“With confidence, you have won before you have started.”
-Marcus Garvey

I know plenty of great guys who have spent years unsuccessfully swimming around the dating pool and they all have one thing in common. (I’ll give you a hint; it has nothing to do with looks, career path, or income level.) The tie that binds is confidence! Confidence (or the lack of it) can easily make or break a first date or new relationship. Women are irresistibly attracted to poised, self-assured men and quickly turned off by insecurity. The fact is, it just doesn’t matter how good looking, smart, or charming a man is, if he lacks confidence, he may as well be wearing a woman repellent. Keep reading if you could use a little help gaining confidence (and a couple more phone numbers, while you’re at it).

1. Invest in your image

When you feel good about your appearance, it’s far easier for everything else to fall into place. Women appreciate a man who takes pride in his hygiene, grooming, and personal fitness. And you don’t have to be Brad Pitt to wow a gal with your appearance. You may be surprised to know that most ladies don’t automatically zero in on your abs or your jawline; women are impressed by a man who is nicely-packaged, but not necessarily the most attractive model. Are you neat and well-groomed? Are you sharply dressed? Are you smiling and relaxed? Chances are, if the answer is “Yes,” you are turning heads and you don’t even know it.

2. Make new friends

Female friends, that is. Women often gauge the attractiveness of a potential mate by looking at his other relationships. A guy who demonstrates his ability to maintain healthy friendships with other women sends the message that he is trustworthy and likable. Not to mention the fact that adding a few more gals to your group of friends will allow you to practice interacting with the opposite sex and gain insights into how to best communicate with different types of women. The more female friendships you have, the more natural and at ease you will feel starting and developing an intimate relationship with the object of your affection.

3. Go with what you know

In order to win at the dating game, you need to figure out a strategy that works and stick with it. If you find that a certain topic of conversation or anecdote usually converts your object of interest into a captive audience: lather, rinse, repeat! Success breeds confidence, as does practice. You shouldn’t have to re-invent the wheel every time you meet someone new. Take the time to evaluate your past experiences, determine what you did right, and do it again!

4. Keep it positive

When talking to a woman who interests you, try to keep the conversation light and positive. Apologizing for yourself or disparaging other people is equivalent to stamping the word insecure on your forehead. It’s especially important to follow this rule even after the conversation ends. Avoid over-analyzing and criticizing your choices after the fact. Instead, hold on to the good parts of each encounter. Did you make her laugh? Did she compliment you? Did you discover a common interest? Identifying these positive moments instead of dwelling on negative ones will help you pinpoint successes so you can repeat them.

Remember, gaining and maintaining self-confidence is a building process, not an innate trait. With practice and positivity, you soon can swap your self-doubt for self-assurance. Why not try one of these techniques today? You’ve got nothing to lose, except insecurity!

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