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BBC Confidence Lab

    • RuthlessRabbit
      Dabei seit: 13.03.2007 Beiträge: 9.531
      Weiß jemand vielleicht wo ich mir das anschauen kann? Klingt interessant, aber finde es nirgendwo.

      IF YOU'RE fed up being the wallflower at parties or think that you should be promoted at work and are too shy to speak up, help is at hand.

      Make your New Year resolution to create a new you, give your confidence a boost and your personality a gee up without moving from your favourite armchair.

      It might sound like a cheesy sales pitch, but that's the promise of a new BBC series called Confidence Lab, Wednesday, BBC2, 9.50pm - and if you believe in yourself enough it might just work.

      The six-part series follows a group of painfully shy human guinea pigs who all suffer from a crippling lack of self confidence, and desperately want to take steps towards a more confident life.

      The idea behind the series is to teach the 12 men and women practical skills to bring them out of their shells.

      The labbers spent a week in the prestigious Babbington House working through their problems with a team of therapists and counsellors, headed by Scots psychologist Ros Taylor.

      And Ros passionately believes that confidence issues can have far reaching implications on everyday life for people from all walks of life.

      "Confidence means you can focus on the world around you while being wonderfully self-oblivious," she says. "Lack of confidence means you focus on your beating heart, your sweaty palms and very little else.

      "It can also hold you back from grabbing new opportunities, relationships and embracing a more fulfilling social life. Basically, a lack of confidence can erode your well-being."

      Lack of confidence can hold you back - but that's not always the case. Step forward M People diva Heather Small.

      The soul singer may have a booming voice, but she openly concedes that she suffered terribly as a youngster from lack of confidence - and still sometimes does.

      Ten years on from making it big, Heather is still painfully afflicted by stage fright.

      "It's not easy for me to perform live," she admits. "In fact, it's always terrible. But if I can get through the initial dread, then the payback is worth it."

      A specialist in business psychology and confidence coaching, Ros Taylor can can relate to self-confidence issues after suffering its crippling effects in her earlier years.

      "When I was at university I was chronically shy," she recalls. "I would scuttle into the canteen and hide behind a book in the fear that someone would look at me. It was a horrible mental state to be in.

      "I got to the stage that I was absolutely convinced that people were staring at me, making judgement on me.

      "It was only after studying psychology in my second year at university that it dawned on me that no one was looking at me and I had the power to look at others around me and gain strength from social situations. It's a very liberating experience."

      Recognising the significance of self-esteem in modern day society, each week Confidence Lab focuses on two people who suffer from behavioural insecurities.

      The first subjects of the TV experiment are Nigel and Maria, both eager to make drastic changes to their lives.

      Nigel Rustage is a 34-year-old chef who feels his lack of confidence is seriously handicapping his career.

      His undoubted culinary talents are not the problem, but he admits he feels intimidated by the challenge of promotion largely due to his lack of educational qualifications.

      Nigel's only wish is to be as self-assured in his business life as he is in the kitchen.

      "Nigel has a major hang-up about his abilities and this reflects in his work skills," explains Ros. "He feels he wasn't a fit person for promotion and certainly the Confidence Lab had profound effects on his confidence and self-esteem."

      Self-esteem sufferer Maria Heather is a victim support co-ordinator who turns into a victim herself under the spotlight of public speaking.

      "So anxious was Maria in social situations that she would often vomit at the thought of having to make formal presentations," explains Ros. "A lack of confidence had consumed her life."

      As with the examples of Nigel and Maria, Ros discovered a lot of personal issues of confidence are heightened considerably within a work environment.

      "Confidence becomes a real problem within the business field as you are taking your issues of self-esteem and relating them to your staff and those around you," she explains. "If a manager lacks confidence then this can have serious implications on their workforce and can demotivate everyone."

      But as Ros explains, confidence should not be confused with arrogance and self-importance.

      "When people are at their most confident they aren't focused on themselves and are not egocentric.

      "They are much more relaxed and wonderfully focused on other people.

      "As a result, they tend to be fabulous in social situations and particularly good at dealing with issues of conflict.

      "I call this the inside-out rule which basically means if you are happy inside with yourself, you focus all your energies on making the outside world a better place to be."

      Ros witnessed her inside-out theory in practice during her involvement in the televisual experiment.

      "When you watch Confidence Lab it quickly becomes apparent that at the beginning of the counselling sessions people are very self-focused, very self-obsessed but, come the end of the programme, they are much more harmonious and willing to work with others. There's an element of psychological freedom and liberation in tackling self-confidence problems."

      Critics will suggest that the labbers' mere involvement in a TV show about confidence meant that they had, to some extent, embraced a more confident system of behaviour - but Ros emphatically rebuffs this criticism.

      "Of course being involved in a major TV production helped our labbers face their fears a little," she says. "In the back of their minds they knew millions of people would be watching to see if they could make it through, so that motivated them all the more.

      "But essentially it was they who had to make the difference and no amount of TV cameras could motivate them unless they really wanted to help themselves."

      Initially the Confidence Lab programme makers were concerned they would be unable to find suitable players for their televisual experiment.

      As series producer Janice Gabriel recalls, the team were doubtful that participants would prove forthcoming, especially as they would have to discuss confidence issues in front of a film crew and a nation of TV viewers.

      "Our first problems were clear," recalls Janice. "How to persuade 12 genuinely under-confident people to bare themselves psychologically to millions, and how to help them change their lives in just seven days."

      But despite her fears about finding suitable labbers, the production team were inundated with willing players.

      Thousands of people applied to enter the Confidence Lab, with the many men who came forward giving an insight into the gender differences in confidence levels.

      Janice explains: "It became clear that while women at least talked about their problems among themselves, many men had never felt able to admit their lack of confidence."

      Not having a shoulder to cry on seems to seriously hinder the men's ability to be more confident, so much so that they often bury their heads in the sand and hope the problem will simply go away.

      Cruelly, confidence issues create a vicious circle for sufferers, with the only effective remedy being the ability to take control and tackle their lack of confidence head on.

      The production crew on Confidence Lab also recognise there can be regional divides within the UK when it comes to confidence. Ros Taylor warns that as a nation the Scots are serious victims of this social problem.

      "We suffer wildly from insecurities, especially in the west of Scotland," she states. "Generally speaking, we only realise how fabulous we are as a nation once we leave Scotland. It's a bizarre and rather sad fact of life."

      With this in mind, Ros hopes the BBC's psychological experiment will help meek Scots gain strength from watching others overcome confidence issues.

      "Everyone can benefit from confidence coaching - no matter how happy and content you may feel about yourself.

      "It's too easy to focus on what's wrong with our lives, it's more of an achievement to highlight the positive aspects and take the steps necessary to change our lives."

      Confidence Lab starts on BBC2 on Wednesday, January 10, at 9.50pm. The programme has a website, bbc.co.uk/health/confidence, which contains confidence-building exercises and a board to leave questions for Ros Taylor and other confidence experts.
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