So before starting work, I literally say to myself, "Show Time:" I pretend I'm my most energetic, upbeat self. Forcing myself into that mode actually makes me feel more upbeat. Yes, fake it 'til you make it. It really is like that old song, "Whistle a Happy Tune:" When I fool the people...I fool myself as well." All that song's lyrics are instructive, so here's a link to them. At that site, you also can make that song a ringtone on your cell phone.
Also helping to keep me upbeat is my recognizing that even world-class experts are often wrong. CEOs lose millions of shareholder dollars, graduates of top medical schools kill patients, Al Gore predicted rapid, devastating global warming, after which there has been a decade of flat or declining average global temperatures with many experts predicting no increase for another 10 to 15 years. Indeed Nicholas Kristof in a New York Times article summarized research that finds that expert predictions are little better than a chimpanzee's. So while I do my best to be smart and I acknowledge my extent of ambiguity on an issue, my awareness of humans' great fallibility, enables me to sally forth without undue hesitation.
I'm also made more confident by maintaining a sense of perspective. My advice is unlikely to make that much difference: The recipients may not follow it or they may follow it and it won't improve their life much. Too, I remember that I'm but one of seven billion people on the planet, in a tiny slice of the infinity of time. Yes, I try, absolutely, to give the best counsel I can, and I spend much reading, studying, learning so that my advice is the best possible. But I don't overinflate my advice's import.
Other techniques that may help you be your most confident self when it's Show Time:
- For some people, clothes indeed make the man (or woman.) Dress in the way that makes you feel most confident. Chris, the client, who I just finished a videoskype session with, said that wearing his father's watch makes him act more confidently.
- Join Toastmasters. It's a supportive way to gain poise and public speaking skills. It's also a terrific networking opportunity.