What does a person who has no confidence or self-belief look like? How do they stand? How do they walk and talk? Yes, that right – their shoulders will be slumped forward and they will shuffle along with their eyes fixed firmly on the ground. If you were to talk to them they would respond mumbling words that are vague and indistinct.
What does a person who is brimming with confidence and self-belief look like? How do they stand? How do they walk and talk? You’re got it! They stand upright with their shoulders pulled back. They walk purposefully looking people in the eye, smiling, and saying, “Hello.”
The mind and body, you see, are intimately connected – how you think and feel effects your posture and your posture affects the way you think and feel.
If you want to feel negative and pessimistic about yourself then slouch around with your head hanging down. However, if you want to feel really, really confident and positive about yourself then stand upright with your shoulders back, breathe slowly but deeply and smile. You will soon be feeling a lot better about yourself – I guarantee it!
Confidence is a state of mind and you can create that state of mind whenever you want.
For example, try this simple exercise:
Imagine that your body is like that of a string puppet with strings attached to your head and shoulders.
Stand upright in a relaxed and comfortable manner. Imagine your puppet strings are being tugged up and as they are being pulled up you find your back and shoulders becoming straighter and more upright.
Now imagine that your puppet strings are being relaxed and as the strings drop your shoulders gently drop too. You find yourself slumped forward gazing at the ground and as you slump forward you start to feel really, really low.
Now imagine that your puppet strings are being pulled up gently, and as they are being pulled up you find you’re back starting to become straighter and your shoulders start to move back too.
Your face is now upright and you find yourself looking clearly at the world around you. Your posture is now upright and you are feeling positive, optimistic and really, really good about yourself.
This simple, but powerful exercise shows how easy it is to create a posture that makes you feel really, really good about yourself, and you can create that feeling whenever you want simply by adopting the right posture. I have included another exercise similar to the one above. It shows you how to adopt a really confident posture.
Whenever you find yourself feeling worried, anxious or scared, whenever you know that confidence is the state of mind you want and need, such as just before you take an exam, for example then get yourself into ‘confidence mode’ by adopting a confident posture and your state of mind will immediately improve. Here is the exercise. It’s simple to use but very effective.
Boost your Confidence now!
1. Stand upright looking forward.
Imagine a time when you were feeling really, really confident. What were you doing when you were feeling this wonderful feeling of confidence? Concentrate on this image of you feeling really, really confident. Concentrate on what it is you are doing. Imagine this really confident you, is standing right in front of you right now facing the same way you are.
2. Now, imagine stepping forward into the image of this really, really confident you.
As you do so see the world through their eyes, hear the world through their ears and feel, really feel their confidence. Notice how they stand, how they breathe and how they look. What are they doing? Make the colors you can see even brighter, make the sounds you can now hear clearer and sharper. Take those wonderful feelings and make them stronger – that’s right, make them stronger. Turn up your feelings like you were turning up the volume on a TV or radio.
3. Every time you feel the need to feel confident create an image in your mind of the confident person you know you are.
Step inside this image, and as you do so become that really confident person. Remember, you have all the resources you need to be confident – you just need to BELIEVE IT!
Congratulations! You now know how to be a really confident student. I know I’m making it sound really easy but actually, it isn’t that difficult to develop confidence, you just need to believe you are confident and practice, practice, practice being confident and practice, as they say makes perfect. If you practice being confident often enough then confidence, in time, will become your default way of being. Michael Jordan, the great basketball player said, “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”
James Woodworth, M.Ed, is a teacher, mentor, coach and NLP Practitioner with 23 years experience working in post-compulsory Education. He holds an honors degree in Fine Art, an M.A. and M.Phil in Visual Theories and a M.Ed in Educational Research from the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
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