Whether you are applying for work over the phone, by mail or in person, your confidence can seriously impact your results. Confidence can be improved with just a little bit of effort. So take some time to understand how confidence can be developed.
This short video from TED-Ed explains what affects your levels of confidence and some tips to boost your confidence.
Changing our brain to build confidence
So the key thing to understand is that that our brains are changeable, this is known as neuroplasticity. In other words, we can change our automatic thoughts and reactions including how confident we feel. We do this by deliberately priming our brain. This is known as cognitive priming – where we put suggestions into our own mind. There are many techniques that can be used to do this:
Affirmations are statements that we repeat frequently to ourselves. This is a well know but not particularly effective technique. To make it more effective inject more emotion into the expression of the statement – try to feel it in your body.
Similar to affirmations, but instead you are rehearsing a visual image of yourself over and over in your mind. You should try to involve all of your 5 senses in the visualisation and make it as vivid as possible.
During your visualisation, have conversations with other people. Notice how you are acting or being in your visualisation, what people say to you, how you are addressed and so on. Make it as rich and real as possible.
You can put simple statements (affirmations) around your house. Put them on your mirror, the fridge, on your smartphone or any other place that you frequently look. It is not necessary to focus on the statements, but it will be visible in your side vision. Some statements are better than others, for example, statements such as “I am enough” or “I am worthy”. These statements work on the beliefs that affect our confidence levels.
Anchoring is a neurolinguistic programming technique that connects a body response to a feeling. You identify a feeling you want to "anchor" into your brain/body. These can be feelings such as confidence or worthiness. First you get into this feeling and use a hand movement, for example putting your index finger and thumb together. Keep pressing your fingers together as you feel the sensation, and use a statement as you do this. It may take some months to anchor a feeling but you create a habitual link in your body over time.
Eventually when the feeling is anchored in the body, you can generate the feeling by using your hand movement. This brain/body connection are been wired together in your brain.
Practising the activities noted above with have a profound impact on your life and can help you to perform well in an interview. If you are successful in securing a job, these techniques can help you manage the transition to work and feel far more confident in the workplace.