How to Increase Your Confidence: Keep Your Eyes Up

The majority of people walk through life looking down at their feet.  We all do it.  We look down at ourselves as we walk the hallway at work.  We look at our outfits as we walk across the parking lot.  When we pass someone in the grocery store, we avert our eyes downward after the briefest moment of eye contact.  

It may not seem like a big deal, but this simple aversion of your eyes is subconsciously teaching your mind to accept that you are inferior.  That you are less than.  It makes your whole body smaller.  But it’s easy to change.  And changing where you look will change how you feel as you walk through life.

A lot of what we do here at Butc(h)er Magazine is aimed at helping butches find their confidence, whether that’s provided through the lens of how a watch can change your whole outfit, how to pick shoes that will put some pep in your step,  or how confronting lifelong shame can heal your soul.  Lately, I’ve been more aware of how I feel depending on how I carry myself.

There are a few really good examples of people who don’t walk looking down.  First, think about runway models.  They throw their shoulders back, stare straight ahead, and stomp down that walkway.  Now, consider a successful businessman – maybe your boss or CEO.  When you pass that guy in the hallway, does he look down and away as you approach and pass each other?  No freaking way.  Lastly, imagine someone about 6 years old.  Not only do kids run instead of walking through life.  You hardly ever catch them shuffling along, staring at their feet.  

What do those 3 very different types of folks have in common?  Confidence.  Whether faked, earned, or due to innocence, each of our examples is filled with confidence. 

You can be too.

Try this experiment.  Go somewhere you feel comfortable walking for a few minutes without interruption.  Start walking and look down at the toes of your shoes.  Take 10-15 steps like that.  Now bring your eyes up and look straight in front of you.  Within 5 steps you might notice that your upper body was leaning forward, your shoulders hunched.  Take a big breath and pull your shoulders back and down.  Now walk for 10-15 seconds like that: eyes up, shoulders strong.  Do you notice how your entire body starts to feel stronger?  How there is a big of . . . swagger . . . in your step?  

When you look up, you literally unfurl.  Your body takes up more physical space.  Your gait becomes stronger and a little faster.  And inside your mind, things are changing too.  Your brain gets the cue that you are going somewhere with purpose.  You feel stronger, a little more powerful.  A little less timid.  

That feeling?  That’s confidence.  

You feel confident. 

And you should.  

“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time.” 

– Anna Freud