Tag Archives: how

How do I improve my confidence?

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I had a message from a client today who told me that she was doing something that she had not been able to do for a long time, thanks to some work that we had done together. I was thrilled for her, for changing her thinking and freeing herself from an old fear. Then she told me that she still didn’t feel confident and asked ‘How do I improve my confidence?

What a great question!

My first reaction was ‘Fake it ’til you make it’ – Let me explain.

When we start to do something new, we often don’t feel very confident about it. We are learning the rules, how it works (or doesn’t work) and what to do. As we get more accustomed to situations, we become more assured, as we feel like we understand what is expected from us and how we will deal with things if they go wrong. We know the script.

When we ‘Fake it’, we create the illusion of confidence. Part of the illusion we create is our body language.

Here’s a little exercise for you.

Stand up and fake (or act) being nervous or anxious. Notice the shape of your body. Are your shoulders back or hunched over? Is your head up or are you looking down? If you step forward to you take a large or small step? How’s your breathing?

Now, change it up and fake being confident. Notice the same things about your body?

How does each make you feel? How would other people react to the body language you are portraying?

I want to look at each of these separately – first, how does it make you feel?

Our minds and our bodies are in a constant state of biofeedback. That means that what we think affects our body and what our body does, affects what we think. When you get scared about something it affects your body – your heart rate increases, you breath more shallowly and faster and you get butterflies in your stomach. Weirdly, if you create these sensations in your body artificially, say through drug use, you can create anxiety. One affects the other. So, by creating the sort of body language a confident person would demonstrate, we can give our thoughts a confidence boost.

Secondly, how do people react to you? Most people will take you at face value. If you look confident they will assume that you are confident. They will then infer that you are confident because you are a strong capable person who knows how to handle themselves.  If you look anxious they will assume you are anxious and that you have a reason to be anxious. They will treat you accordingly. If they are a kind and generous person they may offer to help you. If they are a bully or an aggressor they may see you as a potential victim. We then receive the feedback from the people around us and that in turn affects our own feelings. If you are constantly being bullied it will impact on your self-confidence in a negative way, just as if you are always the one who people turn to it in a crisis, you will feel your self confidence improve.

Another way you can work on confidence is to understand your own feelings and emotions better. Mindfulness techniques can be incredibly powerful tools to do this.

In the end, the best way to improve your confidence is to repeat whatever it is you are doing until you become really good at it, but to speed the process up, a little bit of faking it can go a long way.

 


If you have ever asked yourself ‘How do I improve my confidence?’ and a bit of ‘fake it ’til you make it’ isn’t cutting it for you, you may want to see a therapist. Don’t get caught in a cycle of fear – take the step and get yourself moving forward in a positive way.

 

 

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Why am I always hungry?

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Diets work by restricting your calories. Simple as that. Yes, some combine foods in certain ways and some restrict certain food types, but ultimately it all comes down to putting fewer calories in your body than you are using.

There are 2 main reasons people fail to stick to their diet. One is because they crave a certain food or food type. I have already written a post about that this month – how to crack your cravings – check it out if you want some help with that. The other main reason is hunger, yet there is something you can do about this too – even on a restricted diet.

  1. Try to work out if you are ACTUALLY HUNGRY

That may seem silly, but quite often we ‘feel hungry’ even when we are not. Sometimes we are emotionally hungry, or hungry to be heard. Sometimes we are just thirsty and need a drink. Sometimes we want to eat food (because we like the taste) but are not hungry.

A starving man would eat just about anything – we’ve all heard tales of survivors who ate awful things just to stay alive – that’s the power of hunger. If you’re hungry, and you fancy some cake or crisps or other junk food, see if an apple will do instead. If it won’t, you’re probably not that hungry – you’re just looking for a taste sensation. That is not a good enough reason to eat if you are trying to lose weight.

You could also try asking yourself what else (other than food) you may need right now. Try giving yourself that instead and see if you feel satisfied.

Then again maybe you just need a drink and to put your feet up for 5 minutes. It’s worth a try!

2. Eat to avoid hunger.

One of the reasons we feel hungry is because our blood sugar had dropped. When we eat high sugar food it gives us a high blood sugar that our body has to bring down (because it’s really bad for us) so it changes our body chemistry reducing it. That then causes our blood sugar to drop, which in turn makes us hungry. That’s why you might find that after starting on a bar of chocolate, or packet of biscuits, you keep going back to them until they’re gone. Avoiding sugary food evens out the blood sugar meaning you get less low blood sugars and therefore don’t feel as hungry. It’s worth pointing out here that some foods get converted to sugar in your body and have the same effect. White starches like potatoes, rice, pasta, flour etc have very similar effects to sugar.

Instead of eating sugar and starch try to keep your meals small but packed with lean protein and vegetables. If you really need some starch with your meal try a sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa or chick peas.

3. Plan your meals (and have a back up)

We often reach for bad food choices when we are really hungry. They are quick, satisfying and make our life easier. People who manage their weight well are often good planners. They plan ahead – they know what they will eat and when. No long periods of starvation. No panic take away orders. Just sensible planned food. You can do this too.

Trust me if I can, you can. I used to be the person I just described but now I plan better and I’m losing weight nicely. I’m not perfect though, and that’s where the back up comes in. By having healthy choice, ready meals in the fridge and batch cooked, freezer meals ready to go at a moments notice, I can forget to plan and still have a tasty, healthy choice available to me for my meals.

4. Eat regularly.

Your body gets used to eating at certain times. Try to stick to meal times. After a week or two your body will only expect food at these times and it will become a lot easier to avoid snacking.

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Can you see what you think?

visualise

Do you see pictures in your mind?

As a hypnotist, I often ask people to visualise things in their minds eye, but some people have real problems doing this.

Part of this comes down to how we perceive the world.

There are 3 basic categories

Visual – People who connect with the world via images

Audio – People who connect with the world via sound

Kinaesthetic – People who connect with the world via feelings

Understandably, visual types are often the best at ‘seeing’ things in their mind, but anyone can do it.

The trick is to start small.

If you can describe your front door, then the image is in there somewhere.

What colour is your door? Where is the handle and what is it made of? Is there a letter box? Where is it placed? Which way does it open? What do you see when you open your door?

Another thing you might want to ‘see’ is your morning routine – what do you do? What do you see as you do it? What does your bathroom look like?

If you can answer these questions the images are there – you just need to relax and let yourself access them.

When you have a few minutes to relax, just close your eyes and let an image or a colour appear – you can try to manipulate it or you can just let the images flow and see where they take you. The better you get at this, the more you can notice the random images and see what they tell you about what you are thinking.

It’s a bit like dream interpretation – the meanings can be a bit obscure, but they are there.

Which reminds me – if you dream, (which you do, even if you can’t remember them) then you can create images – because that’s how you dream. You see pictures almost as though you are in your own personal movie.

Have fun exploring your subconscious.

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Pleased to meet you

puzzle

Do you enjoy meeting people?

A lot of people don’t. They suffer from social anxiety.

To a sufferer, the idea of meeting new people can be horrifying. Even being in groups of people that they know can leave them feeling uncomfortable. I help a lot of people who suffer from this using hypnotic techniques to help them relax and feel more at ease in these situations.

Even as a socially comfortable person, we don’t always take full advantage of meeting new people. Every person you meet is an opportunity for you to forge a new relationship. This relationship may help you personally, professionally, financially or spiritually and it it important, if you want to make the most of this, that you make the best first impression that you can.

The first thing to think about is ‘what sort of impression do I want to create’

Do you want to be seen as creative and free spirited or would you prefer to be seen as serious and level headed?

Do you want to be perceived as someone who is looking for something, or someone who can provide something others may be looking for?

The next thing to think about is ‘how am I going to communicate this?’

It can be a bit odd if you meet someone new and you introduce yourself by telling them that you are a kind, trustworthy person who is looking to connect – so how do you say this, without saying it?

The answer is with a story.

Find a personal story that lets the other person know a little bit of who you are.

If I was trying to relay the information that I mentioned above I might tell them a tale of a friend who I was chatting to who mentioned that they have difficulty meeting new people. I would say that in this conversation I had told them not to worry about the impression that they gave off, as people are generally good at seeing genuine, goodhearted people and that I had found that among my friends a lot of people worried about this unnecessarily. I might then go on to say how pleased I was that this wasn’t a problem for me as I loved meeting new people and found it really nice to form new friendships.

The thing about a story is that it uses something known as indirect suggestion. If you say to somebody – I’m nice – they may well question the fact that you feel that you needed to tell them that. It could leave them wondering if you are really nice at all. With an indirect suggestion – a story – about you being nice, they get to draw their own conclusion and are much less likely to question it.

You can tailor your story to create whatever impression it is that you want to give. Think about what you want to achieve before you go into the meeting and try to let the story come up in a natural way. If you just walk up to random strangers and start telling them each the same story, it could be a bit odd – so keep it easy, keep it natural and keep focused on what you are trying to achieve. That way, whether you are networking for business or fun, you will attract the right sort of people and create the impression that works best for you.

Why not try it today? I’d love to know how it works out for you, and if you want to tell me your story I’ll let you know what impression I get from it…..

Have a great weekend.

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