How to create instant confidence
Without confidence, it’s difficult to inspire, coach or lead others. Sometimes, it can be challenging to even inspire yourself! So, if you’ve ever struggled with confidence, this your fix. Would you like to create instant confidence for an interview or an important meeting? Maybe you’d like to feel more upbeat when you’re making a presentation or going on that all-important first date?
Creating confidence — or at least being able to access a state of confidence — is a critical personal skill.
I’m going to take you through the NLP anchoring technique. But first, let me explain it a little.
Your emotional state is under your control
You’ve probably met people who believe that other people, problems, circumstances or the environment cause them to feel a certain way. But, generally, you control your own state. I’m not saying that it’s always easy, but how useful would it be to change your state so you could, for example, have instant relaxation at the dentist, or confidence when talking to your boss or in an interview?
What about having focused attention when working on a key project?
Ta dah! Introducing anchoring
A straightforward way to create instant confidence is through a simple technique known in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) as anchoring. Anchoring is a process that occurs naturally in all our daily lives. Something — often external to you — causes a sensory or feeling reaction.
Simple examples are: Hearing a favourite song or tune that evokes feelings of romance or memories of a previous or current love. You know the one? The one you have the same automatic reaction to every time you hear it?
Smelling popcorn might make your feel melancholy as you think about the last movie you saw. Seeing a photo will bring back all the memories of the time you took the photo. In fact, that’s why we take photos — they’re a way of encapsulating memories, including the associated feelings.
Advertisers use anchoring
When we see images and hear words and music at the same time as seeing a product, our brain connects them all together. When we experience the connection more than once, they become anchored into our neurology — and this is how advertisers persuade us to buy their products. We might only need to hear the jingle, or see the colours of the logo to remind us of the product.
Would you like to create instant confidence as easily as you’re anchored to remembering a brand name? Might be useful?
OK here’s a simple process for you to try out.
Let’s create instant confidence!
You’re going to use a physical anchor of pressing the thumb and middle finger of your non-dominant hand together (not just yet, though!). So, if you’re left-handed you’ll use the thumb and middle finger of your right hand, and if you’re right-handed, you’ll use your left thumb and middle finger.
If you’re ambidextrous, just pick either hand. When we’ve finished the exercise, it will mean that whenever you want to create instant confidence, you’ll make the same gesture (pressing your thumb and finger together) and the feeling of confidence will return.
Before we begin, it would be useful to do a couple of things:
First, think about a specific time in the past when you’ve felt confident. Confidence comes in many forms. You can be confident in a number of skills that you might not have even considered. You might be very confident in preparing a meal, for example, or maybe playing a sport. Perhaps you’re confident doing something else that you’re good at, or enjoy? So take a minute to think of something specific that you can use for the exercise. You only need one, specific time.
Second, during the exercise, I’m going to suggest you press the thumb and middle finger of your non-dominant hand together to form the gesture that will in future trigger your instant confidence. Don’t make that gesture yet, just be ready to make it when I tell you.
Now, click play below and follow along as I take you through the process to create instant confidence.
Use the same process to create relaxation
Now that you got the hang of how to anchor confidence, head on over to The Calm Spot. There you’ll find a simple relaxation process that’s about 7 minutes long. Click play and as you’re feeling deeply relaxed, anchor this lovely calm. Use a different gesture to the one you’ve used for confidence; maybe your thumb and third finger. You can also gently say the word ‘calm’ to yourself.
How to use your calm anchor
When you want to feel relaxed — perhaps in some less than comfortable situation — you can press your thumb and finger together in the same way, repeat the anchor word, ‘calm’ in the same tone of voice, and all the feelings of calm and relaxation will flood back into your body.
Points to remember when you’re setting an anchor:
1. You must be properly in the desired state when you make the initial gesture.
If you want to create an anchor for relaxation and press your thumb and finger together while you’re still thinking about all the things that have happened during the day, or the tasks you have to do the following day, then you’re not fully relaxed. Or, if you’re remembering a time you felt confident, but also slightly nervous, then you’re not properly in the desired — confident — state. Setting anchors will prove less than useful and will only bring back the state you were in when you set it. So make sure you’re fully relaxed, or confident first.
2. The gesture you use should be unique.
Pressing the thumb and middle finger of your non-dominant hand together is a unique gesture. This will ensure that you don’t trigger the state by accident or at an inappropriate time.
3. You must be able to repeat the gesture when you need it.
Pressing your thumb and finger together is easy to repeat in exactly the same way when you want to feel relaxed. It has the added advantage of being something you can do without others noticing. It is possible to set anchors on other parts of your body. For example you could press on your kneecap. However, it’s important to remember where you’ll use your relaxation anchor. It might be OK to press your kneecap if you’re sitting down, but it might not look so elegant if you’re standing or walking!
Remember, you have to use the anchor in exactly the same way to trigger the relaxation or confident response. If you press a different place, it won’t work.
4. Timeliness is important
In setting an anchor, it’s important that you feel calm or confident when you set it. Hold the gesture for up to a minute at the point you’re deeply relaxed, or strongly confident.
Make your anchors more powerful
Make your anchors more powerful by ‘stacking’ them. How do you do this? In future when you notice yourself feeling confident or relaxed, anchor your state on the same anchor you created previously. Then anytime you want to access those states again, all you must do is repeat the gesture, and all the feelings of confidence or calm will come flooding back! Visit The Calm Spot as often as you like!
Points to remember for creating your own amazing states
- Your emotional state is your own business and under your control.
- Anchoring is a natural process that occurs in many areas of life.
- You can create a great feeling state using an anchor.
- There are four keys to ensuring success with an anchor.
Want to learn more about building powerful emotional states?
- Three Steps To Stop People Pushing Your Buttons.
- Learn basic anchoring on The Power Of Personal Change
- Learn advanced anchoring techniques and how to get rid of negative anchors such as phobias on NLP Practitioner Training
- How To Change Your Mind has more information on anchoring.