How to Shake Off Nerves and Be Confident Almost Anywhere
Do you ever find yourself worrying over future conversations that haven’t happened yet? Do you get butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms or feel awkward when meeting new people? Have you ever felt foolish in a job interview or on a first date? Are you scared to death of public speaking?
If you’re like most of us, you probably said yes to one of the above questions. Think of how much of an advantage you could gain if you overcome this nervous problem! You could get the job, get the promotion, get the girl (or guy), win the contest, win new friends or even get a newfound sense of purpose. Learn the following skills and you will be on your way.
It’s a strategy. There are a lot of reasons why we as people develop these social anxiety patterns. First, I want you to think of them as a strategy. Most likely it was a strategy developed by your unconscious mind to protect you when you were very young. Or perhaps it was to help you avoid criticism or to know that you belong in the group of your peers. Whatever the reason, your first step to overcome anxiety about social encounters is to make peace with yourself about it. Thank yourself for trying to protect you and help you, and really mean it. Be grateful. This will help you to stop the internal debate about it. Now that you’ve gotten out of your head and stopped fighting with yourself about it, it’s time for action!
Visualize it. Before heading out to your job interview, first date, etc you’ll want to do some creative visualization of how you want the situation to go. For example, if you’re meeting your partner’s parents for the first time, envision yourself smiling, holding your body in a natural, relaxed way. Feel your muscles loose around your jaw, neck and shoulders (the place where we often hold our worry and stress). See your hand extending for a handshake, or arms extending out for a hug, if appropriate. Rehearse a confident manner and a comfortable interaction before you go. Hear the sound of your voice speaking with certainty. Imagine answering questions with ease. Go through the whole event, with every detail of the way you want it to go clear in your mind. Take yourself all the way to the end, see the event coming to an end. Then pause and notice how relaxed you feel. If you still feel stressed or anxious, repeat the exercise a few more times, noticing the nerves calming down with each practice. It’s reasonable to expect to do this several times for a really important meeting or event. The reason why this works…now read carefully because this is a secret…most people who are experiencing a lack of confidence are usually rehearsing the failure of the event before it even happens. Just think about all the wasted mental energy being used to think about how it could go wrong! When you do this, you are sending images to your unconscious mind which reinforce the worry. Huzzah! You can now outsmart this unhelpful strategy with the clever technique you just learned. The more you repeat this positive visualization exercise, the more clearly your unconscious mind will understand what exactly you want it to do. In this case, you want it to BE CONFIDENT!
Shift your viewpoint. Having a confident attitude many times comes from having the right perspective on a situation or yourself. The fact is, it’s nearly impossible to have a correct perception of yourself. I mean after all you are inside your own head thinking and looking through your own eyes. Be open to feedback from a trusted source and block out feedback from people who do not have expertise in this matter. No matter how much your friends or family love you, they are not experts and will always see you the same way they always have. They may not be able to see you for what you are becoming. You need someone with vision to see the next steps ahead of you. Now on to a shift in perspective. Perhaps you feel like you don’t measure up in an office meeting. A couple of things will help you. Begin with the assumption that everybody in the room likes you. I mean really pretend for a moment that everybody likes you in the first place. If you expect that they will like you, you will be more carefree in your body language which is most of our communication anyway. Will they all like you? The truth is, that is impossible. No one is immune to this rule: 20% of people will love us, 60% will like us and the other 20% will dislike us. If this is true for everyone, then we are really at more of an even playing field than originally thought, aren’t we? So get rid of any need to prove that everyone likes you. Just assume they do with the wisdom of knowing not everyone will. If you can accept this truth, you are ahead of the game already.
Think about others. Realize that most people’s favorite topic is themselves. If you concern yourself with getting to know the other person with genuine interest and sincere curiosity, most people will feel perfectly at ease with you. You’ll rarely say the wrong thing if you’re asking them to tell you more about them. Here are some helpful questions to get you started. Some of this may seem pretty obvious to you, however sometimes the heart seems to be a million miles from the head. What you consciously know is just information but how you integrate the knowledge into your life is where real transformation begins. So be curious about the other person. Ask with genuine interest questions like:
- “How is your day going?”
- “Have you lived/worked here a long time?”
- “Do you enjoy your work?”
- “Tell me more about that.”
- “How are you feeling today?”
These are your first steps toward being more confident in any situation. My hope is that you really let this insight sink in and take action on it. You really can improve this and make a difference in your relationships, income and self esteem if you act on what you have learned in this article.
There are many deep and intricate ways to learn how to communicate with others for better outcomes in your life which can be learned in a seminar or coaching program taught by one of our trainers. You can watch this video to see how it has impacted other people just like you.
Contact us today to find out if hypnosis or one of our training programs is a good fit for you.
Kellie Lupe-Smith is a Master Hypnotist Society trainer, mentor and speaker, a certified consulting hypnotist, neurolinguistics programming practitioner, certified yoga teacher and owner of Burbank Hypnosis and Simi Valley Hypnosis. Her mission is to help those who suffer from stress, weight issues, smoking and breaking bad habits so they can live the life they deserve and to help new and aspiring hypnotists to create a fulfilling career. She is a member of The Master Hypnotist Society, National Guild of Hypnotists and is a Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce Ambassador.
Kellie has been featured in Voyage LA magazine, The Tolucan Times, WE Magazine for Women and Channel 13 Alan’s Best Buys, Podcasts such as Alayna’s Beauty Talk & More on LA Talk Live and The Interesting Hour Podcast. She is also the creator of Hypno Yoga®, a registered trademark.