One of the things that divides the desirable men from the single ones is simple: the desirable men have that swagger. A man who’s connected with his swagger is someone who’s tapped into a level of charisma that other people simply don’t have. Swagger is that mix of confidence and assurance that gives a man the extra oomph, that ineffable quality that makes him almost magically appealing.
Swagger is part of what makes an individual go from attractive to magnetic. We see it in some of the most beloved characters in pop culture from Peter Venkman to Han Solo to Jack Harkness. We see it in celebrities like Will Smith and Serge Gainsbourg.
And you can have it too. So let’s start finding your swagger.
You Have To Feel It To Find it
The first key to finding your swagger is almost paradoxical: in order to find it, first you have to feel it.
Part of what trips up men who want to be more attractive and desirable is that they don’t feel that way. This is, in no small part because they look to external validation to give justify their feelings. If an attractive woman finds them desirable, then they must be desirable.
This, of course, sets up a classic catch-22: how do you feel desirable without first actually being desirable? How do you learn to think that you’re sex on toast without the approval of someone else?
The answer is that it comes from within. You have to simply unlock it within you.
And you do that by finding the things that make you feel like a bad-ass. You want something that makes you feel like you’re the hottest thing since World War III. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to take advantage of your brain’s suggestibility.
Contrary to popular belief, our brains aren’t objective observers of reality. Our brains are notorious for their malleable grasp on reality, editing the way we see not just the world but ourselves. One of the most notorious examples is the idea of enclothed cognition – that is: that the way we dress affects the way we behave. If you want to feel like a sexy bad-ass, then you want to dress like a sexy bad-ass.
I’m a firm believer in the transformative power of clothing. Dressing up sharp makes you feel like million bucks. The right haircut can utterly change how you feel about yourself. Even the right pair of shoes can add just a little extra spring in your step and make you feel like you’ve hit your next level.
So you want to do a little dress-up. Find those clothes that make you feel like the sexiest motherfucker in the world. Go to the barber or stylist and do something different with your hair – something with a little edge, a little wilder than you might normally go for. Think of the look you wish you had the guts to try, the “I want to do this but I’m not cool enough” image that your archetype wears, that look that you’ve been waiting on and dive in to it.
Yeah, you’ll feel a little awkward at first but pay attention. There’s that part of you that has a little extra spring in it’s step. The part of you that feels cooler than you have in years. Embrace that feeling. Let that awesomeness soak into your bones and radiate through your body. Feel it as completely as you can. Let it move you. Notice the extra confidence you feel. Notice the way you walk, stand and carry yourself.
That’s the first hit of your swagger. And now that you’re feeling it, you’ll be ready for the next step…
How To Summon Your Swagger
Marilyn Monroe was famous for being able to turn “Marilyn” on and off at will. Tiny changes in her body language would transform her from Norma Jean to Marylin, even though she never changed clothes or makeup. She looked exactly the same physically… but these small changes would make her go from an attractive but otherwise unremarkable woman to someone who could hold the eyes of everyone around her.
Now imagine how great it would be if you could do that.
Part of developing your swagger is learning how to call on it at will. Like magic, you can go from being a shy, awkward nerd to the coolest bastard in the room. You learn to make the change that practically turns you into another person almost instantly.
You do it through practicing mind control – getting into state. Just as enclothed cognition transforms how you see yourself, the biomechanics of your body and external expression control your emotional state.
Think of the times when you’ve felt like a sexy bad-ass – like when you put on your awesome clothes, for example. Remember how you stood – the pitch of your shoulders, the way you cocked your hip and held your head. Think of how your chest was out and open and your arms were relaxed.
Think of every part of that moment. How did you stand? How did you move and act? If you can’t remember, then watch some of your role-models. What is it that makes Han Solo stand out over Luke Skywalker? How does Peter Venkman carry himself? What Would Jack Harkness Do?
Now, as you hold those images and emotions in mind… adopt that posture. Mimic those actions, use that walk. Carry yourself the way that you did when you felt so sexy it hurt. Make it physical; raise your energy level and walk around the room the way that you did – or that Jack might or that Solo would.
You’re using the biomechanics of your body to transform your brain. Just as the act of smiling makes you happier, by adopting the posture and behavior of someone who feels that easy, sexy, swagger, you start to feel that easy confidence.
Now think: how does it feel? If you were going to describe that feeling, name it, explain it to others, how would you phrase it? Do you feel excited? Are you feeling confident? Do you feel cooler than James Bond? Are you feeling seductive? Find the phrase that perfectly describes how you feel in that moment. Let this be your mantra, your personal “SHAZAM” – the phrase that helps you bring your inner swagger to the surface. Say it out loud, in the way someone who feels that way would feel it.
That mantra, that phrase can help you find that emotional state and pull you into your confident body language. Like putting on a costume, you’re becoming the sexier, cooler version of yourself.
Live Your Swagger
The more you make your swagger a part of your identity, the easier it is to maintain. It becomes an organic part of you, something that’s just there when you need it. While you’re developing and finding your swagger, you want to avoid the things that hinder you. After all, it’s far easier to summon your swagger in when you don’t have to start from zero every time.
Just as it can be hard to go from spending time alone to diving head first into being social, having to make a massive effort to be ready to find your swagger can be exhausting. The less energy you have to expend hyping yourself up and getting into state, the more you have to spend on the things you want to be doing.
The problem is that many of us have a number of bad habits that drain or swagger away or make it more difficult to call to hand when we need it. It’s hard to feel like a sexy bad-ass when you’re wearing a ratty, stained tee shirt and jeans that stink of stale cigarettes and last week’s dinner. Trying to maintain that cocksure confidence is difficult when you feel like you’re lying or putting on a costume.
Similarly, when your place is a cluttered, slovenly mess, you feel like a slob and a pig. It weighs in on your brain and makes you feel like a fraud. After all, if you do win someone’s interest, how’re you going to bring them back to a place where the cockroaches have moved out to find a place more upscale?
This is why it’s important to live your swagger as best as you can. Making sure that you are always dressing well, for example, helps makes it less of a leap to get into state. You’ve already primed the engine and it’s just waiting for you to hit the gas. This doesn’t mean that you have to be dressed to the nines at all times, but it does help to maintain some style even when you’ve decided to laze around the house. Athleisure wear may seem like an absurd invention, but it’s a good way to keep up the standards even when you’ve decided that pants are bullshit.
The more you can make your life reflect and support your swagger, the easier it will be to maintain. And the longer you maintain it, the more it will become just part of who you are.
But there’s more to finding your swagger than just changing your body language and cool clothes… you have to change your mind too.
Part of what kills your swagger is feeling like you don’t have the “right” to it. The belief that you don’t deserve to feel that confident or that you haven’t “earned” the right to think you’re awesome will torpedo your swagger like a U-boat tracking an American cruise liner.
Believing that your desire and emotions are bad or unjustified sucks away at your faith in yourself. It leaves you feeling unworthy – the literal opposite of swagger.
Which is why it’s important, if you want to find your swagger, to stop apologizing for your emotions.
Part of what holds back many men is the belief that their wrong for desiring someone or that being interested in them is inherently creepy or bad. They feel shame for wanting someone because they feel that their interest is an imposition on others. A man who’s found his swagger on the other hand is up front with his interest. He owns it, is comfortable with it.
The emotions aren’t the problem – the expression of them is. Asshole behavior, pushy or inconsiderate actions or creeping on someone is shameful. Approaching someone, flirting with them or simply being up front isn’t, particularly when you’re considerate of their comfort and interest.
Being willing to own your interest helps make you confident. Doing so in a respectful manner demonstrates your emotional intelligence and social calibration. It’s in the intersection of those two axis that make you dead sexy.
The Man With Swagger Gives No Fucks (But Spreads The Love)
Of course, one of the most important parts of finding your swagger is the right mindset. One of the most important parts of developing and maintaining your swagger is understanding that you have only so much time and so many fucks to give. As such, you want to save those valuable fucks for the things that are important.
And the daily bullshit of life aren’t important. The mindset of someone who’s found his swagger is to let the bullshit roll off them without a trace. Why? Because it’s not helpful. If it doesn’t help, then it’s not important.
Rejection, for example, happens to everyone. While other people let rejection destroy them, men with swagger can laugh it off and move on. Yes, it’s a shame that this one person isn’t interested in you, but there are many, many others. You’re free to find someone who digs what you have to offer and leave this one person behind.
However, having your swagger doesn’t mean that you simply go around acting like a dick. There’s a difference between having your swagger and being arrogant or self-centered. In fact, one of the best things about finding your swagger is how it empowers you to spread the love around.
People who’ve found their swagger not only feel good but they want other people to feel as good. They become outward focused; they like to make other people smile and laugh. You feel good, so should they. They understand that they have a lot to offer and the best thing you can offer others is a good time.
So help maintain your swagger by sharing the love. Compliment others and let them know that you think they’re cool or do awesome shit. Thank them for the things they do for you. Listen to them and make them feel appreciated. Having the confidence to concern yourself with others helps make you magnetic.
This article originally appeared on Doctor Nerd Love
Photo credit: Getty Images