Several years ago I was hired to do a job that technically, I didn’t have the experience to do. I had landed a meeting with a senior executive from a Fortune 250 company and went into the meeting not thinking that I would actually be asked to do the work. Mentally this helped because I didn’t feel like I had anything to lose. I was nervous but very relaxed, just happy to have had the experience of meeting her.
So when I was hired, I was surprised, elated and terrified all at the same time.
Because I was terrified, I never once allowed myself to envision failure on any level. Not once. Failure was just not an option.
I immediately set to work putting together an amazing presentation not only for the very top executives of the company, but more importantly for the person who hired me. I felt a strong sense of responsibility to make her look good by doing great work.
The morning of my presentation, I visualized overwhelming success and never considered an alternative outcome. The stakes were too high.
Even when I was setting up for the meeting and everything was falling apart with my audio visual presentation, I was mentally strong and soldiered through.
The outcome was exactly what I had envisioned. The details were different and it didn’t go as “planned,” but the overall outcome was a success.
I acted my way to confidence from the first initial meeting all the way through to the very end of the presentation.
Studies show that you can act your mind into believing what you want to be true. But I didn’t need a study to convince me. My experience convinced me.
You’ve heard the axiom, “Fake it until you make it.” Psychologist and Harvard professor Amy Cuddy suggests something a bit different.
She says you should, “Fake it until you become it,” which is exactly what I did.
You can too.
7 Ways to Act your way to confidence starting now:
1. Say yes to amazing opportunity, even if it terrifies you and then figure out how to make it work.
2. Think only thoughts of what you want to be true.
3. Keep yourself so busy working towards the positive results that you want that you don’t have even a minute to think about anything but success.
4. Adopt the power pose (see Cuddy’s TED talk) at the beginning of every day, even if you’re not leaving the house.
5. Dress better than you need to. How we look impacts how we feel about ourselves and our confidence level.
6. Do something every day that scares you, whether it’s making a phone call or attending the networking meeting that you’ve been putting off for the last 5 years, just do something.
7. Always, always, always, keep moving forward. Bounce back fast and often.
If it worked for me, it WILL work for you. Take the chance and experience the bold confidence you’ve been longing for to be the success you were meant to be.
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