Welcome to Influence, Psychology and Persuasion

This is session number 015 of Influence Psychology and Persuasion. In this show, I’ll be discussing confidence and a misunderstanding about feelings in general.

Power Pose Confidence

“I’m not very confident doing that.” Or, “I’m just not confident in those situations.” These are common sayings for people every day, and as the listener, we seem to accept, without challenging this type of statement.

But….. as confidence is just a feeling, and we have to create our own feelings, why do we seem to think, this magic confidence dust happens by itself without our control or input. We seem to assume this “confidence” thing is a mystery. Some have it, some don’t. Some have confidence in some situation some of the time and then all of a sudden, don’t!

The Facts about Generating Confidence

Well, today I’ll go over some interesting facts about feelings and more importantly, confidence. No longer will you have to be subject to the confidence fairy to see whether you’ll be blessed with confidence whenever you need it. It’s time to gain control and have it when you need the stuff.

The first principle we need to cover should hopefully be clear. You have to “do” all of your feelings. No one else is in charge and no one can make you feel anything. Did you get that? No one else can make you feel anything. Just to reiterate as an example. Your neighbour didn’t make you angry, your spouse didn’t try to frustrate you. Feelings aren’t given, they are taken. And feelings don’t just appear, you create them.

So how do we create feelings that we want? The first answer that you will hear most often, will be to think confidently or positively. This is totally true and a reasonable start. You do need to think and talk to yourself positively and confidently. However, there is a slight issue that most of us face. When we try to put on a brave face or brave attitude, and we start the positive internal incantations, the other little voices kick-in. You know the ones? The little guys on your shoulders that seem to bring you back down. Those voices are real and have a real impact on how we feel, but, there are ways to bring those on side.

Your internal voice is able to generate feelings by thinking about certain situations and how they might be. There’s a bit of magic in there because your brain doesn’t realise the difference between an imagined event or a real one. This is why we’re able to create really powerful feelings about something that will happen or has happened, simply by using our internal dialogue. Once you manage to get your internal language right, you’ll find that those feelings that you want will come far more easily.

So if we start with speaking to yourself, what kind of words or sentences do they need to be?

The How To’s – of Generating Confidence

Rule number one when trying to create feelings using your internal voice and thoughts. Don’t lie to yourself because the little guys on your shoulders will bring you crashing down.

Internal sentences/incantations or mantras like, “I am supremely confident and charismatic in all situations!” “Umm… really….. that’s why you’re listening to this!” This is what the guys on your shoulders will be saying. Dragging you right back down to reality.

Let’s try. “I wonder how confident I’ll feel while giving the speech at the wedding?” In steps the little guys laughing…. “hahahahaha Not very, you never have been or never will be”. OK, that didn’t work.

Powerful bold statements don’t work – Quality questions do.

So what is the method? “What small ways I am noticing my confidence increase?” OK, what you notice about the guys on your shoulders now? They should be far quieter because that kind of sentence is possible. We really need to play on this possibility because that is the tightrope that allows us to access our inner resources without those pesky little voices chirping in.

We also know that when a person is feeling confident and charismatic, they act that way too. And the interesting fact is this mechanism works both ways. If you begin to act confidently and charismatic, then you begin to generate those feelings. This is something that we overlook, we could be feeling down because we are acting down and wishing or hoping, that it wasn’t the case.

Acting anxious, worried and fearful creates feelings of fear, anxiety and worry.

What does the Science say?

Science tells us that our physiology directly affects our psychology and more importantly our neurology. You are fully driving the bus, you are in control, you have the power but perhaps you didn’t have the knowledge or the technique….. Until now.

There are so many studies covering how physiology will directly affect how you feel and to implement this is fast and very effective. The great news is as well, we already know how to act before trying to line up to a feeling that we want to create. We know what a happy person acts like, we know what a depressed person acts like, we know what confidence looks like. The clues are all around us and it’s time we start acting that way.

Now it is important to understand this isn’t just a way of generating superficial feelings, this is the real deal. For example, a person standing tall facing a crowd head-on with their hands on hips, flaring out their elbows moving the head around slowly, will not only look confident will begin to feel more confident as they stand there, but also their chemical structure will be changing inside. Testosterone dramatically increases, cortisol plummets and all of this is measurable within less than two minutes. This is real change folks, not just a way to mask over what’s really happening.

As this podcast was all about creating confidence, let’s look at it as a two-step process. Firstly, think of some sentences that you can use that are conducive to growing in confidence that doesn’t get the little guys all on edge. Secondly, really think about your posture, stance and how your acting. Psychology definitely affects physiology, but this is a two-way street that needs to be exploited. Your physiology directly affects your neurology and psychology. Act “as-if” as much as you can.

As most of us spend our days meandering through in a trance state it’s good to remember to practice and notice your pose and stance. A great way I have found is to notice every time you walk through a doorway and imagine you are trying to fill it. Stand tall, spread your shoulders wide and you walk through slowly and purposefully. Practice this for a couple of days every time you walk through a doorway and see how quickly acting confident becomes your default.

Remember: “All the world is a stage”