Be your own superhero
It was Amy Cuddy who came up with the idea that by standing in the wonder woman or Superman pose, you can increase your levels of testosterone and decrease cortisol. Your brain monitoring your posture as a form of biofeedback believes your posture to be the result of building confidence.
Whether there is any real science in this claim or not, this exercise often gets people in fits of giggles and they feel much better, so I carry on teaching my clients to do it.
Start with the Wonderwoman / Superman pose
Stand with your feet apart, just about the same width as your shoulders.
Place your hands on your hips.
Pull back the elbows so it opens up your chest area.
Ring of confidence
First, visualise a spot on the floor and expand it into a circle large enough for you to step into comfortably. Step into the Ring of Confidence. Don’t imagine doing this. Actually, step into the circle you have visualised in front of you. As you do so, imagine that circle coming ‘to life’.
Now visualise something you do which you feel very very confident doing. Focus until your feelings of confidence have peaked.
Where on your body are you feeling confident?
Try and turn up the confidence from a top ten to an impressive 11.
Does the confidence have a colour?
Let your feelings of confidence amplify and associate them completely with your circle. FEEL the confidence flowing through you when you are in there. The circle is a magical place. In it you are invincible. You are ‘da man’. You are on fire.
Now step out of the circle and hold on to the feeling of confidence.
Now step back in and imagine yourself in the stressful state and try and notice the difference that comes when you are feeling the original confidence.
Keep practising so that when you step in for the second stage you do not experience any anxiety but go straight into confidence.
Ring of confidence Version 2
Alternatively, you could try this after stepping in the first time and imagining the confidence
Think of something else to break your focus and let the feelings of confidence ebb away. Then do the exercise again. Do it at least six times. Now visualise folding the circle in halves, then quarters, then eighths, and put it in your pocket.
Then do the exercise twice a day for the next week (remember that anchoring needs repetition for it to work), but when you start, imagine taking the circle out of your pocket, unfolding it and throwing it on to the floor in front of you.
Now you don’t need to conjure up the feelings of confidence. Simply step into the circle (remember to physically take a step forward; don’t just imagine it) and because it is now a spatial anchor, you will feel the confidence flow through you.
Use this tool for any confidence building exercise.
Also read Confident riding
And Driving confidence.