Monday, June 1, 2009

Build Self-Confidence - Handling a Stressful Situation

Self-confidence is very important to achieve success in life. Sometimes and in some situations we tend to feel very low in self-confidence. Doubts, fears, and worries which may seem to appear suddenly in a particular situation can lead to sub-standard performance which in turn leads to failure.

No one likes to fail. But an individual, who is already low in self-confidence, will react more negatively to failure. In such a situation, failure can really shatter our self-confidence. So, what should we do when we have doubts about our abilities to handle a situation or overcome a negative situation? How can we build our self-confidence in such a situation?

Some of these tips will undoubtedly help to build self-confidence in a stressful situation:

* Deep breathing

In a stressful situation, deep breathing can really help build self-confidence. When we are stressed out or under pressure, our breathing tends to get heavier and quicker. If we continue to breathe abnormally, we can even get a panic attack in a stressful situation. Breathing deeply tends to calm us down and helps us see things much clearly.

So, if you are in a stressful situation and need to build your self-confidence, just practice some deep breathing. Sit straight, close your eyes, and take slow and deep breaths. Within a few seconds, you will begin to feel calm and in much more control of the situation. Continue to practice deep breathing until you feel calm and can feel the energy and zest required to handle the situation in an effective manner.

* Visualize yourself handling the situation

A new and unfamiliar situation does tend to make us feel low in self-confidence. Visualization is a great exercise that can help us practice handling the situation and build self-confidence. So, after you begin to feel calm with the help of deep breathing, just visualize yourself going into that situation and dealing with it.

So, if your situation involves confronting your boss about that much deserved raise, visualize yourself talking to your boss about why you deserve a raise. It’s a great way to practice exactly what you want to say and how you want to sell yourself so that you can achieve your objective. Visualization not only builds self-confidence, but it also helps you practice various ways to handle a situation and choose the best way to get the best results.

* Use positive self-talk

Negative thinking in a stressful situation can only do damage to your efforts to build self-confidence. Positive self-talk can keep those nagging doubts and negative thinking at bay. Once you have visualized yourself handling the situation, you are actually quite prepared to handle it. So, there isn’t any valid reason for doubting your abilities.

But to further build your self-confidence in a stressful situation, have a practical and valid positive answer for every negative thought that comes into your mind. So, if you are scared that you might just forget the words while giving a lecture to 500 people, you should have a positive answer that conveys the message that you thoroughly remember your speech and in the event that you do forget your words, you will know how to handle the situation such as having a written transcript of the speech.

* Surround yourself with positive and helpful people
Surrounding yourself with positive people in a stressful situation can really build self-confidence. In situations where you doubt your abilities, such people can really act as a positive influence. They can help you replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. They can help refute all your claims of how you don’t have what it takes.

So, if you want to build self-confidence in a stressful situation, be among such people. Often, when we are low in self-confidence, we tend to avoid being with people. This is not a good idea, especially if we have doubts about our abilities. Positive people can help you see the truth for what it is. They can help allay your fears and doubts and show you how meaningless and unfounded they are. They can help you feel safe and at the same time help you realize that even if you do fail or don’t perform well, they will still be there helping and supporting you.

While heading into any stressful situation, building your self-confidence can really help. If you still have too many doubts about your abilities, it is quite possible that there are deeper issues involved here.

However, a little fear and a little stress is not a bad thing. A little bit of these things helps us be fully prepared and prevents us from being over-confident. We might very well surprise ourselves and our friends with the more than prefect way we handle the situation. So, the next time you are faced with a situation where you feel stressed out, try these tips to build self-confidence.

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