‘I’ve been promoted’ said Angela with a wry smile.
‘That’s great’ I replied ‘Isn’t it?’
‘Well, yes it is but……there’s a problem!’
‘I seem to have great difficulty taking the lead. It is something that makes me very nervous and although I will air my views in team meetings, my heart pounds and I feel as if I can’t breath.
There’s also a lot of strong characters there and I think a little resentment that I have a senior title when if fact they have been there a lot longer than me, so this is going to be difficult.’
Angela had been doing so well at work that she was picked out for the promotion she richly deserved. Yet, now that she found herself in meetings with the people who were her former line managers, she was struggling with her confidence level.
Many people struggle with their confidence level.
It’s a real shame. The ones with the loudest voices or biggest egos are often the only ones who get heard. Yet, so many people have a lot to contribute but simply sit on their ideas rather than risk appearing a fool or making a mistake. They become paralysed by fear.
Perhaps it’s time to let go of the self limiting beliefs, change your mind set and give your self permission to shine?
Four tips and one tale to upgrade your confidence level
1. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about what you are trying to achieve
Focus on what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, and what you need to do to get there. This will harness your brain’s internal filters to work on your behalf.
Set your intentions before you go into the meeting. Write them down. Practise saying them out loud before you even get into the meeting.
2. Adopt a power pose
Research shows 1 that if you adopt an arms in the air, head back pose for two minutes before and interview or presentation, you will feel more positive and confident.
While you’re doing it, imagine the meeting going really well and connect with your inner confidence and your right to be there.
3. Speak out early
Try to say something as early on as possible in the meeting, even if it’s only to agree with someone. There is something about hearing your voice in the room, which is powerful and tends to subdue the nerves when speaking up later.
The longer you stay silent, the harder it is to say something later on.
4. Enjoy being outside your comfort zone
Ok, so you’re outside your comfort zone at the moment. But feeling a bit scared shows you’re in new territory. Congratulations, that’s when you will truly grow and learn new skills.
In other words, feel the fear but do it anyway!
5. Give yourself permission to shine
Here’s a motivational speech often attributed to Nelson Mandela but actually authored by Marianne Williamson. (2)
Life’s too short to hide in the shadows. Get out there. It’s time to sparkle!
‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of the universe*.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of the universe* that is within us.
It is not just in some of us;
It is in everyone and as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others. ‘
* adapted from the original