It's that time of year when Christmas parties are in full swing.
You are expected to put on your glad rags, sparkle and shine with confidence and be the life and soul of the party.
But what if the very thought of that descends you into full on panic mode?
Well, you are not alone.
In fact, it's the season that many people find that their social anxiety levels go into complete overdrive - from worrying about what to wear, how to make small talk, scenarios in your head where no-one is talking to you, to that dreaded moment your colleagues want you to join them on the dance floor and that general awkwardness.
If this sounds like you, do not despair, here are my Top 5 tips to help you exude confidence this Christmas party season:
1. It's all about the body language
The more anxious you feel, the more your body language will subconsciously reflect this, so walk tall, don't fidget, and avoid crossing your arms when you are talking to people.
Having something to hold in your hands (a glass, or your stylish clutch bag) can help to make you feel a bit more relaxed and give your hands something to do.
To give yourself that extra boost, pop to the ladies and do the 'power pose' in the mirror. In just 2 minutes, you can literally change your mindset with your body language - you can OWN this party!
2. The art of making small talk
People love it when other people take an interest in them and their life, and it's a really great way to deflect your anxiety and make you come across as confident and interesting. The art of making small talk is to simply take an interest in the person you are talking to.
Take the lead in the conversation, ask questions about their job, family, hobbies etc but stay clear of the 'big ticket' subjects like politics and religion, compliment them on their outfit/handbag/hair.
When the conversation starts to dry up, thank them for the conversation and work the room. You'll soon find that you are working the room effortlessly, without having to give too much away about yourself.
3. Remain in control
One of THE worst possible things you can do to help ease your nerves is to drink too much.
Confidence is about self-control and whilst a few too many cocktails or glasses of fizz make help to take the edge of your anxiety, it's about embracing your inner confidence without fuelling yourself full of alcohol.
So stay in control, alternate your drinks with water (or even better, don't drink or just have the one) and fuel your confidence from within.
4. Make it a red carpet entrance
When you walk into that party, imagine you are THE hottest, most anticipated guest at the party.
They've rolled out the red carpet and the paparazzi are there just to catch the moment you walk in. Walk tall, shoulders back, and give it your best ever red carpet entrance.
5. Make sure you are wearing something that makes you feel fabulous
Find your killer outfit, the one that makes you feel fabulous and you will exude that confidence. How you feel about how you look on the outside, has a massive effect on how you feel on the inside.
Catherine Asta Labbett is a Psychotherapist + Success Coach supporting women on their journey to DISCO BALL Sparkle and is also the Director + Founder of Girl Tribe Gang.
Catherine works with women all over the UK and beyond in person and via Facetime/Skype from her clinic base in Ilkley, Yorkshire.
Recently featured on BBC Business, CNN Money and as an expert contributor in the Telegraph, Grazia, Female First, and BBC Radio.