Unraveling the Mystery: How to Tell If You Have Fake Confidence or Real Confidence

We’re about to spill the tea on distinguishing the legit confidence from the fake flex. Buckle up, it’s about to get real. 

In a nutshell, genuine confidence reflects a healthy self-assurance rooted in competence and self-awareness while fake confidence often masks insecurity or a fear of inadequacy. However, there are key indicators of what this looks like.

In this blog post, we will explore the subtle yet crucial differences between real and fake confidence and provide insights on how to discern between the two.

Do you have body language that speaks volumes?

One of the most reliable indicators of genuine confidence is body language. Women with authentic confidence tend to maintain good posture, make eye contact, and display open gestures.

First, lets go over eye contact. The eyes are often described as the window to the soul so you could say that eye contact plays a crucial role in conveying confidence. A study by Kleinke (1986) found that increased eye contact is associated with perceptions of confidence and competence.

Real queens stand tall, but there’s a fine line between royalty and playing dress-up.

On the contrary, those with fake confidence may overcompensate by adopting exaggerated or fidgety gestures or maintaining an overly rigid posture. This comes as an attempt to mask their nervous energy.

Research by Pease and Pease (2006) highlights this by showing that excessive fidgeting or tapping may be an unconscious way of dissipating anxiety.

Pay attention to subtle cues like fidgeting or avoiding eye contact, as these may signal underlying insecurities.

fake confidence body posture

Do you overvalue material possessions?

From flashy cars to designer clothing, many people equate their self-worth with the abundance of tangible goods. Numerous studies in psychology, including a seminal paper by Easterlin (1974), suggest that the pursuit of material wealth often leads to a phenomenon known as the “hedonic treadmill.”

This theory states that as individuals accumulate more possessions, their expectations and desires increase in tandem, creating a perpetual cycle of wanting more. This constant pursuit of material goods can be a sign of seeking external validation, contributing to a false sense of confidence.

In fact, over time, individuals may become addicted to this dopamine rush of getting material goods, seeking it as a quick fix for feelings of inadequacy.

Having real confidence is a state of mind that is characterized by internal self awareness and self acceptance.

Are you receptive to feedback?

Genuine confidence is often accompanied by a willingness to receive constructive feedback. Confident women understand that there is always room for improvement and view feedback as an opportunity for growth.

On the other hand, fake confidence may manifest as defensiveness or an unwillingness to accept criticism. If you consistently react negatively to feedback, it could be a red flag indicating a lack of genuine confidence.

A study by Judge and Bono (2001) found that a person’s ability to believe in themselves to accomplish things is associated with openness to feedback and a willingness to confront areas for improvement.


Do you care about labels?

In the era of social media, labels become even more pronounced. The curated nature of online platforms allows individuals to carefully select and present aspects of their lives.

Fake confidence may thrive in this space, as people routinely adopt labels to craft a public image that aligns with societal expectations, even if it diverges from their true selves. Then, it moves into the realm of comparison. 

Comparisons based on labels are a common trap for those struggling with fake confidence. The label of “success” or “failure” in comparison to others can drive individuals to adopt behaviors that may not align with their true selves.

Fake confidence may also involve an overemphasis on external markers of success to fit societal labels rather than embracing personal fulfillment.

Twenge and Campbell (2001) suggests that individuals with high self-esteem are less likely to rely on external labels for validation. Authentic confidence emerges when individuals embrace their unique qualities and define themselves beyond societal expectations and limiting labels.

Are you honest about your limitations?

True confidence is rooted in self-awareness, and confident individuals are honest about their strengths and limitations. They don’t feel the need to exaggerate their abilities or pretend to be experts in areas where they lack proficiency.

Fake confidence often involves boasting or making unrealistic claims. If someone constantly presents themselves as flawless without acknowledging their limitations, it may be a sign of fake confidence.


Do you have empathy?

Genuine confidence is accompanied by empathy and humility. Confident individuals are secure enough to appreciate the strengths of others and acknowledge their achievements.

Fake confidence may manifest as a lack of empathy or a dismissive attitude toward others. Pay attention to how someone treats their peers and whether they can genuinely celebrate the success of others and you will understand where they are on the confidence podium.

A study by Salovey and Mayer (1990) introduced the concept of emotional intelligence, which involves the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions as well as those of others and how genuine confidence is closely tied to high emotional intelligence, enabling people to navigate life with empathy and a growth-oriented mindset.


Distinguishing between genuine and fake confidence is a task that involves observing various aspects of your behavior.

By paying attention to body language, receptivity to feedback, consistency in performance, honesty about limitations, and the presence of empathy and humility, you can develop a more accurate understanding of your level of confidence.

Remember, true confidence is built on a foundation of authenticity and self-awareness, while fake confidence often serves as a fragile mask for underlying insecurities.

Still want to see if you have confidence? Take the self-worth quiz now.

If you want even more hands-on guidance with all things anxiety, self esteem, mindfulness, and manifesting, sign up for the waitlist for Mental Wealth Academy

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