We all know that feeling in the pit of the stomach when it feels like you have a dozen butterflies dancing around in there. Maybe it is even so bad that you feel physically sick. I remember the last time I felt like that like it was yesterday, even though it is probably quite a few years ago.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear - Mark Twain
I am not saying I am completely calm in every situation, but what I have mastered is confidence and to get all those butterflies flying in formation. In fact, the day I get no butterflies at all, before I do something like go on stage and give a speech to hundreds of people is probably the day I will decide it is time to quit and go do something else. For me a little bit of nervousness is my indicator that I am just about to do something that really matters to me. Of course we are all different and what I want to tell you about today are some simple techniques that you can put in your tool box and pull them out when you need them.
Some of you may find that you resonate more with one technique than another and that is absolutely fine. In recognition that we are all unique, what I have prepared is a selection of some of the techniques I teach my mentoring circles, and within that buffet of choice there should be something that every one of you finds useful.
How will this help you build a better tomorrow? Well just think how much better would life be for you if you could be totally confident and completely successful in that business meeting you have next week with senior management. Maybe that presentation next month is worrying you? Maybe you just cannot pluck up the courage to go and talk to the cute guy.
What I have prepared are the three techniques that my students consistently tell me they like the best and find really effective.
Imagine if you had a magic wand and could be the person that you think is the most confident person in the world? Well, I will let you into a little secret……….YOU CAN!
Now just take a few minutes to think about who that person might be. Is it a family member, a work colleague perhaps, or maybe even a character from a book or a movie? Now think of all the things that you notice about that person that are all the reasons for you thinking of them as the most confident person.
Notice what it is about them. How do they stand? How do they talk? Where do they breath from? How do they use their gestures? Think about all of those things and anything else you can notice. Write them all down so that you have a really firm idea in your head about what it is about them that tells you they are really confident.
OK next step. Take a couple of deep breaths to focus your attention and visualise that person standing just a very short distance in front of you with their back to you. When you have visualised that clearly enough, then just imaging taking a step forward into that person.
Every time you need that extra confidence then just think of that person, step inside them and go do what you need to.
Just hang out there for a while and see how you feel. Notice how your body might adopt their posture. Notice how you are breathing and how you are talking. Notice how you now feel inside total confidence, almost like you feel invincible. Can you feel all that, isn’t it great?
Now just turn your attention to something that usually makes you feel fearful or lacking in confidence and see how you feel differently about that now, as you are standing in total confidence, talking in total confidence and being totally confident in what you are thinking. You just know! You are a success and nothing can stop you.
Ok take a step back and step out of them and thank them for their help, albeit on a more energetic level than a physical one.
Every time you need that extra confidence then just think of that person, step inside them and go do what you need to. Eventually you might even find your own centre and you won’t need them anymore.
Just a quick word, as this is a question I always get asked. What if I don’t actually like them, or what if they are also considered quite arrogant. Well that is fine, just choose to only adopt the things about them that you like and that boost your confidence and make you feel totally powerful.
Thought Field Therapy (TFT)
This is a very powerful technique developed by an American Psychologist called Dr Roger Callahan. What is it? I hear you ask. There is so much great stuff to tell about this techniques and so many success stories, but I would run out so space, so the short version is that it is a tapping technique that uses the energy meridians as referenced in Eastern Medicine. A little bit similar to acupressure or acupuncture but tapping specific points on the meridian.
I am sure at this point a few of you will be a little sceptical, as are many of the people I introduce to it at first, but then they see the results they get and they are totally converted, so all I ask is that you suspend your scepticism for an instant and give this a try. If you have recently watch Paul McKenna on TV, especially on his, “I can make you Thin” programme, he uses TFT to help reduce cravings.
Here is the process. What I m going to ask you to do is think of the specific thing that makes you feel like you are lacking self confidence or maybe self esteem. Hold that thought and rank it on a scale of 1-10 of how bad it feels. 10 being the worst feeling and 1 being the best.
Now thinking still about that specific thing, take two fingers and tap the following points 50 times each. The side of your left hand, left index finger (right near the nail), under your nose, centre of chin, under your nose, right index finger, side of your right hand. Now tap eb-e-a-c. This translates to Beginning of eyebrow, under eye, under arm and collar bone. Just tap each point for a few seconds. There is a diagram below to show you where the points are.
Ok how do you feel. If you think the same thoughts as before has the rank gone down? Great, if it has. This is just a very basic algorithm and is so easy to use if you suddenly find yourself faced with a where you want something quick to calm you down.
I hope you have some fun with this one and maybe it will even inspire you to read the book by Dr Callahan himself and find out more about it.
If you would like to book a private session to help with deeper seated anxiety, phobias and fears then please call me now on 07768 493157 to book a session.
Acting as If – Also Known as Rehearsal for Success
This is one of my personal favourites. It calls on your creative skills and your ability to use your imagination. You act as if you are already who you want to be. I know you are all really good at this because I am sure all of you as children used to play “Let’s Pretend” and you would imagine you were a super a grown up in a dress that was too long and your Mum’s high heels, a character from a movie, an animal, or you were at a tea party with some very exciting guests and many more.Just take yourself back to those old feeling and remember how much fun it used to be. Now think about what it is you would like to “Act as If”.The difference between this technique and the magic wand is that with the magic wand you were choosing someone you admired for their skill in being confident and successful, where as in this scenario you are still being yourself but you are imagining yourself to be the person you aspire to.Here is the visualization process to help you on your way
- Find a private spot where you can guarantee you will not be disturbed and close your eyes. You can stand or sit either is fine.
- Picture yourself in the future as you wish to be. Really take time to add in all the essentials you feel should be included. Take note of how your future self looks, dresses, moves, speaks, stands and walks, etc.
- Stand up, if you are not already, and with your eyes still closed, imagine your future self standing about six feet in front of you.
- Ask your future self what he or she did to get from where you are today to where he or she is now. Pay close attention to the answers.
- Step into your future self and notice all the things that are different to how you are today. It might come to you visually, you might make a mental note as you talk yourself through the differences, you might feel different or you might hear your future self telling you all about herself.
- Step out of your future self and imagine her walking ahead as you follow in her footsteps.
- Open your eyes and write down what you need to do to become your Future Self.
- Then begin doing it. Imagine that every step you take towards your own goals is a footprint left behind by your Future Self. As long as you keep following these footprints you have the opportunity to make the rehearsal the reality.
Now you know that you have all the skills and the knowledge you need to build confidence for a better tomorrow because basically you just did it. Not convinced, well I will let you into a little secret. Your unconscious mind cannot tell the difference between rehearsal and reality.Good luck and have fun with it.
How many of you have that little nagging voice in the back of your head that constantly beats you up about all the things you do not like about yourself? You know, that one that gives you a hard time when you don’t achieve what you think you should.
Just think for a moment, if you treated your friends like that or spoke to your family in the same way, how many of them do you think you would still be on speaking terms with. Not so many? So why on earth do you speak to yourself like that. Just choose to stop now!
I give you a challenge. For one week, every time you go to use that nagging voice and give yourself a hard time, choose to tell yourself loving wonderful things instead. When you manage to do that each and every time your reward is how you will feel about yourself by the end of the week. For every time you allow the nagging voice to get the upper hand pay £1 into a pot. The idea is to have an empty pot at the end of the week and feel great.
If you have trouble turning off the nagging voice just turn it into the silliest voice you can imagine and see how seriously you can take yourself all week!
Ok the challenge is set. Let me know how you do by either emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or put comments against this article
A Big Thanks
I would like to thank all of you who sent emails giving feedback on my last article. As a writer you never know how well a piece is received so a big thanks to all of you.
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