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How to be confident

What’s the secret to becoming confident in any social situation?

About 10 years ago, when I was just starting college, I would have said, “there is no secret. You either have it or you don’t.”

And I would have been DEAD WRONG.

You see, back then, I had almost zero confidence.

But today I’m thinking about getting “unstoppable” tattooed on my forehead.

How did I develop my confidence?

The answer might surprise you…

How to Be More Confident In Any Social Situation

In this video, in addition to sharing my personal journey with confidence, I share a word-for-word script that you can use start using to develop your confidence TODAY.

Do you have a friend (or colleague) that’s struggling with their confidence?

Use this link and send them this video.

Now I’ve got some homework for you…

I shared this in more detail in the video, but here’s what I want you to do:

Step 1: Use the word-for-word script that I shared with you TODAY. Even if you’re not struggling with your confidence, use it.

Step 2: Come back here and leave a comment letting us know what happened. Share how it felt!

Once you master your confidence, think about how easy it will be to meet new people. For business and pleasure.

So, use this script today.

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125 comments Leave a comment

Loved this. Shared and executed it. BTW, Amy Cuddy is amazing. Absolutely amazing.


A lot of my clients have autism. The advice of “Fake it till you make it” often doesn’t work for them–not for long, they say. Does anyone have any suggestions?


    Hi Katie.

    I have autism.

    I struggle with confidence because I do not have the ability to understand social situations.

    Therefore, in order to gain confidence, I study social situations. It’s a hell of a lot of work.

    And its the only thing that works. Systemising it.

    That’s one reason why I came back to this video today to hunt down more confidence tips!

    p.s. you can tell your clients that they can be the best, not just historical figures like Einstein, Tesla, Mozart, and Jefferson, but people walking around today have autism and we have incredible focus.

    Nathan Isaac

    I’ve always disliked the “fake it till you make it.”

    It’s a bad conditioning for your own mind. Basically telling yourself you are a fraud.

    Another approach you could try is, notice them when they are in their most confident states. Doing something they have absolute confidence in.

    Notice their body language. Their speech. Their movements and behaviour.

    Do the same thing when they are in an uncomfortable unconfident situation.

    Compare the two. confidence can start by simply engaging these confidence actions.


When I first started boxing (and knew nothing) I would watch the seasoned fighters. I would study their footwork, I would copy their stance & let myself FEEL like I was a national champ. I would practice this over & over. I would go to national tournaments with my “seasoned” friends who WERE competing that weekend, and I’d have a ton of people asking me what time my fight was. I hadn’t even had my first fight yet!!! I had been “copying” these awesome fighters so much, that I became so “confident” not just in my ability to perform in the ring, but I carried myself like a true champ outside of the ring. I TOTALLY agree with Derek. I “piggy-backed” on their confidence until I got my own.
My confidence just soared from there. My friends & family play the “what would Mair say/do” game when they go out, so that they feel like they have more confidence/fun!! ha. I think it’s hilarious… but it works for them!

So great message!!! Love & Bruises xx

Imran Soudagar

Some one above commented ‘fake it until you make it’. I think that is good advise to people who find it difficult to be confident. Another thing that I can recommend is to be with people who are confident and people who have strong personalities.


I must be the only person who has not had success using this script. Said it to the cashier and just got a blank look :/


    bahahahaha that’s funny. it’s bound to happen.
    But if you’re confident – you’ll just laugh at yourself anyway.

    Try it again.

    I do this:
    When the waiter says, “would you like you’re bill?” I reply with, “no thanks, not today”
    When I have like 2 tiny pieces of food left on my plate (or just the decoration) I ask if I can get a doggy bag!! bahahaha. it always cracks me up, because they think I’m serious at first. Then they laugh.
    So, maybe I’m not that funny… LOL… but I am committed to staying confident so I always do crap like this.

Michael Mota

Good advice here. I have been using this technique since my Marine Corps days. If you practice – soon you will believe- then you will be.

Imran Soudagar

Nice post Derek, I have seen people struggling with confidence. Although these people have all the qualification and skills to do what they want to do. And I think all that these people need is a little push, a little push from someone telling them that they are not wrong and what they are doing is right.

Jon Bowes

Body language hacks work. They’re so awesome. I had issues with my confidence for a long time. In highschool I was bullied and I wasn’t that popular. When I got to college I continued that trend. Basically, learning about body language and faking it till I made it changed my life. Derek, I wish I had discovered your stuff 5 years ago when I was a freshman. It would have saved me a lot of time. Keep up the awesome work!


wait it’s not free today? that sounds super douchy. and I would feel like an absolute tool – comfort zone or not.

    Jon Bowes

    Whether someone interprets it as douchey or not will come down to the intention you have when saying it, and how you say it. Honestly, so little of what we communicate is from the words you could pretty much say anything with the right tone and body language and not show up as douchey. If it still sounds too douchey for ya, come up with something else to practice with that you’re more comfortable with, but is still uncomfortable.


      Wow, You are absolutely right. Body language and tone has a critical amount of effect on the conversation.


Hi, I have a question. I am in a proces of overcoming shyness and building up my self- esteem and self -confidence. I was incredibly shy almost whole my life, let’s say about 9 years. I am 18 now and want to gain confidence because I have no social life and I really want to become more independent. So what I wanted to ask you is: “Am I dong this the right way and will I build core confidence if I keep doing it the same way?” I started about 4 months ago and I think I came really far because I feel far less self-conscious than I did before. But the problem is that one day I do something and start feeling very confident and good about myself and then after day or two I start feeling somehow shy again. But not as shy as I used to be when I started. And then I start to feel confident again. This time I feel even more confident than the last time. But it fades away again. I do my best to try to keep it by keeping myself busy and not thinking about it. Trying to live in the present, but it seems imposible because I start analizing everything again. So how could I keep that confidence every day and improve myself faster?

    Nathan Isaac


    When learning confidence skills you must understand that in the early stages it can easily come and go. The trick is to know understand one thing I always tell people, the mind follows the body as the body follows the mind.

    What that means is pay attention to your own body language when you are feeling confident. Take notes of what you do with your body, your speech, your actions, and your thoughts.

    Then do the same thing on days where you are back to being shy once again.

    What you’ll notice is that when you’re confident and when you’re shy, your body and mind are doing two different things.

    So if you know what you do with your body when you are shy, you are able to switch it to what you do when you are confident. It may feel a little odd and difficult in the beginning but trust me it gets easier. Then when you shift your body from shy to confident, your mind will follow along as well.

    For example, if you’re laying on the couch eating chips and watching the news all afternoon, you’ll probably feel very unmotivated.

    However, if you stand up and force yourself to put your running shoes on and you go for a run for about 30 minutes to an hour, you’ll come back in a much more motivated mindset.

    So take note of your body and your thoughts when you are in either a confident or a shy mode, compare the list and now you have the ability to shift out of such a terrible state of mind and into a much more powerful one!

    Eddy Baller

    Hi Angelene, I teach people how to develop their confidence as part of my business.

    You will need to immerse your self in social situations. daily, in order to overcome your shyness faster. By social situations I mean anything public where people are.

    Go to cafes, restaurants, grocery shopping, any public place and make a direct effort to get into a conversation with EVERYBODY you run into. Chat up the cashiers by showing interest in them and comment on anything you observe in the situation. It doesn’t matter what it is, just start getting used to throwing comments out there. Could be about that persons clothing, or maybe the happy or sad mood they are projecting.

    If you are at a cafe throw a comment at the person at the table next to yours. It’s important not to analyze what you say or you will over think it and the moment will be lost, just say what comes to mind right away.

    Say good morning to people when you walk down the street in your neighborhood, or hello in the afternoon.

    These small efforts will help you overcome shyness and develop sharp social skills when done consistently over time.


      Thanks. I’ll give my best to listen to your advice. 🙂

    Brad Castro

    Angelene –

    Congratulations on your progress and commitment to growing as a person.

    A couple of suggestions – first, don’t forget to focus on and give yourself the credit due for how far you’ve already come.

    And second, as much as we want there to be, sometimes there aren’t any short cuts to self-growth. Persistence and practice are powerful forces, but they don’t get us there overnight.

    There’s a line from a poem by Rumi that really resonated with me once when I was going through a tough growth time in my life:

    “Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.”

    That really nailed it for me – back at that point in my life, all day long I’d work to build myself up. But when I woke up the next morning, it seemed like I had to start all over from scratch.

    Practice, persistence, and patience – you’ll get there.


      Thank you, this was something I needed. I was a bit unsure if I am doing it the right way, but now you made my doubts go away and brought my hope back . 🙂


Dude, you are magical!

I have been doing this with cashiers and the staff and heck yes, It does build your confidence. So, it is helping me until now.

I think you have got to go out and meet as much people as you can. Talk to them. Discuss and share ideas.
Especially for me in the beginning, as I was reluctant to share and discuss my ideas but now, it has become easy to tackle with different mentality of folks.

Nice shirt Derek 😉


Nice video. I’m still thinking about that research, though, and will have to find that TED talk. You mean that women, no matter their hormonal state, by taking a male power stance, increase their testosterone? Confidence and feeling good are important, but lnking that to social gender roles makes me wonder.

James Hare

If I was a cashier and someone said that to me I would punch them in the face… Ok maybe i’d suppress it. What the heck, I’ll try it. I usually just mutter under my breath to the cashier doesn’t pick up on my British accent. They always give me funny looks here in sunny Tennessee.

Romeo Jeremiah

“Just own the room.”

That’s my approach, especially when no one knows you. People are generally uncomfortable in social settings unless other people in their circle are around. So, why no lighten up their mood by being the one who initiates the conversations and small talk? A smile and a small riddle/joke goes a long way.

The cashier bit. I do this all the time, to the extent that most all the cashiers know who I am when I go to places I frequent. Then even tell my son, “you know your Daddy is crazy, right?” And of course, he agrees.

Be genuinely concerning, happy, and approachable. The confidence will set in naturally.

Thanks, Derek.


Me: “Hey, it’s not free today?”
Cashier: “Nothing is free in this world, asshole!”
Supervisor: “Well, what have we here? A freeloader!”
Manager: “Security, you know what to do.”
Security: “I’m gonna kick your ass!”
Me: “Ouch! ugh! ummph! ach! yeowh! …”

    Romeo Jeremiah


    Dude, this has happened to NO ONE EVER.

Christopher Fitton

Hi Derek, are you on Clarity.fm



Sedona Cole

I enjoyed this information. I think it’s right on actually. We literally program our self, why not do it consciously? It’s really ‘enacting’ an inner visualization of what we want to be, which sets up new neural pathways in our brain, literally. I also think having a little support goes a long way. The coach at FTRnation.com is a master of helping people transform them self from self conscious to self confident in addition to accessing authenticity that will never be lost again (and also the author of The Audacity of Success, the title says it all!). I found a lot of ‘self help’ techniques tend to be short lived. Having a mentor keeps us accountable until its a fixed habit. Great share. Thanks!


Hey Derek,

I have practiced what you say and it definitely works. After a while you get used to that feeling of confidence and becomes a very natural expression in your daily life.

Great tips as usual.

Corey Pemberton

Thanks for the post, Derek. Awesome stuff.

Like you, I used to think confidence was just something you were born. You either “had it” or you didn’t… and there wasn’t much room in between.

But I’ve seen a huge improvement over the past year! I’m not quite where I want to be yet, but a combination of faking it till I make it and raising my standards (in every aspect of my life) has had dramatic effects. Lately I’ve found myself charming cashiers without even planning to!

Confidence is definitely a learnable skill. Thanks for the reminder,


Lisa Jennett Wood

I just shared this video with my 3 children. They will leave my home with self confidence no matter what it takes. I’m a determined mama! Love it. 🙂

Samuel Jeffery

One of my favorite aspects of being a digital nomad (and constantly traveling) is that I have the opportunity to reinvent myself all of the time with a new crowd of people.

Lori from Simply Free Blogs

I love this topic! When you think about the flip side of this, it totally makes sense. Let’s say you’re talking to someone. You ask them a question and they hesitate, and kind of mutter, “I’m not sure.” And then say you turn to another person and start another convo with them. You ask them the exact same question, and they say, “Oh, absolutely.” If those two people were selling the exact same thing, which one would you buy from? The confident one, of course!!

Every time I have pretended to be confident and answered “Absolutely!” even though I didn’t know the answer, and I got to the point where I could enter a relationship with that person, I find that, by the time I have to deliver on that answer, I’ve been able to figure it out (or a way to achieve it).

When you put yourself out there like that, you demand growth of yourself. You demand expansion. When you cower, you diminish – in more ways than 1! Put yourself out there! You’ll figure it out! 🙂


So true, I used to be so shy, no one can tell now! To practice I used to have full on conversations with myself as if I were a celebrity and I was being interviewed like Inside the Actors Studio lol I know lame, but hey it worked!

Scot Maitland

So your tip got me a free sandwich. I’m at JFK headed back
home to Austin and the woman at the register was trying to scan my
sandwich with no luck. After the 3rd time I smiled and said “I
guess that means it’s free.” And she said, yes it does. I still
paid for the chips and drink. 😉 Thanks for the tip and had a great
time at Social Triggers Live. Already implemented the BAB!

Robert Koenig

I have not used your strategy at this point, but I look forward to trying it out. Great information, thank you.

Dean Bartosh

Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with his shirt folks. The process to make the fabric like that is called “burn-out” and yes, it’s supposed to be like that.

Dean Bartosh

I’ve been chatting it up with cashiers for a couple of years now. My favorite approach is to ask them how they’re doing. The almost always say “Good”. I immediately ask them, “Why?” At that point they either tell me something good about their life which gives us a topic of conversation. Or they admit that they just said it out of habit and nothing is good. Then they usually laugh and the ice is broken.

Julia Harris, The Calm Mum Coach

I LOVED this video almost as much as I loved Amy’s TED talk which I blogged about and it is an absolute must see!!. I also have “Keep Calm and Power Pose” as a screen saver on my phone.

And btw Derek, I like the shirt 🙂


Sound advice as always Mr H.

As a natural introvert and Olympic standard shy person, I have found that I can draw confidence from doing something that scares me.

A few years back, me and my brother played a few songs in front of a packed bar, full of musicians. I myself am an amateur guitar player with only three chords and two scales in my repertoire, so I was a nervous as a plump turkey at Christmas.

Anyways, we got through the set, even with a couple of mistakes and that has given me a point of reference whenever I find myself out of my comfort zone.

Nice shirt, who is your tailor?



I think you have to find the right balance between confident and overly cocky as a way to not make people dislike you. I am usually on track with feeling out the situation to adjust how much confidence to bring out. I think you can learn with every encounter you have by sensing your mood and others reactions.

William Spurka

Hi Derek, Love your videos, articles and everything else you do. I love your passion and feel you really connect with people. Your are right in that “fake it till you make” approach. Confidence comes from knowing and doing any skill you learn if you think about it. Example remember when you first learned how to ride a bike or drive a car, you were taught what to do and how then you consciously applied the technique aware of everything your doing, but after doing it so many times you don’t even think about what your actually doing in the step by step process. You just do it. I believe it’s the same with confidence. As far as I am concerned I am surprise to find out that so many people fell awkward in social situations. I am probable the opposite. Others I am with tell me sometimes I embarrass them because I will talk to everyone and anyone and I am still not sure why they feel this way. I look at everyone as having something to share and contribute to everyone else. Everyone is here for a reason.

Sean Nisil

A trick I use when doing anything outside my comfort zone is to imagine I’ve done it hundreds of times. Look at people who give speeches for a living…it’s second nature. So I envisioned doing things as if I had the track record of experience, and guess what? It works. I now love meeting new people, and discovered that public speaking & teaching is one of my favorite things to do.

Thanks for encouraging us to break through self imposed barriers and gain confidence. By the way, I decided to give a genuine smile and “hello” to anyone I passed on the street today. All but one smiled back… 🙂


Faking it until you make it actually applies to all self development needs. Rehearsing a speech or video presentation all require a kind of fake it until you make it approach. Creative Visualisation is another cool technique. Every time I prepared for a gig with my band I would spend a few minutes mentally rehearsing my performance confidence. This is because the subconscious does not know the difference between the present and the future and imagination creates problems as well as solves them:)

Kirsten Nelson

Really enjoyed this vid. Love the power of faking it till you make it. Great reminders and perfectly timed. Thanks, Derek.

Great forced smile BTW 🙂

David Summers

Confidence comes from success. You won’t become adventurous unless you’ve been in an adventure. You won’t climb a mountain unless you did it before. this how our subconscious get programmed by Doing what you fear. Start starting You’ll become motivated.


Love love LOVE it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some homework to do.
Thanks Derek… You’ve done it again


Felicity Fields

I had to fake myself out to be confident when I first started talking to clients and other people about my business. I had no idea how I was doing until my first client complimented me on my skills. Hurray!

I still have to do this when I talk to clients, but it’s much easier than it used to be.


Great video Derek!

It’s amazing how one’s confidence grows throughout the years. I know mine has. I’m not the same person I was 7-10 years ago thanks to personal development courses, webinars, books, and sticky situations. 😉

Deborah Owen

And here is a video about how to practice smiling:

Deborah Owen

Derek, this is fantastic. I just watched Amy Cuddy’s TED
Talk and was blown away. Thank you for bringing this to our
attention (she does ask people to share it!). Your synopsis of the
talk, and its practical implications are also right on.


I did just say hello to everyone outside when I was in high school, most did respond haha, some gave me a weird look but doesn’t matter 🙂

Where can I find that TED talk you are talking about? Maybe an idea to include links ini the blog to the sources you reffer to in your video’s. It’s easier to find it or isn’t it available on the internet?


Katarina Cierna

Great story Derek! You should also add a blog post about
the grit (watch Angela L. Duckworth’s Ted talk about the grit as a
key to success). I think it’s the boost of confidence &
your grit that make you feel ‘unstoppable’;). Also what would be a
catchy phrase to start small talk at a conference/work

Michael Rich

Awesome! Great strategy on becoming confident. I originally
lived in a small city, even the servers you would know. I love the
big city where you can basically chat to anyone, and just maybe
bump into them again. Great place to practice. BE the change you
want to see. Simple yet, one must push their boundaries.


Hi Derek,

Great advice and it will always work.
In Thailand it’s even expected from you that you always smile, it is part of their culture and it will show in their pictures and paintings too. Even if something bad has happened you still keep in smiling.

With friendly greetings,

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Derek. Been there, done that. :-D.

Nice little script. Sure to work most of the time. Actually, I find I can say practically anything cute, light, or humorous to anyone, but if I follow it with a SMILE, we’re on the way to a pleasant relationship.

As a test, nowadays I’ll walk down the street and smile at anyone. They usually wonder what I’m up to, but we often stop to chat for a moment or more.

Rosie Addison

I had a grumpy cashier today…didn’t go down so well! Fortunately I’ve already turned my dorkiness into confidence so it’s no set-back 🙂 haha Cheers Derek


Intriguing tips, but that line to the cashier is pretty obnoxious… 🙂 If I were a cashier, it’d make me hate the world a little more.

But interesting tips 🙂



I just had to tell you I loved your Cheesy smile.

– Melissa


Great Video Derek. I just read a book from 2008 that I’m
sure you’ve seen but it was very valuable to me. How to Make People
Like You in 90 Seconds or Less. I’m not an introvert and can be
funny and engaging, but this book had great tips and how to’s that
really got me on the right path again. I found that many people
weren’t engaging with me for long periods of time and I had limited
people wanted to talk to me a second time, but then I realized that
I was usually complaining about something and not being positive.
This book taught me that a good handshake, first eye contact, and a
positive tone would have people wanting to speak to me again the
next time they saw me. Definitely worth a read.


Fantastic … I used to fake tying my shoes until one day,
I was just doing it like a confident person. ;D


The tips are really working. I’ve personally figured that
technique a way before I watched this video. I pretended to be
confident in the situations when I had nothing to lose. And for
myself, I’ve also designed sort of a slogan “treat life as a game”
. It helps when you are afraid of doing something or getting in
comfortable situation — think it’s just a game and you will not
have bad outcomes. It really really helps a lot.

Doug H

Great video and timeless tips that mirror the “fake it till you make it” concept but in a good way. Will look for the Amy Cuddy TED talk now.

Keep up the good work!

Eddy Baller

This video was great.

Completely true too. I had no confidence as a teen and in my early twenties, but started building it up over a period of years. I wanted to meet women so started with online dating, got a lot of dating experience, and then tried chatting with girls in cafes when I was having a coffee. Even that was terrifying but it was the next step before I started doing cold approaches in the street. I used to sweat even if too much attention was placed on me, now I can do public speaking.

The Amy Cuddy video is awesome too. Watched that a week or two ago. It’s exactly what I teach my students. Most guys shrink themselves as soon as they get nervous speaking to a woman, put their hands in their pockets, and slouch a bit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc

Daniel Reifenberger

Has anyone done the homework yet?

I tried it twice today:
1. Asked for a 10% discount on my coffee
2. Said, “What? it’s not free today?” when I bought my salad for lunch

Both situations ended in a laugh and a great conversation. I expected them to say no and treat me like a weirdo. Instead they laughed, smiled, and opened up as a person.

It’s crazy how testing your assumptions often have way different results than you expect.

Derek, this is a killer assignment and I walked away from each feeling like BOSS!

Everyone who has posted this and not done it: Stop talking about how great this is and get out and do this NOW!

Alexis Meads

Great video! I definitely believe in the “fake it til we make it” philosophy and how body language can play a major part in that.

For example, when I started out with my business I had no confidence in it. But over time, after taking action I started to become that person and step into the role. Now I can’t wait to share my message with the world!

Sarah Jordan

Another great video, Derek. “Fake it ’til you make it!” Thanks 🙂

The Get In Shape Girl

When you stop giving a sh!t (withing reason) of what people tbink of you, your confidence soars and you become a much happier person. Confidence comes with that!

Carolyn Flynn

Napoleon Hill said the same thing in his book Think And Grow Rich. If you want success and riches act like you are successful and rich. What you think becomes your reality.


This is going to be one of my favorite of your videos to share, Derek. It will help a lot of people, great job! My personal takeaway is not around practicing confidence but smiling. “The act of smiling makes you feel happy.” I love it. So true!

Scott Wyden Kivowitz

Hey Derek,

This is definitely my favorite article/video of yours, and I’ve read them all! What you said makes total sense. I’ll be passing this advice on to many of my blogger and photo friends.

Wasim Ismail

Some people are just naturally shy, (i was one of them) sometimes you just have to dive into the deep and end go for it, and not to be to vary of what others would think. Believe in yourself and you’ve overcome the first hurdle. Speaking to more and more so called strangers (well initially) defiantly does help you come out your shell.

Thanks for the vid


You remind me I watched Amy Cuddy’s TED talk too.
I think I will never forget it again and I can get more confidence through playing as your recommendation.
Thanks for always sharing valuable information!

Justin Westbrooks

You’re completely right. It works – and it’s interesting because it shines the light on the other person and gives them a chance to show their confidence (or lack thereof). When we’re bold and step forward with something like “Wait this isn’t free today?”, others may join in and have some fun with you (socially this is a good thing haha) or else you’ll come across as confident and they may be a litte intimidated (still a good place to be socially, as long as you help them feel less intimidated). Either way, great exercise – thanks!


Do you have a link to the TED talk you are referencing?

Brad Castro

Totally love this video and post, Derek.

And I 100% believe in the power of “to act is to become.” In fact, once you begin experimenting with, as William James described it, “If you want a quality, act as if you already had it” approach on any number of qualities, you’ll discover a liberating and frightening truth – self-identity is a lot more fluid than most of us realize.

Here’s a variation I discovered myself when my son was in kindergarten and we seemed to always struggle to make it to school on time (he and I have an awesome relationship – except between 7 and 7:30 am, non-holiday, weekday mornings from the end of August through the end of May).

I called it the Enthusiasm Game (“Enthusiasm is like having two right hands” – Elbert Hubbard).

When we were running late (as usual) I would challenge my son so see which one of us could act the most excited.

What an epiphany – you CANNOT be enthusiastic and stressed out at the same time.

Mary Jean Padalino

Great video!!! Fake it til you make it works great with weight loss too 🙂

Kumar Gauraw

I watched Amy Cuddy’s TED talk and liked it so much, I posted it on my blog as well. Thank you for bringing a reference to that and sharing your insights on this topic.
Our body posture and practice acting confident just does the magic for us. Enjoyed your talk as usual.


Sometimes I shake and sweat before faking my confidence-
but I do fake it. And I feel so proud after that 😀


Hi Derek, fantastic video, I really enjoyed it. Could you
tell us the name of the TED video you talk about? I haven’t seen it
and I would like to. Thanks and best regards! 😉

    Jose Vega

    I also want to see the TED Video you mentioned. You said it was awesome…

    Please email me the name of the TED video, or answer this comment.


This so works! When my daughter was younger (like 3-4) she would get whiny (you know like little girls are wont to do) So I would tell her to smile, and stand there and wait for her to smile – she would grimace, eventually it would turn into a smile and the whining would stop. She was homeschooled for several years and unlike the stereotypical homeschooler, she is known as the random greeter – she randomly goes up to people while we are out and strikes up a conversation.


This video couldn’t have come at a better time. Thanks. I watched it twice.


I have totally used that line before, and it is fun! You know, my confidence changes a lot from day to day. There are days I feel like I could take on the world. Other days I just want to shrink into a ball and hide. It’s on those days scripts like these become ever more important – they can help shake a person out of their lack of confidence, and brighten their mood at the same time.

Okay Derek, I’m rarin’ to go now!


Right On!

I’m currently retired after a long career as a company president and consultant. I did a variation on what you are teaching.

I was so scared of people and I had such low self-esteem that when I was younger (as in late teen & college), I actually remember taking every opportunity I had to cross the street to avoid walking past good-looking women or obviously dominate males. I had no idea how to talk in a normal conversation and constantly messed up. I was literally a serial social train wreck waiting for for next wreck to happen.

I beat it by refusing to give in to my fears and forcing myself to actually interact with people and I found out that I wasn’t such a bad guy and that if I watched what I said, people actually seemed to like me.

Good lesson… Listen to him folks… He giving you great advice that actually works.

He changed. I changed. And, you can too!

Best regards,


Great tips, Derek, I’ll have to try this out. I have very
little confidence & I’m shy and I know it holds me back. I
am trying to start a social media consulting business on the side,
and I know I need to get more confident if I’m going to succeed. I
have tried faking it in the past & it does work, I think
it’s just hard to maintain that confidence, in your own head, when
you’re NOT in social situations. For example, I went to a large
conference earlier this year (SMMW13) and I didn’t “allow” myself
to be shy. I talked to a lot of people and had a great time! I felt
energized by the whole experience. I find I can kinda fake
confidence in those situations but when I am living day-to-day life
I tend to beat myself up in my head. (Internal dialogue: I’m never
going to get clients and get this business going. I’m not a
business person & in over my head – I should stick to
working for someone else, etc etc.) Do you have any tips for
beating down those negative thoughts in my head?? I think part of
the problem is that I am a practical person & like to be
well-prepared. And I hate to fail. 😉 I know I’m great as a social
media marketer, but I’m not salesy & don’t know how to run
a biz so I lack confidence in putting myself out there. I’m scared
to start without some sort of business mentor helping me work out
the details – I just don’t know how to find one! Thanks for any

    Karen Renee

    I tried this strategy years ago, and it works!

    I think everyone has an intrinsic reason to be confident, because we all have something incredible to offer. But because we’re so used to feeling “unworthy” or telling ourselves lies about whether we have a meaningful reason for living, we need to practice and get the necessary feedback to discover how much we really have to offer.

    I wouldn’t say that’s “faking it” so much as practicing the moves that free your potential, just like one would do with a martial art or dance, so when it’s time to act under pressure your first response is trained and practiced … and confident. But then, saying I was faking it always made me feel fake. I knew I was practicing confidence, and this meant personal growth and development of who I actually am, so that’s what I told myself.

      Jose Vega

      What a mature response!! I totally agree.

Ian Harris

Great video Derek! You gotta throw yourself into situations
that provide no other option then to be confident.

Brandon Cordoba

There is a wine called “Swagger” (it’s really good wine by the way if you like cabs) & (I know it sounds crazy) but just drinking it makes me feel more confident. 😀

I don’t need more confidence, but I always thought that was kinda funny.

Kammie @ Sensual Appeal

Haha there’s gonna be so many people walking around saying
that line today, I bet the cashiers are gonna be all confused.
Great tip! I’m going to do it today! 🙂 I’ll report back


That shirt is extraordinarily distracting. I can’t tell
whether it’s such a loose knit that it’s see-through, or a
variegated thread with the lighter color matching your skin tone.
Since I know you spend a buttload of money on clothes, the effect
is obviously deliberate, but for me it’s just too close to the Old
Navy cutting-costs-by-drastically-reduced-thread-count look. I keep
replaying the video trying to figure out whether a shirt in a
solid, undifferentiated black would come across as dorky and blah,
or whether I’m just being overly sensitive, perhaps prudish in a
pre-gen-Y mode.


    I had that same thought. Wanted to focus on the content, couldn’t stop looking at the shirt to figure out if it was see-through. Wanted to stop rolling and hand Derek a different shirt!

Nomadic Matt

Fake it until you make it.


I grew up painfully shy and introverted with no confidence whatsoever. It’s something I’ve always struggled even up to my mid 30s. I’ve struggled with it in careers and relationships. That’s where I’ve had the most struggles. This video is great and is one I wish I watched over 10 years ago. I’ve gotten better as I grew older but I do love the simple strategies you presented in the video. Thanks Derek

Marion Catalano

To funny, that is just what I did.I know talk to random strangers with no problems.I have always told my kids the same, fake to be cool or confident.
Thank you for all your helpful clips.


Here’s an alternative from a book called “happy for no reason”. When you go up to the cashier find something about them that you like and complement them on it. I complemented a girl on her eyeliner skills, her make-up really did look great. She was so happy I noticed that detail, and it made me feel happier too.


Thanks Derek, love the clip. Looking forward to sharing it with my colleagues and friends.

Joshua Rivers (@JoshuaWRivers)

I love this, and I can attest that it does work. I’m not super-confident-man, but I’m a lot better than I was. I periodically follow this pattern at a gas station or if something doesn’t ring up right away at a store. For example, I went to the gas station on Tuesday and got two donuts and a Dr. Pepper (like there’s any other kind of drink). When I went to pay, she asked what I had in the bag and I said that I had two free donuts. There was laughter, but I still had to pay for the donuts (I’m sure it’ll work one of these times).

    Brad Castro

    Great line, Joshua! I had an awesome and crazy English
    teacher way back in high school who, when he went to the grocery
    store with his wife and she’d start writing a check, would say to
    the checker with a completely straight face: “You’re not going to
    accept that are you? She just got out of prison for

      Jose Vega

      What funny thing, I´m still laughing jajaja


I’ve found asking ‘whats the best seller’ to cashiers is a great way to start an interesting chat. I’ll now try your line Derek, cheers for the great video.

Max Zoulek

Oh, looks like I got in second 😀
It’s so true how making a different choice changes everything!


Great Stuff Derek. I have been using that exact same technique only in reverse. You see I am a part time blogger and a full time cashier. My confidence has spiraled upwards because of the conversations I strike up with most of our customers. Many of are Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians and local celebrities.

Max Zoulek

Love it Derek! Epic. Awesome 🙂
Am I really the first to comment ?
What are the infinite possibilities?!


Awesome, I mean this is so obvious but very few people know it and practice it. From my personal experience I can tell that having a right posture can do two things to you.. 1 It will boost you with lot of confidence 2. It will protect your spine.
Another thing one can do is, Just smile at people (strangers) you pass anywhere, everywhere and surprisingly you’ll start feeling amazing about yourself and much more confident and it makes you feel more connected with your surrounding.

Thanks for sharing this Derek..

    Jose Vega

    I´ll practice what you say, about smiling strangers. We´ll see how it works…

Lori Stalter

This works! Over this past year I’ve made it a point to chit chat with cashiers and brighten their day (and in turn brighten my own).

My line has been, “Aww, man! This is the part where you want me to pay, isn’t it? Can’t we just skip this part?” big grins and laughs all around.

Thanks for another awesome video, Derek!

    Derek Halpern

    Nice job Lori, and thanks!


One of my friend told me one day when I was lacking confidence and saying I couldn’t do something : “stop saying this and soon you’ll stop thinking this” It works too actually..


I think when you move to another location or attend a new school you also have the perfect opportunity to act more confident. Nobody knows you, so they can’y say that you’re acting strange.

Anyway thanks for the video Derek.

    Jim Wang

    A new place is an opportunity to reinvent yourself!


    At first it will feel strange and it will seem strange to other people. And sometimes people who know you will call you on acting different, but over time, they’ll get used to it.

    I tried this along with working with some inner issues, and it does work.

    Elisa Lionne

    That’s so true! I think this would be a perfect opportunity to start practicing confidence.

    Eddy Baller

    That’s just a mental block. I don’t know if this is something you struggle with your self, but for someone who is struggling with confidence they will use this type of thinking as an excuse to not get started.

    Acting more confident has nothing to do with the people around you, it’s all about what one does as an individual.

      Jose Vega

      I totally disagree. Actually, there´s no way to be more confident when everybody knows you, because they´ll always say you´re acting strange.

      There´s also, some bad people that always teases you, that even when you´re near them, you feel bad and with zero confidence.

      So there´s always a little trauma in that situations, that can´t be overcomed if you don´t change your environment.

      I say this based on my own experiences.

        John Guns

        Jose, confidence comes from within, not from outside. When you begin to take control of your mind and get past the social conditioning you realize that you are a being capable of loving and receiving love. Taking the first steps takes courage but is well worth it. Once you start working towards a happier reality, you will attract others that share a happier reality. The “bad” people either feed off your positivity and improve themselves or they no longer are a factor in your reality. When you do come across negative people, you actually feel sympathy for them. That’s when you know who you really are.


        This goes back to the idea of having nothing to lose.

        These people may not be the best to practice on, for becoming more confident. However, one you’ve faked it long enough to start to really feel confident, they’ll notice too. Then, they’ll start to look at you differently and start to respect you if they hadn’t before.

        Take the people that may tease you, for example. Once you’ve started to see how confident people act and emulate them, you can put it right back on the ones who tease you, and make them feel pretty damn small.

    Joshua Rivers (@JoshuaWRivers)

    That’s so true. It’s much easier in a new place.

      Tyronne Ratcliff

      I completely agree, a great way to reinvent


      Good point. But, if you use Derek’s advice and teach yourself to be confident where you live, every day, life will open up more opportunities and be more fun as well. By the way Derek, the link to share the video wasn’t working! Thanks for the great video!

        Jim Wang

        Fake it until you make it… or until it sticks. 🙂

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