Do you want to find a simple way to boost your confidence using the power of your imagination?
We all need a bit of confidence in life to help us do things, meet people and enjoy life, yet many people lack confidence in one or more aspects of their lives, and that confidence can change.
I meet people who want to improve their confidence at work, in relationships and in getting a partner or completing a task like learning a second language. But they all have similar concerns, fears and presentations.
What do we mean by feeling confident?
Confidence is a thought and feeling that impacts our behaviour.
It feels nice to be confident because we can do things easily and believe we will do it to the best of our ability. For example, if you are confident in an interview, you will sell yourself better and remember the important aspects of your experiences, knowledge and skills.
Understanding the power of imagination
There are several ways to understand imagination.
It can be productive or constructive.
Imagination is a powerful tool to help you boost your confidence, but you need to work on it and practice.
It can be very creative as it comes from the areas of the brain called the neocortex and the thalamus. A passive imagination feels like daydreaming.
It can focus your mind on your senses.
And there is a correlation between daydreaming abilities and higher IQ.
However, it can also be negative unless you channel it correctly. For example, if you keep imagining yourself failing an exam, you are more likely to struggle to learn and might fail. You may fail if you keep imagining that you aren’t good enough. We also need to be grounded in reality, so it is not desirable to daydream or imagine things every minute of the day. Life needs to be in balance.
In other words, you need to consciously harness the power of your imagination when you need a boost to feel better in many things in life, including confidence. Boosting confidence is, therefore, active imagination.
Imagination is a great free tool. We need to realise that we all have it.
‘Imagination is more powerful than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to what we know and understand, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.’
Imagination and confidence: exploring the connection
Koehler ( 1991) studies confidence and imagination and found that manipulating the imagination to become confident increases confidence. So, there is a connection between imagination and confidence.
We all have the ability to imagine. Children are great at imagining things. Think about the child who imagines a monster under the bed at night and can’t sleep. Adults might not fantasise as much, but we can all play with reality by imagining the worst and behaving incorrectly.
Imagination differs from visualisation, but people often use it interchangeably because if you can’t see something in your mind (visualise), you can sense it or find a way to imagine it from your experiences (imagination).
1. Visualisation/ imagination to boost your confidence
Let’s use this now to boost your confidence.
To become more confident, you need to imagine your success.
So this is what you do.
Sit in a comfortable chair or lie on the bed for a few minutes. Do some deep breathing if you are tense, then start to imagine yourself as confident. You might need to imagine yourself confident for a special event, like giving a presentation, or in certain situations, like being at a board meeting or meeting new people at a party.
Some people struggle to know what to imagine, so if that’s you, what helps is to think about the behaviours and appearance of someone you know who is very confident. The aim is not to copy everything about them as you are different and bring other unique knowledge and skills. Instead, pick up on the confidence behaviours that you admire.
If you do this imagination/visualisation just before you go to bed at night and first thing in the morning when you wake, you will build a positive neural pathway to more confidence.
2. Cultivating a positive mindset
A positive mindset is a confident mindset. Confidence helps you with growth and achievement.
The first step is to identify what you are saying to yourself in your head.
We all have self-talk, but negative self-talk increases low confidence and self-esteem. Negative thoughts can produce negative emotions and ultimately cause negative behaviours.
So, to start with, change any negative thoughts to positive ones. For example, if you tell yourself that you haven’t the confidence to stand up and give a presentation, then change the thought to ‘In the past, I didn’t have the confidence to stand up and give a talk, but now I am learning, and I can do it’.
Use your imagination to say these positive messages. You could even change the voice positively or hear celebratory music in the background.
What other things could you imagine when you notice yourself lingering on negative self-talk?
3. Create a confidence avatar
If you are an artist or work in the IT industry, this may be easier for you.
The aim is to imagine an avatar. It could be based on your favourite character. This could be a real or fictional person who embodies the traits and behaviours you want. Maybe that is a cartoon character, a superhero, or it could be a pop star. Some people might use their mentor or supervisor.
Let your imagination help you build this avatar, and then either imagine that you overlay the brilliant skills of your avatar onto you, or you can imagine they are walking side by side with you, giving you all the confidence you need. You could also imagine that you are stepping into the shoes of your confident avatar.
Now, visualise how your avatar will react positively in a situation that used to be challenging to you when you used to lack confidence.
Hi, I’m Linda from Awaken the Change. I’m a hypnotherapist, counsellor and coach. I help people with stress and anxiety to increase their self-confidence. If you need to feel more confident in any situation, let me explain how you can use your imagination with hypnosis to build a better life. Contact me for a free initial consultation online.