What our brain pays attention to we get and become. And so often the brain has an entire fleet of neurons paying attention to something we don’t want and we’re not even aware we’re thinking about. Yet we wonder why we have worked so hard toward something that didn’t happen
Learn to overlap—imagine a thin transparent sheet with a positive image of something from your past, and overlay it onto a negative memory. You are rewiring your brain by changing how you see the past. That’s crazy, you might be thinking. And the answer, is it crazier to spend your life feeling negatively about something, or change how you think about something that will ultimately help you achieve more and feel better.
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- Avoid using the words just, try or sorry. All of these can lessen your credibility.
- Use confident body language and non-verbals. This means standing up straight, making eye contact and speaking loudly enough to be heard.
- Get rid of disclaimers of any sort. They sound like “I’m not sure this is the right time to mention this” before a sentence or “What do you think?” at the end of a sentence. Say what you plan to say and nothing else.
- Say what needs saying but don’t explain afterward. Meaning if someone asks if you can do something you can use the Can, Can’t and Why technique: I can help you later (or see if John can help you), I help you now because (the why) I’m finishing the XYZ project. BUT then don’t take five minutes to explain you would stay late except you have company coming over and you really wish you could help. Explain and quit talking!
- Interrupt if necessary to be heard. Men often see women as not as passionate or dedicated as they are because women tend to wait their turn, often a turn that never comes. Make a commitment to interrupting if necessary.
We are defined, said Dr. Wayne Dyer, by the agreements we have made with ourselves about what is possible. And unfortunately our PCC’s (premature cognitive commitments) often allow beliefs to slip in that become our reality, no matter how illogical or unrealistic. Then these limiting beliefs stop us from being or having what we want.
So how do we stay alert to beliefs that sabotage our confidence and sidetrack our successes?
1. Question beliefs and don’t take either your or someone else’s interpretation of reality as necessarily true. Example: You don’t apply for a job opportunity, or speak up in a meeting, or ask for the promotion/raise, all because on some level you feel you aren’t as capable or someone tells you not to bother, it won’t do any good. Examine your beliefs. The brain distorts reality all the time and our job is to be aware of it and argue in favor of what we want: Why can’t I get that promotion? Why shouldn’t I be the one for the project? Go back to when you felt successful and savor that feeling.
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- Think of someone who acts the part of confident, and then do what Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (author of The Power of Positive Thinking) did when he didn’t feel motivated to lecture, he acted as if. Act as if you were the confident person you are thinking about. Eventually we start to feel what we only pretend (act as if) at first. The mind doesn’t know the difference between observing something we’re imagining and something we’re observing!
- Role play what you need to say, or better yet video yourself. It’s a great way to practice again and again until you project confidence and credibility.
- Ask yourself whose voice you’re listening to if you don’t feel confident. So often someone said something years ago that is still sticking with us, and it’s time to get everyone’s voice out of your head except yours!
- Remember a time you really felt confident. Now go back and feel how that felt, almost as if you were reliving it. The more we focus on the feelings we want, the more we start to bring them into our current reality. We’re either moving toward what we want, or away from it. And with the right focus we are continually moving toward making our goals realities!