Our Limits Are Of Our Own Making

Ellen Langer is a psychologist who has researched, written and had great impact in the area of mindfulness.  Her work has demonstrated the profound impact of being more mindful and how increasing our own mindful behavior can result in increased health, wellbeing, confidence and competence. She is famous for saying “Our limits are of our own making”.

In relation to public speaking and our speaking confidence, I think that this is also very true. Whether we are going to succeed and be successful each time we speak or present can be determined by our attitude and our frame of mind. Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are usually right”. So your state of mind, thinking patterns and level of mindfulness will have a profound impact on your outcome in both terms of your confidence and effectiveness, but even more importantly on the audiences perception of you.

So you do need to walk the talk and to some extent fake it until you make it” (but don’t fake your content or your authenticity – just fake your confidence and self assuredness). You need to act confident, as you walk on stage to speak or when you go before the job interview panel, with your mind and body appearing confident.

On the 11 October I posted a blog with a TED video showing Amy Cuddy talking about body language. Amy spoke about the impact of powerful body language versus passive body language. Just by adopting and practicing powerful body language before a job interview, an interview panel perceives you as being more confident and assured.

So as you struggle with nerves, strive to improve your public speaking, expand your comfort zone and take on more daunting challenges, remember “our limits are of our own making”. And by default your success is of your own making and being mindful towards success will help you get there.

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