1. Listen to the gremlin. Then talk back. Make a note the next time you hear it, exactly the phrases that the gremlin says to you. Then when you're in a calm, non emotionally-charged moment, consider what you rationally believe to be true and come up with counter-statements. An example could be, "You're not technically good enough on this topic." Your response could be, "I'm not trying to be a technical expert, my place is as a strong generalist focusing on business application."
2. Choose courage over confidence . It's actually easier to purposefully choose to be courageous than it is to build our confidence in a particular moment. Recognizing that we're lacking confidence and realizing that we don't exactly know how to be more confident can actually make us have even less confidence. But we can choose courage. "Yes, I'm a little afraid. Yes, I'm nervous. But I'm doing it anyway!" This proactive step in choosing courage can lead to a positive psycho-physiological response and enable us to "show up" better.
3. Breathe your way through it.Before your meeting, take effective deep breaths by breathing in for 3-4 counts and out for 5-6. In addition to the positive physiological impact, having to focus on the uneven counting gives your brain a direct-experience moment: a break from the forward-thinking narrative where we spend most of our mental energy (which is largely what induces nerves -- thinking ahead about what may or may not happen). Your brain may be yelling, "I'm nervous!" but soon your body will calmly respond, "I'm fine."
4. Know your strengths. Write down your strengths, skills and achievements. There's a reason you've been asked into the room. Regardless of how you feel, most likely you are the right person. And it was probably someone more senior, experienced or specialized who invited you to this meeting or to give this presentation. Even if you can't trust your own judgement about whether you're the right person for the role, trust their experience and belief that you are.
5. Start developing yourself. If you decide there's any truth to the gremlin's message, address it by starting to learn/train/develop in that particular field or area. Whether it's by doing a course, being proactive about getting more on-the-job learning or reading industry updates, when we're on the journey of developing ourselves we have increased confidence knowing that even though we may not be 100% "enough" now, we're on our way.
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