Confidence – why does it seem to come so naturally to some while others struggle with anxiety or shyness? The truth is there are very few people who exude natural confidence at everything they do. They may simply be very good in social situations but more apprehensive at work. Or the other way around. And they may like most of us, have recognised when those nerves kick in, but they have anticipated the signs and then created a faux confidence that they have learned to ‘wear’ to see them through their more difficult times. And the more we adopt a little fake confidence, the more comfortable it feels, until eventually we don’t remember to feel those nerves at all!
I felt much the same way when I first appeared on TV many years ago. I am a reasonably confident person in most situations, but the prospect of all those cameras and studio staff unnerved me. And the little red light that indicates that a show was recording or going out live, was the worst of all! But I wanted to do TV and I certainly didn’t want to fluff whatever I was talking about, so I made sure I looked the best I could, sat up straight, wore my highest heels (and still do!) and concentrated on what the presenters were asking me, rather than focus on that anxiety-inducing red light. In other words I faked it – at least for a while. And it worked. Nowadays, I barely notice that light. I am not totally relaxed, but then if we didn’t have any anxiety helping us along when we were nervous about a situation, the opposite effect would be to appear over-relaxed, distant or even bored. We need a certain level of adrenalin to engage effectively in any new situation.
So, if you’re feeling nervous or sense that you lack confidence, maybe it’s reassuring to know that many others do too – including celebrities – but they have learned to overcome their fears in order to pursue what they really want to do.
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