Confidence Boost: The Power of a Smile
The smile is a powerful move to make you seem more approachable.
But it is more than that.
It is a tool for the mind.
When you are in a fearful situation, a smile can bring you back to the present.
Smile in tough times?
During public speaking competitions, I would hold a smile right before getting called on stage.
This ended up turning the nerves into excitement.
Seeing the emotions transmuted like that blew my mind.
And it showcased that the power of the smile is DEEP.
We can all leverage the power of the smile in our respective fields.
But in order to leverage it, we need to understand it’s value.
This is a fine way to have your physiology influence your psychology.
Why is a Smile Powerful?
A smile is powerful due to endorphins.
Endorphins are feel-good chemicals.
Normally, we release these endorphins when someone else makes us laugh.
Picture the last time you watched a comedian or had a friend say something hilarious.
‘Can we release endorphins if we force ourselves to laugh, rather than someone else?
Try it out for yourself.
Sit up straight or stand up.
Make your body BIG, like you are about to pick up a billion-dollar check.
‘Wow, I feel wayyy different.’
That’s endorphins being released in your brain.
It’s called the feel-good chemical for a reason.
Level up your communication skills with practical tips, stories & insights.
7 pm EST Daily.
Public Speaking | Social Skills | Storytelling | Emotional Intelligence | Creativity
Leveraging a Smile to Melt Fear
What is fear?
It’s when we are feeling a tension that is causing us to inhibit movements.
That’s the physical definition.
But mentality wise?
Fear is the story that we tell ourselves.
When we are fearful of something, we display the exact opposite of confident body language.
- Our bodies get small.
- We are touching our neck a lot.
- And yep….we are frowning.
This simply reinforces a negative narrative to the fearful situation.
And you make yourself more scared.
The trick is to force yourself to smile even when you are nervous.
Although this may seem like a small act…it’s a BIG one.
It’s the principle of the matter.
You are associating feel-good chemicals of endorphins to this fearful act.
And as you are consciously associating the chemicals to this act, you are rewriting your narrative.
The perception regarding this fear is gradually changing.
Over time, you may find yourself drawn to this fear.
Our senses are conditioned to run away from pain & run towards pleasure.
So why are you drawn to this fear?
Maybe because your narrative is altering…
What’s the ultimate lesson?
Smile in situations that you find uncomfortable.
Practicing a Warm Smile
Have you ever seen that one person who had an extremely creepy smile?
‘Lmao, yea I’ve seen plenty of people like that.’
Do you consider yourself like that?
How can you be so sure?
The thing is, many of us are embarrassed by our smile.
I know this girl who never shows her teeth when she smiles because she thinks she looks ugly with teeth.
Her psychology is now involved.
There is no right way to smile, let’s point that out.
Each person has their own unique style.
But you want to at least see how you look & FEEL as you use this move.
Remember, the point of this blog is to not only smile unconsciously.
But to do it consciously as well.
That’s how we make this act a tool.
‘Where are you getting at Armani?’
Practice a smile every now and then in front of the mirror.
You’ll notice the more you make yourself comfortable with how you look, the more confident you feel unleashing this move in different situations.
‘How do I exactly practice?’
Real talk, you just go with a feeling…
How does it feel?
Normal or creepy?
We don’t want to overdo it with the intellect.
This is not supposed to be some homework assignment.
Instead, the goal is to unlock the MICRO muscles that we rarely utilize.
The more we practice analyzing if our smile is creepy, the more we will naturally:
- Get our eyes involved.
- Lips curl in a more polished way.
- Eyebrows become involved.
Out of the blue moon…the smile becomes a HOLISTIC process.
Not just moving your lips up.
The Effects of Smiling in Human Interactions
I consider public speaking one big social interaction.
Even though all eyes are on you, your goal is to talk to one person at a time.
Rather than talking to a crowd.
Anything that involves humans is a social interaction:
-One one one conversation
Remember earlier how I was talking about endorphins?
Well, there is another chemical known as mirror neurons.
Mirror neurons give other humans the ability to feel a similar sensation to how we are feeling.
A big reason for empathy.
When you have a warm smile that makes you feel good…
It activates the mirror neurons in the people that you are smiling around.
And due to their mirror neurons, they start releasing endorphins in their brain as well!
How dope is that?
This is a crazy insight in regards to dealing with humans & digesting the power of the smile.
Let’s say you have to deliver tough news to someone…
Would you deliver your criticism while frowning or while having a slight hint of a smile?
A smile would make you seem much less threatening.
It will allow the other person to let their guard down.
This will allow your criticism to bypass their ego & be registered.
Therefore, not only does a smile reduce your fear, but it is a move to leverage in unique social situations!
Smile Effectively & Smile Consciously
Throughout this article, we explored a deeper dimension of smiling.
Before, it was an act that others did to us.
Others made us laugh.
Others made us chuckle.
But now, it’s an act that we can do for ourselves.
A smile mitigates fear, helps us feel good & helps others feel good as well.
There are tiered effects to this movement.
By the way…
Did I mention that it’s free?
You now understand the psychological, emotional & physical benefits of the smile.
There is a value attached to the act.
Once we perceive the value, that’s when we are much more likely to ACT.
Practice a warm smile in front of the mirror occasionally.
And be strategic in unleashing it for yourself.
That’s the power of the smile.
If you want more practical communication insights, subscribe to my free daily newsletter.