Confidence is something that comes and goes in my life.
In certain situations, with certain people I am like a blonde Dawn French – loud, funny and prone to the occasional dance on a table. At other times, with other people, I turn into a shy little girl who just wants to run away home. Isn’t it strange how nerves can reduce a normally confident person into a shivering wreck?
How Nerves can Make You Feel Little
I had an occasion like that this week. Deciding that it would be a good idea to join a networking group, I did. A friend had recommended this particular group, WIBN, near to where I live, and I thought I would go along. It meant going to a lunch with other businesswomen and talking about our businesses. Part of the lunch meeting would mean we all had to stand up and talk for a minute on what we did…
I found myself, as the day approached, beginning to have butterflies. Feeling nervous, my confidence started to fade. What on earth would I talk about? Put me in a room with a client, one to one, and I am calm, happy, in my confident zone. Put me in a room with twenty high powered business women and, dear lord….. along comes the little girl who wants to run away.
Our minds play funny tricks on us. My mind has learnt, through the years, that I am good at what I do day to day. It has noticed the pattern that helping people makes me feel good, kindness makes me feel good. Sadly it has also noticed that among people I perceive to be “better” than me, I go a bit quiet. My preference would be sitting on a beach somewhere reading a book. I don’t know why I feel like this, but sometimes I do.
Fortunately, however, I have developed a cunning plan…. You see, I know that the tricks my unconscious mind plays on me are just that…tricks. Fiendish tricks maybe, but tricks all the same. As a trained therapist I am lucky to have a whole treasure chest of my own tricks to combat my sneaky unconscious. I am not going to let my pesky mind keep me from doing what I want to do. I know that its trying to protect me from potential humiliation, but I am a strong woman and I’m not going to be humiliated by talking about what I love doing. My mind is making a mistake by trying to get me to run away like a child.
Swapping Bad for Good
So I swapped things around. I told myself that the reason my heart was beating a little faster, the reason my tummy was fluttering, was because I was excited about going out with my family the day after the meeting. The feelings you experience when you are excited are the same as those you get when you’re nervous….its just the mindset that changes…..positive versus negative. So, from that moment on, excited about seeing my family, my mind leap frogged over the meeting and began concentrating on the positive event ahead of me.
Does that make sense to you? Maybe you could try it if you are ever feeling nervous about something? Instead of concentrating all your energy on the thing that’s making you feel worried, leap frog to a good thing close by…something you can feel excited about. You can still feel the feelings of butterflies and sweaty palms…but you can trick your mind into thinking about something good on the horizon. Its almost as if you have thrown a cloak of invisibility over the thing that was making you nervous …
A Tangled Ball of Wool
So I went to the meeting and the women made me feel welcome. They made me laugh and told me that they wanted to connect. They listened to my speech for a minute and nobody made me feel humiliated, in fact my confidence was boosted by their smiles. I talked about loving the work that I do. I told them that people come to my practice in Welwyn, all full of fears and anxieties, knotted up like tangled balls of wool…. and then, over time, we talk and learn coping strategies. We carefully unpick, untangle, unwind….weaving permanent solutions to problems that had seemed insurmountable…… until, eventually we have created something beautiful and the person leaves my practice to live the life they want… happier, calmer, more confident.
That’s what I said and that’s what I do. If you are interested to learn more about how I can help you or someone you know, please give me a call on 07894564287 or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org