Many people attend our NLP training courses and ask for coaching because they want to feel more confident. Confidence seems to be the trigger for so many into gaining that all important self worth and helping them move on in their life. Here’s a little technique from our book – The NLP Practitioner: A Practitioner’s Toolkit. I thought you might find this useful.
Have you ever cried during a movie? Or ever woke up feeling bad because you had a nightmare? Even although we know that movies and dreams are not real, our unconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what’s real and what are just images in our mind. The tears or feelings of fear are evidence that our unconscious mind thinks what’s happening is real.
I want to share with you an exercise that we offer in our NLP book that uses this concept in a positive way to install new habits. During this exercise your unconscious mind will not know that the events you are thinking about are not actually happening and so you will start to feel positive and confident, and remember ‘we are what we repeatedly do’ so the more times you repeat the feeling of confidence the more you are growing your confidence muscle and making that your new habit.
Before you do the exercise read through all the steps. You might find it helpful to close your eyes whilst visualising.
- Remember a time when you felt really confident. Remember a specific event. Imagine yourself floating back in time to that event and float down into your body inside the event. Remember everything you can about that event, notice what you can see, hear and feel.
- Keep focusing on what you can see, hear and feel.
- Notice whereabouts in your body you feel that confident feeling and make the feeling even bigger so it spreads out over your whole body. Imagine a dial and turn it up. Increase the feeling more and more. Allow the feeling of confidence to grow and grow and when it feels good squeeze your fingers together and make a fist.
- Return to the present.
- Now repeat the process for another 5 events in your life, and once again when you start to feel really good squeeze your fingers together and make a fist.
- Testing the work you’ve done so far: Now make a fist again and start to notice how the feelings of confidence start to come back within you. This exercise is comparable to building a muscle. The more you do it the stronger the feeling of confidence will be. You have now created something that can be used consciously when you want to feel more confident. In fact – think of an situation that is coming up in your future that you usually lack confidence in, and as you think about it squeeze your fingers together and make the fist, allowing the feelings of confidence to return and notice how you start feeling differently about that situation in your future.
Top Tip for growing the confidence muscle:
Pick events from your past when you felt VERY confident and positive. If you can’t think of multiple occasions you can use the same time more than once – it will work just as well, and don’t worry if this tool has not worked for you straight away. If this is the case you simply need to practice it a few more times. Our muscles all develop and stretch in their own time – they just need consistency and patience – so keep going – I promise it’s worth it.