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These instant confidence boosters can help you overcome your nerves

Trick your brain into calm

  • Become aware of your safety and breathing. Your fight or flight response may be in overdrive. 
  • Take note of five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can touch, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
  • Quiet your fears by visualizing a stream flowing past you. Each time a thought pops into your head, imagine the thought as a leaf on the stream.

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These instant confidence boosters can help you overcome your nerves

These instant confidence boosters can help you overcome your nerves

https://www.fastcompany.com/90370098/these-instant-confidence-boosters-can-help-you-overcome-your-nerves

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

Trick your brain into calm

  • Become aware of your safety and breathing. Your fight or flight response may be in overdrive. 
  • Take note of five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can touch, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
  • Quiet your fears by visualizing a stream flowing past you. Each time a thought pops into your head, imagine the thought as a leaf on the stream.

Using affirmations

Remind yourself how awesome you are with affirmations. Write down affirmations that remind you of your capabilities and strengths and keep them somewhere you can find them if nerves strike.

Another suggestion is to keep a file of praise, awards, and other evidence of how good you are at your job an read them when you are struggling with a confidence crisis.

Get clear about your feelings

Take a moment to really analyze what you’re feeling and strategize for that.

Can you reframe negative feelings, like fear, into something more positive, like anticipation? If not, remind yourself that it’s perfectly normal to be nervous before a high-stakes situation. 

Phone a friend

If you’ve got a mentor or someone who’s just really good at helping you calm down and focus, reach out.

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Observe, Accept, and Reframe

Recognizing and accepting the fact you're being nervous before an important presentation will help you more than trying to fight those anxious feelings. Resistance creates even more angst.

On...

Focus on Your Body

Instead of being swept in the spiral of negative thoughts like 'What if I fail? What will they think of me? try to be aware of your physical sensations: how your heart beats, how the air fills your lungs, the heat and sweat you feel.

This will anchor you in the present moment and calm your nerves.

Tips For Calming Your Nerves
  • Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, that you're hydrated and that you had a good meal before. 
  • Be careful with your caffeine intake before a big presentation so that your heart rate isn’t already elevated.
  • Strike a power pose. Research shows it can shift your mood and make you feel more confident. 
  • Own the space. If you can, get to the room early and really imagine owning it.

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Workplace Anxiety

It happens when you feel restless and stuck, and you have a sense of vague fear which leads to unproductiveness. It is an existential feeling that is hard to articulate. A constant sens...

Anxiety Vs Negative Emotion

Negative emotions (lack of confidence, toxic energy, fear) can also cause anxiety. The difference between the two is the feeling of being unsafe that comes with anxiety.

When you are anxious, the ability to think clearly is lost, and so is the perspective. Breathing exercises and making space in your mind by slowing down is the first step towards remaining calm in this general state of anxiety.

Objectify The Problem

Start journaling, asking specific questions to bring the main issue in focus, to get organized and gain clarity. Ask yourself these four questions:

  1. What feels wrong?
  2. How can the problem be defined?
  3. What are the fears with regards to making changes?
  4. What actions can be taken that would improve the situation?

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Frequency of breath

Even though we have been breathing for all our lives, we can still learn a lot about this most basic instinct.

Quick, shallow, and unfocused breathing may contribute to anxiety, depression, ...

Breathwork

Breathwork is not the same as mindfulness. Mindfulness involves passive observation of the breath, whereas breathwork requires you to actively change the way you breathe.

Breathwork includes ensuring you breath with your diaphragm, rather than the movement of your chest. It will fill your lungs with more air while also slowing the pace of your breathing.

Speed ramp to relaxation

Right breathing can have a profound effect on calming the mind quickly and can act as a speed ramp into the meditation practice by getting you to that place of no-thought.

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Breathing exercises

Breathing is at the core of ancient (and currently trendy) mindfulness practices, from yoga and tai chi to meditation.

However, studies suggest that breathing exercises alone, derived from...

Deep, controlled breathing

It involves filling the lungs to the max and goes by various names like belly or diaphragmatic breathing.

It has been linked to improved cognitive performance, lower stress levels, and lower blood pressure.

Breathing and yoga
Belief in the benefits of controlled breathing goes back centuries.

Central to ancient Hindu philosophy was prana, described as vital “airs” or “energies” flowing through the body. Stemming from that belief, yoga was built on pranayama or breath retention. 

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Being in a state of Awe

Maybe you’ve felt it standing in front of a mesmerizing landspace. Maybe it happens when you think about the vastness of space or glance up at the sky and marvel at a supermoon. The emotion is awe....

Experiencing Awe for wellbeing

Awe gets us out of our self-centered thoughts and makes us feel small, but in a good way, by making us see ourselves as a small piece of something larger. And feeling small makes us feel humbled (thereby lessening selfish tendencies like entitlement, arrogance, and narcissism). And feeling small and humbled makes us want to engage with others and feel more connected. 

Shallow breathing

We loose the ability to breath deeply naturally as we age: deep breathing comes naturally to children, but we lose the ability because we’re in a constant state of fight-or-flight, low-level str...

Controlled breathing

... is the fastest, most effective way to trigger the relaxation response, enabling you to think more clearly and perform better under pressure.

Navy Seal tricks

The Navy SEALs use 2 breathing techniques that force the body into a more relaxed state when they’re in a high-pressure situation:

  • Tactical breathing
  • Box breathing.

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Imposter syndrome

It occurs when we feel that we don't deserve our successes and the rewards that come along with them.

We believe they’re caused by luck, timing, or other factors outsi...

Stop feeling like a fraud
  • Once you’ve identified the confidence culprit, tell someone. Choose someone who sees you outside of that environment
  • Remind yourself of all of your achievements
  • Remind yourself that the people who got you here are incredibly competent and they did not make a mistake
  • Update your language with more confident, assertive phrases
  • Reframe your story by writing it down
  • Try mentoring
Emotions During a Difficult Conversation

It’s hard not to get worked up emotionally when you’re in a tense conversation: a disagreement can feel like a threat.

But if your body goes into “fight or flight” mode,  ...

Breathe

When you start noticing yourself getting tense, try to focus on breathing (on feeling the air coming in and out of your lungs).

This will take your attention off the physical signs of panic and keep you centered.

Focus on your body

Sitting still when you’re having a difficult conversation can make the emotions build up rather than dissipate. 

Standing up and walking around helps to activate the thinking part of your brain.

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Albert Einstein

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Albert Einstein
Boost Learning Speed
  1. Learners proficient in fast-paced games are significantly faster at performing new cognitive tasks.
  2. By pretending you are teaching something to someone using simple language, you understand it better.
  3. Bilingual people may have a leg up when it comes to understanding new things and processing information, regardless of the learned language.
  4. Learning new material right before sleeping provides a significant retention advantage.
  5. Establishing as many connections as possible is an effective way to learn, and the best way to do that is to relate new information to known information. 
  6. The brain processes visual information faster than text. Include relevant visuals (charts, symbols, diagrams…) with learning materials to improve retention.
Perceptual Learning

Is the idea that we learn unconsciously through our senses in a self-regulated way, without requiring external reinforcement. 

More simply, you can learn to intuitively identify different situations or images through directly experiencing them in a fast-paced manner.

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Habit-formation apps are aspirational tools

They're less about distilling your life into a series of data points and more about becoming your ideal self: If you use their app, you too can become a person who practices good habits. You can be...

The 4 tendencies when it comes to habit formation:
  • upholders: disciplined and respond to both internal and external expectations;
  • obligers :can’t keep commitments to themselves but respond to expectations from others; 
  • questioners: ask why and can keep a habit if they understand the logic reasoning; 
  • rebels: hate being told what to do by others, so it has to be something they want to do.
Depending on your habit-formation tendency, habit-tracking apps may or may not work for you. 
Habit apps use the psychology of habit formation
  • Many rely on a “streak” feature: they track how many consecutive days you’ve completed the habit;
  • Other apps offer accountability features to pressure you into completing your goal; 
  • Some apps turn habit formation into a game: The app rewards users who complete their habits with badges and other virtual incentives.

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