Overcoming Nerves

NP came to me for NLP coaching because of a problem with nerves. Outwardly she came across as cheerful, confident and down to earth, but inwardly she hid feelings of inferiority and anxiety. Whenever something happened to take her out of her comfort zone, the nerves took over. A karate enthusiast, she had a black belt grading coming up in a few months and was concerned that her nerves would affect her performance.

I started out by getting NP to choose a mantra that she would say to herself every morning, to improve her self-image. She decided on “I’m ok and I can do whatever is asked of me. If I mess up, it’s still ok.” After doing this for a week, things were already improving, but she still had negative beliefs about herself she wanted to let go of. We did the Museum of Old Beliefs exercise to replace the belief she had that “I’m inferior, I’m rubbish” with “I deserve to be here”.

By the third week of NLP coaching, NP was progressing in leaps and bounds. She was starting to believe her personal mantra and feel confident enough to start thinking about teaching karate again, something else that brought on performance anxiety in her. We set up an anchor that she could use in stressful situations to help her feel calm, centred and relaxed.

NP quickly got things moving and arranged to start teaching again. She was very happy with her anchor and used it in all sorts of situations, but as a first class can be stressful I thought something more would help. We used the New Behaviour Generator to bring confidence and joy into her visualisation of her first class.

NP’s first class went just as well as she had visualised it. She was becoming a big fan of NLP and used her anchor whenever she faced situations that would have brought on a bad case of nerves before. I decided that there was one more exercise that we could do to make sure that she kept up her new confidence and positivity. Because her feelings of not being good enough had been with her all her life, we used the Change Personal History exercise to address their beginnings. So far, all of our sessions had been over the phone, with NP using a cordless phone so she could move around when necessary. Because we might be looking at painful memories I decided it was best to have this session face to face, and I went to visit her at home. The Change Personal History exercise was again a big success and something as simple as taking the warm feeling from her anchor into the cold memory of the past situation made her feel much more positive about it.

A year later, NP has passed her black belt grading and is still teaching karate and loving it. She has grown in confidence and is using the NLP techniques she has learnt in areas of her life that she didn’t expect.

Submitted by Jane Carlton, Professional Member

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