How to gain confidence even if you think it’s not possible?
If you ever felt like you are worthless, you are not alone.
Most people can’t achieve their goals because of a lack of confidence. Our doubts and hesitation are costing us a lot. You don’t let your doubt and hesitation stop you.
Even if you think that it’s not possible to deal with challenges, You can develop confidence whenever you want.
In this podcast, you will find how seemingly easy techniques will make you confident and positive. The techniques are based on scientific research. They work if they are done right.
What’s the most famous and prestigious award in the entertainment industry? It’s Oscars or The Academy Awards.
It’s a dream of almost all actors and actresses to win an at least one Oscar award. These are awards for artistic and technical excellence in the film industry. How would it feel like winning the biggest movie award 21 times?
Meryl Streep is one of the finest actors the world has seen.
She has been nominated for a record 21 Oscars, seventeen for Best Actress, and four for Best Supporting Actress. and has won three academy awards! She has won three times for her work in Kramer vs. Kramer (1980), Sophie’s Choice (1983), and The Iron Lady (2012).
And yet, she feels like she is a fraud.
She thinks she is not good enough. Self-doubt bothers her: She thinks “Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?”
But Why people feel worthless?
Everyone has something special to offer to the world. Everyone can and should create value. No matter how good or excellent we are, we sometimes lose confidence. Sometimes for a short time but many times, for a long time. Our doubts and hesitation are costing us a lot.
Many of our goals and plans are not done because we have a lack of confidence.
Can a person develop confidence whenever he wants? We all need confidence, when we create something, deliver something or to do something that’s challenging for us. In this podcast, we will discuss three things.
- How our body posture can increase your confidence even if you are confused?
- How doing something irrelevant things can make you positive?
- How can you increase confidence by changing your expectation?
Our body can affect our brain.
In our workshop on NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), people learn how to change our emotion and confidence using our body and how the change in our body can affect our brain. The mind and body are connected. It’s a trick. There was someone who shared this beautifully.
Have you heard of power posing?
A famous Social psychologist Amy Cuddy and her colleagues conducted an experiment in 2010. She came up with this concept of power posing. Her message is simple. She suggested that our body language governs how we think and feel about ourselves, and thus, how we hold our bodies can have an impact on our minds. In other words, by commanding a powerful stance, we can make ourselves actually feel more powerful.
Amy Cuddy did an interesting study at Harvard University.
She invited 42 participants randomly and divided them into one of two groups. The first group was the high power posing group: they were asked to sit tilted back in a chair with hands behind their head and their legs propped up on the table for a few minutes. They were asked to give expanding posture. The second group was the low power posing group: these people were asked to sit with their arms closed to their body and their hands in their laps. They were leaning inward and legs crossed. Cuddy found that those who sat in the high-power pose felt more powerful and performed better in mock interviews than those who had not.
There was also another interesting observation.
They were asked to share how powerful they felt on a scale of 1 to 4.
For the people who were in low power posing group, The average rating of feeling powerful was 1.83. On the other hand, for the people who were in high power posing group, the average rating of feeling powerful was 2.57!
That’s not all.
Cuddy and her colleagues also took saliva tests of all the participants before the experiment began and then once again 17 minutes after their pose on the chairs. Participants in the high power posing group showed higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol! Participants in the low power posing group showed the inverse: low testosterone and high cortisol levels. (Higher testosterone leads to more confidence and lower cortisol leads to less stress and anxiety!) Cuddy interpreted these hormonal effects as further evidence of increases in feelings of power.
Many people have tried using his technique after her TED talk was released.
Before interviews, job candidates would escape to the restroom to engage in two minutes of high power posing before meeting their interviewer. People have started practising it before they go for a sales presentation and important meetings.
So, what are you going to do from now on?
Sit in a high power position. It’s very powerful. It’s like magic. Many of our students have shared that when they are sitting in a high power position, their confidence goes higher. Sitting in a powerful pose will change your emotion and hormones. You will also take up more challenges with confidence. It will make you more powerful.
But does it always work?
Well, I used to think that it’s all bogus. It can never work. You have probably heard “Fake it till you make it”. It’s good advice. I tried this. It works probably all the time. Even it works in most of the time, it’s still better than doing nothing.
So, try out.
If you act confident, you will feel confident too. Feeling more powerful after power posing is a major finding. I find myself in many situations when I’d like to feel more powerful. If adopting an expansive high power posture can help, I’m all in. That takes us to the second part of how doing something completely irrelevant can make you positive and confident?
How some actors can act so well that it doesn’t look like they are playing a role?
Robert De Niro is known to do whatever is necessary to truthfully convey his character. For a famous movie, Taxi Driver, Rober De Niro worked 12-hour shifts and would pick up passengers in New York City during breaks on set. As a result, he acted so perfectly. It is this kind of dedication that comes across in the best De Niro movies.
Marlon Brando is also known for his excellent acting skill.
To prepare for The Men, Brando stayed in a hospital bed for an entire month to get in the mindset for the injured veteran he’d be playing. In Brando’s best films, he doesn’t seem to be acting at all but embodying the character.
Have you heard of Method Acting?
Some of the most famous Hollywood stars, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Kate Winslet etc. are known for their method acting. Method acting is a technique or type of acting in which an actor aspires to encourage sincere and emotionally expressive performances by fully inhabiting the role of the character. It is an emotion-oriented technique instead of classical acting that is primarily action-based.
Why are we talking about method acting?
Before we talk more about it, let’s talk about the power of rituals or practice. You can perform to make yourself feel confident is to build up a ritual. Athletes who follow rituals before their game feel more confident about their abilities. And this confidence leads to better performance. They go into the role of a high performer and gain confidence. In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), this technique is known as Anchoring.
Even funny rituals work.
Michael Jordan was wearing his North Carolina University shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls shorts in every game. A famous Indian cricketer, Virat Kohli adjusts his helmet in a peculiar and unnatural way before every cricketing shot he plays.
We also sometimes do it unknowingly.
Research done by Barbara Stoberock and her colleagues from the University of Cologne shows that even a simple ritual like crossing your fingers for luck makes people feel more confident.
Why do rituals work?
Because we feel anxious in new and uncertain situations. And rituals help us feel in control. Anything that you do to reduce your anxiety will help you with your confidence. This could be playing a pep song before attending sales meetings or clapping your boots together before entering a room. Build small rituals and you’ll feel in command and full of confidence.
But what to do if you want to feel confidence deeper?
This is where you can use ‘method acting’ as we discussed earlier. The difference between normal acting and method acting is that normal acting is just about changing behavior physically. Whereas method acting is feeling the emotions mentally so that acting seems natural.
What can you do to feel more confident?
Well, you can pick up any gesture, song or a unique behaviour when you want to dive into the character of a confident person. Practice this unique and weird gesture repeatedly. It will become your second nature. You will be able to dive into a high level of confidence instantly. That takes us to the final part of the podcast,
How can you increase confidence by changing your expectation?
Robert Rosenthal is professor of social psychology at Harvard University. He did an experiment which is known as Rosenthal effect or Pygmalion effect. In 1965, the authors conducted an experiment in a public elementary school in California.
In this school, Young students were given an IQ test.
And after the results, their teachers were told about the students who have the potential to perform extra-ordinarily and they will be in the top 20% of the class.
But, the teachers were lied to.
Robert Rosenthal randomly names the students, without looking at the results of their tests. He just randomly selected the names and reported to teachers. That means the result was fake.
Even if the result of the IQ test was fake, something dramatic happened afterwards.
After a year, all the students are given another IQ test. The students who were listed as being in the top 20% improved their IQ scores by 10-15 points when compared to their others! The expectations have changed the outcome.
It’s called a Pygmalion effect.
The Pygmalion effect is an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy–something that causes itself to come true due to positive feedback. Another well-known self-fulfilling prophecy is the Placebo Effect. The Pygmalion effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein high expectations lead to improved performance in a given area.
Expectations changed performance.
The children who were labelled as smart ended up increasing their smarts the most! Expectations can influence everything from our perception of taste and enjoyment of experiences to our performance on specific tasks. … In general, high expectations improve performance, whereas low expectations seem to undermine achievement. You need to change the label that you give to yourself and it will change the expectations from you. You’ve got to label yourself as confident.
But how do you do that and make yourself believe your labels?
The way you talk to yourself can make a huge difference in your performance. Yes, we heard this from many motivational speakers. Let’s find out why exactly it works. Researcher Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis and his colleagues at the University of Thessaly in Greece conducted a research experiment with the help of 60 swimming class students. The students were asked to evaluate their skills for playing water polo. They were tested on how accurately they throw the ball and how far they throw it! Each student was tested for 20 minutes.
He added something interesting into it.
Half the students were given instructions to talk to themselves between every time they threw the ball. And these students who used motivational self-talk dramatically improved their performance and became better at throwing the ball than the others!
Motivational self-talk sounds woo-woo mumbo jumbo.
But it works. Just repeatedly telling yourself that you’re a confident person will make the label stick.
Here’s something even more powerful.
A research done by Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan shows that self-talk in second or third person works better than the first person. Saying “you can do this” instead of “I can do this” to yourself works better because it makes you think objectively. Do you remember what we discussed earlier about setting high expectations from yourself? That’s right. You need to improve your self-talk and expect yourself to perform high.
That takes us to the end of the third part of this podcast. Let’s summarise what we have covered so far.
Many of our goals and plans are not done because we have a lack of confidence. Can a person develop confidence whenever he wants? We all need confidence, when we create something, deliver something or to do something that’s challenging for us. In this podcast, we discussed three things. We started with how our body posture can help us in increasing our confidence? Sit in a high power position. It’s very powerful. It’s like magic. It increases your confidence dramatically. Try out. Then we talked about rituals and method acting.
Rituals help us feel in control.
This could be playing a pep song before attending sales meetings or clapping your boots together before entering a room. Build small rituals and you’ll feel in command and full of confidence. Pick up any gesture, song or a unique behaviour when you want to dive into the character of a confident person. Finally, we talked about how the way you talk to yourself can improve your confidence. Notice your self-talk. Just repeatedly telling yourself that you’re a confident person will make the label stick. Saying “you can do this” instead of “I can do this” to yourself works better because it makes you think objectively.
What if we can do more things without getting tired? We see things to do on our list but we wish we can do all those. But we rarely do all of them.
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