How to FEEL con­fi­dent

Woman & Home - - Life Tools -

You’ve set your­self a goal. Per­haps you’ve agreed to speak at a friend’s wed­ding or give a pre­sen­ta­tion at work, and you can al­ready feel the beads of per­spi­ra­tion gath­er­ing. Re­mem­ber, ac­tion begets con­fi­dence – ac­tions of con­fi­dence come first, feel­ings of con­fi­dence come sec­ond. So prac­tise, prac­tise, prac­tise.

“If you want to be­come a con­fi­dent pub­lic speaker, you have to prac­tise,” says Dr Russ Har­ris. The idea is that even­tu­ally we achieve “flow”, when our skills align per­fectly with the task at hand and we’re in the con­fi­dence zone.

But you can never ban­ish nerves com­pletely – it’s the nat­u­ral fight-or-flight mech­a­nism that kicks in when­ever we step out­side our com­fort zone and take a risk. Fear can be a great source of en­ergy and mo­ti­va­tion – just ask any top-level ath­lete or per­former. The trick is not to get hooked by that in­ner voice telling you that you’re bound to make a fool of your­self. A mind­ful­ness trick can help you over­come your emo­tions in the mo­ment. “Let neg­a­tive thoughts float by,” says Dr Har­ris. “Think of them as leaves float­ing on a river. In­stead, fo­cus your full at­ten­tion on the task.”

If you ex­pe­ri­ence a set­back, let go of crit­i­cism and move on quickly. “Old re­grets need to be turned into lessons learnt; they can al­ways be re­framed in a life-af­firm­ing way,” says Dr Riaz, who rec­om­mends keep­ing a di­ary to learn from set­backs. “That way we can let go of the past and move on.”

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