Since the World Is a Stage, Don’t Let Fear Win
If you want to be brave, and be seen as such, you must act bravely—even if you don’t feel it inside at the time. If you want brave (cool, patient, flexible, caring, supportive) to become your relating style and reputation, you should ask God to help you become so, but you should also prepare yourself through study and practice, at home and away.
Even if you’re facing fears that have gotten the better of you in the past, fear of public speaking, fear of asking for a date, fear of meeting new people, with the right body language, facial expressions, and confident, friendly manner, you’ll make a positive, if not perfect, first impression, as you try to stretch yourself beyond those limitations.
You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression
How you present yourself, whether warm or cold, present or distant, confident or self-conscious, is how you will be seen by those you meet for the first time. Even without you saying a word, your first impression will then become your backstory—who you are until you prove differently.
And whether you believe it or not, your actions always speak louder than your words. If you stand confidently, and smile and appear approachable, people will believe you have something to be confident about—and they will also see you as nice and interested, and therefore interesting. If you slump, and look kind of worried, they’ll notice that too and respond accordingly.
There is a great deal of research supporting the idea that your inner thoughts and feelings affect your body language; and that your body language affects your inner thoughts and feelings. It is not inauthentic to present your best self to the people you meet for the first time. We all try do it, so you might as well become good at it.
Prayer Without Practice Doesn’t Create Permanent Change
The right prayers (i.e.: Keys Mastery list work) can prepare you to make the needed masteries and changes. But prayer without practice isn’t enough to create permanent positive change in any area of life—because your actions program your brain and your sub-conscious mind more strongly than words.
Fortunately, all the above recommended ways of presenting yourself can be learned. It just requires research, study, preparation, and again, lots of practice. For habits can only be built through repetition. If you don’t put in the effort, you don’t really want it, or don’t really believe you can do it. Either way, if you skip the planning and effort, you are shortchanging yourself.
Practice > Competence > Confidence = Expertise
Every champion in every sport has had to be trained or retrained, and has had to practice off the court, in order to get better on the court in actual games. All improvement in any area of life requires learning new techniques—and then taking the time to become good at them. The more you practice off the court, the better and more confident at them you will become on the court.
But if you never actually go out and push yourself past your limitations on the court, i.e.: in front of an audience, while talking to a potential dating partner, meeting new people, etc.—you will never grow past those limitations and will likely keep yourself from living a more enjoyable, more successful life over time.
Pushing yourself through your past limitations does require a good amount of willpower and determination to get started. But the payoff is almost always worth it. After all, you miss every shot you never take. And there is no real rejection but self-rejection. So why reject the possibilities before you even try?