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Gremlin-Bash 1: When your gremlin starts talking, give your gremlin a form in your mind - and then either try some violence on it, or try metaphorically putting it in a box and hiding it under bed.
Gremlin-Bash 2: Imagine your gremlin in your mind and then imagine him/her/it shrinking into distance, with associated voice getting quieter and further away.
Gremlin-Bash 3: Talk to your gremlin - say thank you for your opinion, but...
Frankly your gremlin is there to protect you from hurting yourself - so it does have a function, but it can frequently overstep its mandate. Get it back to stage at which is does its job, but you can over-rule it at any point.
A very simple technique, but one which is often not explained properly - it is not just about saying something to yourself several times every morning, you have to imagine it in every way and integrate it into your life. The easiest way to learn how to be confident is to act confidently. Think about which behaviours you want to have and try them out. It can be difficult to remember to do them all day long, so integrate some triggers into your daily routine to help you remember (such as a special ring, pair of shoes, photo, etc that you'll notice throughout day and which will make you remember). If your affirmation is "I am a confident woman", imagine yourself acting confidently in a variety of different situations and also set up triggers so that you keep practising throughout day - every day. It takes 12 weeks to ingrain a habit, so don't expect instant results - there is no such thing.
The Swish Technique
This is a wonderfully simple NLP (that's Neuro-Linguistic Programming) technique that allows you to change your thought processes and your beliefs.
The Basic Technique
1. Identify Context. Pick a situation that induces undesirable feelings - where or when would you like to behave differently?
2. Identify Cue Image. What do you see in chosen situation just before you start doing behaviour or start thought process you don't like? Imagine actually being in situation, first person narrative.
3. Create Outcome Image. See yourself acting/thinking in way you would like to behave/think. In case of thoughts, what associated feelings do you want to have (a good feeling in your belly, a lack of tension in your forehead etc). In case of actions, imagine yourself doing what you wish you could do instead (such as speaking confidently, or not getting frozen in style of metaphorical rabbit in headlights).
4. Swish. Starting with Cue Image in your mind, big and bright. Then put a small dark image of Outcome Picture in lower right corner of your vision. The small image becomes bigger and brighter and cover cue image (which in turn will get dim and small and shrink into nothing).
When you try this for first time, take your time with imposing new picture onto old picture. When you've tried it a few times you need to do Swish very quickly - it has to happen in less than a second in your mind for it to be effective.
5. Blank Out Screen or open your eyes
6. Repeat Swish five more times.
7. Test yourself: try and recall initial picture again - if swish has worked, it should be quite difficult to recall as you have trained your mind to replace that image with another - your Outcome Image.
While this technique needs to be practiced at home before you can use it at work, it is very useful as it takes, literally, one second to do.
You can also use this for many other situations in which you have self-esteem problems, you can use it for any set of beliefs you don't want to have anymore. The greatest thing about it is its swiftness to use. In less than time it takes to take a breath you can have done at least one swish.
The most important part of personal development, not just improving confidence levels, is that you need to recognise which techniques suit you best - not all of ones above may suit you, so do some research and find ones that do. Then you must keep going, keep motivated and really try to integrate these new beliefs into your life. A half-hearted attempt is almost as bad as no attempt at all.
Bernard, N. S., Dollinger, S. J., & Ramaniah, N. V. (2002) Applying Big Five Personality Factors to Impostor Phenomenon. Journal of Personality Assessment, Vol. 78, 2, 321-333
Clance, P. R. & Imes, S. A. (1978) The impostor phenomenon in high achieving women: Dynamics and therapeutic intervention. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 15, 241-247.
Charlotte Burton is a Licensed Career Coach & Psychometric Assessor. For more information and to sign up for the ezine, view the website at www.lifeisvital.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request your complimentary consultation.