by Ashley Maree
We’ve all experienced those nerve-wracking times where we would much rather crawl under our desks wrapped up in a warm fluffy blanket, than face the music.
Especially for us women who are in business for ourselves, where we are forced to live on the edge of our comfort zone or we don’t put dinner on the table.
No matter how high your self-esteem or the number of personal development books you’ve read, sometimes your confidence just completely fails you.
Like when you have to present your life’s work to 500 people staring up at you with expressionless faces; or you need to broach a difficult conversation with your business partner; or even approaching a potential investor who is 20 years your senior.
Your palms are sweaty; your inner dialogue is screaming you’ll never pull this off; and your words come tumbling out in the wrong order with no spaces or full stops.
It is in the best interest of you, and your bottom line to learn how to master confidence, no matter what is thrown at you.
There are three types of confidence:
1. Confidence by Experience
You either have this or you don’t. If you’ve done something before, and done it well, you can draw on this experience to feel more confident. Each time you do it, you get a little more confident. Think back to driving a car for the first time, to driving now, the comfort levels are on the opposite ends of the scale right.
This is the deepest level of confidence. Self-esteem reflects a person’s overall emotional evaluation of her own worth. Not so easy to manifest on cue, but can definitely be built over time.
3. Creative Confidence
Here is where the gold is at. If you have no confidence from experience to draw on and your self-esteem seems to be failing, you can still manifest confidence!
We just need to be a little more creative.
Try using some of these powerful techniques to get your Creative Confidence juices flowing next time you’re reaching for the warm fluffy blanket:
· Use your imagination to mentally prepare for whatever it is making you nervous. Think of all the possible answers, comebacks questions and rebuttals a person might have. Brainstorm of all the possible outcomes and ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen. Then take it one step further by coming up with what you can do to minimize the bad effects in the off chance that worst thing does happen.
· Use your body language on purpose to make you FEEL more confident and more importantly make others feel comfortable around you. Smile (make sure you’re smiling with your eyes too); practice a firm but ladylike handshake, open yourself up (no crossed arms, put your phone away and stand tall)
· Strike a Power Pose – try standing in a power pose (think Xena Warrior Princess) for at least 60 seconds. This is proven to promote feelings of power, and in turn helps to make you feel more confident. Probably best to use the ladies room cubicle for this one!
· Slow down your speech – studies show that speaking slower is linked to being calmer and in control, that’s the kind of image you want to project.
Ashley Maree is a confidence strategy blogger and creator of the Confidence Blueprint for Ambitious Introverts at http://ashleymaree.com/confidence-blueprint/. As a former shy girl, her mission is to help ambitious women (specifically entrepreneurs) build killer confidence so that self-doubt no longer stands in the way of creating their ultimate life. By offering powerful strategies to really start play big, so that women are no longer held back by their own fears and insecurities. She truly believes everyone can create their life by design, and that no-one should to settle for mediocrity. She is a proud introvert and a passionate writer on topics such as confidence building, entrepreneurship and lifestyle design.