May 13, 2017

How to Prevent your Confidence from Taking a Nosedive.

Walking down the airport corridor I am feeling confident, sexy, and self-assured.

About twenty feet away, is a row of professionally dressed men and one woman. I glance over, make eye contact, stand my ground, and stride forward.

Then, the heel of my red pump slips on the shiny, slick floor for a split second and I immediately glance down at the shininess and fix my gaze there for a few moments, feeling slightly embarrassed.

I didn’t trip or fall. I slipped for a micro-second and then caught myself and regained my footing. But, that micro-second caused me to feel much less confident than I was before.

As I continued down the catwalk that is the airport terminal, I definitely was not going to look back over at those people. They may have seen my misstep, and I probably looked foolish going from that super-confident stride to an embarrassed downward-gaze shuffle, trying to make it to the security checkpoint without incident.

I realised—that millisecond micro-step is just like a fleeting negative thought. Even the briefest of thoughts that are negative or disempowering can undo high levels of confidence without us noticing what happened.

But, there is power in recognizing what happened.

Commit to getting good at spotting when the slip occurs. Notice when you get the feeling of, “Oh my gosh, I was just feeling so incredible and self-assured but something happened and it knocked me at least 10 steps down the confidence scale.”

What happened? Did I think a disempowering thought? Did somebody say something that made me second-guess myself? Did I read something about someone else, who I perceive to be doing much better than I am, which caused me to feel inferior or “less-than?” Am I being overly critical of myself?

When you notice the “slip,” ask yourself, “What happened right before that moment?” Simply noticing how you let it affect you give it less power.

Affirm to yourself that, whatever it was, you will not let that be enough to bring you down and undermine all the work you’ve done to raise yourself up.

Get ridiculously good at recognizing the slip.

Lift your head as soon as possible and regain that confident stride.

Author: Michelle Baca
Image: Deviantart
Editor: Lieselle Davidson

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Michelle Baca