Bernard Marr
Advanced Performance Institute

Bernard Marr is a best-selling business author, keynote speaker and consultant in big data, analytics and enterprise performance. As the founder and CEO of the Advanced Performance Institute he is one of the world's most highly respected thought leaders anywhere when it comes to data in business. He regularly advises companies and government organizations on how to improve their performance and gain better insights from their data. 

Marr is a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum, a contributor to Forbes, and has been recognized by the CEO Journal as one of today's leading business brains and by LinkedIn as one of the World's top 5 business influencers. Marr is the author of a number of best-selling books and over 500 reports and articles, including the Big Data in Practice and ​Key Performance Indicators.

By Bernard Marr, CEO, Advanced Performance Institute

This article is by Featured Blogger Bernard Marr from his LinkedIn page. Republished with the author's permission.

Ever heard the advice to “fake it ‘til you make it”? Turns out, in some cases, it’s based in scientific fact.

When it comes to feeling more confident at work. Science has shown that things like how you dress, how you hold yourself, the music you listen to, and even the hobbies you engage in outside the office can have a measurable effect on how confident you feel.

Want to feel more confident at work — almost instantly? Try some of these simple tricks to boost your confidence at work, or anywhere you happen to be:

Stand up straight.

Social psychology professor Amy Cuddy studies how positioning our bodies affects our mood and psychology, and simply sitting or standing up straighter can boost your testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels. The combination boosts self-confidence almost immediately.


Smiling makes you appear confident and composed to others, but it also can help relieve feelings of stress so that you actually feel happier and more relaxed. And those things help you project confidence.

Smell good.

Interestingly multiple studies have shown that wearing a scent you like can help you feel more confident. One study showed that, for men, the more you like a scent, the more confident you’ll feel, so it’s worth shopping around for your favorite. In another study, an impressive 90 percent of women who wore a scent felt more confident than women who went fragrance-free.

Rock out.

There’s a reason that many professional athletes include “power” songs in their warm up routines; new research suggests that listening to music can make you feel more powerful — and that can translate into feeling more confident. When putting together your confidence playlist, go for songs with strong bass lines for the most impact.

Perform rituals.

Speaking of athletes, have you noticed that many have a very specific ritual they follow before performing? This isn’t an accident. Research shows that performing rituals can boost your self confidence and even trick you into performing better. Michael Phelps’ coach has revealed that they have a very specific ritual he follows, because it tricks his brain into ignoring the pressure of a race; to him, it’s just another swim every time he gets in the pool.

Dress for success.

How you dress may have as much an effect on how you perceive yourself as how others perceive you. In one interesting study, volunteers who wore lab coats made half as many mistakes on a test as those who wore street clothes. This doesn’t mean you should go out and buy a lab coat. Rather, consider how you think a confident, successful person would look — and dress accordingly.

Keep a “ta-da” list.

Most of us have some kind of to-do list we keep and refer to in our lives, but do you ever make a note of your accomplishments? Just taking a few minutes every day to make a record of good things you’ve done can be a powerful way to boost your self-confidence. It can be as big as getting an awesome performance review at work, or as small as doing the dishes every night before bed — the size of the accomplishment doesn’t matter in this case.


Seems like breaking a sweat is good for just about whatever ails you — and your confidence is no exception. Several studies have shown that working out can boost your confidence, regardless of how hard you exercise. So just taking a walk when you need to feel more confident might do the trick.

Play an instrument.

If you played an instrument as a kid, it might be time to dig it out of the closet and start practicing again. One study suggests that learning to play the piano in particular boosted people’s self confidence. But lots of research supports that learning and practicing an instrument of any kind has positive effects for your brain.

What would you add to this list of instant confidence boosters? Do you have a particular trick or ritual that helps you get through a tough situation?

Originally published on LinkedIn