In a recent blog I talked about how just getting on with it can make you more confident.
Trying new and different things is a really good thing to do: it stretches and challenges you and makes you more confident. But it is definitely easier said than done, so this month I thought I would share some tips to help you get out of your comfort zone.
The examples I use below are based on common fears, but the techniques apply just as well to any situation where you’re putting yourself under pressure.
- Challenge yourself, but make sure it’s something that you stand a chance of pulling off. If you’re not used to speaking in public, doing a short talk at a networking event is probably a better place to start than a 40 minute keynote at a major conference. Start small and increase the level of challenge to build up your skills and confidence over time.
- Think about the good things that will come after you have completed your challenge. How will you feel when you’ve done it? What will you have accomplished? What benefit will there be to you, or your business afterwards? You will definitely feel a sense of pride and achievement, but maybe speaking at a networking event will also lead to a new client, or a promotion. Focussing on the emotional and tangible rewards will encourage you to give it a try.
- If you find yourself just thinking about all the things that could go wrong (and we’re biologically primed to do this, so it will happen), change your focus. Think about what you can do to mitigate the risk of something going wrong. If you’re speaking at an event prepare well, know your topic, understand what the audience wants. If you feel that things are under control, you’ll be more relaxed.
- Change the story. If you make a mistake at a networking event, 15 or 20 people will witness it (and how will they know you’ve made a mistake by the way?). Most won’t care, some will be sympathetic, a tiny minority will enjoy watching you mess things up. That says much more about them than you. All of them will forget about it within a few hours. One mistake is not a disaster.
- Learn from the experience. What went well? What would you do differently next time? What would help you to do an even better job?
If confidence is something you would like to work on, give me a call to arrange for a no-obligation 30 minute chat about your own confidence issues.