How to get confident on demand
The most powerful people in the world lose their ability to feel confident at times. Anyone who is human and has a pulse has moments where they don’t feel self-assured. This is a guarantee.
Even someone as calm and collected as Oprah Winfrey admittedly mentioned on one of the old episodes of her show that, when she is nervous to meet someone “important” she would remind herself “he poops too”.
I always remember this and laugh. It helps shift the context of the situation from “this person is important and I’m not on their level” to “we are both humans with the same insecurities and struggles”.
Ah, so true.
Confident people have learned to get there quickly
For many of the people you look up to and see as incredibly confident, you’d never know when they are struggling. This is because they’ve trained themselves to deal with it quickly so it doesn’t get in the way. Moments where they lack confidence only last a few seconds.
You’re no different. (Remember, you poop you!). You can learn to do the same.
And, I’ve developed a simple confidence booster tool that will make it easy for you. You’ll find it below. It’s a technique I’ve designed for you to use to become confident on-demand in moments where you lose this ability. Use it anytime, anywhere.
But before I share the tool, I want to a share a quick story about my No.1 lack of confidence trigger. It’s what prompted me to come up with this tactic. Maybe you can relate?
What triggers a lack of confidence
When I am interacting with a group of people where it really matters to me that they like me I get freakin’ nervous.
Groups like my neighbors, for example. They live near me and it matters to me that they like me and include me.
I don’t feel this way when I meet groups of people I may never see again, such as at a networking event. In those moments, I take on a “I have nothing to lose attitude”. You don’t like me? I’ll never see you again. It’s cool.
So, it’s when I see the relationship as one that matters that I get all stressed about it. When I don’t deal with my lack of confidence, parts of me that I don’t like can come out. I either:
- Feel a need to “prove myself” by showing how great I am in a bragging about accomplishment type way, or most often
- Get quiet and I don’t share myself. This usually happens if I pick up on a body language cue from someone who I don’t think likes me and then make up that they don’t and take on a “screw you, I’m awesome I don’t need you attitude”.
In these moments, I forget who I am. And, it’s annoying to me that I tend to shut down. Or act not like myself.
Most people have similar protective reflexes when interacting with people they care like them.
Why people lose confidence in groups
No one wants to be ostracized. It’s built into our biology. Our ancestors didn’t survive when they were excluded from the pack. Which is why a lot of people lose their confidence in groups. (And also why public speaking is the No.1 fear in the world).
This confidence killer is particularly bad for me. When I was a kid I was overweight. A lot of the kids at school and family members made me feel like I wasn’t good enough because I was a bigger girl. I never felt accepted when I was just being me.
I mention this because all of us start to build a self concept of who we are around 8-10. Whatever challenges we have around that time come to define our natural tendencies in adulthood. These become unconscious and automatic. Many people aren’t aware of why they are doing something. If you identify a behavior in yourself you don’t like you will likely be able to trace it back to a moment that happened during this time period of your development.
So, while I’ve worked incredibly hard at loving myself and being with people as I’ve grown into an adult, my early abuse from people still triggers me and tries to take me out.
It happened to me not long ago when I was about to attend an event with some “influential people” in my city. I wanted to show up as confident. As me without nerves getting in the way. But the entire day I was feeling stressed.
To deal with these annoying nerves I had a conversation with my personal development coach, Robin H-C. She asked me how would I like to be at the event?
I said: “Like my husband”.
“But really. He’s incredible with people. And he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him because he is settled in who he is. He barely thinks about what he’s going to wear, and walks into the room like a rockstar. And everyone loves him.”
Her coaching was to ask him about what he feels when he goes to an event like the one I was attending.
So I did, and what I learned from him made me realize: That in the moments where I lose my confidence, it’s simply because I forget who I am.
You see, my husband, wears his awesomeness on him. He can’t not. He’s worked very hard to accomplish major things in life – five books, a tv host, a successful entrepreneur, created a successful national charity. And it’s not about the accomplishments, it’s about what he’s done that’s proved to himself how powerful he is. It’s hard for him to forget how awesome he is because he can just remind himself of what he’s done.
Other people may not have written books or been tv hosts but we’ve done things like raise kids and finish school. These accomplishments way not look as sexy but they are.
It’s important to wear your awesomeness on you. When you do, you will be confident all the time. When you lost confidence you can get it on demand by reminding yourself how great you are – even if you don’t think you are.
Noticing that what was at the core of my lack of confidence – and it’s true for all people – was a lack in my own abilities. So, I created a reminder tool I call the “Awesome you list”.
Here is how to use this confidence booster tool
Here’s what to do and how to use it:
In a moment where you are alone and feeling good and confident create a list that you can access when you need it to boost your self confidence.
You have to do it when you are feeling good so you can be prepared when lack of confidence comes up at a future moment.
Describe why you are awesome. Write down your achievements and accomplishments, the people in your life who love you and why.
Then, in any moment where you lose your confidence, quickly take a few moments to read the list. Get present to it. It will allow you shift context and be able to take on any moment.
I’ve created a simple script with examples that will help you build yours.
If it seems silly or stupid, I urge you to put those thoughts away and try this. Build your list today and when a moment where you lack confidence shows up you’ll be able to regain composure in minutes.
Keep in mind: If you have trouble building an “Awesome You list” you may have another issue. You might have a problem loving and appreciating yourself. You have trouble letting love in. This will cause issues for you all over your life. There is additional work you can do to become more loving with yourself.
You can also get someone to help you build your Awesome You list sing this confidence booster tool. It’s about pumping you up and celebrating your victories. If you can see them clearly, someone in your life can.