Are you afraid of doing something in your life because your feelings of inadequacy are holding you back? Do you lack confidence during the most crucial times? Everyone feels this way at some point in our lives. Most people just aren’t naturally confident 100 percent of the time. However, you can change this. You can stand on stage in front of thousands and give that speech. You can confront your boss and tell him you deserve more responsibility and a raise. Just like a muscle, you need exercises to strengthen and challenge your self-perception, because there are too many outside influences that challenge it every day.
Anchoring is a common practice in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and very easy to do. Have you ever heard a song and a specific memory came flooding back to you? Maybe it’s the first time you danced with someone; what you listened to before every game to pump yourself up; something that reminds you of deployment or trip three years ago. Food is the same way. In fact, all of our senses connect us, anchor us, to specific times and places in our past. For example, I can’t smell burning toast without thinking about the time I caught my college cafe’s toaster on fire.
Many of the anchors in our lives have been set unconsciously. However, you absolutely can decide to create your own, and that’s what we’re going to do with the following exercise. You’re going to create a button in yourself so that every time you push it, you automatically feel more confident and ready to tackle whatever situation you’re facing.
- To start, you’re going to work yourself into what Tony Robbins calls a peak state. Basically, this is you at your best, your most confident, take-no-crap version of yourself. Ever since I was little, I’ve always been greatly affected by music, so I’ll use this as an example. (But if you’re not like me, you can think back to a time when you felt your most confident and use this memory as your anchor. Did the guy or girl you like ask you out? Did you ace that test? Did you beat your best run time?)
- When you have picked out a song that amps you up, put it on and turn it up. I like my music really loud, because I like to feel it and for this exercise that’s ideal. You can use to find the song, if it’s not readily available to you.
- Let yourself be taken away by the music. Pay attention to how your body and mind respond. If you’re inspired to dance, as I always am, get up and move around. No one’s watching, so you can really let yourself go here, and you need to in order to get the most of the exercise.
- How do you feel? When you reach the point when you feel powerful, limitless, inspired, brave, and fearless, touch your right index finger to your thumb and push them together hard. I like to use my fingernail, so the pressure is exact and specific. Really anchored. While doing this, keep dancing, keep feeling as though you can take on the whole world.
- Repeat this several times, either a few times in one day, or space it out over two or three days.
Be exact in this process, and you’re sure to create a new anchor, so that the next time you need a surge of confidence, all you have to do is put your fingers together. How easy is that?