How to become a more confident performer

There are all sorts of performances in business – giving a speech or presentation, meeting people for the first time, having or giving an interview, or even serving someone at reception. From time to time people who have to perform like this lose confidence. Perhaps they’ve had a bad experience – an attack of nerves or a difficult interaction with a customer? Their self-esteem takes a pounding and they avoid such encounters, convincing themselves they’re not cut out for such activities. But when it’s your job to serve customers or make phone calls and persuade people through presentations it’s important to face your fears and re-build confidence.

One solution is to separate act and actor. In other words you should recognize the distinction between the performance and the performer. Just because the performance was a failure doesn’t mean YOU’RE a failure. If you start from the premise that you’ve got abilities and unfulfilled potential, you can start to view poor performance in a more detached, academic way. “OK, that was lousy…what could I have done better?” In this way each failure is followed by a cool analysis of performance rather than an emotional personal attack.

Using this approach, you’re more willing to keep trying rather than avoid further risk of failure. Each time you’re learning from the experience and getting closer to the moment when the performance more closely matches your capabilities.

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