Confidence in Life and Networking can be learned.
Article by Diane Shawe Author
If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not standing in the light.
1. Learn to USE YOUR INNER DNA confidence
I feel it’s something that is always there, something you’re born with that gets lost along the way, or stolen by others. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find it again.
Amy Lee Tempest
When you were born you did not emerge unsure of your cry or insecure about your umbilical cord. You came out unaware of external judgement, concerned only with your own experience and needs. I’m not suggesting that you should be oblivious to other people. It is just that it may help to remember confidence was your original nature before time started chiselling away at it. When you start feeling unsure of yourself remember: we were all born with confidence, and we can all get it back if we learn to silence the thoughts that threaten it.
2. Success WILL HAPPEN
It might seem strange to say expect success since you can’t predict the future, although according to Peter Drucker, ‘the best way to predict the future is invent it’. Conventional wisdom suggests you should expect the worst because then you won’t be disappointed if you fail and you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you succeed. Research suggests this isn’t universally true; pessimism can undermine your performance creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Find the successes in every day and you will notice over time that they increase.
3. The unknown IS OK
Control is an illusion, you infantile egomaniac. Nobody knows what’s gonna happen next: not on a free way not in an airplane, not inside our own bodies and certainly not on a racetrack with 40 other infantile egomaniacs.
Nicole Kidman in Days of Thunder (playing Dr Claire Lewinski)
People often think confidence means knowing you can create the outcome you want. To some extent it does, but this idea is not universally true for everyone. Confidence comes from knowing your competence / skills and acknowledging it’s not solely responsible for creating your world. When you take that weight off your shoulders and realise that sometimes the twists and turns have nothing to do with what you did or should have done, it’s easier to feel confident in what you are trying to achieve. Networking becomes easier and you fear.
4. Learn to receive praise.
It’s amazing how easy it is to believe all the negative things people say and yet discredit the positive. Taking a compliment is an art. Sometimes, it’s instinctive to assume they’re just being nice or that maybe you aren’t really skilled—you just got lucky. Occasionally, this may be true, but for the most part you earn the praise you receive. Don’t talk yourself out of believing it. Instead, recycle it into confidence. You did a fantastic job on your project at work-that means you can do it again. You had an amazing performance-that means you can trust you’re talented. Other people want you to succeed; now you just have to believe them when they show you you’re worthy.
5. Practice WILL MAKE YOU MORE confident
The harder you practice, the luckier you get.
Gary Player (Golfer) 1964
Like anything else in life, your confidence will improve with practice. A great opportunity to do this is when you meet new people. Just like if you were the new kid in school, they have no idea who you are—meaning you have an opportunity to show them. As you shake their hand, introduce yourself, and listen to them speak, watch your internal monologue. If you start doubting yourself in your head, replace your thoughts with more confident ones. Ask yourself what a confident person would do, and then try to emulate that. Watch your posture and your tone. Hunching and mumbling will make you feel and look less confident, so stand up and speak slowly and clearly. People are more apt to see you how you want to be seen if they suspect you see yourself that way.
You may have confidence in some areas and not in others; that’s how it works for most of us. Draw from those areas where you’re self-assured. Above all, remember you are talented and have real ability regardless of what mistakes you think you may have made. Start by acknowledging it and it is the first step to believing it in your heart; believing it is the key to living it. Living it is the key to reaching your potential.
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