Many people subscribe to the notion that ‘5 a day’ helpings of fruit and vegetables helps sustain a balanced healthy lifestyle. Well I believe this idea can easily be extended to other areas of life, of our well being. Here is the first of a series of short articles exploring what other things we can be mindful of achieving during our day to bring us even nearer to that healthy mental, physical and spiritual balance.
This article ‘food for thought’ is on the area of Confidence.
Here are 5 things you can consider doing on a daily or frequent basis to boost your ability to be and feel confident and apply to whatever situation you are facing. Go on give them a try and let me know your experiences unfold.
- Create a positive anchor that you can tap into when needed.
This is a great technique that you easily help yourself with. Ask yourself who am I when I’m at my best, my most confident? From there identify a time in your life where you were, felt, looked, sounded at your most confident. Bring that experience back to life, making the picture you see, any sounds you recollect, feelings you remember bigger and brighter than ever and then choose a place in your body to touch/squeeze when you that memory feels strong. For example squeeze the piece of skin between your thumb and forefinger. This is called anchoring that feeling, that ‘state’ to something. It need only take a few moments or minutes to complete. Next time you want to feel ‘that feeling’ just touch the same part of your body and benefit from that strong feeling of supreme confidence, you at your best, coming flooding back. Note, you will need to ‘top back up’ your anchor as you use it. This is a known NLP (neuro linguistic programming) technique which you can read more about from many sources such as books or via online sites or get in touch to explore with me.
- Hold a power pose for 1-2 minutes before going into a situation where you need to look and feel confident. A significant amount of academic research supports the notion of holding a body power stance, such as the ‘wonder woman’ pose, which is standing with legs hip width apart and with you hands placed on hips. Do this before venturing into something where you need to feel confident such as an interview or giving a presentation and you will likely come across as more confident than you perhaps feel. Curious about how this is so? Find out more by googling Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Professor and the pioneer in this area of social psychology.
- Catch any negative self talk and deliberately and consciously turn into a positive. Become more consciously aware of your mind chatter and when you hear your inner voice going into negative mode, catch the thought and change it round before it becomes a downward spiral. For example, ‘Oh no I just caught site of my reflection in that shop window as I walked past in my lunch hour and noticed how my tummy looks huge in this dress and I thought it looked ok, I feel fat and rubbish now at everything… turn this spiral of inner chatter into… Oh gosh my belly does show a little more in this dress than I thought but you know what I’m a real woman, I’m wearing this fabulous colour and no-one else is going to notice anyway so keep smiling.’ The good news is the more frequently you start to do this, the easier it becomes and the naturally more positive you may find your thought patterns becoming.
- Choose your Physiological response. It is regarded as a natural reaction to being nervous or for example if we are put on the spot, to step back and avert your eyes. Instead aim to react by moving/stepping forward and keeping your gaze in triangle area of face between a persons eyes and mouth. This sends an unconscious message to them that you are confident in whatever you are about to say.. another useful one to apply in interview situations!
- Confidence is humble not arrogance or dominance. Stay aware of that line between confidence and arrogance and keep on the right side of it. You will often notice that truly confident people can share their mistakes and weaknesses in a positive way by focusing on their learning’s from them and moving forward on what to do next. This helps you have a better probability of attaining the outcomes you are looking for in life.
If you liked this and have a particular area of your wellbeing you’d like me to cover, perhaps something you personally struggle with, please drop me a line with your suggestions. Other ‘5 a day’ topics I’m looking to delve into include anxiety, flexibility and mindfulness.
“The future depends on what you do today… true confidence enables you to show up as your best self more often and comfortably.”
Smart Works Volunteer
Lindsey Porter is an accomplished Project Manager in Financial Services who is now running her own business providing Well Being Retreats, Yoga classes and other therapies. She is an experienced NLP Practitioner, Reiki Master and Holistic Therapist.