Everyone has a time or context where they wish they’d had more confidence. Being able to build or improve your confidence is something many people wish they could do (so if this is you, you’re not on your own!). There may be an event or situation coming up where you already know if you could be a little more confident in that scenario you’d get a more successful outcome.
Confidence is just a feeling and you can change how you feel instantly with NLP. Sure, it’s a feeling that is the tail end of a lot of processes that go on in your mind (including limiting beliefs, self-esteem, filtering information through past experiences/ memories etc), but we empower people to know they can change their thinking – to change their default settings – and then their results!
Spreading Confidence into more areas of your life …
So, you feel like you lack confidence? The first thing to recognise is that there will be areas, tasks, or situations where you have been confident in the past (when I was a kid I lacked social confidence at school, but I was really confident with the horses). Many people generalise one experience in one scenario to apply in all scenarios moving forward and this kind of generalisation is not helpful (in the example of lacking confidence you could have had a wobble in one situation one time, and then decided “I’m just not a confident person” which is a limiting belief that you might then hold and apply in maybe all scenarios – without evidence that this is infact the case). The problem is that you start to act as if you are not confident, and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. So, what we need to do is catch confidence in one area of your life and spread it to another!
Dr Brooklyn Storme, PhD, from All Psyched Up makes an interesting point: “Confidence can be built through Mastery. Mastery involves finding an activity that has inherent steps for you to learn, or achievable challenges. As you achieve a step, you build confidence”.
Jeff Withers, Relationship Coach and Co-Founder of Love Dynamics Global believes; “Building self-confidence comes from knowing yourself completely. That is, to know your natural strengths and talents, how you naturally think, talk, act and behave”.
Exercise 1:- Re-discovering your self-confidence …
As Noelle Rose Andressen quite rightly states, “Some people believe that we’re all born with confidence and either circumstances or negative nurturing can tear it down”. For whatever reason this means you need to go back in time…
Can you remember a time, a specific time in the past where you were really confident (in any area of your life – baking, playing sport, playing with the kids, a work meeting, or any other time). Close your eyes. When you think of that time, go right back and re-live that time as if you had the power to time travel and float down into your body (cool, eh?!) …..what do you see, hear or feel? What’s going on for you? What were you thinking? What were you saying to yourself? How were you interacting with others? What is it about those situations that allowed you to feel confident? What did you do differently in those scenarios vs. others? Any thing else you notice? Open your eyes.
As you reflect on your past experiences of feeling confident, is there a positive learning that you could take for the future? – in NLP we are always interested in taking positive learnings for the future so grab a cuppa and ponder over these questions … maybe do this exercise on a few different memories and see if there are similarities between them.
Exercise 2:- Standing to be more confident …
When you think of a confident person – how do they stand? where are they looking? what might they be saying to themselves? … What if you “borrowed” some of the things they do? Could you do a deal with yourself that for the purpose of getting better results or outcomes, you could ‘act as if’ you were confident? Consider the possibility that you can try all this on like a coat.
Perhaps it is in the appearance, do confident people dress a certain way? As Cynthia Rowland, founder and president of Rejenuve suggests; “One of the best ways to become more confident is to look one’s best”.
Let’s use me as an example. When I’m feeling confident, I’m stood up right. My feet are shoulder width apart, parallel, my weight evenly distributed into both feet. I’m Looking up – chin up. I imagine a silver thread from the back of my head pulling me up nice and tall (no slouching!). I roll my shoulders to relax them and allow my hands to come to rest by my thighs. As I walk around I try to keep as close to this posture as I can and if I’m sat then I keep as close to this as I can.
There is lots and lots of research that shows how what you’re doing with your body (physiology) directly impacts on your feelings (and as we know confidence is just a feeling). Amy Cuddy has done a fantastic Ted Ex talk on power posing which explores the link between body language and how we feel. Have some fun with it, check out her video and give it a go!
How can you fix your confidence challenges once and for all with NLP?
These two exercises will help you to take steps towards being a more confident you! The root that causes confidence challenges is held at the unconscious level (the part of our mind that drives our behaviour) and NLP Practitioners have a bunch of tools in their toolbox to help people permanently change the default settings stopping the confidence crisis even materialising (such as Swish Patterns, Submodalities, Anchoring, Belief Changes and other techniques). If you’d like to learn how to fix your mindset once and for all, check out our NLP training.
How would it be if you were able to sort your confidence challenge?