A couple of years ago I was urged to do some stand-up comedy by my sister's mother-in-law. She is very active in the Nashville comedy scene and thought I wouldn't completely suck at it.
The only problem was I've always had a great fear of being on stage and blanking and not knowing what the hell I was supposed to say next! It's the reason I never did theater in high school. I mean it freaked me out. I had very little confidence that I could get up there and not make a complete ass out of myself.
I wanted to do it. I love public speaking, but more of a free style, off the cuff kind of deal. A rehearsed set with set ups and segues? Shit that was terrifying.
So whats a fella to do? I rehearsed like hell, memorized my little 5 minute set and had a terrifying blast! I mean I still fucked up, miss fired on some of the timing, forgot some lines, but it was awesome. The funny thing is, while I was busy being freaked out about memorizing my set, I didn't actually attend an open mic night. If I had I would have realized everyone else used note cards! Mountain meet molehill.
So how does that little story help you build confidence? Here are 6 ways to go from terrified to terrific.
1. Just do it. I once heard a great analogy about the fear of rejection. Feel the fear, acknowledge it and treat it like a pebble in your shoe. A pebble in your shoe isn't going to stop you from walking. Its going to be uncomfortable but it won't be enough to stop you. Feel it and move on!
2. Set a small goal and achieve it. Nothing too big, don't try to boil the ocean here. Pick something you can do in a week or a couple of days. Can you take the stairs everyday for a week instead of the elevator, or finally fix that leaky faucet? A quick win will help build your confidence so you can tackle life's larger problems.
3. Be prepared. Study, research, rehearse. (See comedy example) Having the knowledge that you did all you could and learned as much as possible, will give you the confidence boost to knock out whatever you need to do out of the park. I'm currently enrolled in college and there is nothing more irritating than a class mate bumming a pencil or pen halfway through class. What the hell did you think you were showing up to???? Ugh anyway, be prepared. lol
4.Get a haircut and a new pair of shoes. Nothing like getting a fresh fade or some new shoes to make you feel like a million bucks. Its like they say, "Look good, feel good, feel good, play good." Taking care of your physical appearance goes a long way to giving yourself that extra shot of confidence and will have you strutting around like George Jefferson! #MovinOnUp
5. Stand openly. Research has shown that a wider stance and standing up straight can actually do a great deal to boost your confidence. If you just think about it for a second, who at least looks more confident, a slouch with their head held down or someone eyes up ready to take on the world? There is a reason Superman is a bad ass!
6. Positive affirmations. I know this may sound a little cheesy, but just telling yourself over and over that you don't suck, will help you believe that you indeed don't suck. If you need help getting started let me help you. You don't suck! You got this :)
Look we all have times when we question our abilities. We question whether that member of the opposite sex will like us, or if we are smart enough to take care of that assignment our boss gave us. The truth is the only way we will ever know is just by going for it. Life has very few guarantees, death and taxed are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head. The goal should be not be to never fail but to at least have the confidence to give it a try.
Then you will have the ability to look whatever challenges that come up in the eye and know you have a fighting chance to knock it out. I believe in you and so should you! Have confidence in that :)
Best of life, Kris.