STEP 6 of 12: Imagery for Building Self Confidence
Now that you understand the importance of thinking and feeling about your new statements, imagery can play an important role in making that opposite scenario more real to you, and more likely to happen when the situation arises. Imagery is nothing more than imagining something in your head. We think this way all the time throughout the day, and especially at night, while we are dreaming. You imagine or relive a number of things, picturing it and watching it as if it were real.
Think about a time when something really upset you. Didn't you go back in your mind and relive the same situation over and over again? Well this is the same ability that can be used here for the positive. Chances are you already imagine things in a negative way if it's an area you are lacking self-confidence in. By stating your new opposites, feeling the opposite result, and also imagining it taking place in your mind, you will make that new understanding even more real to you before you even confront those situations in real life. There are a number of different ways to correct negative imagery, and there's also a number of ways to enhance and make positive imagery more effective.
Think about this, Have you ever had a dream before that you knew wasn't real or didn't really happen (in the physical world), but it felt so real that even throughout your day you still thought about it and felt moved by it? You know it didn't actually happen physically, but to your mind it may just as well have happened. You lived it out in your mind, and felt emotionally moved by the experience, even though it was pure thought. Well, that's just how powerful imagery can be. There are even some other tools that I believe are much more effective that work on a more subconscious level, but we'll get to them later. For now, practice this day-dreaming technique to live out your opposite statements, and confront situations in your mind the way you'd like them to be felt and played out, before they happen in the real world.
The symbols you use in imagery will be extremely unique to you and what moves you on the inside. For one person, a feeling of confidence might best be demonstrated by thinking of yourself as 100x larger than everything around you. For instance, if you want to feel more confident about asking your boss for a raise, you might try imagining the situation of you walking in and discussing the raise with your boss where you are far larger than your boss. You can change this, reverse and then exaggerate whatever else it is that makes you feel limited in your ability to ask for the raise. If it's a giant award on your boss's wall that always catches your eye and immediately intimidates you and causes you to feel inferior when you walk into his/her office, then imagine the award being the size of a quarter, or picture it with a silly elephant on it. You need to re-write the meaning of the symbols in your mind that are limiting you and holding you back. Remember no person's symbols will be the same. It's whatever moves you most. So take some time right now and identify some of the symbols that might need to be confronted through your own imagery. What symbols are most empowering to you? It might help to imagine yourself as a mighty eagle, soaring through the sky and looking down at all the opportunity below. You can fly wherever you wish, land wherever you want, and are bound by very few limits! The Healing Quest video below from youtube discusses the benefits of "guided imagery" in healing and medicine. Although you are going to be conducting your own imagery (which is the most powerful way - since you know what moves you most), it should give an informative presentation on how it can be used, how your own unique symbols and images can move you, and ultimately how imagery can lead to physical results. In this case those results are more along the lines of health and healing.
Now before you move onto the next section, take some time to really think through this and how you can use imagery techniques in your own life. What symbols mean the most to you? What situations should you imagine in your head? How should you imagine them? What negative symbols need to have their meaning re-written so they affect you less in daily life? Once you've thought through some of these things, sit back, relax, and let your imagination go to work! You must allow yourself to be creative, but even if you're extremely analytical and left-brained, you can still put these tools to work simply by walking through your positive expectations of real-life situations before they actually take place in a more literal sense.
1. What's one real-life situation you would like to imagine going more confidently in your mind?
2. What's one real-life situation you've played over and over in your mind in a negative way? How can you adjust the symbols and images in that situation so that their negative meaning is diminished and a positive one established?
3. Take 5 minutes and practice going through a short imagery session in your mind. Sit back and relax for the next 5 minutes, and using imagery, run through a situation you'd like to feel more self-confident in.