Have you ever had a boss or CEO who was so confident they commanded respect and admiration from everyone, and it seemed like every problem could be easily solved?
Or watched a politician stay as smooth as your favorite moisturizer, calm and confident while you were sweating it out at home just watching the debate?
Or attended a concert and watched in awe as the lead singer took the stage with such swagger, that you would swear that you could see confidence oozing from their pores?
Many top performers admit that while they project total confidence, on the inside they are overwhelmed by self-doubt and nervousness. To alleviate these barriers to success, some have even gone so far as to create ‘alter egos,’ who they can tap into and ‘channel’ so they can overcome their fears.
This technique of identifying and channeling a specific ‘Confidence Champion’ to help get you through a nerve-wracking moment is a tactic you can deploy yourself. Here are 5 simple steps you can deploy to make it easier for you to rock your next meeting like the star that you are.
1. Identify who is your ‘Confidence Champion”
Close your eyes and picture the most confident person you know. Is it Beyonce (aka Sasha Fierce) and her fearlessness?
Is it Michelle Obama, thanks to her calm strength and grace under pressure? Is it Oprah’s openness and warmth? Is it your boss or CEO, who can answer tough questions and demand respect, while still being open and likable?
Identify who your ‘Confidence Champion” is and why.
2. Assess Their Key Confidence Traits
List out the attributes you admire most and want to emulate. Is it grace? Poise? Strength? Humor? Identify what you relate to that is genuine and authentic to you.
3. Assess How You Stack Up: Be honest with yourself.
Which of those attributes do you already possess? What are those traits you need to develop.
4. Assign yourself homework: Identify those areas you want to work on and create a plan to do so:
Buy books: A search on “how to build confidence” on Amazon.com alone returns 238 results!
Listen to Audiobooks: Here is a great selection to get you started.
Stream podcasts: A little fresh air and exercise will do your body good. While you are out there... Here are some to listen to on your walk or run.
Hire a Coach. Michael Phelps has his coach with him by his side every time he steps in the pool. If having a coach is valuable for the most decorated Olympian of all time, it can certainly help us mere mortals. I've seen how Mental Toughness Coach Bobbi-Jo Brighton of Boldful Life can help those of us who need to fix our headspace, and how Sarah Anassori can make you believe in yourself, and how Tiffany Walker of She Reaches can help women achieve their goals and find balance.
Research online tools and tips. You can even create a Google Alert with the word or phrase that describes the trait you want to develop to have the latest articles delivered to you. Click here to learn how.
Wet Cement can help! Of course, subscribe to my newly launched YouTube Channel here.
5. Create a Ritual: Create a quick routine to channel your confidence champion before your next big ‘moment.’ Here are some ideas of how you can easily get your head in the right place:
Close your eyes, and conjure up the image of your 'Confidence Champion'
Play your ‘personal anthem’
Create a Mantra/Motto/Slogan: Repeat over and over something along the lines of “I am the ____ of my industry/what I do.”
Once you do this long enough, your true self and your aspirational self will become one. You won't necessarily need to channel anyone else, because you will have proved to yourself enough that you can do it. This is exactly why Beyonce 'killed off' Sasha Fierce in 2010: “The thing that’s interesting is I don’t need Sasha Fierce anymore, because I’ve grown and I’m now able to merge the two,” says Beyonce in Vibe.
Finally, I’ll share a little secret with you--I know this technique works, because I’ve used it successfully myself.
Before my first presentation to 300+ Executives at the Consumer Healthcare Product Association Annual Executive Conference, my nerves were starting to get to me. But two nights before I had to step on the Main Stage, I saw Maroon 5 in concert. When lead singer Adam Levine took the stage for the finale to sing “Sugar,” he tore the house down. I swear you could feel his confidence from the audience. In that moment, I realized that Adam Levine was so sure of himself because he knew no one could sing his song better than him. And that no one could deliver my content better than me.
Before my presentation, I stepped away for a few minutes to go into the bathroom. I closed a stall, put in my earbuds and listened to “Sugar.” I may have even busted out a few dance moves--but you have no proof of that. When I sashayed out of that stall, my confidence had increased ten-fold.
Even today, whenever I start to feel the jitters, I simply close my eyes and sing ‘Sugar’ in my head, and tell myself “I am the Adam Levine of what I do.” And I've listened to that song during races--it's my 'personal anthem' that gives me a free and prescription-free dose of confidence.
Visualization is a powerful tool… as it creates indelible pathways in your brain that can re-circuit your thought patterns. Next time you have the jitters, channel YOUR confidence champion and rock your meeting like the superstar that you are.
Now, share with us who YOUR confidence champion is!