When I was 9 years old we lived in a very remote part of the countryside. In a small village, our house was nested between a little church with 10 miles of fields surrounding us and a river. As much as that actually sounds quite appealing to me again as I type; as a youngster, with such a hunger and need to be adventurous, I felt isolated and limited in my opportunities.
At the time of course I had no awareness of my limitations, I just had a feeling of isolation, sometimes sadness, mostly boredom. These are just some of the emotions that can be experienced when you are in a state of limitation. Not many people are aware when they are in this state and when you repeat the same routines, get used to the same environments, stick to the same job, relationship etc, your comfort zone shrinks and becomes smaller, restricting your personal growth.
Of course your comfort zone may feel warm and cosy, no one can hurt you and nothing is unfamiliar. You get to do the same things, there is little uncertainty and you pretty much know what’s going to happen every single day!
But perhaps every morning you wake up feeling like something is missing, a feeling of emptiness. You’re not sure what it is and why you are feeling like this. Surely there has to be something wrong with you? Perhaps this may require a trip to the doctors to get on some of those anti-depressants to make the feeling of emptiness go away! The solution is not to suppress your emotions with pills, alcohol or food, but allow yourself to grow; be it emotionally, spiritually or academically. When you don’t allow yourself the space and time to experience, you will feel something is missing from your life and try to find ways to cover it up – often more detrimental to your health.
So how can I change?
People who lack self confidence will often question why everyone else has an innate ability to get what they set out to achieve. They will often compare themselves to everyone else and in some cases, they will want other people to take responsibility for their lack. It’s much easier to blame other people for your own misfortunes isn’t it?
When you take responsibility for your feelings, you are more empowered and make better decisions for yourself. You make profound changes and improve your life in so many ways when you realise that it is entirely down to you to take action.
People who make changes quickly are willing to take a risk and stretch out of their comfort zone. They embrace change and feel ok about the possibility of making their own representation of a mistake. They are prepared to feel a little bit of pain and maybe rejection. But when victory prevails, the feeling of winning overwhelms any negative doubts or self belief they had before. In addition, the brain releases loads of happy hormones which spurs them on to do it again……. So action is taken once more, and once again triumph is achieved which equals more happy hormones so they do it again! All the time they are repeating and stretching themselves, a new pattern of behaviour is being created, along with a new belief system, and as a result their self confidence is greatly improved.
In NLP it is a well known practice that modelling is very effective in achieving success. If you know someone who is confident and self assured, when you get the chance next time, study their body language and the way they interact with people. Notice what they wear, how they hold their head and shoulders. Notice what they say and how they put the other person at ease. A simple shift in body language can change your state in an instant. If you always walk around with your head down and avoid looking people in the eye, practice walking with your head up high and shoulders back. Look people in the eye when you talk to them so you build up rapport with them and gain their respect. Remember that body language is filtered through our nervous system much more quickly than words.
This next technique is to help you feel a little bit more comfortable about taking action. If you have an area of your life where you would like more confidence, more self belief, or to simply boost your momentum then you can use this any time you need to.
- Think about 2 conflicting beliefs in your mind; for example a part of you might want more confidence to ask for something from someone, but the other part of you is scared you might get rejected.
- Put your hands out in front of you with your palms up. Imagine the confident part of you in your more dominant hand and the fearful part in the other hand.
- Ask each part what its positive intention is for you. For the fearful part it might be because it wants to keep you safe from being hurt, think about what the positive intention is for each part, go as deep as you need to. Make sure you really feel connected to the feelings until you understand that ultimately both parts want the same thing for you. Even if at first it feels like you are making it up, going though the simple process of understanding the intentions of each part will still create a dramatic effect on your confidence and self belief.
- Now concentrate on where those emotions are positioned in your body, commonly this will be around your heart chakra but the feelings could be positioned somewhere like your stomach or navel.
- When you are ready, bring your hands together until the two separate parts merge into one big amazing part.
- Bring your hands towards your chest and take the new merged image inside you.
You can do this technique for pretty much anything where you have a conflict. If you are feeling indecisive or hesitant about something, try to get in touch with your emotions so you can understand what is getting in the way.
Here’s to your own awesomeness!