Posturing Confidence

In the 2006 Oscar-winning film, The Departed, mob boss Francis Costello explains, “I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.” Talk about confidence—he claims to be nothing less than the master of his own destiny. And until his death, that claim held true.

Now, obviously, you don’t want to imitate all aspects of a sinister mob boss, but there is something to be said about carrying yourself with that level of confidence. In his new book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, psychologist Jordan Peterson discusses confidence and how it can make you more successful—at home, at work, and even in your financial life.

So where do you start? Well, the first chapter of his book is entitled "Stand up straight with your shoulders back”. In this chapter, Peterson discusses how your posture, mood, and success are all interrelated. Intuitively, you know that any type of success will put you in a good mood, which will make you walk around with your head high and chest out.

But the reverse is also true—if you walk around with your head down and shoulders slumped, that puts you in a mentally defensive mode. As a result, Peterson says, “Your brain will not produce as much serotonin. This will make you less happy, and more anxious and sad, and more likely to back down when you should stand up for yourself.” In other words, it will inhibit your ability to succeed.

It’s like a self-fulfilling promise: act confident to feel confident. Then once you get your first “win,” you create a positive feedback loop where each successive win makes you more confident and ultimately more successful. You build momentum until you’re no longer posturing—you’re just confident and successful.

For example, maybe you posture some confidence at work that makes you more productive, so your boss rewards you with a raise. More money, means you can save more, and when your accounts start to grow, you want to understand how it’s invested. Your greater understanding then allows you to make better and better financial decisions, which ultimately leads to greater wealth accumulation.

It’s all about confidence, and like most things in life, you fake it until you make it.


Josh Norris is an Investment Advisory Representative of LeFleur Financial. Josh can be reached at