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How do I overcome stress in order to be confident?

How to trust more in yourself: 10 scientific keys

In addition to the golden rule of trust, the following techniques have shown in several scientific studies their effectiveness in increasing your confidence when you need it most.

Some are simpler than others, but in any case they are invaluable tools to feel safer in any situation. Use them wisely.

1. Stop pursuing trust

Before I start I would like to remind you of something fundamental, but one that we often forget:

It is impossible to always feel confident.

Our level of confidence fluctuates. The same person can feel very sure of herself when she finds the job of her dreams, and totally depressed if she is fired. And it is normal.

Nobody escapes from this. Even people as successful as Hollywood actresses have confessed to feeling like a failure on many occasions!

So do not try to be always confident and sure of yourself. It has been scientifically proven that the more you pursue it, the more insecure and sad you will feel .

To this effect it is known as the law of the effort invested , and that is that many people have such a great need to always feel good that this adds pressure and ends up depressing.

2. Start small

Bednar and Peterson , two psychologists specializing in self-esteem, observed a strange phenomenon in their patients.

They verified that their self-esteem did not depend on the outcome of their actions. When one of them did not show up for an exam for which he had been preparing, he felt much worse than if he tried and failed.

In other words, the pride of having tried it overshadowed the disappointment of not having approved.

This is the true virtuous circle of trust : your security increases when you simply act . And acting is what allows you to feel more confident.

3. Find the reasons to trust you

Many people have a habit of belittling their achievements.

This is known as the  imposter syndrome . They attribute their successes to luck, and convince themselves that they are a fraud and do not deserve what they have achieved.

If you think that is your case, you should be more aware of your achievements and the personal qualities that made them possible. That will help you to value yourself more.

To do this,  make a list of 3 successes that you have achieved in your life , whether in the workplace, academic or personal, and identify the quality you need to achieve each of them.

If for example you ended a career while working, surely that means that you are determined and persevering, right? Well, do not forget it.

4. Remember your values

According to some currents of positive thinking, our mind is capable of creating the reality we tell it.

Supposedly, repeating mantras like “I am strong and I have nothing to fear” or “I am someone extraordinary” , our mind will internalize it and we will get the confidence to achieve everything we set out to do.

The idea is beautiful and you want to believe it. But it is false .

One study wanted to prove once and for all the effectiveness of this type of positive affirmations. And the result was that those participants with low self-esteem who used them not only did not manage to increase it, but they felt worse.

The reason why these messages do not work is because the brain is not naive . If we say we are or wonderful, our mind immediately raises a question: what reasons do I have to believe that?

And if he is not able to find the answer, he will not believe it .These kinds of affirmations only work when you know that what you are saying to yourself is true .

5. Forget about setting goals

On May 10, 1996, eight climbers died frozen while trying to descend the summit of Everest, trapped by a huge snowstorm.

The explanation of Dr. Kayes, an expert in behavior of organizations that day was in the area, is that the climbers were dragged to death because of the obsession with their goal.

The goal of crowning Everest had become part of his identity. They could not imagine themselves aborting the mission a few meters from the top and, therefore, ignored all the warning signs that advised them to return immediately and went ahead.

The objectives have a very dark side. Although the belief that defining objectives is the secret of success has become popular in recent years, the reality is that setting goals is a serious problem if you can not accept that you can fail .

That’s why it’s better to be guided by something different that at this point should already be familiar: your values .

6. Use a triumph pose

The Dr. Amy Cuddy found to adopt a pose for 2 minutes of power  increases testosterone levels and lowers cortisol , the stress hormone.

The consequence? You feel more confident and willing to take risks.

Cuddy’s explanation is that there is a two-way communication between the mind and the body . When you are proud, your posture reflects it. But if when you are sad you adopt a triumph pose, little by little you will feel more confident.

7. Reinterpret your fear

Did you know that, in reality, fear and excitement are caused by the same substance?

Yes, it’s about adrenaline, and although psychologically both emotions are different, biologically your body responds in exactly the same way to both.

That means that, theoretically, it would be possible to use it to feel excitement instead of fear .

In an experiment , Dr. Alison Brooks separated several students into three groups. To generate anxiety, he ordered them to make an individual presentation while a jury evaluated them.

The first group did not give any previous instruction, while the second and the third group had them repeat aloud  ” I’m calm”  and ” I’m excited” , respectively.

8. Take smaller decisions

In the same way that starting to act is the source of trust, making decisions is also a great reinforcement.

It has been scientifically proven  that making a decision, however small, activates your prefrontal cortex, reducing your worry and increasing your safety.

If you make decisions regularly, you will feel more in control of your life. Starting with small daily decisions is enough, for example:

  • Choose the movie you will see with your partner.
  • Decide the restaurant where you will dine with your friends

9. Use the mask technique

Remember when you disguised yourself in Carnival and you did not stop doing pranks?

Why did you behave like this if in your day to day you were introverted and reserved?Because you were playing a role.This phenomenon I call the technique the mask , and is a powerful psychological tool to achieve more confidence.

10. Treat yourself like a friend

What do you say to yourself when you fail?

You’re probably hard on yourself, right? I am sure that sometimes you have crossed your mind messages such as “You are a failure!” Or “You are useless!”

But what do you tell your friends when they fail?

You tell them they’re useless? Or do you try to comfort and encourage them so they do not get depressed?

What would happen if you started treating yourself as a friend every time you failed?

This concept is based on a scientific method that is revolutionizing the scientific community thanks to its impressive results . It is able to reduce insecurity, anxiety and stress and increase the amount of optimistic thoughts.

This method is called self-pity .

Self- pity does not mean to feel sorry for you, but to treat you as you would treat a friend when you fail or something bad happens to you. It means supporting and forgiving you instead of criticizing you. Comfort yourself to try again instead of punishing you when you make a mistake.

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