Most people are aware how essential confidence is in daily life. Learning how to have confidence is one of the most crucial things you’ll ever do. When you understand how to have confidence, you’ll be able to try anything, learn anything, and achieve anything.
What Is Confidence?
First of all, what is confidence? It’s one of those things that you know when you’ve got it, but when it comes time to describe it, it’s not so easy.
Having confidence is having a feeling of certainty. There is general confidence, and there is situational confidence.
If you are comfortable in the kitchen, for example, and you know how to cook a thing or two, you have cooking confidence. If you are at somebody’s house, and they ask you to whip up some pancakes, for example, you will “feel confident” that you can do it.
If you want to know how to have confidence, understanding the step by step process by which our subconscious minds comes up with the feeling of confidence can help.
Let’s get back to the pancake example. Your friend asks you to pop into the kitchen and make some pancakes. In about a second or less, the following happens.
- You quickly imagine making pancakes
- You quickly survey your past for similar situations
- You check to see how those situations came out
Then you compare how the previous situations came out to come up with an estimate of how the current situation will come out.
If you don’t have any experience making pancakes, or every time you’ve tried in the past ended in total disaster, you’ll come back with a feeling that can be described as “lack of confidence.”
However, if you check your past and you find dozens of examples of pancake success, you will come back with a feeling of “confidence.”
Now, this process happens in a split second, and it happens unconsciously. From our conscious minds perspective, we hear the request to make pancakes, and then the feeling (confident or not confident) is immediate.
However, if you want to learn how to have confidence in any situation, you’ve got to “go meta.”
How To Have Confidence – Meta Style
In NLP, it’s helpful to look at situations from several perspectives.
For example, the pancake idea can be looked at as “making pancakes.” Or it can be looked at as “making food” or it can be looked at as “doing something familiar.”
Each one of these is a step up the “meta” scale.
In order to learn how to have confidence in ANY situation, regardless of whether you’ve done it or not, all you’ve got to do is practice recalling situations where you did something without knowing how it was going to come out, but it came out OK.
The more you practice remembering these events, the more you’ll be able to have confidence in any situation.
Normally, if you are in an unfamiliar situation, you’ll likely NOT feel confident. Your brain will quickly scan your history, find no examples of success, and then deliver a feeling of “not confident.”
But when you practice remembering being successful in unfamiliar events, you’ll slowly turn that “unfamiliar equals NOT confident” feeling into “unfamiliar equals confidence” feeling.
In reality, EVERY situation is unknown. Since it’s IMPOSSIBLE to predict the future, every single time we take action, there is always an element of the unknown.
Just take some time, look back through your memory, and find some events that came out much better than expected.
Then associate those happy outcomes with taking unknown action, and pretty soon you’ll know exactly how to have confidence automatically in any situation.
If you’re trying to build confidence in certain areas, like social events, sales, sports, just focus on successful events in those areas where the outcome was good, but you didn’t really know what you were doing going into them.
Just quickly, in your mind, recall the “uncertain” feeling before the event happened, and then the “success” feeling after the event was finished.
One way to do this is with the NLP swish pattern. Just take the “uncertain” feeling that happened before the event, and all the pictures and feelings associated with it, and put it in your left hand.
Then take the successful outcome, and all the feelings and images associated with it, and put it in your right hand.
Then slowly bring your left hand up to your face, and as soon as those “uncertain” feeling start to build, then quickly “swish” your right hand forward, and allow those good, successful feelings to overpower those initial, uncertain feelings.
This will take practice, but it only takes a few minutes each time. If you make it a habit of doing this every day for a few weeks, you’ll find that you easily can learn how to have confidence in any give situation.
Feeling confidence is really a skill more than an automatic feeling. When you take the time to teach your brain how to have confidence, you’ll soon feel on top of the world in any situation you find yourself in.