No matter how confident you or I feel on a daily basis, there are some situations in life that will make us uneasy. Usually they’re ones that are totally outside our comfort zone, so we don’t do them very often, and when we do they’re a harrowing experience.
Many times, we’re uncomfortable in situations simply because of all the unknown factors involved. However, some of them just don’t mesh with our personalities.
For example, I tend to shy away from parties, especially if I don’t know most of the people. I have very little interest in being around a bunch of drunk people who are all trying to impress one another. That will never be my jam and I don’t want to play that game. Knowing that, I’m aware that I don’t fit in well in those situations. As a result, whenever I find myself in them, I feel my self-confidence start to plummet.
Odds are, you have scenarios that make you uncomfortable as well. What can we do to survive said events with our self-confidence intact? Well thankfully, there are many things we can do to help ourselves!
Here are six great tips on how to maintain your self confidence in situations where you’re uber uncomfortable:
Tip #1: Mentally prep yourself before going in.
Chances are, you know what to expect in this situation. You know you’re going to feel uncomfortable, but let yourself imagine the situation and experience that discomfort washing over you. Since you’re not really in the situation, this is a great time to exercise your emotional intelligence and practice those growth opportunities we talked about a couple months ago (see this past blog for more details: No Pain No Gain: Build Your Emotional Intelligence with These 6 Growth Opportunities).
If you want to prep yourself even further, imagine the worst possible scenario happening at this event. Make it play out in your mind and let yourself be ok with it. Odds are VERY good that it’s not going to happen, but if it does, at least you were ready for it!
Tip #2: Have a backup plan.
If something does go wrong, have a plan for addressing it. Giving a speech and accidentally drop your note-cards in your water cup because you’re so nervous? Have a backup set. Going to a pool party and are going to try rocking your new bathing suit? Bring a cute cover-up in case it doesn’t go well or you start to feel insecure.
Tip #3: Remember that everyone is just as insecure as you.
Yes, they are. Even if you’re at a pool party surrounded by snobby models who are judging you. The reason those people are so confident is because people have been telling them their whole life that they look great. If someone were to point out a flaw on them, their confidence would be weakened.
When someone seems absurdly confident, they’re usually covering for their actual lack of confidence. You don’t need to puff up and peacock around like everyone else; instead practice your own quiet and humble version of confidence. Some people might even take notice and wish they were as chill as you!
Tip #4: Keep in mind that this event is one tiny part of your life.
Yes, even if it’s a speech in front of thousands of people and it will be live-streamed all over the place. Even if you mess up, guess what? You get to try again tomorrow. If you mess up giving a speech at a live event, the next day you can simply do a live video all over your social media about another topic (or even laugh at yourself for what happened at the event!). Give people something new to think about, and they will move on.
Thanks to social media and the constant news cycles, people have incredibly short memories these days. If you mess up, it ain’t no thang. Shake it off, regroup, and try again tomorrow.
Tip #5: Remind yourself of all the similar situations where you’ve rocked it and did an amazing job.
Odds are good that if this is the biggest speech of your life, you’ve done other smaller speeches before—and that you’ve done great at them (otherwise why would someone have asked you to speak at this giant venue?). If you’re feeling insecure about going to a party, think of all the other ones you’ve already survived and where you even made a new friend or two.
Tip #6: When all else fails, simply remove yourself from the situation
Look, no amount of emotional intelligence or preparation means you should put up with bullies or situations that are downright mortifying. If you find yourself in the middle of one, simply remove yourself from it with class and grace.
No matter how much self-confidence you or I possess, there will be experiences in our lives that make us uncomfortable. Before entering the situation, mentally prepare for it by expecting the absolute worst-case scenario and have a plan for handling it. That way, anything less horrible that happens won’t feel very bad! You can also be smart about going into it, like making a backup plan for if something goes wrong and keeping in mind that deep down every single one of us is insecure.
This is just one small part of your life, and even if something goes wrong, it’ll be easy to quickly forget about. You’ve been in situations like this before and not only survived, but did well—keep that in mind! However, if you find yourself in a place where you’re surrounded by bullies or people who don’t mean you well, remove yourself from the situation.
Have an event coming up that you’re dreading? Practice these steps before going into it! Or, if you had an experience in the past that didn’t go well, reflect on it and how these steps may have helped you. Use them next time the opportunity presents itself!
Join the convo! ;-)
Remember to post a comment below to join the conversation, especially if you had any ah-ha moments or if you have any questions!