The (Seemingly Ridiculous) Brain Hack That'll Boost Your Confidence – Paul Loves It
June 24, 2019
How would you like to be more confident? To have the belief in yourself that you can close that big deal, take on that big project and/or get that promotion you know you deserve?
Your best bet – copy Jimmy.
For those of you who aren’t obsessed with Seinfeld (shame on you), longtime Harvard Neuroscientist Srini Pillay has a brain hack that’s as effective as it is seemingly ridiculous – talk to yourself in the third person.
“You see, when you call yourself by name, and you talk to yourself in the second or third person, it makes you less afraid, and allows you to control your emotions better,” Pillay said in his Linkedin Learning course, Leveraging Neuroscience in the Workplace. “In fact, your brain responds by controlling your emotions better even without any effort on your part.”
For example, say you are about to give a big presentation. Rather than telling yourself, “I am going to crush this presentation”, tell yourself (if you share the same name as myself), “Paul, you are going to crush this presentation.”
I know, it seems so small. But, in his course, Pillay lists a bunch of seemingly small things that make a big difference on our brain, like to avoid the word “not” and to label your negative emotions aloud.
His point? Little things can have a profound effect on your brain, which can have a profound effect on your performance. And that includes talking to yourself in the third-person – ideally, by yourself, out of earshot of others – as it'll give you more confidence to do the impossible.
Paul’s already tried it. And Paul is already seeing the benefits. Namely, Paul is feeling good about Paul.
Topics within the course cover:
- How to target the brain to manage uncertainty at work
- Why grit and deliberate practice might not be enough
- How practicing mindfulness changes the brain
- Brain-based methods for building team resilience
- Changing your brain to improve your focus