were all kinds of things I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to ‘mean’ horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid