Need more confidence? Try this simple grounding technique. April 28, 2023 – Posted in: Advice, Confidence, Leaders and Teams, Personal Development, Relationships – Tags: , , , , , , , ,

In my confidence-building courses, I teach my delegates some simple grounding techniques in order to calm themselves when they are feeling overwhelmed by the panic and fear associated with low confidence. Here’s a simple exercise you can do in any moment of self-doubt or overwhelm. It’s called the Five Senses Grounding Technique and it’s so simple that a small child could master it in minutes.

1. Whatever is happening in your mind make the decision to stop and come back to your body for a moment.

2. Become aware of your body, your breath and your senses and now ask yourself slowly… 

  • What can I hear right now? Listen for a minute – list all the different sounds you can hear.
  • What can I taste right now? Focus on your mouth for a while.
  • What can I feel right now? Focus on how the chair feels under your legs or how your feet feel on the floor. What about the air on your skin – how does that feel?
  • What can I smell right now? Focus on the different smells in the room.
  • What can I see right now? List ten things you can see.

3. Come back to the room and crack on with your day.

How can something so simple help you with your confidence? Let me tell you about Simon*.

Simon* is in his fifties,  has had a successful and senior career in engineering and yet was still really struggling with his confidence to the point where speaking up in meetings was becoming almost impossible for him. And so he took the incredibly brave step to come to one of my confidence-building workshops because, in his own words, “I don’t want to finish my career still as terrified of public speaking as I was when I started 30 years ago.”

Part of the work on this particular course involves delegates learning some specific grounding techniques to use when they feel overwhelmed or panicked.  The aim of these techniques is to calm your racing, fear-based minds and bring you back into the reality of the moment. They really work but only if you practice them, which is what I sent my delegates away to do before their follow-up session a few weeks later.

During the follow-up, Simon reported that he’d been practising the Five Senses Grounding technique at home on a daily basis as he found it gave him a sense of peace and serenity. But then the rubber really hit the road as he was called upon in a meeting to give a short presentation. In the build-up to the presentation, he could feel his heart pounding, his hands sweating and his face flushing as his inner critic told him all kinds of terrible and terrifying stories about how he was going to screw up, how he couldn’t do it, that everyone would laugh at him etc etc.

BUT – and here’s where it gets exciting, Simon decided to take some action and so he quietly ran through the grounding work in his head and he began to calm down. From his place of more peace, he was able to do business with that inner critic and reassure himself that he would be able to do the presentation. And guess what? He did! No one laughed, he didn’t screw up and the earth did not fall in. He is now planning to give a speech at an engineering conference later this year!

Confidence is so often built when we practice the opposite behaviours to the ones we’ve been engaging in and when we challenge the negativity in our heads. When we take those small steps amazing results always follow.

* Not his real name.

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