In our previous post about reframing our negative self-talk, Reframing Your Negative Thoughts About Public Speaking , we talked about reframing techniques. In our re-framing technique exercise, we used an example of negative self-talk: “Whoops, I just said “I’ll never learn to write a newsletter” again.”
This statement inadvertently reveals another of the psychological “traps” that keeps people stuck in negative behaviors.
Avoid These Confidence Traps
Let’s identify three of the common psychological catch-22s – the ones that leave us feeling as if we alone are doomed to fail, while everyone else passes us by.
This one is really easy to identify, and we have all done it at some time or another.
You can recognize it all-or-nothing thinking by the words “always” or “never”. For example, in the example we just talked about, not only was the speaker reinforcing a negative neural pathway, they were reinforcing it with all-or-nothing thinking by stating that they would “never” learn – not just that they “can’t learn”.
If you catch yourself indulging in negative self-talk that includes the words “never” or “always”, stop right there. “Call” it – and re-frame it. (“Never” learn to write a newsletter? Really? Why “never”?”)
This is a little-understood phenomenon to the average person.
It is a clinical term used to describe a state where a person exposed to specific negative situations over and over comes to believe they have no control over that type of situation.
Learned helplessness may not be a direct cause of glossophobia (fear of public speaking). In a person of low self-esteem or low self-confidence, it can be a significant factor in making that person feel “doomed”. As though they are never to experience success in anything she wants to succeed in – such as public speaking.
Always imagining the worst of worse-case scenarios – and outcomes. A person who catastrophizes is most likely to vividly imagine ultimate failure.
Watch out for these three saboteurs to your confidence as you attempt to improve your public speaking.
In an upcoming post, we will get to the public speaking nitty-gritty. Tactics to help you succeed in your public speaking.