“Oh my word, I have been lumbered with making a Health and Safety presentation to my department. I’ve never done this before, and I can’t get out of it. Help!” Elaine said anxiously as she took off her coat, brushing past me.
Elaine’s like that.
So not wasting time, I asked her, “How would you rate your self-confidence, where 1 is totally confident and 10 is whoa, no confidence at all.”
I think you guessed it; she went for a full 10. No surprises there.
In her anxiety, Elaine had forgotten a particular technique that I taught her a few sessions ago, that she can use at will to raise her self-confidence level, and allow her to make a fantastic presentation.
We went over it again: divide a paper into two columns; in the left column jot down why she feels unconfident about the event. In the other column, write down the first thought that comes to her mind as to how she would like to feel for each reason she felt uneasy.
I watched as her mind started ticking over, searching for the rest of the technique. So I continued, “As far in advance of the presentation as possible, pick one obstacle with its counter feeling…”
“Oh, yeah, and find a quiet place where I will not be disturbed for approximately five minutes,” Eileen interrupted. “I remember now. The idea is for me to imagine how I would like to act and feel when making the presentation. I am to imagine me feeling calm and confident, right?”
“Continue to work down your entire list. Imagine being confident. As the presentation gets closer, you will feel yourself becoming more confident.”
“And on the day of the event, I fly through it with complete assurance and confidence. I remember it now. I don’t know what I was so nervous about. Silly me!” she finished.
Let me just throw in this bit: it’s important to remember that repetition is the mother of all skill. When you use your imagination to tackle any area where you feel you lack self-confidence, use this method as often as possible, preferably twice daily, until you achieve the results you want.
How much do you value yourself to spend 5 minutes twice a day imagining your own success?
Oh, by the way. I called Elaine to check how she did. And wouldn’t you know it: “I blew them away!” was her response.
Hani Al-Qasem and Natalie Dee are the co-authors of the e-book “Self-Confidence Building in 7 Steps.”