I often overthink things that I find difficult. My confidence is undermined, if it existed in the first place, and the situation begins to feel impossible. Sound familiar?
What is the situation where you lack confidence?
It could be anything! Any situation that you find difficult – making a phone call, asking your teacher for help, sitting a test.
For me, this week, it was a job interview. Challenging at the best of times, but with the added issues of the pandemic to contend with. Would I remember not to shake hands with anyone?
I’m good at overthinking difficult situations to the point that they are worse in my head than reality. Do you do this too? I don’t think I’m alone…
So, what did I do to feel confident?
What do you hope to achieve and why?
I worked out what my goal for the morning was, and my reasons for doing it. For my interview, I decided that I wanted to enjoy the morning. That was my main goal – to be myself and to have fun.
The reason? Well, it would be a good job, but not if they employed me thinking I was different to who I really am, and getting the job was not part of my long term plan so the pressure was off a little. Perhaps that is why they didn’t offer me the job, but I achieved my aim of enjoying the experience.
This is a little different to making a phone call or asking for help, or whatever your difficult situation is, but you will have goals for those things too. When you ask for help, for example, your goal might be to clarify your understanding with the aim of feeling confident with the subject and achieving success in the exams.
If you keep your goal in mind, as I did, you will approach the task with purpose. This will give you motivation to face the situation head on.
Your fizzy memory
Remember episode 3 of my video series – ‘How to be confident’? My tip, to find a memory that makes you feel alive, like your true self, applies here.
Think of that memory as you approach the situation, as you walk up to your teacher to ask for help. If it’s a piece of music, listen to that or play it in your mind.
This is what I did as I walked to the interview – I imagined the music that makes me feel the most like me and that filled me with confidence and those tingly feelings of being alive.
Keeping these things at the front of your mind
This is the tricky bit! You get to the teacher’s desk and time speeds up, you forget what question you wanted to ask, let alone your goals and fizzy memory. You feel like your confidence has left you.
This is the time to slow down and take a slow breath, reset when you arrive, remember that memory and your goal and then go for it!
Your teacher will be patient, the person who answered the phone won’t mind waiting. They are human too and will have situations they struggle with and things they put off doing too.
Reflections afterwards boost your confidence
You did it! You have navigated your difficult situation and probably feel relieved that it is over!
Now, spend a little time reflecting on what happened.
Even if it’s just a few minutes thinking about whether it went well, did you achieve you goal? How does it feel to have done it? Is there anything you would do differently next time?
These questions are important and will help boost your confidence next time. Gradually, these situations will feel less difficult.
You may never be completely comfortable, but you will build up experience with them, and some of that experience will be positive if you set your goals aligned to what you want to achieve.
Wishing you success in your difficult situations, and confidence for the future.
Until next time.