Confidence is a really useful human emotion and tool that can help us to take on the world, achieve our dreams and for many people make us feel powerful!
So if that's true, I wonder why we don't all spend more time trying to boost our confidence!?
After all high confidence = success right?
Well there are many reasons why we don't give ourselves the confidence boost we all need. Yes. some of us do, but there're pretty few and far between right?
When was the last time you were given a confidence boost from someone or (hell!) from yourself!
When was the last time you gave yourself a confidence boost?
How many times have you caught yourself saying, "look at them, they have so much confidence, I wish had the guts / balls to do that!"
Here's another, "I don't have the skills to do that".
How about this, "She's really "strong" and "brave" to have quit her job like that".
One more, "I'm just not a confident kind of person....". and the list is endless right?
I have a little dog, called Jessie. She's my partner in crime and my protector. This little dog is a bundle of fearless fluff! When she looks in the mirror (well she never does but you know what I mean), she sees a lion!
The furry fury of fun has so much confidence she's not afraid to take on the world and the other week, her challenge was a Great Dane! Can you imagine?! She's not aggressive, on the contrary. It's just her way of saying, "hey mate, I'm the boss, listen . up!" She'll run around the garden parameter seeing off anyone who comes near the house. She'll play with the cats, bounce around the fields and even tells our lab off for barking! I want her confidence!
Imagine if you had an unlimited supply of confidence, what could you achieve?
So if my little bundle of joy has confidence, why is this? Why do I struggle to find it?
She has a strong self belief system and natural trait.
Unlike us, she hasn't had anyone tell her from a young age, that she's no good at this or no good at that! Quite the opposite. She's had bundles of praise (and the odd reprimand when stepping out of line mind you) and love.
Unlike many animals, (albeit there are exceptions to this), we as humans have this flawed human trait that conditions us to be hurtful to others in order to boost our own confidence.
It's a cycle and it begins as a child with parents, teachers and kids in the playground telling us we're "rubbish", a fool, no good etc.
Ooh we can be so cruel to each other! Generally, as we grow older and learn how to behave and respect each other, most of these negative traits stop but sadly the damage is done.
So, confidence is boosted or reduced by this ongoing cycle of affirmations from the world around us.
We all know these days how important it is to nurture and cheer on our off spring, but once the damage is done, can it be reversed?
The good news is yes it can be undone, but we have to remember that those beliefs have been with us for a long time.
They're carved into our neurological pathways, and become part of our adult thoughts, which in turns leads to how we respond emotionally to certain situations today. The messages we received as children are etched and stored as memories. Overtime these memories can become distorted truths.
Some of these memories lead to negative thought patterns which begin to take over the mind. They become self perpetuating especially when they "hang out" with our inner critic. Then the bullying begins. The inner critic starts to feed us with messages such as "I can't do xyz" or "you'll bomb at that!" and don't even bother trying my friend!" The ironic thing here is, there's damn no evidence to support this!
When the inner critic starts misbehaving, I often encourage my clients to "get out of their heads" or tell them to "reduce the volume" or "change the tone of voice on your bolshy inner critic" (Mickey Mouse works well). Then try and take it seriously!
The good news is you can teach yourself to be confident!
When you meet a confident person, it can be SO annoying to see them oozing with confidence! You agree right? On the other hand, it's spectacular to watch!
We imagine they've been brought up in a loving and supportive environment, full of praise with their self esteem constantly boosted by their doting parents and grandparents.
Check this though. Many, have simply learnt to be confident by boosting their own self esteem! Yes! They nurtured themselves.
There you go! That's their secret!
I know as an experienced NLP Practitioner, that you CAN learn to be confident!
Have you ever experienced a situation when you've felt bloody great about an achievement (passing your driving test, getting a job) and how that feeling propelled you on? You know the one where you felt like taking on the world? You just gave yourself a major confidence boost! Do more of it!
Emotional responses are triggered by our thoughts. If we can change how we think, we can change how we feel and then how we behave.
That means we can change an unhelpful emotional response into a positive one by changing the way we think about things.
The key to this, is however, you must WANT the change! Remember that!
So many of us hold onto our insecurities, limiting beliefs and fears because we fear change, even if we truly believe, it's better for us.
The trick is to WANT the transformation!
Throughout our lives, when we receive information (a lot!), quite often we distort it or misrepresent the reality. Rather than processing it as the truth, our minds distort the data and give it another meaning. You've probably found yourself running away from a mouse, or a stray dog fearful it might attack you or possess some deadly disease. You may be scared of thunder? Why do we do this? Past experiences, relationships, feedback from other people can imprint themselves on our memories as something to be scared of or concerned about. That said, distortion can be very useful, for example if we want to imagine, or plan something.
If you're able to catch yourself distorting the truth in a way that's not helpful (i.e. it's holding you back from doing something good), it's more helpful to ask ourselves for the supporting evidence. Challenge it.
So, for example if you catch someone saying to you, "Oh I'll never be good at that" challenge their thought. Respond with a question such as "where's your evidence?". Gove them a helpful response and challenge the friend to review what they've said.
By putting confidence on a pedestal like this, we're making it unachievable in our minds. Another unhelpful strategy
One way of managing these type of responses is to get to the root of the problem to illicit where these thoughts come from, but in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) we don't need to understand that.
The power of NLP helps us to change or remodel the way we filter the information, so instead of distorting the truth, we don't. We see it for how it really is.
Instead of saying, "Oh I'll never be good at that", we say "I wonder if I'll be good at that?", or "I'd love to give that a go".
Imagine saying these sentences and consider how different they make you feel?
Empowering hey? It puts you back in control! It's a much more helpful and powerful strategy!
If you can manage your negative thoughts using strategies like this, imagine what that can do to your confidence?!
Now that you're aware of some of things you do to jeopardise your confidence, I'm going to give you 5 magic steps to counter these behaviours and boost your confidence, like you never imagined!
My 5 Step Confidence Blueprint
1. Challenge Your Fear
EVERY time you find yourself worrying about whether you'll be good at xyz, challenge your fear. Ask yourself for the supporting evidence. With practice you will soon dismiss these self limiting beliefs, for what they really are, before they have the opportunity to grow into a bigger anxiety.
As in my example above, I want you to reframe the way you think. Turn "I can't", "I doubt", "I couldn't", "I wouldn't" into the opposite positive frame. So, for example "I could try xyz and see if I like it"; "I wonder what I could do with xyz"; or "I would love to experience xyz". When you do this, see how it feels. When you're feeling that emotion, amplify it as much as possible.
- Find a comfy spot, sit down and relax.
- Select an anchor point. This could be tapping your nose with your index finger, but something more useful for you could be pressing your index finger to your thumb (right hand). Remember your chosen anchor.
- Close your eyes.
- Consider a time when your confidence levels were at an all time high.
- When you have the image of that experience in your mind, I want you to make the image, bigger and brighter.
- Bring it closer to you.
- Are there any sounds associated with the experience?
- When you have it big and bright, how do you feel?
- As the feeling and state intensifies, apply your anchor. Simply hold it in position.
- Now release the anchor and open your eyes.
- Say your name out loud (breaking state).
- Now you can fire the anchor whenever you need it.
Firing The Anchor
Firing your anchor simply means making the anchor (e.g touching your index finger and thumb) whenever you feel you lack confidence about doing something.
4. Surround Yourself With Confidence Boosting Friends
One of the best things you can do is surround yourself with friends who boost your confidence. Having someone cheering you on, can be so helpful, because it fires those little shots of positivity at you. Frequent positivity showers will begin to filter into your subconscious and you'll naturally start to feel better about yourself.
If you're surrounded by people who are constantly putting you down and bursting your bubble, then I'm afraid there's only one answer. Show them the door. I've done it and now my life is richer. My poz vibe friends are amazing!
5. Do More Of The Stuff That Makes You Confident
If you do more of what makes you feel good, your subconscious will respond. Replacing bad vibes with lots of good ones is a simple yet effective strategy.
- Make a list NOW (please!) of 3 things you're good at and love doing.
- Next schedule them into your diary for the next 2 months.
- Commit to doing them - hell jump onto our facebook group and share them there. We'll hold you accountable! We'll cheer you on!
Remember - choose NOT to hold onto your anxieties! Choose to be CONFIDENT!
Whenever you feel anxiety about whether you're good enough apply my simple 5 step magic formula to boost your confidence!
Oh and answer me this....now that you can have confidence, where are you going to take yourself?!
Let me know if this works for you, I'd love to hear!
Work With Me
I'm a Master Practitioner in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) which gives me access to some incredible powerful mind strategies to help my clients make amazing transformations, overcome limiting beliefs, and anxieties in their life.
If you'd like to work with me, I'd love to hear from you. Email me, Jay at firstname.lastname@example.org., or schedule a Discovery Call, using the Scheduler in the lower right corner of this page.
Have a fabulous day!