Self-confidence is an attitude which allows us to have positive and realistic views of ourselves, allowing us to trust in our abilities. It isn’t about thinking we are the best and that all will turn out well every time, it is about coping with the uncertainty that things might not go as we hoped, and dealing with it calmly. It’s about trusting that we have the resources to deal with any kind of situation.
Lack of self confidence means we depend upon the approval of others, if people approve of us, then we feel good. However, we avoid taking risks because we fear we may fail. This then leads to negative self talk , which psychotherapists call ‘cognitive distortions’, Examples of this might be:
‘They’re better than me’
‘I’m always making a fool of myself’
‘I know they’re not going to like me’
‘I didn’t succeed so therefore I must be a loser’
‘It’s all my fault’
‘They’re only saying that to be nice’
Often we feel we have to conform to be accepted. If we do not conform we believe people won’t like us, so we avoid saying NO. Many elements affect the development of self-confidence. A supportive upbringing is very important in developing our feelings of self worth, particularly in our early years. When our parents accept us and tell us they love us, we then feel good about ourselves and we feel we can do anything. If they are critical or demanding, put us down or discourage us when we are learning to be independent we may come to believe that we are not capable of doing anything right and will find it difficult to accept criticism in our lives. This can make us feel we are worthless and will stop us from taking risks in the future. However it is important to realise that behaviour is learned and our parents were conditioned by their own upbringing. Therefore blaming our parents doesn’t solve the problem.
All these negative beliefs and thought patterns can make themselves known in other areas of our life,for example:
- Fear of rejection
- Giving a presentation
- Job interviews
- Exam situations
- Nervousness before tests of any kind!
- Meeting people
- Fear of driving
- Difficulty in speaking up at meetings
- Shyness in social events.
- Saying no
- Binge drinking
How can Hypnotherapy help?
Confidence is linked to assertiveness, we need to learn these skills to help us to deal with difficult situations that knock our self esteem, its something we can build on in many different ways and this is where hypnotherapy and NLP can help. Once you have an awareness that you do have some control over the way you think about things, you can then redirect your thoughts in more positive ways so that you are encouraging yourself rather than discouraging yourself.
You have a whole range of tools, strengths, skills, abilities and strategies available to you, and through hypnosis I can teach you how to use them. We cannot change what went on in your earlier years, but Hypnotherapy and NLP can help you to let negative feelings go by embedding suggestions which empower you and develop self-esteem and feelings of being in control. I can teach you relaxation techniques which is another important tool, how to change your negative self talk by using positive affirmations, re-programme your beliefs and unconscious thought patterns by using mental rehearsal whereby you visualise yourself in the future being that new confident you.
Much of our confidence is positive expectation. You can teach your unconscious mind new patterns and remind it of your successes. Hypnosis will boost your confidence and help you to feel more relaxed in situations which were once frightening. As a result you will feel better about yourself and you will be able to start planning for the future with confidence.