Self-confidence Exercise Three
By Ellen Prue
Building unconscious patterns of self-confidence
This exercise builds up an unconscious pattern for confidence.
One of the biggest problems with self-confidence is that people spend their time trying to be less uncomfortable in a situation, or less nervous. Getting away from something is hard, and there’s no guarantee you’ll end up where you want to be. Just like a route map, the exercise lets your mind know where you want to go. Without a clear idea of your destination, you could end up anywhere!
Now, for the first confidence model on your list from exercise two, (if there’s more than one), read carefully through what you wrote about them until you begin to build up a strong idea of them. Then, as long as you’re somewhere you won’t be disturbed for 5 minutes, close your eyes and imagine being with that person in the sort of situation where you admire their confidence.
The more relaxed you are, the better this works. Focus on the way their voice sounds, the way they look, how other people interact with them, the way they stand or sit, their facial expressions, gestures and so on…
Once you’ve got a good imagination of that person in your mind, then imagine merging with them, or drifting into them. Imagine what it’s like to be that person, seeing how others react to you, how they look at you, how they talk to you, how it feels to be that person.
Some people find this very easy; others take longer to become good at it. However, it is worth the effort – successful people are naturally good at this type of imaginative exercise – it’s an essential ingredient for success.
Although this may seem very simple, it is startlingly effective. If you can ride a bike, you may remember a time when it was very hard to do. Then all of a sudden, it became easy. After that, even if you haven’t ridden a bike for years, you can hop back on one and off you go! This is how this exercise works. By imaginative rehearsal, you teach your mind to perform the skill unconsciously. So, just like with riding a bike, confidence becomes effortless.
Some people worry that if they’re copying someone else, they’re not being themselves. Well, guess how confident people got that way? They learnt it somewhere!
Usually this is by copying other people unconsciously while growing up, be it their parents or peers. This is partially how we form our personalities – by ‘trying things on’ and keeping the things we like.
One last tip for keeping your confidence is to surround yourself with optimistic, positive people and ideas. You can’t expect to be at your best if people around you are always bringing you down. This doesn’t mean I advocate dumping your less upbeat friends of course, just to be aware of the effect that others can have on you.
Read over what you have written in your course notes so far, just to get you in the swing of things. Do this now before reading further, paying particular attention to your answers to the questions in exercise one.