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Image by Kelly Sikkema

Building confidence and self belief

The situation

  • Fiona was struggling with her self confidence and self belief and it was affecting all areas of her life. She was in a new situation and didn't feel she could make friends easily, didn't feel she could speak up in front of others and felt like she was going to fail.

What we did

  • Created an anchor for a resourceful, calm and confident state I talked Fiona through the process of going into peripheral vision. A state that is very calm and centered. She described it as a 'dark blue weightless state' which was a stark contrast to her normal state she had described earlier. Using NLP techniques, we created an anchor so that whenever Fiona did a certain action with her hand, she would go into this state. This meant that at least when her feelings of not being confident came along, she had a way of calming down and re-centering. The next step was to tackle the belief itself and her negative self talk.

  • Tackled Fiona's lack of self belief that lead to not feeling confident ​

    • Fiona felt that there had never been a time when she believed in herself or felt confident so we took a trip down memory lane with fresh eyes. Looking out for things that she had achieved or been proud of and things that she didn't think she'd be able to do but that she had in fact done. Difficult times that she had coped with. We considered what she would have done differently if she'd known the outcome of these events in advance.

    • As with many people, Fiona needed prompting and challenging to do this as her default setting and years of seeing her experience through a filter of "I have no belief in myself" meant that these successes had been overlooked and effectively deleted from counting toward anything.

    • Fiona was able to see how actually she was able to cope and there was no real evidence to suggest that she couldn't achieve anything she set out to do or that she wouldn't be able to cope if events didn't turn out the way she hoped.

  • Setting Fiona up for a more confident future

    • Although Fiona had discovered her self belief, our minds like what is familiar so we had to set up some strategies and practices to make sure that her habitual negative self-talk wouldn't drag her back to where she had been.​ We needed to make sure she created a new habit of thought. So we identified trigger situations that may cause her to feel unconfident, nervous or anxious and came up with some options of what she would do to stay confident and challenge, or simply silence, her inner critic.

The result


  • Continued to practice the things that we had discussed and broke her old pattern of feeling unconfident.

  • In new or challenging situations she continued to use the tools we had created, so quickly regained perspective rather than being sucked back into old ways of thinking. 

  • Was less anxious as her newly found confidence meant that she felt she could cope if things didn't turn out as she hoped.

  • Made good friends, spoke up when she felt she needed to and tried things out that she previously wouldn't have felt confident to do.

What my client said 

Seeing Mary has helped me gain self-confidence, feel happier about myself and see the brighter side of life. I was also struggling with self-esteem. Mary helped me focus on my achievements to date, however small and insignificant I felt they were, it made me feel positive when we talked through them. I had underestimated the little things I had achieved. The supportive relationship I developed with Mary helped me manage my anxiety by teaching me some powerful strategies to help me cope in stressful situations. 

I was initially a little apprehensive about having coaching, but Mary is so approachable, encouraging and really easy to talk to.  I felt it a lot easier than I thought I would to talk to her and be honest about my emotions and it really helped me to reach out to somebody outside of my family and immediate friends.

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