How To Improve Your Confidence In One Easy Step

The simple tip with a big impact

  • Justin Zoradi
How To Improve Your Confidence In One Easy Step

I’ll confess: I struggle with my confidence. Perhaps you can relate.

As someone leading an organization with a large vision, being confident in the way I share our story and raise support is a crucial piece to my work. But after all these years, it’s still a daily battle.

I believe confidence is an important step toward professional success and emotional well-being. So how do you build more confidence? And how do you do it when your confidence levels are depleted?

Here’s a quick tip I just learned that I really like. Ready for it?

Fake confidence by making small talk with people who are paid to be nice to you. <-- Click To Tweet

That’s it? No, seriously – that’s it. Stay with me here.

Cashiers, deli workers, bank tellers, baristas, waiters, auto mechanics, and more. These people are paid to be nice to you. No matter what you say, they will smile, engage, laugh, banter, and go along with all your bad jokes.

People who are paid to be nice to you offer you a handful of incredible opportunities every day to practice being confident.

In fact, when you break out of your shell to small talk with a bank teller about how their day is going– a biochemical reaction takes place in your brain. With every social success, your body releases tiny amounts of endorphins, dopamine, and testosterone that help to reinforce confident behavior.

As crazy as it sounds, the more you practice being confident, the more it starts to filter into your real life.

I learned this tip from a marketing blogger named Derek Halpern. He goes into more detail on his post and video titled “How To Be Confident” which I recommend checking out.

So what do you think of this? Do you believe me? Give it a try and then in the comment section below, tell me how it went. You’ll see mine as the first comment.

- JZ

Photo Credit: Skistar Trysil, Creative Commons

Sign Up Today and Let's Journey Together

Get ideas, tips, and updates on doing work that matters with lasting impact

Fill out my online form.

Comments (17)

  • Justin Zoradi

    Justin Zoradi

    04 September 2013 at 01:10 |
    This small tip has been revolutionary for me. On all the days I'm feeling down, the barista, bank teller, and gas station attendant have given me great opportunities to practice being more confident. I hope to do this my entire life.
  • Shantell


    04 September 2013 at 12:09 |
    I am one of those people that are paid to be nice to people and I have very low confidence and those people who also have little confidence help me while I'm helping them. This has helped me in so many ways! Thanks for sharing!
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      05 September 2013 at 00:11 |
      Awesome to hear Shantell!
  • Justin Dernison

    Justin Dernison

    04 September 2013 at 14:07 |
    Ha! You mean practice with a Universal Associate at the World's Greatest Bank. That minor detail being corrected this advice makes perfect sense to me. Another person advocating this exercise may be Amy Cuddy. I recently watched a TED Talk where she argued that we actually fake it until we become it. Fake confidence become confident. Create the habit of confidence.

    "At first we create our habits and then our habits create us." While I have yet to find who the first person to make this comment was they were insightful for certain.

    What values do we wish to hold? What characteristics do we wish to have? Practice them until they become habits. Want to be more charitable? Practice giving. Want to be more patient? Take a drive in rush hour traffic? Want to be more confident? Come talk to me at the bank!

    A wonderful book on how we create and can change our habits is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I was so excited about this book I lent it out before I finished it (that is a habit I wish to change!). If you have an opportunity I would highly recommend this read (not just for Justin, for anyone reading this comment).

    Great post; thank you for sharing this cool tip. Next time you are in the bank I will be sure to laugh a little harder at your jokes!
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      05 September 2013 at 01:12 |
      Awesome comment. Thanks for all this great info man. Love the habits stuff.
  • Melanie Glass

    Melanie Glass

    04 September 2013 at 14:15 | mean the people at Umpqua aren't really my friends?! I feel deceived.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      05 September 2013 at 01:37 |
      If I know Umpqua like I think I do, they are your friends.
  • Janice Johnson Zoradi

    Janice Johnson Zoradi

    04 September 2013 at 16:02 |
    A long time ago Steve and I traveled to the UK and stayed in a B&B where my sister and her husband had previously stayed. The owner couldn't believe we were sisters because, as she put it, "Your sister was so memorable - she played the piano for the guests and chatted us up in such an outgoing way!" Meaning I was none of those things. I'm actually an outgoing person, too, but she had perfected the art of being interested in everyone, regardless of the setting. I learned from that. Small talk is life-giving to both parties, and a tiny bit of confidence is built every time.
  • Justin Dernison

    Justin Dernison

    04 September 2013 at 19:21 |
    I am happy to be able to consider many of my custo to be friends with relationships that will long outlast our current roles in the world.
  • Jen Mguni

    Jen Mguni

    04 September 2013 at 20:01 |
    I like the concept of taking small steps over and over again to form a new habit. It's hard work but its manageable.
  • Joseph Lalonde

    Joseph Lalonde

    05 September 2013 at 01:20 |
    Justin, this is definitely an interesting way to boost your confidence but I can see how it can work. Thanks for showing me this neat trick.
  • Arlen Miller

    Arlen Miller

    05 September 2013 at 15:08 |
    Thanks for stirring the pot, Justin. Thanks for writing.

    All of life is one big opportunity. Then broken down ... every moment is an opportunity. Line upon line. Here a little. There a little. All the little moments become a life. What will I choose to do now... because now is all I have!
  • Lori Ventola

    Lori Ventola

    05 September 2013 at 16:00 |
    This is a wonderful thought, Shantell!!
  • Bronnie Griffin

    Bronnie Griffin

    15 December 2013 at 18:54 |
    I just read your advice about confidence by faking it until you build it and I couldn't agree more. I never knew that the hormonal effects occurred every time we had successful social interactions but I can believe it. All my life I have really enjoyed small talk with the kinds of people you mentioned but I didn't know why. I do know though that afterwards, I often felt better about my day and most importantly if something really stressful or traumatic happens to me, either at work or in my personal life, I have noticed for years that engaging in positive, light, small talk with a person who is waiting on me so to speak, always made me feel better. Now I know why! So now I have reinforcement to keep doing it so thanks.
  • Sherry


    12 February 2017 at 00:39 |
    I feel the same way too when I meet new people sometimes.
  • Sherry


    12 February 2017 at 00:41 |
    I struggle with it too sometimes.
  • Sherry


    12 February 2017 at 00:49 |
    If you are meeting new people then see what you can do to make them your friend.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest. Optional login below.

About Justin

I believe ordinary people have great power to impact others. I want to help you do work that matters. Learn More

Get My New Book

Download Doing Work That Matters for FREE! PICK IT UP HERE