Self-confidence – Fake it until you make it?
‘Fake it until you make it’ does sound like terrible advice, I know! However, the reason I wanted to blog about it today is that I feel it reflects a lot of what I have been up to this week!
Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been conning anyone! But I have definitely been pretending to be ‘confident’ and ‘self-assured’ when really I have been terrified and, not mere butterflies, but giant elephants have been romping around in my stomach!
The ‘fake it until you make it’ advice was taken from a Facebook Live video I watched a couple of weeks ago on the Self-Employed Mum Facebook Community. The video was all about self-confidence and I thought it was really interesting how the lovely trainer talked about how ‘pretending to be confident’ can lead to actual confidence.
Doing new things
So, what have I been up to this week that was so scary?! Well, firstly I did a video training myself for the same Facebook group. I did pre-record it as I didn’t feel I was ready to ‘go live’ just yet. I could hear myself chatting away to the laptop about ‘top tips for writing’, handing out advice and snippets of information (whilst waving my hands around gesturing to the screen!).
However, in my head all I could hear was ‘the bully’! “Do you actually know what you are talking about?” “Are you qualified in any way to give out this advice?” “No one will watch this – you are probably boring them already!”, etc etc…however I continued to smile at the laptop’s blue light.
The truth is, on reflection, I know the bully is wrong. I know that my tips can help, and I know if I looked at my CV and listed out my experience it probably would count as ‘qualified’…and it even says ‘seen by 43’ so there’s proof that may be someone watched it…?!
Watching a little bit myself, it is amazing how the confident tone I purposefully took does seem to be believable!
New blog training
I have also been preparing for another blog training, which I ran just this morning! I am taking a new approach and have challenged myself to help my client to not only understand the basics of blogging, by the end of the training, but to have written a thorough framework for first blog post, by the time we have finished. Luckily, my clients know they are ‘guinea pigs’, but they also don’t know me personally and run a very successful business. So, I had many feelings of doubt and concern. I didn’t want to let them down. But I took the advice of ‘faking it’ to heart. I stood tall, I lowered my tense shoulders, took a deep breath and walked in the offices acting cool, confident and happy.
It is not always possible (trust me, I know) but it is amazing how ‘smiling’ even when you don’t feel like it, does have some magic effect on lifting my mood…even if only a little.
In short, I am sitting here now in quiet disbelief that I have actually done these two things this week, but feeling quite proud too…and do I feel more confident, having pretended to be confident? I think I actually do!
I know it’s a cliché, but if you are worried about something in your work, whether it is making a phone call or trying out a new product or service, even if you lack ‘real’ confidence in the action, if you believe in what you do then put on a performance, act confident and do it!
Thank you so much to Sara Lynn Jones for such a wonderful and inspiring video on self-confidence! Take a look here!