Last week I did something that I never thought I would be able to do. I was one of the speakers at the Vermont Specialty Food Network Fall Meeting. The topic–Blogging and Social Media and the Specialty Food Niche. As the meeting date moved closer I was informed that there would be 80 people in attendance. At first this number was immediately anxiety producing. The first place my mind went was to standing in front of a large roomful of strangers and having them all staring at me and me standing there frozen with fear. I quickly realized that this attitude was not going to get me anywhere. I can be the queen of self sabotage. The perfectionist within is always trying to hold me back from achieving the goals that I am dreaming of. Now it was time to take the self-confidence that I have learned from running and apply it to my “real” life!
It’s time for an attitude change.
I realized that I had said yes to this opportunity because I knew that I had the confidence to be able to do a fantastic job. I just needed to able to find my inner confidence and allow myself to shine.
Let me share with you what I did differently this time when faced with a challenge and how I found personal success.
Tips for gaining self confidence. Lessons for life learned from running!
- Train for it!–the preparation of my Power Point and practice of my talk was my “training,” the talk would be the race.
- Visualize and take deep breaths–This always helps before a race so why not before getting up in front of a group of strangers to talk?
- Anticipate any bumps in the road–During a race you can encounter problems such as cramps, or dehydration but if you are thinking ahead you can take measures to prevent any problems that may occur. I came to my talk prepared with a hard copy of my talk and a copy on my flash drive.
- Use the nervous energy for a positive outcome–At the start of the race I always have a rapid rush of adrenaline. The same goes for talking in front of a group of people. I decided to embrace the energy and to use it as enthusiasm and energy for my talk.
- Warm up– At this speaking engagement I warmed up my speaking muscles by talking to a few people about my blog, what I had prepared to speak about and how I got into blogging. Talking helped me to feel more relaxed and comfortable before I got up to speak.
- Know the course (or in this course know your audience)–You would never go to a race without knowing the distance or having a general idea of where the course goes. Before speaking I did a little research about the members in the group that I would be speaking too to understand what they might be interested in learning about as it applies to blogging, social media and their specialty food business.
- Set new goals for yourself and go for them!–When it comes to racing I have let go of fear and take on the challenge of meeting my goals. I decided that there was nothing to lose being a speaker and that I should should embrace the experience and share what I know.
- Ditch the negative self-talk–How many times have you second guessed yourself at a race? How many times have you told yourself I can’t do it? I am done with negative self-talk. Changing the words that I tell myself before I go to do something big like a race or a speaking gig completely changes my entire attitude. Positive talk can be life changing and a huge confidence builder. I highly recommend trying it!
How do you build self-confidence? Do you have any tricks that work for you?
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