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April 23, 2017, 10:48 am

You don’t have to see the top of the staircase to take the first step.

Martin Luther King


Life Coaching..
Building Focus, Energy & Courage - to Make a Better Life for You

Building Confidence:
"Anchoring"

by

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 a leap:

We learned that:

  1. DOCTOR WHO'S MONSTERS ARE SCARY
  2. 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:

  1. THE CHOCOLATEY DESSERT IS SCRUMMY
  2. 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 the food.

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 surgery.

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:

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