- Remarkable or exceptional, especially exceptionally good.
So today’s theme takes a bit of different route because I wanted to share some good news with you plus a good lesson learnt that I will be applying in my life from now on and hope you take away something from this too.
Some of you may already know this but for those who don’t know, I have been working on the Enterprise programme with the Prince’s Trust in order to get Mymilla some business support from them for the next two years. The programme lasts for a year and it helps you work towards pitching your business idea to the Trust to continue getting the business support.
You may see that I have highlighted the words ‘pitching your business idea’ in red. Why? It’s my worst nightmare. Contrast to what may see or think of me in terms of being body confident, one thing I have a deep issue with is speaking in public or presenting *shakes head*. The thought scares me to the point where even thinking about it sometimes gives me the deep butterflies that make you feel a bit sick.
I was given the greenlight by the programme coordinator to go forward to a panel who will question me more about the business to see if it is viable…Seems simple for some when you have been working your arse off for a year to perfect the plan so you know the answers in and out. However, this wonderful mind of ours has ways of play tricks on us to sometimes doubt your ability or even think of the worst case scenario to the point where you might not even turn up. Who’s guilty of this?
I had the best support coming up to the date from my amazing mentor who dedicated the time to talk me through the questions, any ideas I had or bounce ideas with as well as the programme coordinator that reassured me that it was not as scary as I thought it would be. I’ll give examples of how my brain twists things.
Reality: It’s an informal setting and the panel is friendly and helpful
Brain: OH MY GOSH, IT’S GOING TO BE LIKE DRAGON’S DEN BUT WORSE!
Reality: Just prepare some things that might help you to explain your idea
Brain: PACK EVERY SINGLE THING YOU HAVE IN YOUR OFFICE…EVERYTHING! YOU MIGHT NEED A BIGGER SUITCASE. MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T GO.
Reality: They will give you recommendations and there will still be support even if you don’t get through.
Brain: WHAT IF THEY LAUGH AT YOU… NICOLE YOU ARE NOT READY, JUST DON’T GO.
Reality: Panel member asks ‘Tell me about your business?’
Now this is not how it went down in reality, it was way more relaxed and helpful but this is the scene my brain played in my head to the point where I was shaking just thinking about going despite being told that it was not that bad.
A positive way of thinking about my reaction is that I am so passionate about this business that I want everyone to believe in it as much as I do hence the extra pressure. However, had I let my thoughts get the better of me, who knows if I would have turned up?
So how did I do it? How did I attend if these thoughts were running through my mind? I distracted my negative train of thought and tried out different coping mechanisms to help me through. Remember that amazing mentor I told you about…well she taught me the superwoman trick.
Basically, it is literally doing the superwoman pose (below) before you do something that requires a little confidence boost. This might sound crazy but it actually works! The science behind it is that it reduces your levels of cortisol which makes you nervous and increases your levels of testosterone for that confidence boost.
I did this before my pitch, whilst muttering to myself ‘you can do this… you are superwoman’. Even when I was sitting down waiting to go in, if I started to feel a bit nervous again, I would type those words on my phone whilst visualising myself doing the pose.
I walked in and I worked it!
I won’t lie and say that everything went to plan but I was able to cope with any tricky questions I had. They were so helpful in giving feedback and even with the tricky questions, they weren’t the monsters I had envisioned in my mind.
The moral of this story is your mind may play tricks on you and you may have moments where you doubt your ability or your ideas sometimes. We are human and it happens. Especially for people like me where you may have had someone or something in your life that once upon a time, tore your confidence to shreds. The important thing is what you do with that doubt to make sure it does not get in the way of you achieving your goals.
Yes, I have had moments before I started the business where I didn’t turn up to a job interview because I got so nervous and my mind told me I wasn’t good enough. As time as gone on, I realise that I am not different from the people that own FTSE companies (LOL!). It sounds a bit cocky but I swear, you are not different either ability wise. The only thing that gets in our way is our train of thought…The thought of doubt, pain or failure.
I am by no means perfect, but who is?
I used to be guilty of saying ‘I’ll do it when the time is right’ but I missed opportunities because of it. The thought of failure stopped me from trying but ever since Mymilla, I work hard to kick the habit of self-doubt and pushed myself beyond my wildest dreams.
My methods every morning involve watching motivational videos or listen to them whilst I am eating my breakfast. My favourite is ET (Eric Thomas) the motivational speaker who points out bad habits or thoughts that guilt trips me into making the most out of my day. There is a particular video where he says a few things that stick with me every single day.
Granted, listening to this won’t automatically make you change but it makes you think and that is a start. Don’t wait for someone to be phenomenal… be phenomenal. This stuck with me because a lot of us wait to see others achieve and succeed before we push ourselves but why not lead and just do it.
Being phenomenal to me is not being an expert at everything but it is about chasing my dreams, not letting things get in my way and if I find something hard to do, rather than avoid it, I face it. It may take time to get it right but the point is you try until you get there.
Another method is the superwoman pose before any task that I feel will be difficult. It puts me in the zone because it now reminds me of my attitude when I walked into the panel and that makes me feel good. I do things that make me feel relaxed or feel good before I tackle that task for example, I wore my favourite bra set, made sure my clothes were comfortable and put on an extra coat of mascara just as a feel good factor.
For those who want to know the result, I am absolutely happy to announce that Mymilla will be supported by The Prince’s Trust for the next two years! *Happy dance*
My honest advice from my experience is to not let any doubt get in the way of you showing up. Just do it! Even if it does not go well, you have learnt something rather than saying what if.
Don’t wait for someone to be phenomenal… be phenomenal. Like our lady Dr.Maya Angelou said:
Be your own superwoman!
I'll leave you to see my favourite motivational video by Eric Thomas (below)...ENJOY!
If you have tried these methods or have other methods you would like to share with others that helps boost your confidence or conquer your fear, drop us a comment below. We are all about sharing!