Breaking Down Conor McGregor's Confidence
Now, this post isn’t a fan post about Conor McGregor. This post about how you can build your confidence up, I just so happened to use Conor McGregor as the subject of our analysis. There are three main areas that I will be focusing on here: body language, speech, and mindset.
VIDEO WITH RELEVANT EXAMPLES
Confident body language:
When you watch Conor McGregor during press conferences and interviews you will notice that he often takes up a lot of room. He sits comfortably as if he was home alone watching a new episode of Game of Thrones in his pyjamas.
During the UFC 196 press conference, the power of his confident body language is clearly displayed. Conor has elbows spread out almost like an eagle. His opponent Rafael Dos Anjos has closed body language. Dos Anjos’s arms are tucked under the table, his shoulders are tucked in and he keeps his head down as he talks. His body language is clearly weak and as a result, he gets dominated in the interaction.
The problem with having closed off, weak, and passive body language is that it can create a negative feedback loop during your social interactions. You lose confidence simply by being in these passive positions, your mind notices that you have bad body language and in turn makes you feel more nervous. Your nerves lead you to more close off body language which leads you to less confidence and the cycle continues until you lose your power.
There have been research papers done on the physiological effects of body language. This research was popularised by Amy Cuddy in her TED Talk titled ‘Your body language my shape who you are’. Her research concluded that doing ‘Power Poses’ (strong body language that usually takes up a lot of room), could lead to benefits such as:
• Higher testosterone levels
• Lower Cortisol levels
• Overall increase in confidence levels
Keep this in mind next time you see Conor McGregor doing that ridiculous ‘McGregor walk’ before fights.
How you can apply this:
If you have a date or an important social interaction, be very aware of your body language. Avoid bad body language as it will rob you of your power. Keep away from doing the following:
• Keeping your hands in your pockets and shoulders tucked in.
• Looking down
• Holding your hands in your arms
• Crossing your arms
• Sitting against the wall with a drink in your hand (stop hiding!)
Generally, bad body language is closed in. Don’t be afraid to take up more room. Below are some things you should be doing.
• Take up more space
• Have your feet a bit wider
• Have good posture while standing
• Keep your head up
• Relax ( no one is going to kill you )
Image of some 'Power Poses'
When you watch Conor McGregor it becomes very clear that he is comfortable speaking. When he speaks he often slows himself down to emphasise an important point. He speaks with purpose and is deliberate about his delivery. Watch many of his press conferences and you will see that he dominates the conversations while other fighters often remain silent.
Nervous people usually talk very fast. They talk fast because they don’t like the spotlight being on them. Often, they are under the impression that if they don’t speak fast enough people will ignore them. You might have felt this feeling before perhaps back in school when you were asked to answer a question. Usually, your heart rate increases and you begin to feel uneasy, this unease is what forces you speak faster than usual.
Confident people don’t give a fuck about the spotlight, they are going to say what they are going to say and will take their time saying it. They don’t feel t the pressure that most people experience while talking. They understand that what they have to say is valuable, and that people want to listen.
This understanding allows them to take longer pauses and change up their cadence making them more engaging.
Good eye contact is also a must; Conor McGregor has very good eye contact when he is talking to people. Poor eye contact displays weakness and insecurities, things that you must overcome.
How you can apply this:
When you are talking, slow down, remember that there is no rush. Own everything you say. If you make a mistake do not get embarrassed, just start the sentence over and clearly state your point of view. Confident speaking takes practice; make sure you practice with every interaction you get into. Below are some things you can work on to improve your speaking:
• Learn to maintain strong eye contact
• Do not feel rushed to say anything
• Use strategic pauses to create effect
• Own what you say
• Don’t lose confidence over mistakes
• Learn to use different vocal tonalities within conversations
Conor McGregor is a huge proponent of visualisation. Perhaps his most popular example visualisation came before the Jose Aldo fight. Conor said:
"I felt when we stared down, I felt his right hand was twitching, which was a subtle tell for me. He's ready to unload that right hand and I feel that could be a downfall for him. If he lets that right hand go, I will not be there.”
For those who watched the fight, you know that his prediction was spot on. Conor attributes his visualisations of the fight as the key to his victory.
Conor has said that he visualises everything from the clothes that he will wear to the cars that he will drive and the how his fights will go.
Visualisation is a tool that is incredibly important. It allows you to play scenarios in your head over and over again until they become real to your subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind is influenced through repetition. If you envision yourself at your most confident and charismatic over and over again, you will become that character you envision. The movie ‘Fight Club’ did a good job of showing this process. The protagonist creates a character ‘Tyler Durden’ in his mind who is his ideal self. We can create ourselves through our thoughts just as much as our actions.
How you can apply this:
Before you go on that hot date, or before you give the speech in front of a room full of people. Picture yourself at your best and ask yourself the following questions:
1. What are you wearing?
2. How do you smell?
3. How do you talk?
4. What does your body language look like?
5. How will you deal with adversity?
6. How do you react to success?
Make this imagined you vivid and real within your mind with repetition. When the situation that you have envisioned arrives, you might find that you are simply repeating the action that you have done multiple times before in your mind.