Learn confidence building tips that you can use with your mentor and in your everyday life.
- Lack of confidence is the Achilles heel for many proteges. I have seen mentees wanting so much to succeed but lacking confidence, not only in their interactions with their mentor but also in the stretch assignments their mentor's give them. In this video, we will review several techniques that will build your confidence in general to help you be your best self as a protege. Before we talk about the techniques, I want to introduce you to my protege Emily who was a budding entrepreneur.
Emily had the opportunity to meet with some venture capitalists for funding. As her mentor, I gave her the assignment to put together a pitch. She shared with me that she was so anxious about the pitch presentation she was thinking about not pursuing her business. So I suggested she use several confidence boosting tools. The first technique to try before you do something challenging are positive affirmations. An affirmation is defined as a positive phrase that you repeat to yourself which describes how you want to be.
Research sited in the 2016 Wall Street journal article demonstrates that affirmations can change habits and boost confidence and affirmation is like a pep talk you give yourself. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a pep talk before meeting with a mentor or before following up on a mentor's recommendations that you find challenging. With Emily I asked her to do the following exercise to create affirmations for her upcoming pitch. I asked Emily to write down 30 statements that began with the phrase I am.
For Emily, she came up with statements like I am confident, I am enjoying this pitch, I am prepared and it shows, I am authentic, and so on. Now you try this exercise. Set your timer for five to eight minutes. Don't judge or censor yourself. Remember the purpose of this exercise is to come up with statements that positively reflect how you want to feel. Think of something specific like an upcoming meeting with your mentor or a challenge that your mentor has assigned to you.
Your goal is to write down 30 positive statements about how you would like to feel and behave. Begin with the phrase I am, ready? Pause the video and take five to eight minutes. Welcome back. Take a look at what you wrote down. Is there one phrase that really resinates? Make this phrase your mantra that you say to yourself when negative thoughts come into your mind about your upcoming challenges. For Emily, she found it helpful to say to herself I am owning this pitch.
The second confidence boosting tool is using mental imagery or visualization. Mental imagery is a cognitive tool that enables you to imagine yourself having a desired experience or be in a desired state of being. The idea is to have a mental image of success and to rehearse it. Emily found this to be very helpful. She imagined in very rich detail what she was wearing to her pitch and the setting.
She also visualized the audience reaction and how she was feeling during and after the presentation. She did this everyday before her pitch. Here's an exercise for you to try using mental imagery. Close your eyes. Imagine the challenge that you are facing. What will you wear? How will you feel? Now imagine yourself feeling peaceful and confident. Imagine the challenge going very well.
Imagine telling someone how well the challenge went after it was all over. Now imagine you are celebrating. Allow yourself to feel really good. Repeat this everyday and you will see a big difference in your confidence level. Finally, another idea to boost your confidence is to develop your own personal courage ritual. A courage ritual can be something you do physically that gets you pumped up mentally.
It could be a physical gesture or belting out a song, reciting poetry or just calling your mom for encouragement. For more ideas on courage rituals, I have included resources for you in the exercise files. In the end, I'm happy to report Emily did nail her pitch and it was a triumph for both of us. It is part of a mentor's job to present you with challenges and stretch opportunities. Affirmations and mental imagery can help you make your mentor proud.