Last Tuesday I went along to a local Speaker’s Club and spoke for 2 minutes about fish. Yes, fish. I’d always said “I don’t do public speaking”, and it was true. Although I felt confident inside, as soon as I stood up to say anything in public my throat would close, my pounding heart would prevent the words coming out, hell, I couldn’t even get to the end of a sentence. I felt such a dork!
I’d go to networking groups and read out my introduction from a piece of paper, with shaking hands. Training to be a coach though meant learning NLP techniques and these have certainly helped me, and slowly I’ve begun to build my confidence.
You can choose how to feel. Instead of telling myself that I felt too nervous to speak, I’d keep stating “I can do this, I’m confident, I can speak clearly and confidently”. Repeating these affirmations really does help. Your brain starts to believe what you’re saying. Instead of dwelling on what you can’t do, you can try telling people your positive stories. Even talking about tiny achievements is really powerful and helps build up your own confidence. Look for what’s going well in your life and big it up! I love this picture of the skate-boarder in Los Angeles. I wonder how much he had to work on his confidence to get this good!
A few months ago I agreed to do a 10 minute talk to a group of women. Yes I was terrified! I could have told myself I couldn’t really do it and I’d be awful, but instead I kept saying to myself “you can do this and you’re going to rock it.” I imagined myself standing there with a clear strong voice. I saw myself full of confidence, and when the time came I gave my talk. OK I felt that my throat trembling at times, but I kept going and got a really good reception. How I felt afterwards was amazing! I felt like dancing down the street. If you need a dose of confidence, tell yourself you have it already!
Now I’ve gone and offered to run a 2 hour workshop in Los Angeles. Am I mad? Probably, but heck I’m taking steps, slowly pushing myself out of my own comfort zone and building up my own confidence step by step. I’ll let you know how I get on!
Last week, speaking about keeping an aquarium having just pulled out a picture of goldfish 6 seconds before and told to tell a story, was another step for me; but I managed to speak quite coherently and engage about 20 people. I’ve decided to stop dong negative thinking and take positive action instead, and I’m confident it will work.
Have a great week!
Do you have confidence issues? Mine was in public speaking but I’ve helped women get over all sorts of blocks. Contact me here to find out more.