Last week, I received a call from a radio station in New York inviting me to do an on-air interview for a health and wellness segment of their show. The opportunity to speak about my work as a life coach to the station’s 60 million-plus listeners thrilled me . . . and then it terrified me. My initial excitement took a back seat to a bunch of “what if” worst-case scenarios: what if my voice sounded annoying? What if I froze up and couldn’t answer the host’s questions? What if I got the hiccups and couldn’t stop? What if I couldn’t effectively explain what I do as a transformational life coach?
This is just one example of the many times I’ve been plagued by self-doubt—and I’m a life coach. The irony isn’t lost on me. In fact, there are plenty of moments (even days) when I don’t feel “good enough.”
Getting down on ourselves is a common feeling we all experience. But, the good news is there are ways to limit these moments and keep fear and anxiety at bay. Below are six tricks I’ve learned that boost my self-confidence in a heartbeat.
- Just say “yes.”
Nothing defeats fear and anxiety like taking action. This means making a committed decision—stat. I agreed to that interview opportunity within 60 seconds, before I let my obsessive thoughts take over. The same goes for accepting a first date, making the first romantic move, requesting a job interview, or volunteering to speak publicly. Say yes—and do it fast!
- Keep a record of positive feedback.
Keep a “praise file” full of compliments, positive feedback, and kind notes that anyone has ever sent you. This includes emails from past and current bosses, thank-you notes from friends and family, or appreciation from clients or colleagues you’ve helped.
Store it online (in a folder on Google Docs or Dropbox, for example) or go old-school and print it out. Whenever you’re feeling unsure of yourself, open it up, read through the praise you’ve received, and let the love vibes remind you how badass you really are. It works—trust me!
- Sit still.
Success is a mental game. But you don’t need two hours, twinkling tea light candles, or a personal zen den to access your positive headspace. Thanks to apps like Headspace and free online courses through sites like mindvalleyacademy.com and finerminds.com, all you need is five to 10 minutes, your smartphone, and earbuds. I love starting my day off on a positive note with a short, guided meditation. One of my favorites is a 10-minute meditation with Vishen Lakhiani. You can find it here: http://www.finerminds.com/meditation/dynamic-meditation-technique
- Rock out.
Music is the ultimate mood shifter. Nothing packs a lyrical, self-assured punch more than listening to a powerful song such as Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” “King of Anything” by Sara Bareilles, or Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Spotify even has a Confidence Boost playlist, which I love. Tune in, dial up the volume, and rock out!
- Give yourself some credit.
Think about three significant achievements from the past two years. Maybe you bought your first house. Or started your own business. Or maybe you finally walked away from a bad relationship and you’re finally taking care of YOU. Whatever it is you’ve done—and done well—focus on that. Calling up what you have accomplished reminds you not only how far you’ve come, but also how much further you can (and will) go!
- Remember we’re all just figuring it out.
It’s easy to look around and think everyone else knows what they’re doing—and you don’t. The truth is, we’re all just doing our very best—you, me, even celebs. British funnyman Ricky Gervais once said, “The best advice I was ever given was, ‘No one knows what they’re doing either.’” So, cut yourself some slack! You’re doing great. We’re all in this together. At one point or another, everyone around you experiences self-doubt too, I promise.
As for the radio interview? Well, I did it. And it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. As soon as it was over, I thought, “Why was I so worried about that? That was really fun! I’d love to do it again!”
Take these tips—and take action—the next time you find yourself freaked out about a new opportunity or challenge. I promise you it’s less scary than you think.