Home Lifestyles Advice Coach Paradise: Roar Loudly!

Coach Paradise: Roar Loudly!

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Dear Coach Paradise,
I am sick and tired of having butterflies in my stomach every time I get ready to introduce myself at professional functions. I admire people who just go up to other people and say Hi, my name is blah blah blah, and I am a so and so, and what do you do? or something like that with confidence. Whenever I go to a luncheon or a networking meeting I hold back, look longingly from the sidelines or get it over with as fast as possible. I guess I am a professional wallflower, and I know that I will never advance the way I want to or just feel good about myself until I overcome this. I am intelligent, attractive and good at my job, and leave these events wishing I had the guts. Any suggestions?
The Cowardly Lion
Dear Cowardly Lion,
You are already on the yellow brick road and clearly have a lot of courage, or you wouldnt be writing me telling how ready you are to burst forth and introduce yourself to the world at large. Roar loudly!
Napoleon Hill (author of Think and Grow Rich) said that people fear success because they: fear failure, fear what others will think and fear rejection (among other fears.) The self-confident are not necessarily any more competent than their insecure counterparts. They are just more willing to take chances, willing to make mistakes and able to pick themselves up and dust themselves off. They know that failing doesnt make them failures. Because they are able to do this, they get a lot more experience, learn from their mistakes and are generally much more successful. Their less-confident colleagues may fail less, but also learn less because they are striving for perfection and looking good and waiting for the right moment. Sound familiar?
Here is an exercise for you to try. Stand up. Draw a circle around your feet and picture the color of the circle. This is the circle of confidence. Now, picture a time in your life (or a particular situation) when you felt supremely confident. What came to mind for me when I did this was the time when I was 10 years old and played Amos the mouse in a school play with a jagged coat hanger tail, indicating that I had been electrocuted and lived! Feel that confidence as you stand in the circle. Really let it seep through your entire body.
Now take a step backwards, out of the circle, out of the confidence. Notice if your body position or your breathing change. Notice if you feel any different. Then step back into the circle. Step back and in a couple of times, noticing the differences. Then, when you feel ready, step forward into a (virtual) situation where you want to be confident and take the confidence with you. Next time you are about to enter a situation where you would like to be more confident, picture standing in this circle and then moving out from your courage into the world.
Another exercise involves picturing someone (friend, celebrity, someone you admire) who exudes confidence. Borrow their confidence. Picture being them and absorbing the qualities you admire. No one has to know whom you are channeling. Itll be our little secret.
To your growing confidence,
Coach Paradise
Editor's note: Coach Paradise (AKA Anne Nayer), Professional Life Coach, is a member of the International Coaching Federation, an MSW clinical social worker-psychotherapist and a medical case manager with 30 years experience working with people of all shapes, sizes and challenges.
For further information about her services, call 774-4355 or email her.

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