The Skill Of Self-Confidence: How To Be Relaxed Talking To Anyone
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[ Are you stuck in the performance game? Does every conversation or interaction you have feel like it has to live up to something? Do you constantly feel like you're being evaluated?
Today, we’re going to discuss various ways to become more relaxed around other people so that you can start putting yourself out there and stop judging everything you do.
The first thing you have to understand is that talking to people is not a performance. Many of us approach conversation as if we’re being graded on it . . . usually by ourselves. If you feel tense or pressured or if you’re “observing” yourself while you're having a conversation, that’s how you know you're in performance mode.
It doesn’t stop there, either! Most of the time, we also take a moment to analyzing ourselves after the conversation is complete: Was I good enough? Did I say the right things? Were they reacting to me well?
Performance mode is problematic for a number of reasons: Firstly, when you're in performance mode, you're on the spot. You're being evaluated. It’s similar to the mentality of taking an exam. When you’re taking an exam, are you spontaneous and fun and witty and humorous, or are you closed off and nervous and stilted and awkward? Option B, right?
Performance mode puts us in the mind frame of thinking things have to go a certain way or the conversation is a failure. When we start to think things aren’t going right, we freeze up and become tense . . . and the people around us can feel it. While that may not be a complete deal-breaker, it may push people away or detract from the outcome that you want in a given situation.
Another important factor to consider is that in performance mode, your focus us completely on you: How am I doing? What do I look like? What do people think of me? You become obsessed with your own presence. Guess what happens when we let that happen? We completely ignore the other person’s presence. Would you want to have a conversation with someone who was ignoring your presence?
This is the same for everything from a casual date to an important sales meeting:
The people we’re talking to want our attention! They want us to know we’re focused on them and their needs.
When we place the focus on ourselves, it kills our ability to do whatever we’re there to do.
Why is it so difficult to take the focus off of ourselves when we’re in a conversation? Well, in part, it’s because we’ve got our priorities misaligned: Conversation isn’t about proving something—it’s about connection.
So, what is connection and how do we create it? I think there are two ]
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