Emotions help us survive. It doesn't matter where you come from, or whether you were born deaf/blind, we're wired to be able to express and understand emotions.
Look at it this way, why do people born blind smile when they're happy and frown when they're sad? They've never seen a face in their entire lives, yet they're able to express emotions in a way which is identical to everyone else.
It's because we're wired to be able to express ourselves for social and survival reasons, and in turn, we're wired to be able to pick up on the emotions of others for the same reason. We're all incredibly good at picking up on the subtle cues displayed by the body.
That's why when everyone around you is saying that you're acting a certain way, you should take a moment to take stock of your internal environment. You may not be conscious of it, but your behaviours are signalling to others how you feel on the inside.
We all have blind spots when it comes to our emotions, but these blindspots on apply to ourselves, not others.
Emotions are powerful. Emotions govern how we interact with the world, as well as the meaning we take from those interactions. Emotions govern how we feel on the inside and what's reflected on the outside. When your internal is happy, then your external reflects happy. When your internal environment is angry, then your external reflects angry.
Some of the cues are more subtle than others, but whether you're conscious of it or not, others can see and feel these cues.
To list all of the cues will take too long, but know another human being will easily be able to pick up on and feel the way you feel through these cues. So, if the way you feel has such a large impact on the way you behave, then what happens if you change the way you feel? Well, your behaviour changes. As the inside changes, so does the outside.
What that means, is that when you're feeling scared and you want to be brave, you need to feel yourself being brave and your external cues will scream bravery to others. When you want to be strong, but you're feeling weak, then you need to transform that weak feeling into a feeling of strength.
Your body only understands how to interact with the world through your emotions. When you feel fear, your body produces fight or flight hormones. When you feel stress, your body produce stress hormones. When you feel happy, your body will produce happy hormones. How you feel on the inside is a direct dialogue not only with the rest of the world, it's a direct dialogue with yourself.
Change the way you feel on the inside, and you'll change the way you feel on the outside.
A Lesson for Future Champions
Change your self-talk and feel the emotions you want to embody. In a situation where you're scared and want to feel brave, picture a time when you were brave. Allow yourself to relive the experience and to feel bravery coursing through your veins.
In theatre, they call this method acting.
Actors use method acting because it works. When you want to embody a certain feeling, then you need to change how you feel on the inside first. When you do, you'll automatically start to embody these behaviours.
This same process also works in reverse. If you're feeling scared on the inside, then stand in poses and stances which signal bravery on the outside. You'll have to be more conscious of this to make it work, but the effects are similar.
Change causes change.