For instance, when I was in a particularly insecure place recently, I knew that I was broadcasting that mindset at every turn, and this was counter-productive while trying to Win Friends and Influence People.
So I went back to my well-worn technique which I call Positive Anchoring. I got out my trusty dry erase board and jotted down every positive aspect of myself that I felt a potential partner might find a selling-point. Looking at that list everyday whenever I walked by, has helped a great deal, and it forces me to acknowledge the good things about myself. This, in turn, allows me to project a better self-image to those fortunate enough to reside outside my brain. There is no room for modesty in this exercise, and it has served its purpose effectively many times. The trick, though, is believing it. Sometimes the negative voices will speak louder than that list, but I just have to tell them to shut up.
Another situation where I had to find a coping skill against anxiety was when I performed my music solo in front of a crowd for the first time in many years. When I was in my two bands in the 90′s, I did not usually suffer from stage fright, because I had the reassurance of other band members on stage with me. I was not standing there alone under the lights, with all eyes on just little old me. But when I had to perform alone, all my insecurities rose to the surface, and I knew in that moment that I had to either do something quick, or run out of the venue, feeling like a failure.
My knee-jerk response to everything is just brutal honesty. So I said into the mic, “I haven’t done this in a long time and I’m really nervous…” That statement got me some supportive applause. So I continued, adding humor: “I remember that public speakers are often told to deal with their nerves by picturing the entire audience naked…” Titters swept through the crowd. Buoyed by the new acceptance I was feeling through humor and honesty, I met the eyes of a pretty girl on the front row and bobbed my eyebrows, adding, “How YOU doin’?” This brought the house down in laughter, and I was then sufficiently bolstered so I could begin singing and playing the first song.