When I am asked to speak to a new group, I always have flashes of self-doubt. My heart starts racing, and my mind begins focusing on the negative. For a brief moment, I become riddled with thoughts of inadequacy and what if’s?
- What if I’m not good enough?
- What if I forget what I am going to talk about?
- What if I don’t connect with the audience?
Everyone has moments like this when they feel less than certain about what they are preparing to do. The trick to doing well is knowing how to turn those less than certain feelings into confidence quickly. The good news is, it isn’t that hard to do when you know The 5 Strategies of Confident People.
Remind yourself of your bright spots.
Bright spots are times in your life where you weren’t sure if you were going to succeed, but you did. Examples of bright spots are learning to ride a bike, getting a job you weren’t sure you could get, or any challenge you overcame when you were unsure that you could.
Bright spots are positive references that when called on remind you of your own personal power. When we are feeling less than confident, it is because we are either deleting those bright spots from our awareness or downplaying the fact that despite their difficulty at the time we rose to the occasion and overcame them.
Visualize yourself doing the job well and creating a positive result.
Maybe the biggest factor affecting your confidence is what you are picturing in your mind. When you are feeling uncertain about something, I am willing to bet you are creating an image in your mind of things not going very well.
For example, students who have test anxiety are picturing themselves receiving less than satisfactory grades. People who are scared to drive are imagining themselves getting into accidents.
On the other hand, when you are feeling confident, you are either not even thinking about the results, or you are creating positive images that correlate with the results you are hoping to receive.
The next time you begin to feel nervous, stop for a moment and pay attention to the images in your head. If they are not in alignment with the result you are hoping for, then cancel them out and create new images that make you feel strong and confident. Picture yourself getting the results you want.
Turn your problems into opportunities.
What are you telling yourself when you are facing a circumstance you would rather not face? Are you calling it a problem or an opportunity, a threat, or a challenge?
I know this sounds like semantics, and to a degree it is. However, sometimes being off just a degree or two is all that is required to throw us way off course.
Our brains primary concern is to keep us alive at all costs. Whether we thrive or not is a conscious choice. Therefore, if we perceive our current situation as a threat, then our survival instincts kick in and begins preparing us to fight or flee. By simply changing our perception of the situation from a problem and a threat to an opportunity and a challenge, we can channel our energy into being creative and conquering the opportunity at hand.
It’s simple; threats are scary because if we fail, that means we will be losing something very dear to us. Challenges are something we can rise to and overcome. And in doing so, we produce another bright spot in our life we can use as a positive reference in the future when we find ourselves faced with more adversity.
Tell yourself you are grateful for the opportunity.
One of the most powerful weapons we have at all times is the ability to be grateful. Gratitude changes the way we feel because it helps us to see the positive in all situations.
Research in positive psychology has revealed that the mere act of simply searching for something to feel grateful changes our state. That means that even if you can’t find something to be happy for, you will begin to feel more resourceful, just because you are trying to find something good about the situation.
Ask yourself, “What’s great about this situation? What opportunities are here that once I rise to and conquer will make me a better person?”
Refuse to stop asking those questions until you receive an answer that motivates you and leaves you feeling confident.
Fake it till you make it!
If all else fails, fake it till you make it. Stand, breathe, and walk the way you would if you already believed in yourself. The amazing thing is, when you do, you will begin to feel more confident. Yes, your heart may still be pounding, but you will now be able to channel your nervous energy into positive energy that will be able to lead you to victory.
Research by Amy Cuddy supports my claim. In fact, just standing in what is known as the Superman or Wonder Woman pose for two minutes can send positive feelings of confidence through your body.
Sound too good to be true? Try it. And while you are standing tall with your chest out, and your hands on your hips try remembering a bright spot from your past while picturing a positive outcome to the circumstance at hand. See the results going your way while feeling sure you can handle whatever it is you have to face.
Confidence is a choice. A choice of what to think about, how to think about it, and how to use your body. The next time you are feeling uncertain put The 5 Strategies of Confident People to work for you.
Question: What strategies do you use to feel confident in times of uncertainty? You can leave a comment by clicking here.