Have you heard of NLP - or "Neuro-Linguistic Programming"?
NLP draws from an understanding of how our minds work to deliver ways
to help us to be happier and more productive.
I use a variety of NLP techniques when coaching, and
here is one called "anchoring" which you can use to
build your confidence. Anchoring applies a natural property
of how we learn to new situations.
Humans learn in the light of their experience. We see
patterns. Let's say that as a child you were often afraid of the TV show
Doctor Who. All those monsters made you scared and you knew what
was to come when you heard that theme tune. After a while you associated
the theme tune with the monsters, and pretty soon, just the tune would
trigger a fright response.
Another example - you learned that chocolate was delicious,
and that chocolate fudge sundae was divine. After eating a few, you associated
the name "chocolate fudge sundae" with the experience of eating
it. Pretty soon, just seeing those words on a menu, or hearing them from
a friend would have you salivating as though you were eating one.
In both cases, our learning ability allowed us to make
We learned that:
- DOCTOR WHO'S MONSTERS ARE SCARY
- DOCTOR WHO IS ALWAYS PRECEEDED BY THAT THEME TUNE
- and so after a while, our brains took a shortcut -
and so DOCTOR WHO'S THEME TUNE made us SCARED.
Or in the second example, we learned that:
- THE CHOCOLATEY DESSERT IS SCRUMMY
- THE CHOCOLATEY DESSERT US CALLED "CHOCOLATE FUNDGE SUNDAE"
- and so after a while, another shortcut was made. Seeing or hearing
"chocolate fudge sundae" made us salivate in anticipation of
What is important here is that there is nothing intrinsically
scary about the theme tune, and there is nothing intrinsically delicious
about the words "chocolate fudge sundae" - whether written or
spoken. These are learned responses in the light of experience.
All this shows us that our minds can associate some things
with other things, and we can trigger emotional responses from non-emotional
events using these associations.
So now, let's use this technique to anchor a strong confident
feeling for you.
Think of a time when you were very successful, confident
and happy in your skin. Visualise that time in detail. See the room you
were in, the decor, the furniture, what you were wearing, what others
were wearing. Think of the sights, but also the sounds, and the smells,
and any other sensory information you can recall. Run it forwards and
backwards - dwell on the really good bits!
Now make the scene more vibrant.
Make the sounds louder and more detailed; make the scene brighter and
the colours more vivid. Run the dialogue through and through. Visit every
nuance of the scene and revel in the happiness of this confident and successful
state. When you think you have it as vivid as you can get it, squeeze
your left thumb hard against your left forefinger for a couple of seconds
and really push the good feelings while you do it. All of that should
take about 60 seconds.
Now find another time when you were successful, confident
and happy, and do it all again. When you are at your peak, do the finger
and thumb action. Do this with maybe three to five scenes. If you can't
think of that many - use the same ones. If you can't think of any, invent
one! Do this maybe three to ten times a day for a week.
After this you will find that you have "anchored"
that confident feeling to the act of squeezing your finger and thumb together.
Now, when you need to feel confident, do the action,
and there you are!
If you use this technique in a half-hearted way it can
backfire on you. If you trigger the good feelings, then mess up a social
situation, you will "wear down" your anchor a little, and after
a while, you may actually re-program it to give you feelings of failure
- so do be careful.
Here is a general article about self
confidence. Here's another if you might be considering cosmetic
If you're ready to work with me as your coach on your
confidence, then book a £10 (refundable) initial consultation here.
If you're not at that point, then this might interest you: