How to be Confident (and Face Any Fear)
- Confidence is a feeling that comes from a mental process that can be learned.
- Fear is also a feeling that comes from a mental process that can be unlearned.
- Most people get caught up in fear because their process involves repeatedly focusing on their fear and it keeps getting bigger.
- Countless people throughout history have had the same fear as you, only much stronger, and completely overcome it.
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“Our biggest limit is not what we want and cannot do, it’s in what we’ve never considered that we can do.” – Dr. Richard Bandler
Michael Strahan is afraid of snakes. An NFL Hall of Fame football player and Super Bowl Champion, he followed his NFL career by becoming a football analyst for Fox NFL Sunday, as well as winning two Daytime Emmy awards. Super confident it appears, being on national TV performing against some of the best athletes in the world, or talking on live, national TV. But get near a snake, noooo.
That is, until he met Dr. Richard Bandler. Dr. Bandler is a therapist who studies successful behavior and how we process success neurologically. Strahan, it appears, after meeting Bandler, was no longer afraid of snakes. Roughly 40 seconds or so after they started working on it, his phobia was gone. See it disappear here.
So how does someone so confident in something that so few people on earth have the ability to do, be so fearful in something a five-year-old kid can do (hold a snake)?
The reason is that Strahan used two different mental processes, with two different images (or movies) playing in his mind. One movie had great images with great feelings, and the other had scary images with painful feelings.
Here’s how Strahan got rid of his phobia of snakes in 40 seconds
1. He saw the movie of a snake coming at him (and all the terrible feelings that came with it).
2. He shrunk that movie down to the size of a quarter.
3. Then he blinked it black and white, really fast.
He cleared his mind for a second (thought of something else), then looked back at the picture of the snake, and tried to be afraid. He couldn’t.
Here’s the key: Strahan wasn’t afraid of snakes.
He was afraid of the big picture/movie that he made of the snake.
Usually when we have a big fear, it’s life-size or even larger than life. So when you shrink that fear down to the size of a quarter, the fear shrinks with it. Sound too simple? You may need to go back and watch the Strahan video in the link above! Apparently Strahan received countless texts and emails asking if he was acting the whole time. He promised he wasn’t.
How you can work on this:
1. Choose something you want more confidence in. Say it’s public speaking.
2. See the picture of yourself on stage (or wherever it is you would speak) in the most fearful situation.
3. Shrink that image or movie down to the size of a quarter.
4. Blink it black and white like a strobe light, super fast.
5. Then shoot it off into space. Strahan didn’t need this part, but it’s a nice way to send off your fear.
6. Now imagine a different movie, one where you’re confident. You might see yourself doing something you’re very confident in, perhaps speaking with ease and confidence to a friend, or your pet turtle.
7. Make that picture big and amplify all your senses. Bring the picture closer and closer and make it bigger and bigger. Hear all the sounds, and see what you saw when you were confident. Now step into the picture.
8. As the feeling intensifies, notice where you feel it in your body. Find out where the feeling starts and which direction it goes. Imagine the feeling as energy that’s spinning. Now imagine the direction it’s spinning (whatever feels right). Spin it faster. Notice how it strengthens the feeling.
9. Finally, move that picture of Confident You onto the stage where you’ll speak. See the crowd and imagine how they will be enriched by your helpful words.
10. Lastly, see how this new way of facing your fears and living confidently in this area helps you in every other area of your life.
As you get closer to the date of your big talk, repeat this drill multiple times. See yourself the day of the talk excited to love the audience more than you’re concerned about yourself. Minimize the negative movie and maximize the good one. You got this!
Let me know how it goes!