In 1849 New York, a man would walk up to strangers and begin a conversation. Gaining their trust, he would ask “Have you the confidence to trust me with your watch until tomorrow?” He would never return. When finally caught, he was labeled a “confidence man”, later shortened to simply “con man”. The man, William Thompson, would reportedly gain the confidence of his upper-class “mark” by dressing very nicely and pretending to be an old, forgotten friend. He was eventually arrested when one of his former victims recognized him on the street.
Standing like a Superhero for as little as two minutes changes our testosterone and cortisol levels, increases our appetite for risk, causes us to perform better in job interviews, and generally configures our brains to cope well in stressful situations.
Faking confidence can positively change your brain chemistry and your life.