1 Spend time with positive people:  Feelings are catching! Find friends who will encourage you rather then break you down.  Join a network group or online community that is connected to what you want to do: other people on the same journey can be very encouraging and comforting!

2 Count your blessings – and successes. Every day make a list of at least 5 things to be thankful for and at least one thing you’ve succeeded at (even if it was just managing to remember the list!).

3 Fake it till you make it : our bodies really do affect how we feel. Standing straight, making eye contact, keeping an open posture and -above all- smiling! will help you feel positive and appear confident even if you’re nervous inside.  Smiling even works when you’re on the phone- really!

4 Practice speaking aloud to a group:  think ‘Slower, Lower, Louder, Look up ’ (the louder in moderation!)  If you’re nervous you’ll tend to speak too quickly and your voice is likely to go up in pitch. Speaking slower gives you a little more time to think, looking up reminds you about your posture and the importance of keeping eye contact with your listeners.  Take a few seconds to pause and collect the group with your eyes before you start. Don’t be afraid to wait till people are listening.

5 Remember everything is experience: Some stuff is bound to go wrong. Try not to let is become too important. Find at least one thing you can learn from the experience. Look for a chance to try again – and move on.