The Hormone Linked To More Confidence

There are many parts of life that require a strong measure of confidence, such as asking for a raise, believing you can perform an unfamiliar task well, or selling a product — or yourself — to someone, to name a handful. Why is it, though, that some people have more confidence compared to others when it comes to dealing with these and other challenging situations? 

According to the experts at Psychology Today, those who exude confidence possess a sense of conviction about their abilities to meet life's challenges. Confident people tend to be successful in reaching goals because they make solid first impressions, understand how to deal with stress and pressure, and ultimately find ways to work through life's challenges.

While a number of factors can impact a person's confidence level, such as one's upbringing, mindset, and whether or not you are engaging in a healthy lifestyle, some health experts believe that a particular hormone also plays a role in confidence. If you are one of those people who feel less confident, you should know that this could have something to do with your levels of testosterone -– regardless if you're a man or a woman (via MindBodyGreen).

Ways to increase your testosterone and confidence

Testosterone is associated with men but is also present in women, though in much smaller amounts. With regard to how testosterone in women affects confidence, Harvard-trained integrative medicine doctor Sara Gottfried, M.D. points to a 2009 study of 500 graduate students, explaining to MindBodyGreen that the results showed that the women with higher levels of testosterone tended to be less risk-averse.

With regard to men, the results of a 2018 study by the University of Cambridge showed an increase in testosterone levels after men considered themselves "winners." This self-perception led the men to have an inflated sense of value, and they became more confident when approaching potential sexual partners.

So, how can this information help you increase your self-confidence on a practical level? "Atomic Habits" author James Clear points out that making a conscious choice about your posture or how you hold your body can impact your hormones. For instance, standing in a Wonder Woman-type power pose (i.e., hands akimbo) for just two minutes every day can potentially increase your testosterone and your sense of confidence. Power poses can also potentially decrease the stress hormone cortisol.

If you are looking for other ways to build confidence, the experts at Psychology Today say to be mindful of how you speak to yourself and beware of being self-critical. They also point out that you can be confident in some areas and less so in others. To build confidence in new areas, take the time to practice your skills, observe others, and listen to experts.