Set Your Mental Channel to Confidence

Sweaty palms, racing heart, an overpowering sense of impending doom….do any of these things sound familiar to you? Personally, I experience all of them when I am about to venture out in public wearing a bathing suit, but that’s just me.

Actually, these are sensations that many people feel when they are placed in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation. Many of us lack confidence when we are asked to step out of our comfort zone; possibly because we no longer feel in control of the situation.
Perhaps you have been told, at some time in your life, that you are not qualified or not good enough to do something. Maybe you have been compared, (or compared yourself) to someone else and you just didn’t measure up. Or it could be that you have felt embarrassed by failing at something that you attempted and have let it affect your self-esteem. Most of these feelings come from messages that we have received from sources that don’t have your best interest at heart. Don’t let these false assessments of your abilities define how you feel about yourself!

So, how does one build confidence in oneself? Begin by throwing out all of the negative images about yourself that you have stored in your brain. Remind yourself that your opinion of your worth is just as important as anyone else’s opinion of your value….probably more important. Think about how many opportunities you may be missing by clinging to false beliefs. And remember that in most cases, not being in perfect mastery of a skill when you first start out, is not unusual or disastrous.

Next, remember that feeling confident doesn’t mean that you have to know everything there is to know about your new experience, job, endeavor, etc. It simply means that you believe that you will be able to figure it out. Think back on all of the times that you learned something new. When you were in school, and were first shown all of those things called letters, you didn’t know how to put them together to make words, but you learned. When you first got behind the wheel of a car, you probably were a little shaky, but you were also probably determined to drive and that determination overcame the fear. When you first saw a computer, you probably didn’t know how to use all of the functions, and maybe you’re still learning…but somehow, you figured it out. Every new adventure requires taking baby steps and building to a level of competence. With each new level of competency, you gain more comfort and confidence.

The first time I had to get up in front of an audience to sing, when I was a little girl, I remember being scared to death and hiding in the coat closet. My teacher told me to picture the audience in their underwear. That made me feel worse, because I certainly didn’t want to see that! But then my kind father quietly said, “Just sing and enjoy the moment. There is nothing that can happen that will make one bit of difference in the way the earth spins. You will be just as valuable as a person whether you sound like a bird or a frog!” Those words ring in my head every time I step out on a stage.

It hurts my heart to hear people say things like, “I have no confidence in myself.” That is the same as saying that you don’t think you can learn and if you don’t know everything all at once, you are a washout. Nobody starts out knowing everything, but people who have switched their mental channel to receive the message, “I am an amazing creation with the capability to learn, and it doesn’t matter if I am perfect” are way ahead of the game! Sometimes we have to fake it ’til we make it!

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