As if …. I am confident As if …. I am happy
I was recently reading an article in the Observer where Dawn French was talking about confidence. And the lack of it. We all go through those moments from time to time; feeling confident on one occasion and confidence crashes on another. It happens particularly in those times when we are doing something different, something we haven’t done before, meeting a room full of people we don’t know.
Dawn French said was that after ‘A’ levels she had won a scholarshoip to study for a year in Oklahoma. She was going to America for the first time, she was scared. At that age she was probably miles out of her comfort zone and she didn’t want to go.
“But I decided that when I got off the plane, I would pretend to be someone very confident. They believed it. And I started to believe it. It’s infectious, you catch it like a cold. You have it and it lives inside you.”
She returned to England after her father had died yet her mother insisted that she should fulfill her plans and go to College. Again, Dawn decided to adopt this ‘As If…’ process. She knew it had worked before so why not again. “So I went and pretended to be happy. And it made me happy. I had to go and pretend to be someone who is not dripping with sadness and grieving and be ready for college and be chirpy. It’s a little bit of pretence that then sticks.”
So, next time you find yourself at a party, a meeting, giving a presentation, learning a new skill and your self esteem and confidence levels plummet, remember a time when you were confident. How did you feel? How did you stand? What did you say to yourself? Reenact that scene in your mind and you may notice that your breathing changes, you stand differently and you feel different. Give yourself words of encouragement, whatever it is you need to hear at that moment, say it.
Remember not everyone is as confident as they seem; everyone, at some time, has their wobble moments.
And when you are having a down day, think happy thoughts, remember when you were really happy, smile, and think about something that you like, a laugh with friends paddling in the sea, riding a horse, the smell of a baby, an icecream, someone’s smile.
And see how you feel. Experiment. Be happy and be confident.
Act as if… And see what happens.