Do you lack confidence? Do you have general insecurity or are you actually quite bold and self assured in many areas, but you lack security in one or more particular areas? Are you quite certain and unafraid with doing things or understanding things, but uncertain with people, or are you even the other way round? Are you brave and fearless with some people, but shy and timid with others? Whichever it is, I can offer confidence building tailored to your exact needs. I can help you to get rid of shyness and nervousness and to build and boost your confidence, boldness, certainty, courage, resourcefulness, security, self reliance and self assurance.
True confidence is based on knowing that you can achieve what you need and want to in life, and also, very importantly, being able to deal with challenging situations in a resourceful positive way. It means that instead of being at the mercy of our emotions, we can have our emotions supporting us.
There are probably four main situations where people would want to be more confident
- If someone has lost trust in their judgement: of people or situations, and has suffered a series of let-downs
- If someone is not fully confident in social situations
- If someone has experienced repeated failure in some area
- If someone is facing something new or wanting to significantly improve in some area.
Not trusting your judgement is one thing, the others are about not knowing you are able to achieve what you want. I have many ways of dealing with all of these.
Trusting your own judgement
Almost all of us have trusted someone at some stage and then been badly let down or worse. Or we have misread a situation: the weather, an investment, a map or timetable, or road conditions, and got ourselves into a difficult situation.
If we trace it back carefully enough (and I have ways to help you do this easily and comfortably) we will almost always see that there was some sort of tell-tale sign before it happened or that we had at least a little bit of a gut feeling that things were not quite right.
Often we were in a rush at the time or there was some opportunity or something being offered at the time and we really wanted it and were blinded by it. It is at that stage that we so often said some of the six most dangerous words on the planet: “Oh it will be all right…”
One of my jobs is to help you to forgive yourself for making mistakes or for being hoodwinked, and then to help you to recognise those subtle signs or gut feelings more easily. These signs are usually surprisingly accurate and you will learn to trust them and avoid trouble far more easily!
Confidence that you can achieve
There are various ways of being or feeling more confident that you can achieve directly for yourself. You can become:
- Confident from specific experience
- Confident from maturity and breadth of experience
- Confident from mental rehearsal
- Confident from acting ‘As if’
- Confident from staying calm and open and finally
- You can be or feel naturally confident from knowing deep inside, that you have what it takes to handle a situation, even if you don’t yet know how.
Of course, one of the most confidence building things is if we have done or handled something before. We can then naturally be more confident that we can handle it again. And the more experience we have- so long as we are correcting any mistakes- the more accomplished and confident we get. Obviously I cannot normally give you this experience directly. However, I can remind you of what you have achieved already and help you to turn this memory and experience into a powerful resource for you.
Maturity and Breadth of experience
We do not always have to have done something before in order to have at least some confidence. After all, there is always a first time for everyone. So how can we be confident when we have never done something or faced something before?
Well we can borrow from other confidence building experiences and recognise the similarities between what what we have done and what we want to achieve now. Now this is something I am good at getting you to do. It is remarkable how easy it is for an outsider to recognise achievements that you might have written off or that you might not have realised contain valuable learnings for your current situation. Better still, you will learn to see yourself from that more detached, more objective and more resourceful point of view.
This is an unusual way of being confident- and one that seems like cheating to some people. However, it is used in many confidence building courses. They often tell a story (though I cannot trace its origins) of three very well matched basket ball teams who agreed to take part in an experiment during the rest season when they were not competing:
One team practised regularly and intensively all the time
Another just took the rest season off and got on with their lives without any practice at all
And the third practised just as much as the first, except only in their imaginations!
When the three teams started playing again, you might expect that the team that did the real practice would have been the best, the ones that did the mental rehearsal might have been next and of course the ones who did not practice at all, might have been expected to be lagging behind last…..
Here are the results according to the story:
The team that did mental rehearsal were best
The team that did nothing were next
And the team that had put in all the real hard work…. Came LAST!
Why would this have been so?
Well the explanation given was that the team that had been doing all the real practice had been practising their mistakes just as much as anything else. Plus, they had not had a rest.
The team that had done nothing had at least had a rest (and many of us know how some things can improve when we step away from them for a while.)
And the team that had done the mental rehearsal- at least got a physical rest, but more importantly, inside their minds, they had only imagined themselves playing perfectly!
I incorporate a lot of mental rehearsal in my confidence building courses, as well as most of the rest my work. It is essential for learning from our mistakes and seeing what we would have done differently if only we had known then what we know now. And then I get you to apply the lessons and imagine how you can apply them to the situations that you expect to be coming up in the future. Better still again of course, I teach you to do this for yourself.
Acting ‘As if’
Or as some call it “Fake it till you Make it!”
This of course is also a bit contentious, but is actually closely related to the next two ways of feeling and being more confident.
You see, if you don’t think to yourself that you actually can do and achieve what you want and get started, there is rather a risk of floundering. You need to start with a bit of momentum.
Of course, once you have got going, you are either likely to realise that it is easier than you expected, or at least no worse- or on the other hand, if you at least start with momentum, you will find yourself on a learning curve…
Staying calm and open
So, either way, am I saying “Just grit your teeth and get on with it… Feel the Fear and do it anyway?” Actually no. It is usually much easier than that.
I have ways of helping you stay calm and actually feeling more grounded, stronger, open minded, more perceptive and clear headed. These techniques are quite surprising to many people.
Two of them come from the East: from the martial arts and from acupuncture, though of course I do not do any martial arts on anyone and the acupuncture bit is done entirely without needles.
Others come directly from the core of NLP and are quite beyond anything I have come across in any other field of psychology or psychotherapy.
Natural confidence: Knowing that you have what it takes
Within NLP we take it as a principle that we each of us have within us, all the resources that we need to fulfil what we need. Now, not everyone might be acting that way, and there are many situations where it might be argued that is not true… But, consider this
You are the latest in an immensely long line of highly courageous, resourceful survivors. Your parents managed to survive at least long enough for you to come about, and the same goes for their parents and in fact all the way back to our very earliest ancestors, each one survived to maturity and each one found a mate.
Somewhere within you, you carry all that resourcefulness, courage and boldness that they needed to survive. Somewhere within you, you have inherited all their bravery, self reliance, self sufficiency and self assurance,
Somewhere inside is the concentrated essence of all that survival instinct, ! There is a lot more to you than you realise.
In fact that instinct, that sense of certainty that you can handle things, tends to come to the surface when you can remain calm inside. You feel it… Something inside you knows… You may not know how to achieve it, but you can find out. You can learn and you can get others to help you.
This is what I like to call your deep ‘Natural confidence’.
I cannot give it to you, it is already yours. But I can help you to recognise it and to feel it.