Ok, so last time (too long ago, sorry everyone!) I spoke about ways you can feel more confident using your body and I promised a follow up on things that you can do to feel more confident using your mind, pretty much instantly.
Now I say these are quick fixes, but it’s worth pointing out that just because they’re quick that does not mean the effects are not long lasting…because once you know them you can repeat them whenever you like. In that sense, this stuff can pretty much last you forever…yippee!
Before we get going, I should just mention that the brain is a weird old bit of kit. It’s weird how little things can make such a big difference. It’s weird how the rubbish that you’ve been telling yourself for years can be turned into something much more positive over the course of just a few minutes and some of the ways of making these changes are in themselves quite weird.
Because of this it may sound a bit like I’m selling you a load of voodoo, but give it a go and see for yourself…as I’ve said before I’m not an expert so all I’ve got to go on is whether it works for me. This stuff works for me…even if I feel like I must be out of my tiny mind whilst I’m actually doing it. If you give some of these tricks a go and take control of your mind, you’ll be feeling like a jedi master in no time.
Tuning into your good experiences
It might be a good idea to read this through before you give it a go.
Take a breath, close your eyes and relax.
Oh, that’s nice isn’t it?
Now think of a specific time when you felt really confident, it must be a specific time. Trying to remember a general feeling of confidence wont cut it for this.
Imagine that it’s happening to you RIGHT NOW!
Add a load of details, where were you? what could you hear? what could you see? what could you smell? how did it feel, to be so confident?
spend a good 20 -30 seconds enjoying that memory, run through it a few times, at least 3.
Great, you should be feeling pretty nice already…
…Now, bring to mind a situation that you are likely to face in the future where you are bound to be in need of a bit of extra confidence. Imagine yourself dealing with it beautifully, what will you say? how will it feel? what will you do? again add in a load of detail, detail is important for this
Spend some time enjoying how great it will feel to deal with that situation confidently and beautifully.
Now, open your eyes and notice how much more confident you feel.
Go on, give it a go.
Wanna know how it works? It’s an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) technique. Apparently it has something to do with one of the ways in which your brain is not as clever as people will have you believe…your brain cannot tell the difference between what you imagine experiencing and what you are really experiencing, that’s why the detail is important, you’ve got to make it as real as possible. You can make your brain think that something great and confidence boosting is happening to you right now.
or you could try this, bit new age weirdy for me this one…
Sharing Someone Else’s Limelight
Imagine someone else who is really confident, imagine them walking into a room full of people and picture the reaction they get. People love them, Princess Leia in her gold bikini and Luke Skywalker with his light saber (not a euphemism people!) are drinking in every word.
Now imagine that person is surrounded by light and that light is their confidence.
Now imagine that light coming from them and surrounding you as well (it doesn’t have to leave them, it’s not a finite resource, there’s plenty to go round) and settling on you and sinking in.
Feel it sinking in.
Now open your eyes and try to feel that confidence still bubbling away under your skin. You should be feeling a bit more confident now, having “felt” that confidence sinking in and therefore knowing it’s there.
You could also try this, which I’ve borrowed from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:
Think “as if”
Ask yourself these things: If you were confident how would YOU be acting? How would YOU be speaking? How would YOU be feeling?
The important thing is to think about what this means for you. Your brain, in it’s keen to please way will push you towards feeling more confident, to make it easier for it to answer your questions.
It’ll make you act as if you are confident, after a while you’ll forget that you’re acting…the brain isn’t always brilliant at knowing when you’re acting either. It’s all about visualisation.
As a sort of “offshoot” of this you can also try giving yourself evidence that you are good at something, even when you’re not feeling particularly confident about it.
Write down ” I AM good at xxx because…” for example “I AM good at fighting with a light saber, I know this because I’m just learning and I’ve already kicked Obi Wan’s butt!” (you know, if you HAD actually kicked Obi Wan’s butt in a fight featuring light sabers).
This type of thing will help you, because we look for evidence of things in our reasoning and when forming our beliefs. If something bad happens to us, we believe that it will happen again because we have evidence that it has happened before etc.
Sometimes this evidence isn’t particularly helpful because it can hold us back, but in this instance we can use it to our advantage.
Let me know what you think.