And lastly in this series you can never have too much practice. If we can have success in a practice situation then our brain will store this as a ‘win’ and remember this good experience for next time. Our anxiety will go down and our confidence will go up. It’s called ‘positive expectancy’.
Practise, practise, practise!
If you are struggling with self-confidence around having conversations practising in a safe environment can really help. Practise some of the phrases you could use, at home or practise one of the techniques on a friend, and watch what happens. Observe conversations around you in bars, cafes or in films. Once you’ve practised in a calm way in the comfort of your own home you will have given your brain a signal that it is an ‘ok’ thing to do and you will be much better equipped to use them in real situations.
Build on your successes
Each time you have a ‘win’ you will feel more and more confident. Keep moving forward. Perhaps keep a log of these ‘wins’ in a journal. Writing things down can reinforce the positive experiences.
Practising will help build a success ‘file’ in your brain. If you’ve had any bad experiences from the past these will start to diminish as you increase your successful experiences.
Occasionally one’s past experience can be so traumatic in this area that the experience doesn’t get filed away as ‘just’ a bad memory but gets stored in the part of the brain that triggers off our fight or flight system causing us to be nervous and anxious whenever a similar situation arises. This is when going to see a counsellor trained to help with trauma recovery would be a good idea so that you can move forward and feel more confident trying the steps above.