We’ve all had situations where we have dreaded the outcome if it didn’t go our way, and *GASP* what would people say and think of us as a result. Am I right?
In this blog post I’m going to talk about ego threat and how to combat it, so you can perform like a cool, confidence oozing machine :D.
Now, everyone on this earth has an ego to some degree, and no one enjoys the feeling of their ego being threatened. Let’s be honest, our ego is a big part of ourselves and therefore, we intertwine our ego with our sense of identity. Ergo, our very sense of self is questioned if we were dealt with a set of circumstances which we see as a threat.
For example, the thought of getting bad grades in an exam will be an ego threat to someone who prides themselves on being a good student, or an upcoming presentation at work may give you the shivers because if you do poorly, your reputation at the company may take a hit and the boss may think differently of you.
The 6 Ps. Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance
Preparation is a key part of eroding ego threat. The more you practice something, the better you are going to be at it. The better you are at something, the more confident you are at that chosen task. The more confident you are, the better received you will be by your peers and by yourself. A great example of this is for interviews. Have you heard of anyone who hasn’t prepared at all for an interview, and just rolled up and aced it? If you have, shake that person’s hand because that is incredible, but I’m willing to bet that they are not telling the truth. I know that whenever I’ve had an interview, I prepare for it as soon as I get the confirmation of a date and time. It can be as simple as Googling ‘Top exam questions and answers’ or watching interview techniques on Youtube. One thing I have done is to sit down with a friend who would ask me these questions so that I could physically speak the answers instead of going over them in my head. Was I still a little nervous? You bet I was! But was I confident going in there? Oh Yes! Did I get the job? ……………..
Realise you are more than the issue at hand.
Pick a time when you’re brain power is at its best. For some this is first thing in the morning, for those of us who are a bit more normal (joke) it may be around midday or the early afternoon/evening. At this time grab a piece of paper and write down what’s important to you that ISN’T related to the issue that’s causing you stress. It can be things such as being a good parent, a community leader, a care giver, a great friend to someone in need, a volunteer etc.
Writing these things down will allow you to realise that there’s so much more to you than the issue at hand, and that if things don’t go your way it’s not the end of the world because there’s so much more to you to be excited about. Yes, it may hurt or annoy you in the short term, but rest assured that it doesn’t define who you are.
Disassociate from the issue
This one will take a little bit of imagination (another reason to do this when your brain power is at its best).
Put yourself in a quiet room (less distractions) or as near to it (do I hear screaming kids in the background?), close your eyes and picture the event is happening. It’s still happening to you in this image, but you are separated from your body. You are a third party watching yourself (what did I say about that brain power eh!). Imagine you are watching it in a cinema, and you are the star of the movie. Imagine yourself acing whatever it is causing you grief and how you intend to handle it. Imagine it has gone incredibly well. How do you feel for this character? I can bet you will be sitting with your eyes closed and smiling. Take notice of how great it feels to do well. Hold onto that feeling and take it with you to confront the stressful situation.
Professional athletes do this all the time. They visualise how they will knock their opponent out, how they will take a specific corner in a race or what it will feel and look like to lift that trophy. By no means does it guarantee victory, it does however put you in a better, more positive mindset of self-worth, giving you licence to be at your best.
I hope you got great value from this post. If you want to learn more about dealing with other issues regarding confidence, check out my other posts on confidenceunleashed.co.uk