The Remarkable 1-Minute Confidence Boost Based on Science
All of us can use a confidence boost every once in a while. Here’s a trick that really works.
BY PETER ECONOMY
Need a quick confidence boost? If you’ve ever found yourself in a stressful situation where you were unsure of yourself or your own capabilities, then the answer is probably yes. The good news is that there is something you can do right now to boost your confidence, and if you do it repeatedly, you’ll boost your confidence over the long term.
So what exactly is the one-minute trick to boosting your confidence instantly? Affirmations–short, powerful statements that you repeat out loud, or to yourself.
Although affirmation can often times feel silly, the tactic can have real-life benefits. In a scientific study, students who practiced affirmation before high-stress midterms possessed lower levels of epinephrine–an adrenaline-like hormone released in stressful situations–than their peers who did not. Another Carnegie Mellon research study found that self-affirmations actually increased problem-solving activity and were able to preemptively protect against damaging effects from high levels of stress.
Affirmations may actually be the key to making us believe in ourselves.
Practically, it may feel a bit strange to give oneself a pep talk before a big event; it may feel uncomfortable at first, or a bit false. However, the trick to succeeding is simply to convince yourself that the task is completely normal. Pep talks don’t have to be a grand gesture, or any abnormal thing.
In fact, it’s actually quite customary in performance activities to give or receive pep talks, for example, team huddles before a big game or inspiring speeches kicking off a company off-site meeting. Self-affirmation is just another way of receiving that positive energy by giving it to ourselves.
The trick to tailoring the tactic to yourself is as easy as it sounds. Identify your own necessary, personal affirmations. Where do you feel like you are lacking? Which parts of yourself do you wish were stronger? Are there areas in which you wish you felt fuller? Once you can pinpoint the places in which you feel weak, you’ll be able to swiftly address them with targeted affirmation.
Next time you have something you’re nervous about, don’t give into your negative emotions. Instead, address them right away. Feel inadequate? Reassure yourself of your brilliant skillset. Have a fear of public speaking? Think of all the times you’ve done it well before. Reaffirm yourself for one minute straight–and your confidence levels will soar.