7th June 2019
by Charlotte Wilson
Communications, productivity, public speaking, thoughts
Confidence is important, especially at work, it allows you to command a meeting effectively, encourages clients and colleagues to trust in your abilities and ultimately, it makes you feel good about your own value in the workplace.
But sometimes, summoning the courage to take on all of the above with confident aplomb can be challenging to say the least, and suddenly we can feel ourselves shrinking in a meeting, shying away from answering questions we thought we knew the answers to and questioning our own abilities and authority.
No one is born with dizzying amounts of self-confidence and no one is born a nervous wreck, being confident is something that is developed, and is also necessary to work on, over time. And for many of us, confidence is something that can come and go quite regularly.
The trick, so I’ve been told, is to think of confidence like a muscle, the more you work on it, the stronger it will become and the longer it will stick around for the long-haul. This sounds pretty straight forward, but much like working on that killer summer bod in the gym, things don’t always work out to plan because you know, life is relentless at throwing obstacles in our way that can set us off kilter.
When people are most confident is usually when they are in a positive head-space, they’re ‘on a roll’ if you like, focused on their successes and accomplishments and therefore immoveable in delivering the right amount of confidence required to get the task done. However, when people are at a lower ebb, as is inevitable throughout certain points in the year, month or even a week, they tend to focus more on their failures thus feeling low self-confidence, or even defeat.
And this is the time when we need our confidence-super-hero cape the most, because if we can convince ourselves that we feel confident, then we can boost our self-esteem and push ourselves to act, even when we don’t really feel like we can do it.
So, here are Pistachio’s top tips on how to boost your confidence and fake that self-empowering feeling until you really do make it!
1. Talk to yourself – nicely
It might sound like something that crazy people do, but actually studies claim that we say between 300 to 1,000 words to our self per minute. Crikey. Therefore if we are already talking to ourselves pretty frequently, then we should make sure that we are saying the right things that help us to be more confident.
Be positive, because the way you talk to yourself influences your neurobiological response to it. When something (hopefully you?) in your mind says ‘I know what to do here’ or you see something as a challenge rather than a problem, then you’ve successfully turned your response into a positive one. So, listen to that voice and harness that positive reaction inside your head to translate to what you’re doing and saying on the outside.
2. Fight the negativity bias
Since our early development as humans, we had to learn pretty quickly to either get dinner or be dinner. So our natural negativity bias has effectively kept us safe from danger for thousands of years. But as we no longer live in caves, and do not need to hunt for our food, we sometimes need to remind ourselves that not everything new or different is a threat to our survival. This way of thinking can affect our confidence as it makes us focus on everything that we’ve done wrong up until this point.
To trick your brain out of this habit and immediately boost your confidence, come up with 5 positive thoughts to counter every negative one that comes in your head. Then, let every positive thought sit for 20 seconds before you move on to the next one. Do not enter into a dialogue about the negative thoughts, realise these emotions for what they really are and move on.
3. Face your fears
When we feel safe and in control of something, then we’re not afraid. If we’re comfortable, then it’s not scary. However, when we don’t feel in control, we let our emotions take over and we don’t think clearly or rationally, and this can affect our outward show of confidence.
We cannot ignore our fears, because they only come back and really do a number on us, so we have to confront them so that we can face them without letting our irrational emotions take over. The best way to tackle this when you’re feeling low on confidence, is to think about your worst fear for that particular situation. Spend time analysing the worst possible outcome and what this would mean. Now, focus on your breathing and wait for your body to relax. This is you realising that you didn’t die, nothing terrible happened and that you absolutely can face and conquer this.
All in all, everyone experiences phases where our confidence really takes a hit and we feel unsure as to whether we’ll ever be able to bounce back again and show everyone what we know we’re really made of. But the key is to trust in yourself, stay calm and know that negative feelings are transient. So, believe in yourself, you know you want to!
Are you feeling confident about where your brand is heading this year? Why not chat to us about your next project or campaign? We’d love to hear from you!