That’s my favorite line (paraphrased) from a so-so novel called “The First Patient.”

(It’s about a U.S. President whose physician vanishes. Then the President has a psychotic episode which, to me, just seemed like a predictable reaction to bad health care.)

I sometimes work with business leaders who, during high-stakes presentations, assume they should feel as confident on the inside as others look on the outside.

But you can’t see others’ insides—nor can others see yours.

If you have butterflies in your belly, no one can see them. If your heart is pounding, no one can hear it. And if your palms are sweaty, no one can tell.

Often, the only reason your audience knows you’re nervous is because you feel compelled to announce it. Please don’t.

Here’s the point: you can act confident without feeling confident. You don’t need to feel confident to stand tall, maintain good eye contact, or speak with volume.

And if you act confident enough times, eventually the feeling will show up.

Don’t wait.

© Copyright Paul Hellman. All rights reserved.

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