How To Be Confident In Any Situation

be confident in any situation

This is a sample chapter from my upcoming book, Personal Alchemy: Grow your business by growing yourself. For more info and to get an advance copy please join the private FB group

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Every morning that you wake up you have a choice.

On the one hand you can choose to simply accept that you have no power to change things; to believe the stories you’ve told yourself up to now about who you are and what you can and can’t do.

And why shouldn’t you? This is the easy way after all. It takes less thought, it’s less trouble. Popular culture and the media are constantly bombarding us with how life is and how we should feel about things so there’s no need to question it; life is hard, with only small pockets of joy and ultimately we are powerless to change anything.

Of course, this is by no means the case, yet sadly it is the way a lot of people still choose to live their lives. They watch TV or scroll through Facebook and bemoan the fact that others have more than they do; they’re happier, drive faster cars, have bigger houses, go on nicer holidays.

Most people feel that they draw any happiness from external forces and never look to derive it from what is inside of themselves. And when we ignore what is within, we are only left with, well… without.

Thankfully though there is another option.

Each morning every single person on this planet has the choice over how they react to life. Because here’s the thing; life is full of people, environments, ideas and circumstances that look like they can affect how you feel. But they never really can. It’s important to keep in mind that all those things don’t control you, and also, they in turn are out of your control.

Anything that happens in life is by and large a neutral event. It is how you react to the event that makes it a problem, it is how you react to the event that makes it personal, it is how you react to the event that decides whether you take action or allow it power over you.

If you fall into the trap of reacting to these external forces, you allow your emotions to get the better of you.

You stop thinking clearly, make bad decisions and create unrest. However, when you realize that outside circumstances have no control over how you feel inside you fall into a more nonreactive and creative persona. You’re more rational and free from the domination of outward conditions.

I know what you might be thinking, that this is easier said than done. And what about all the horrible things that happen in the world? Are they just neutral? What about illness, war, famine? Now, I’m in no way belittling these things or indeed any of the problems faced by countless people in countless situations.

I’m not inferring life is easy. Yet, even when it’s at its most tragic, we all have the potential to make life better. When people feel threatened, insecure and victimised because they believe outside circumstances have power over how they feel they lash out. They build hate which only breeds more hate.

But if we approach life with a responsibility for ourselves, our feelings and our actions we forge a better day to day experience for ourselves and others.

Even if the most unspeakable things happen to us, we still have control over how it affects us. This is highlighted most soundly in the lives of both Viktor Frankl and Nelson Mandela.

In his book, Man’s Search For Meaning, Frankl catalogues his time spent in a Nazi concentration camp. He concludes from his experiences that his fellow prisoner’s psychological reactions to what happened to them were not simply a result of their external conditions but were also dictated by the freedom of choice they held onto despite their suffering.

He explains that the prisoners who held onto their spirit did so by their active decisions not to give in, to believe in hope for the future. They chose to not let their external circumstances affect them.

Mandela too conveys this message powerfully in his book, A Long Walk To Freedom, describing how during his incarceration on Robben Island he came to a crossroads. Sustained and vicious beating by the guards every day meant his will was becoming weaker and weaker.

One day however he had a life-changing insight, that while the guards might have power over his physical form, they had no power over how he reacted to his plight. Yes they could destroy his body, and very much might, but only he would let his mind and his spirit be destroyed. That day Mandela vowed that this wasn’t going to happen. This one insight was probably what saved his life.

These two stories are no doubt very powerful and amazing examples of the way we can take control over adversity. However, they in no way diminish the decisions we all have to make each and every day. When we choose to think bigger, when we choose our intentions and have big eyes looking out at the world we take control over life.

SETTING INTENTIONS

To help with this we can engage in simple act; creating conscious intent. In essence you’ll begin to actively choose how you show up in the world and in doing so teach yourself to be confident in any situation. You’ll take responsibility for who you are and what you do.

With this one small adjustment in your mindset everything changes. When you consciously create yourself to be an action taker, to be generous, to allow; then you are free to play, to create, to live more influentially.

Nothing focuses our reptilian brains more than strong intentions.

What we focus on is where our energy goes and if you’ve ever been nervous or unsure in the past it has been because you were unclear as to what you wanted in the present situation.

When this happens your subconscious mind has no focus and begins to look for anything else to focus on. In doing so extra energy is used up which makes you feel anxious. But, by actively creating a conscious intent for yourself in potentially stressful situations you can take back control and begin to create a mindset of confidence and strong self-awareness.

For instance, it’s no surprise that most of us put far too much pressure on ourselves in romantic situations. This is the way society has set it up for us. We worry about what to say, if the other person will like us, if we’ll make a good impression.

In fact we worry so much that we usually forget to actually enjoy the experience.

Yet, if we take a moment to remember that we are the only person who decides how we feel and then we step into that event with the intention of enjoying the experience, in this moment we accept the new frame and we create ourselves as someone charming and giving who enjoys the experience.

Another example, perhaps you’re out having drinks with colleagues and someone tries to wind you up. Its banter but the kind that is maybe designed to cut deep, especially if you let it. However, instead of taking this personally you simply take a deep breath and install the intention of not letting this person bother you.

By consciously creating the intention to rise above any negativity you instantly take control of your reality and, in doing so, become socially invincible.

If someone gets to us its only our thinking about that situation that affects our mood. If you remember this then there’s nothing you need do. There’s no reaction needed because they have no power over you.

This is a powerful notion to keep in mind during business meetings too. Before you arrive in the room take a moment and create a conscious intent for the meeting;

I intend to be relaxed yet focused and the outcome doesn’t matter.

By doing this it sends a message to your brain that there is no threat. You are in charge of the outcome and have already called it. Thus your subconscious knows it doesn’t need to keep us safe with all that fight or flight nonsense. Instead, you walk in to the meeting calm, measured and ready to share your great energy with the room.

When you choose to show up in this way you not only take control over the situation but also you gain more self-awareness. One reason behind this is that your brain is constantly trying to establish intent without you even knowing it. When you override this and begin to create intent consciously you have more control of your emotions, and sense of what is possible.

A key point when creating yourself this way is to make your intentions very specific, strong and even fun to achieve.

For instance, rather than; I intend to be confident in this meeting which can be open to interpretation (what does confident really mean to you?) it is far better to go with a declaration along the lines of:

I intend to walk into the room slowly. I’ll remember to breathe deeply. I’ll get grounded smile at everyone and settle in calmly. Then I shall share myself and my good ideas with the room.

The statement should always be about how you will be, your actions, rather than a value judgement on who you are.

When you begin to think in this way, and it is only a small adjustment that needs to be made, you can start to future pace all your outcomes. By changing the frame and your outlook on a situation you gain total control of how the outcome affects you. When you control the outcome, you control everything.

The psychologist Blair Warren, dubs this the God Complex, though not in the case relating to someone thinking they’re the new Messiah. Rather he describes a mindset shift that creates supreme confidence and gives us control over any situation (like God might have). For Warren this is about playing games that you can’t lose.

So returning to the example of the important meeting discussed earlier, with this mindset your declaration of intent would go as follows;

I’ll go into this meeting and give it my all. I intend to be open and relaxed. I know I’ve done the research required and so I can relax and present my case.

The other parties will either respond positively and give me the funding to go forward with the idea – or – they’ll say no – but if this happens I can thank them, stop feeling stressed about the outcome and move on to my next project.

And this is the key – but if this happens…

When we approach life this way we become almost untouchable.

The fact that you’ve accepted you might not get the result you initially want but acknowledge that either outcome moves you forward means you’re never left with an unexpected outcome. You have a plan laid out for every possible scenario and have put action steps in place so that you know what to do at every turn

This can be as simple as just taking a few minutes before the event to get grounded and meditate on the situation. Perhaps run through the meeting as a film in your mind; create a plan for if the best scenario happens, if the most likely scenario happens; and finally a back-up plan for if the worst scenario happens.

By doing this you’ll know how to handle every outcome before it happens.

Not bad hey?

What I’ve found when approaching events this way is that even when we’re present and in the moment, the very fact that we’ve accepted all situations means we can be confident in any situation. This in turn is apparent in our body language and attitude. We become un-reactive, un-needy, more connected to ourselves.

We all know that desperation is the ultimate repellent and by using this new way of seeing you eliminate any desperation that may have been lurking in your psyche. You get to walk into that high-pressure situation completely at ease and ready to give your best without any of the stress or uncertainty that can arise.

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This is a sample chapter from my upcoming book, Personal Alchemy: Grow your business by growing yourself. For more info and to get an advance copy please join the private FB group

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