I’ve just been walking through the city centre, taking a few minutes to enjoy the sun and collect my bass guitar from the repair shop (it had developed something resembling performance anxiety, and had lost its voice completely….happily now restored).

Wandering through the streets and dodging people either fixed on their phone or with heads down, I was reminded of the confidence classes my colleague Becky and I used to deliver to students at Leicester University. We would discuss self-perception as a group – usually with an agreement that self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence among the participants were low, then explored the belief for many in the room that a) other people didn’t feel the same, b) that other people could see their low self-perception and c) avoiding eye contact and going “unnoticed” was generally the safest method to use when going from place to place.

We challenged these students to try something different and encouraged them, between that session and the next, to make eye contact with others as they walked to, around and from the campus, and to report back what they noticed in the following session. We were regularly amazed at the huge impact this simple technique had on the majority of students, who would be eager to tell us of what they found in the following session. The typical finding was “EVERYONE is looking at the ground or their phone, not just me!” and a realisation that their fears of being seen, exposed or ridiculed in some way did not happen.

This one simple technique had a huge impact on many students in the group, many of whom used it as their starting point to develop their confidence in themselves.

If you struggle with your own feelings of self confidence, next time you’re out and about – why not try it yourself?


#mhaw17 #confidence #community #lcpc #mentalhealth #counselling

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