We writers have a lot to be insecure about: possible rejection by agents and publishers, harsh reviews, unpredictable income… It’s no wonder that when we have a chance to meet with people who might have a strong influence on our writing future we may be nervous. That behaviour can work against us.
A study reported in “Psychological Science” says that a simple procedure can help boost confidence almost instantly.
Here’s part of the Abstract of the study:
“Chronically insecure individuals often behave in ways that result in the very social rejection that they most fear. We predicted that this typical self-fulfilling prophecy is not immutable...
In a longitudinal experiment, a 15-min self-affirmation improved both the relational security and experimenter-rated social behavior of insecure participants up to 4 weeks after the initial intervention.
Psyblog described the experiment in more down to earth language: the participants were measured for social confidence. Then half of them were given a list of 11 values like creativity, personal attractiveness, spontaneity, friends and family, etc. They ranked them in order of importance and wrote a short description of why the one they ranked as highest is so important.
This fifteen minute exercise boosted their self-confidence with results lasting for weeks afterward.
My guess is that we rank the highest the quality that we believe we have the most of and reminding ourselves that we exemplify it gives us great confidence.
If you’re nervous about a meeting, or even about sitting down to write something new, do try this at home. Make a list of the qualities you value, rank them, and write a couple of paragraphs about why your number one is important.
(One way to gain confidence is to get the support of an expert and your peers. That's exactly what you get in my Writing Breakthrough Strategy program. The next session starts in mid-January, but the best time to sign up is now, because there are great bonuses for early birds. It will also help you to plan ahead and create the conditions under which you'll achievey your writing goal. For more information, go to www.WritingBreakthroughStrategy.com. If you have quesitons, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)