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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

5 Ways to Feel Confident in Under 5 Minutes

5 Ways to Feel Confident in Under 5 Minutes

If there is one event that is sure to strike fear in every fibre of your being, it is having to deliver a best man speech. It’s a mixture of honour that you have been asked, but also dread that you have to not only talk in front of hundreds of people, but are expected to be at least a little bit funny!

About a year ago, I had to be that guy when I was asked to be best man and deliver a speech. On the day, the moment crept closer and closer with each hour that passed. Feeling nervous, I needed to utilise every confidence trick I had in order to not appear like a mumbling wreck.

What is confidence?

When asked what prevents aspiring actors and directors from fulfilling their ambition, the famed director Francis Ford Coppola simply replied, “self-confidence”. When people think of confidence, it is seen as an elusive trait that others have but they don’t. They tell themselves that lack of confidence is why they don’t have the job they want, the partner they want, or the skills they need.

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The truth is confidence is what appears after you go for what you want; it is the result of stepping into the unknown in spite of feeling nervous or fearful. This can take time, however, and in the meantime there are certain tricks you can implement that temporarily make you feel confident while you work on confidence being a default habitual state.

Below are 5 patterns my clients and I have used in order to feel confident quickly. Have a play and notice how much more confident you feel afterwards.

1. Tall posture

Walk around any city and as you people-watch, pick out the ones who lack confidence. 9 times out of 10 the people you choose will be looking down at the ground, shoulders hunched forward, taking up as little space as possible. How you hold yourself physically plays a big part in how your hold yourself mentally, so in order to begin to feel confident, you should hold your body in a way that communicates confidence. This means standing tall, shoulders & head back, being aware of what is around you, and keeping hand motioning to an absolute minimum. After ensuring you adopt this posture, don’t be surprised when people start to see you as a confident individual.

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2. Change your environment

Recent research aimed at those who spent their whole day in offices found that spending just two minutes walking in areas with a lot of greenery can have a positive effect on one’s mood. The reason this worked was because when you change your environment you change the stimuli that is going into your brain—this affects your moment-by-moment perception of the world.

An example of this would be writers who feel their most creative in bustling coffee shops. In order to make full use of this pattern, think of places you frequent where you feel your most creative, happiest, relaxed. Aim to go to these places when you feel low in confidence.

3. Do something you are good at

Whenever you are doing something new, like speaking in public or learning a new skill, you are putting yourself in a position where you might fail. Web humans like to protect our egos, so we tend to feel bad when we fail and ultimately wonder if we should quit, but any skill that’s worthwhile will always be preceded by failure as you go through the process of learning.

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By combining this process with doing something you are good at, you won’t find yourself in the depths of despair 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When you do something you are good at, you feel good and your confidence is high. Be aware of your strengths and do them daily.

4. Reframe

Low confidence is always solidified with negative thoughts, and your thoughts will influence your behaviour and decision. A reframe can change the direction of your thoughts. The easiest way to reframe your thoughts are via questions: When you ask a question, your brain hunts for an answer, so you can take advantage of this by asking questions that can allow you to feel more confident. To give you a framework to make this work for you here are 3 starter questions;

1. How can I make this work in my favour?
2. What is the benefit that has come from this?
3. What is a more useful way of looking at this?

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Over the next week, when you catch yourself having negative thoughts, ask these 3 questions and notice how a change in your thinking has you feeling more confident.

5. Breath and future thought

Feelings that bring about low confidence like fear & anxiety can result in 2 effects; shallow breathing and thoughts of a disastrous future (seeing everyone laughing and throwing things at you as you speak, for example). You can counteract this by having periods of intentionally breathing deeply and visualising a future where you are handling situations in a controlled and confident manner. By doing this, you will begin to feel more confident in the present moment as a result. To get good at this so you can perform it in an instant, dedicate 5 minutes a day in a calm environment so you can rely on it when you need it most.

To conclude, we all have times when we need a confident boost. By regularly practicing these 5 patterns you will find yourself able to cope with those low moments much more efficiently and promptly.

Featured photo credit: Maria moresco via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

Fail Forward: How Setbacks Can Fuel Future Success

Fail Forward: How Setbacks Can Fuel Future Success

A reporter once asked Thomas Edison how he felt failing one thousand times. He replied:

“I didn’t fail one thousand times. The light bulb is an invention that requires 1000 steps. I have learned 1000 ways how not to make a light bulb.”

It is the learning when you fail that deserves celebration, not the failure itself. Failure without lessons learned is a failure. When you fail forward, you learn in the process of failure, which means you’ll inevitably get closer to succeeding.

Failure is not a joke; it can be expensive, embarrassing, or heart-breaking. However, the truth is that people who shun failure deny themselves the opportunity to reinvent and innovate.

We all fail at some point in life, but we get to choose whether we stay down or fail forward.

Can Setbacks Fuel Future Success?

Failure can be a great driver of success. Here are some of the main reasons why.

Failure Teaches Better Than the Best Teacher

Every failure comes life lessons that you may never learn from the world’s best university. Failure helps you prioritize what you normally ignore[1].

Perhaps you have been ignoring some bad habits because they are not big red flags yet. Failure will enable you to confront your fears and tendencies in a way you wouldn’t have if you had not failed.

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If you have not failed before, you definitely missed out on opportunities to reflect and figure out your sources of motivation. Check out the video below to learn just why failure is the key to success:

Failure Makes You Strong and Wise

The wisdom and strength that you exude when you share what life has taught are what I’m talking about here. The lessons become a significant part of your journey and success.

Consider actors preparing for a movie. Sometimes, you miss the line while acting the script, and you rehearse. Every rehearsal is an opportunity to become better. Likewise, each setback is an opportunity to develop the courage to fail forward.

Failure Makes Your Story Compelling

Your obstacles produce the most incredible story ever told—stories of how you surmount your challenges and achieve the success you desire. These kinds of stories have impact and give others hope.

It would be uninteresting to reflect at the end of life and realize you have never failed. It would most likely depict a life of mediocrity and complacency. Without failure, you cannot tell compelling stories or record noteworthy feats.

Failure Makes You Fit to Pursue Your Goals

Failing forward despite setbacks means you believe you can. It means you can move on despite obstacles.

This resolution helps you always stay fit to pursue your goals. The judgment and opinions of others can no longer sway you. You are more resolute and committed to seeing your goals come to reality.

9 Tips to Fail Forward

You can leverage failure to start learning and growing in any aspect of your life. Here are 9 proven tips to fail forward.

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1. Determine the Possible Challenges

Begin by determining the exact stumbling blocks between you and your success. When you think about your success, negativity becomes a challenge that can assault your mind.

Go ahead and list all the factors that could cause you to fail. Write them in your journal. When you are done, you have a list of potential limitations to your success.

Now, take them one after the other and reflect on the best ways to overcome them. Activate your action plan, and attack each limitation until you clear all and achieve your next level of success.

2. Develop a Strategy

When you keep aiming at a goal, and you keep failing, refuse self-denigrating thoughts. Instead, assess and change your strategy. You don’t have to change your goals as long as they are SMART goals; you only need to change your approach.

Figure out what you’re missing and design a system to avoid future mistakes. Find an accountability partner or a mentor to share input and ideas on your strategy. Commit at least 10-15 hours refining your strategy, and keep positive people around you to help you avoid negativity.

3. Educate Yourself

It would be great if you could research about what lies ahead of you. Find out if someone has passed through it and learn from their experience.

Thomas Edison made 1000 attempts; how did he manage to fail forward? What can I do to overcome anxiety and depression that comes with failing?

Equip yourself to surmount challenges when they arise.

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4. Seek Advice

Isolation is a killer of success. Don’t isolate yourself from people that can help you. Talk to someone about the circumstances.

If you had the opportunity to meet Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Edison, what questions would you ask? Perhaps, how Lincoln led the nation through one of the most significant moments in the history of the United States despite his inner troubles. How Edison failed forward until his dream of a light bulb for humanity came to reality.

Ask your contacts to point out limitations and the mistakes they made. Leverage this experience to shorten your learning curves. You can also enroll in courses designed to help you overcome obstacles.

5. Reflect on Your Why

Someone once said if your why is big enough, the how will show up. Take some minutes to write and reflect on why you want to overcome obstacles and achieve your next level of success. Think yourself into the new feeling, esteem, and lifestyle you desire. This is called visualization, and it can be a great tool to help you fail forward.

Fail forward through self reflection

    You can learn more about finding your why in this article.

    6. Live Life With No Regrets

    Value each day and refuse to live your life by default, but by design[2]. Manage your time effectively, and live every second of your life deliberately.

    Pursue your goals, take calculated risks, and know that every risk comes with failure. Embrace each chance you have to fail forward because it will mean one less regret you have later.

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    7. Celebrate Your Small Wins

    Every achievement takes you one step closer to your success. While waiting for the final day, take out time to celebrate those small victories.

    Perhaps you have completed your weekly to-do list; you can pamper yourself. You may visit the cinema, attend a yoga class, or visit the spa. That way, you will generate momentum to surmount the next obstacles.

    8. Learn From Each Day

    Every day is an opportunity to show up in the school of life. Show up to learn from life’s instructor—failure. Open yourself to events and experiences as they present you the opportunity to learn.

    Your greatest teacher in life is failure. The more you fail forward, the less you become afraid of failing as you would have transcended your setbacks and emerged stronger.

    9. Accept Reality

    When you fail, admit it, and accept that life must continue. That’s what failing forward is all about.

    Acceptance helps you to make progress. It helps you to gain liberty so you can figure out the next step to take.

    The Bottom Line

    Above all, maintain a positive attitude. Your attitude is fundamental to your outcome. Always preempt obstacles, and don’t let life happen to you without taking the time to fail forward.

    Don’t stop, and celebrate every little achievement.

    More Tips on How to Fail Forward

    Featured photo credit: Josh Marshall via unsplash.com

    Reference

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