As an NLP Master Trainer and Master coach, I often meet with the phrase ‘lack of confidence’ from my coaching clients and students. I’m sure that you have heard the phrase many times too and perhaps used it yourself more times than you would care to admit. What is this ‘confidence’ that we all value so highly as an essential ingredient to being successful and actualising our most desired goals? Let's develop some understanding.
Models of the world, or concepts of reality, vary considerably from person to person and we all have a slightly different interpretation of confidence and what it means for our performance and capability. Confidence can often be described as a process rather than an emotion. A number of internal criteria that have to be met before you can say that you are experiencing a state of confidence. I'm wondering what those criteria would be for you? Do you know?
When I am coaching someone to increase or ‘get’ confidence, the most important question I can ask them is, ‘How do you know when you ARE confident?’ I can then begin to access more detail by asking this valuable question set:
Let's play...ask these questions of yourself...
"Can you remember a specific time when you felt really confident? Go back to that time in your mind now, imagine floating down into your body, back then and see what you saw, hear what you heard and really feel the feelings of being totally confident..."
Now pay attention to what is going on...inside...
‘What do you feel inside, what emotion?’
‘What does your physiology (your body) feel like?’
‘What are you saying to yourself in your head, your self-talk?’
‘What pictures do you have in your mind?’
‘Are there any sounds that are important to the feeling of confidence?’
The answers to these questions will give you a really clear representation of how you relate to confidence. The next key question to ask is, "How do you know it’s time to feel confident?" This question will give you the trigger that sets you off doing the state of confidence. A few well-constructed and carefully worded questions give you valuable information that you can work with to consistently reproduce the state of confidence at will, whenever you need it. Now you know that confidence is simply a state of mind. This is related to an NLP tool called Reframing.
Reframing is a linguistic tool used to break down rigid patterns of thinking and behaviour and make them more fluid and flexible, with more accessible choice. When you say that you lack confidence, you are often stuck in a rigid loop of thinking which produces an undesirable set of behaviours and unacceptable performance levels. A really successful general reframe for lack of confidence, enhanced with a healthy punctuation of quantum linguistics which we learn as Master Practitioners of NLP, is this:
“Confidence is inextricably linked to familiarity. The more we repeat or experience an action or an event, the more familiar we become and the more confidence we achieve. This is how we create confidence now. Accepting that this is true, then how can you be confident about something new, that you have never experienced before? It’s OK not to be confident about something new because it is unfamiliar. You know that the confidence will grow with familiarity, without you even having to think about being confident now. Knowing that it is OK, how can you not not notice now how confident you are?”
(Note: The ‘not not’ statement is intentional and is taken from Quantum Linguistics, designed to confuse the conscious mind and destroy the boundaries that hold problematic thinking in place.)
Thinking differently about 'lack of confidence' is the first step to removing the issue completely. As an NLP thinker, you can then move forward and remove any limiting beliefs, values conflicts and negative emotions which support the problem. An age old complaint, reframed and often removed in a few minutes, such is the power of NLP thinking.