Let me tell you about a date I once had.
During a phase when I was “not being so fussy” (you know, that thing we get told when we’ve got standards) – I agreed to someone’s request for a quick coffee date “to check for chemistry”. Now I’ve always posted photos, but this person had not – and he looked a lot like my ex, which wasn’t a great start. It was clear he found me attractive, ‘cos he spent the date pursuing me across a huge sofa trying to get me in a clinch. Other customers were visibly laughing at this pantomime, as they could see I wasn’t interested – but short of my being blunt and rude, apparently he could not.
When I turned down both his suggestion “to go on somewhere else” or arrange another date, he thought I was joking. When he finally understood I was really saying no, he became angry and rude. The thing is – I could’ve got past him looking like my ex, but being pushy and grabby, then arrogant and rude – those things I could not and would not get past. He believed the only thing that mattered was whether he’d find me attractive – it never occurred to him to consider I would do other than fall at his feet. And that wasn’t confidence, that was arrogance.
Confidence is wonderful, but arrogance is not. This man was arrogant. Do not channel this man 🙂
Let me state for the record – I am not a confident person. I appear confident and, if you don’t know me, you’d likely be fooled. You can learn how to give the impression of confidence and, in a “fake it till you make it” world, faking it can be better than nothing. But having the real thing – that’s to be strived for. For faking it can take a lot of emotional energy, and maintaining that facade for long can be exhausting. But how useful would it be to recall those times when you felt genuinely confident, and to bottle it? Well, you can.
In NLP, you can anchor (or bottle) certain emotions and feelings onto points on your body. When you press that point at any time in the future, those emotions and feelings will flood your body. Cool huh? I have one. It’s on a sliding scale. The lowest level is a feeling of quiet confidence from a scenario where I was in my element and really knew what I was doing. The mid-level is a memory of being praised by a tough manager for a difficult job well done in challenging circumstances. I’m not going to lie, I was really bouncing after this experience, so knew it was going to take a significant event to top it. The final and top-point is a memory of a night out with friends. I stepped into another room to show a friend my new bra. As she was admiring it, applause broke out from the bar. It turned out that me – and my fab bra – were reflected in a large gilt mirror 😀 That applause was so warm and true, and because I knew these people liked me for exactly who I am, my confidence levels were through the roof high. I’ve since used that top level to get me through an on-stage debate, which I went on to win, despite normally suffering with stage fright.
You may think this sounds a tad woo woo – but it not only works, it also has sound foundations. The founders of NLP drew their techniques from a variety of psychological philosophies and practices, picking only those they considered to be the peak of excellence.
Are you truly confident or you have a good ‘game face’? What memories of past confident behaviour might you be able to channel for use in the future?
© 2022, Debs Carey