Confidence coach: The power of thought

Can you really think yourself confident? Our resident confidence coach, Sandie Robertson, explains how having a change of thought can make a big difference to your life. 

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You know that feeling when you do something and no matter how much logical, positive evidence you can stack up, there's still that niggling feeling saying something isn't quite right?

It may be at when you're at events, having a lesson with a new trainer or getting ready to compete.

No matter how much preparation you've done, how well you know your test or how on trend your outfit is, no amount of reason can make that feeling go away.

Why do we do it to ourselves?

These feelings come from a place deep within our subconscious mind. If we're in a place where we've experienced negativity (or another strong emotion) before, we're more likely to feel this response again whenever a similar situation arises.

For example, a classic is my ability to feel like Doreen from Birds of a Feather every time I wear a dress or skirt that’s a bit on the short side. Heaven forbid it’s also tight or there's a glimpse of décolletage.

This niggling feeling comes from my grandmother’s views of having too much skin on show. She associated it with being a 'lady of the night'. 

Another example is whenever I put my number on my jacket at a show. I'm instantly taken back to my BHS exams plus the tweed jacket, hairnet, jodhpur clips and name badge that left me feeling like an all-round idiot!

The power of thought 

Our subconscious mind is such a clever powerful tool when it works in the way we want it to.

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It can also place untold limitations on our lives when we get stuck in those old, entrenched emotional reactions that are usually laden with guilt. 

But never fear, as change is just around the corner.

It's been proven by psychologists that we can change how we think for personal growth and enhancement.

By developing skills such as positive visualisation, affirmation and suggestion, we can overcome debilitating behaviours and grow into the roles we dream about.

When creating your vision, you have to conjure up the emotional responses to go along with it and explore every detail.

By doing this on a regular basis, it'll start to become automatic feeling.

Adding an affirmation (a simple, positive statement about a specific goal) to the mix will make a difference.

The most commonly used one is 'every day in every way, I'm getting better and better'.

At competition, my own personal favourite was 'just do it'. I'd say this to myself whenever the nerves set in or as I warmed up for the next class.

Try doing this 10 times each morning and night for a minimum of 66 days. It's thought that it takes that long to make something become an unconscious action. 

More than a daydream 

Sceptics imagine visualisation to be like daydreaming, and that's where the majority of people go wrong when they're trying to make a change.

Another common problem is lacking the discipline that’s required.

I describe this part of the change like having learned just enough French to go on holiday and then discovering that you can speak English when you get there.

Naturally you'd want to speak with your native tongue, but if you practise your new language you would very soon become fluent.

It'd become second nature and you'd no longer have to think about it. 

So go on, dare to dream.

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