Instant Confidence: The Power to Go for Anything You Want by Paul McKenna PH.D. (2016)
DEVELOPING THE CONFIDENCE HABIT
The Power of Positive Self-Talk
The Hypnotist in Your Head
After watching my stage shows, people often tell me they are amazed at the powerful effect of the hypnotic suggestions I make during the show. What they don’t realize is that they are making equally powerful suggestions to their unconscious mind all day long.
“Freedom is a condition of mind, and the best way to secure it is to breed it.”
For example, when you are about to try something for the first time, do you tell yourself, “I bet this is going to be fun!” or do you say things to yourself like “I can’t do this,” “Who do you think you are?”, or “I might as well not even try—things never work out for me anyway?”
We all need our internal voice to help us navigate our way through the world. It’s useful to be able to say things to ourselves like “I must remember to call Frank” or “Umm, I like the look of her” or “Get out of the way—car coming!”
However, far too often we use the power of our self-talk to limit us by talking ourselves out of doing something before we have even tried. Most people are continually giving themselves suggestions for bad feelings, inaction, and a lack of confidence, and then wonder why they feel so bad!
Imagine you had someone living in your home with you who continually pointed out everything that was wrong with you and your life in a really annoying tone of voice. How long would it take for you to want to kick that person out of your house and out of your life?
Well, your mind is the one place where you have complete dominion. And if the voice living in your head isn’t supporting you, it’s time to replace it with one that does. Because like it or not, the results you are getting in your life have everything to do with what that voice keeps telling you.
What Are You Suggesting?
As an experiment, listen to your internal voice over the course of today and notice the number of negative suggestions you are giving yourself. You may even want to write them down so that you can get them out of your head and see them for what they are.
In fact, for the next week, whenever you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself in your mind I want you to do this:
Now, let me be clear—I’m not suggesting that you go around pretending that you’re perfect. I’m just saying that when you speak to yourself in a more positive manner, you will get more positive results.
What you feed gets stronger, and as you stop criticizing yourself and begin cheering yourself on instead, you will not only begin feeling better, you will be growing stronger and more naturally confident each day.
Many self-help books preach the gospel of “affirmations”: positive statements about yourself that are meant to be repeated out loud hundreds of times each day in order to program your mind to be more positive.
“Good words are worth much and cost little.”
But saying something out loud has nowhere near the same impact on your feelings and behaviors as hearing the same things inside your mind. And if you’re telling yourself wonderful things on the outside while your internal voice is telling you it’s all bullshit, your internal voice’s suggestions will win every time.
The exercise on the following page will help you to use the power of your internal voice to increase your levels of confidence. After you have practiced this technique several times throughout the day today, continue to use it as often as you can for the next few weeks until it becomes a habit.
Remember, by practicing these exercises in conjunction with the hypnotic trance I have specially recorded for this book, you and I will be instructing your unconscious mind to automatically reprogram yourself to be naturally confident in every situation.
PROGRAMMING YOUR MIND FOR CONFIDENCE AND SUCCESS
Read through the exercise before you do it for the first time …
1. Locate your internal voice. Just ask yourself “Where is my internal voice?” and point to the location where you hear the words.
2. Now I would like you to imagine how your voice sounds if it is totally confident. Is it louder or softer than usual? Is it clearer and easier to hear? Stronger or weaker? Do you speak faster or more slowly?
However your voice sounds when you are really positive and confident, put that voice in the same location where your old internal voice was located.
3. Take a few moments to think of some of the negative suggestions you have habitually given yourself in the past, things like:
“I’m not very confident.”
“I am terrible at giving presentations.”
“I will never find someone to fall in love with me.”
4. For each statement, come up with its positive opposite.
“I’m a naturally confident person.”
“I give excellent presentations.”
“I am extremely lovable.”
5. Finally, I want you to repeat the new, positive suggestion to yourself in your new confident internal voice.
For more practice in positive self-talk, play the Control Self-Criticism video.
It feels totally different when you talk to yourself like that, doesn’t it?
Remember, what you practice you become. Just keep practicing talking to yourself in a positive way until the positive suggestions override the negative, and be sure to reinforce your self-programming with the accompanying hypnotic trance!