You’ve heard it before “just be confident”. Isn’t it easy? It sounds easy, but it really isn’t. Confidence appears to be natural in some people but the reality is that it’s something you build. From the first time you walk, there are obstacles that you can stumble on.
These missteps form who you are. Because just when you fell that first time, you learn from them. It’s what you do when that fall happens, it’s the getting up and trying again.
In adults, confidence, or lack of, make us behave in a particular way. When facing a crowd you can feel excited or you may have cold sweats running down your back. Even the more confident people will have moments when they feel nervous.
Can’t get on a plane!
I know someone that is terrified of flying. He’s otherwise a rational person, but the idea of getting on a plane is incredibly scary. Flying can be avoided of course, but avoidance is a self-imposed limit. However, it can be surpassed.
Some airlines offer courses to help nervous travellers. British Airways for example has a dedicated service for people that lack confidence in getting on one of their planes. They have psychologists involved and even boast a 98% success rate.
Such course was recently in the news as being very successful. It took people with negative past experiences through a series of hypnotherapy sessions that relived those situations. It is a really good way to get through this issue.
How it works
Taking people back in time is a good tool to address the causes of this fear. Once there, the client will be asked to experience each step one by one. It could start from the moment of packing, or even from when the tickets are booked.
Reliving the situation could of course just awaken the distress felt, so it’s important the exercise is controlled. At each step, they are encouraged to evaluate what’s around them and think about what makes them nervous.
The objective is to desensitise the experience. Let’s pick the packing moment. What makes putting clothes onto a suitcase before going to the airport any different from when those bags go with you to a friend’s house for the weekend?
By looking at each moment individually, the rational brain is forced to engage and counteract the subconscious fear. Once that is done, you can move to the next step and build upon the previous successes, until no such negative emotion is felt.
That’s why this approach is useful in many areas of confidence. It’s the building up of positive experiences which will make the whole situation an easier one to deal with. It could be public speaking or fear of spiders. The mind is sensitive to negative events (real or imaginary) but it also reacts to reminders of facts and the good feel of success.
Fear of flying could be a thing of the past with the right amount of work. It’s a confidence booster that might even get impacts in other areas. What are you not confident about?