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How to… increase your confidence on stage

Michelle Thole. Photo: Jane Allan Michelle Thole. Photo: Jane Allan
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1. The belief mindset

A solid belief in your abilities, training and business strategy is vital to increasing your confidence and advancing your career. Here is a quick exercise to change any negative belief. First, write down a negative belief that is holding you back: ‘I’m not good enough.’ Secondly, change it to a positive belief: ‘I’m more than good enough.’ Thirdly, repeat the new belief three times out loud, twice a day. When this exercise is practised over a prolonged period of time, the new belief flows into your subconscious mind creating a new belief pattern.

2. Silence your inner critic

You’re nervous, you feel your heart racing and forget your lines. Then your inner critic starts to rain on your parade with the old classic lines, ‘you should have practised more’ or ‘you’re not good enough’. It doesn’t have to be this way. To give a career-changing performance, you have to be in the moment – your zone of genius. It cannot be accessed when your inner critic is constantly putting you down. Silence your inner critic by giving it a name and then tell it to politely ‘do one’. You don’t have to believe everything your critic says. Shift your focus from negative thinking to getting the job done, giving the performance of your life and making the audience unable to forget you.

3. Have courage

Confidence is a result of consistent courage and action: you cannot increase your confidence without doing the work. No experience is wasted – whether good or bad, it is all feedback that you can use to tweak your next performance. The first step is to get out there and be seen, whether you think you’re ready or not, even with your voice breaking, trembling hands and sweaty palms – your career depends on it. It never gets easier; you just get better at doing it. Take a step forward, I dare you. Have the courage to fail and you never know, you might actually succeed.

Michelle Thole is an actor and coach. Details: michellethole.com. She was talking to John Byrne

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