Sports break my good intention of not spending too much time watching TV. Sitting is terrible for you and all that! And I don’t like many TV shows. However, one I watch regularly is “Suits”, mainly for its lead character, Harvey Specter.
He’s the sharp-talking, corporate lawyer, renowned for drinking single malt scotch, wearing custom tailored suits, and winning in the courtroom.
Despite being emotionally constipated he embodies a clear desk policy, his shirts are always immaculately pressed, and he has great hair.
And while some may like him for the eye candy appeal (he does genuinely have great hair), I love his character, despite his arrogance. You can’t help yourself rooting for him, and he is an absolute genius with one-liners.
He prowls the halls of his law firm disseminating nuggets of insight and knowledge all while selflessly reminding everyone how awesome he is.
When you see Harvey Specter, one of the first things you notice is his immense, undeniable self-confidence.
He always has a witty remark up his sleeve, thinks fast on his feet, and he continually seems to get his desired outcome. Wouldn’t we all want to be a bit more Harvey?
Okay, I admit that at times, when feeling deflated or faced with a difficult decision, I have asked myself “What Would Harvey Do?” Channeling my inner Harvey Specter with my mental cue of WWHD.
Harvey Specter and self-confidence
So you can gain that Harvey Specter self-confidence for yourself, I will analyse his character and pinpoint exactly what makes him so confident.
Have you ever heard Harvey apologise for who he is? Never. He has a healthy dose of self-confidence and never self-doubts – two things most of us could learn from him.
When we see people like Harvey, we assume they were always confident. They were born like that. Really? So if you are not confident it is solely down to missing out on the genetic lottery? Here is the truth:A huge part of self-confidence is how YOU see YOURSELF. Click To Tweet
It is all about self-image.
Self-image and self-confidence
Harvey Specter sees himself as anyone’s equal. Admittedly, he goes past this many times and believes he is better and more capable than anyone else.
As a consequence of his self-belief, he is confident around anyone: his clients, his boss, his colleagues.
Regardless of who he meets, he believes he is on an equal or higher plane than all of them. In his thinking, no person is better than him.
That sounds arrogant and will make many people uncomfortable, but seeing yourself as at least on an equal status as the person you’re talking with is an essential key to self-confidence.
Harvey knows how to be alpha: he boldly tells people that.
There is no hint of doubt. No hint of shame. No hint of insecurity. The man proclaims what he thinks about himself, and doesn’t care if anyone is offended by it.
Harvey Specter has many sides to his character. He knows how to be charismatic and charming, but sometimes he decides to be an alpha and exudes confidence.How other people see you is a reflection of how you see yourself. Click To Tweet
How do you want to be seen? If you see yourself as successful and influential, other people will see you that way, too.
Conversely, if you see yourself as a failure and weak, other people will……..
Improving any skill takes time and practice. And self-image is no different. Start working from the inside out, focusing on changing your way of thinking.
Confidence from the inside out
The goal is to develop a more positive self-concept for yourself. One without the internal barriers that can keep you from doing your best, while accepting yourself and seeing yourself honestly.
There are many ways to change negative thoughts and self-criticism to more positive. If this of interest read Self-esteem is about self-respect.
Once you have developed a self-image reminiscent of Harvey Specter, then you will foster a positive and realistic attitude toward the world around you. You appreciate your worth, while at the same time behave responsibly towards others.
Let’s apply this logic. You get invited to a work event. Excited at the prospect of the good food you are keen to attend. These events are always well catered.
Then you find out you are sitting next to the CEO. Argh! You haven’t even met your head of department yet let alone the CEO. The anxiety kicks in days before the event.
Looking at what happened, if you think that someone is leagues above you, you are going to start feeling awkward and uncomfortable. And the other person will notice that.
Related Article: How To Recover From Rejection
The reason why that happens is that you let their perceived importance influence your perception of them. And, you give them a higher value than you should.
The simple truth is, whether you are confident around someone is dependent on how you see your status compared to theirs.
So, to act confidently in situations like these, you need to accept the fact that their job, looks or wealth have nothing to do with you.
If you are high-worth, which you will be, you’re going to act confidently because these people are of similar worth. They are merely your peers.
Body language, style and confidence
In the very first episode, Harvey advises his protegé, Mike, to go to his tailor “….tell him I sent you and spend some money.” The advice is supported with, “People respond to how we dress.”
The car manufacturer, Kia, surveyed what makes people feel confident. In the top 10 list for men, were included: a new suit, a freshly shaved face, and a nice smelling aftershave. For women, it was: a little black dress, high heels, and designer perfume.
Your body language, style and the clothes you choose reflect and affect your confidence and mood. This phenomenon is termed ‘enclothed cognition’ and involves the physical experience of wearing clothes and their symbolic meaning.
Professor Karen Pine, of the University of Hertfordshire, “When we wear clothing we adopt some of the characteristics that are associated with it.”
WWHD? Get up, get dressed, and win each day. Harvey knows to feel more attractive, confident, and strong; you must change out of the casual duds and put on clothes that give you power.
There is a reason superheroes from Wonder Woman to Batman change clothes to assume their kick-butt persona.
When you watch the TV show, you will also see consistent traits in Harvey’s body language.
1. Holds strong eye contact
This is an excellent indicator of confidence. If this is something you struggle with try asking yourself, “What Would Harvey Do?” WWHD: hold direct eye contact for two seconds, then look at their nose for two seconds, their mouth for two seconds, and then their face as a whole for two seconds. Continue this rotation throughout your conversation. You are not looking directly at their eyes the whole time, but the other person won’t be able to tell.
2. Chin up with head upright
Confident people don’t look down at the table, the ground, or their feet. They are always looking up. WWHD: pretend that there’s a string attached to your head that pulls your chin up.
3. Stand up straight with shoulders back
Good posture projects confidence, authority, and poise, while slouching makes you look unprofessional and disinterested.
WWHD: roll both shoulders back allowing your upper body muscles to relax while maintaining firmness in your core to avoid looking tense.
4. Never fidgets
Fidgeting or putting your hands in your pockets are two ways to damage that otherwise confident appearance. When people are nervous, they tend to hide their hands. Who wants to send a message that they are uncomfortable or uncertain?
And crossing your arms has a similar adverse effect. It makes you appear closed off and unreceptive. WWHD: Make sure your hands are always visible, never hiding.
5. Talks with a smirk on his face
It’s imperative to be aware of your speech mannerisms and tone because people measure confidence in the way a person speaks. WWHD: Firstly, cut out words such as ‘um’ and ‘like. Practice being more articulate by speaking precisely and directly. Use inflexion to show enthusiasm and adopt a more confident, lower, more powerful voice by pressing down firmly on your abdominal muscles when you speak.
There you have it, the two factors (impactful body language and style and a tenacious belief in oneself), that built his immense, undeniable self-confidence.
What are your WWHD moments and how do you maintain your self-confidence? Drop a comment to let us know.