How confident people deal with nervousness

A few weeks ago, I and Viktor sent out questions to over 10 000 of you. We asked you about how you view confidence and what specifically you wanted to be better at. It was fascinating to read.

Here are some stats from the survey:

Male to female ratio

Becoming more confident turned out to be universal for both men and women. Here, women were somewhat overrepresented.


We were surprised by how people from all ages are interested in improving their confidence. The youngest being 16 and the oldest being 60, with the majority being 18-28.

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Why faking confidence can backfire and what to do instead

When I created one of my early programs on confidence it backfired…

It turned out that several participants became MORE nervous and LESS confident after they’ve followed my advice. That puzzled me because when I’d tested it on a small beta tester group, they had great results.

Here’s some of the advice that backfired:

  • Be more confident by using a more confident body language (Made popular by Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk)
  • Fake it til you make it” by playing the role of a confident person, such as a movie actor.

Interestingly enough, SOME people have great help by the methods above, and some instead get more nervous.

The methods above force you to focus your attention on yourself. If you already have skeptical self-thoughts, like “What will people think of me?” and “People think I’m weird”, these thoughts will naturally become stronger the more you focus on yourself.

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How do you join a group conversation if you’re not supposed to interrupt?

How do you enter a group conversation? On one hand you’re not supposed to interrupt people, but on the other hand, someone else always seems to start talking before you get the chance to say anything.

In this article, I give you 4 powerful techniques you can use to enter and be part of an ongoing conversation without being rude.

A few days ago, a friend invited me to a mingle his company arranged.

I spoke to one girl there who was really fun and interesting.

If I had left the mingle at that point, I would have described her as socially savvy.

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How to build internal confidence without external validation

One night a couple of years ago I was out with two friends.

A third dude, Shadi, joined up. I think he was friends with one of my friends.

We went to buy a something to eat from the local kiosk.

Anyway, Shadi wasn’t that hungry it seemed… After he had eaten half his hot dog, he smeared it all over the table attached to the kiosk. Then he looked at us as if he thought we would laugh with him. Because it’s so fun to make the kiosk attendant clean up after you (not).

At first, I was shocked he would behave like that. Then I got pissed off.

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How I start conversations with acquaintances and strangers

Do you ever think “Should I start talking to this person or not?”

Last weekend, we had amazing weather. I took the opportunity to go down to my allotment to do some gardening. Unsurprisingly, a lot of other cooperative members had the same thought. So it became more of a social gathering than anything else.

The thing is, most people in the cooperative barely know each other, if at all.

So this situation is ripe for awkward introductions if you’re feeling sociable.

But I actually enjoy socializing down there, because it’s not awkward when you get it right. It’s fun and a little bit exciting.

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How David and I became friends and what I learned about it

Hello, Viktor here.

So I wanted to let you know about a different side of David today. I want to tell you about how he and I became friends about 7 years ago and what I learned from him because of it.

He did 3 things I think most people neglect when they want to make new friends.

1: Take initiative (repeatedly)

When David and I first met, I wasn’t really that interested in making new friends for many reasons.

The first time we met, we talked a little bit. We seemed to have a few things in common. Later on we exchanged numbers to keep in touch, but I didn’t think much of it. But David saw an opportunity for friendship and he took it. He invited me to a philosophy evening, where some mutual friends of ours met up and discussed philosophy.

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