When it comes to confidence, you have probably heard the phrase “fake it until you make it.” For some people that will work, but not for everyone. Confidence is a hard thing to shift. You may appear confident, but inside you may be feeling like an impostor and that you don’t have all the skills or capabilities that you need. The irony here is that you do have them, but your fear is trying to protect you from failing or getting hurt. What if you think about a different approach to shift your level of confidence?
The article called, The Most Dangerous Self-Confidence Myth and How to Avoid It by Dr. Wasi Saleem puts forth the idea that you should take action to build up your confidence, even before you have it. One of the examples in the article is about public speaking. Most people would agree that giving public speeches is something they are not very confident at doing. It causes a lot of people anxiety, so they avoid it at all costs. Let’s talk about how to shift your mindset around this example and take action.
Although you are nervous to speak in public, you are going to get up there and do it anyway. Take a deep breath. Let your true self show up and share your message. You have your own unique perspective on the topic and there are going to be people in the audience who need to hear what you have to say. Think about how the information you have to share is going to help at least one person in the audience. The point is to take the focus off of you and put it on the audience members. I would bet that they will come up after the speech to ask questions or to meet with you about what you shared. How is your confidence now? You are feeling good about your speech. Your confidence is up and you made a difference for people in the audience. Remember that feeling the next time you have to do something that scares you.
Let’s also talk about what else could happen instead. People could get up and leave while you are speaking. Watching people leave while you are speaking is difficult, but there could be multiple reasons as to why that may occur. Your message may not resonate with them and that is okay. They had to take a phone call and it had nothing to do with your speech. They had to leave early for an appointment or to pick up their child at daycare. You get the point. The reason they left has nothing to do with you personally. It is about them and what they needed to do at that moment. There is no need to second guess yourself and wonder if you should have done something different. You can’t go back and change it. Trust that you did the very best you could and your speech got through to the people who needed to hear the message.
This is just one example of how you can take action to increase your confidence. You may need to do things multiple times to feel more comfortable with them, but don’t give up. At some point, things will shift for you and you will realize how much higher your confidence is now that you have taken some action. What actions will you take to face your fears and increase your confidence?
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