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How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety and Build Confidence Using NLP and Self Hypnosis


We are hardwired to experience fear and anger. It is part of the fight or flight response. Some people are more prone to experience fear and anxiety while others are more prone to experience anger. It is genetic.

Either way, I would like you to understand that the emotions of fear and anger play a positive role in keeping you on track. Think of negative emotions like the warning lights and dials on the dash of your car. For example, there may be a red light on the dash that lets you know that your seat belt needs to be fastened. The speedo lets you know how fast you are going. Signs on the side of the road tell you the speed limit and some of the newer ones actually indicate your speed and turn green or red, depending if you are going below or over the speed limit.

So fear and anger have a positive function to help keep you on track – but what do you do when the negative emotions become problematic? Some people may find their anger leads to violence and broken relationships. Others may find that their anxiety may prevent them from leaving the house; or from having a social life; or doing their job and talking to people. Some people may find that anxiety prevents them from speaking to a group of people. Some people may freeze on stage when they have to talk to a group of people. In fact, fear of public speaking ranks as the number one fear in the Western world.

So how to overcome your anxiety and build more confidence? For the purpose of this article I am going to try and keep it simple. If you need more information you can contact me from my website –

1. Start by listing specific times and places where anxiety and fear have been a problem for you. Identify some of the earliest memories. (See the NLP Present State to Desired Outcome model.) Clear the negative emotions using the NLP Timeline Procedure.

2. Where specifically in your life is anxiety a problem for you now? Does anxiety prevent you from doing something or does it impede your performance?

3. Build a NLP Well-Formed Outcome. What will the new-you (the best version of yourself) look like, sound like and feel like?

3. Elicit your values to get the purpose, the big reason ‘why’. Why do you want the desired outcome? Why do you want to be this newer version of yourself? Why else do you want to be this newer version of yourself? By eliciting your values for the desired outcome you get in touch with the inner resources which will help you to side step the fear and anxiety – because now your thoughts will be on the achievement of your desired outcome (goal).

4. So once you know what the new-you will look like, sound like and feel like – and you know why you want the outcome – then you look at the ‘how’ – that is the steps you need to take to get you from your present state to your desired outcome. Use the well-formed outcome questions as follows:
- Do you know what to do? If not, then do you know someone who does?
- Is it self initiated and maintained? Does the outcome rely solely upon yourself?
- Can you do it? If not, then do you know someone who can do it?
- Have you done this before?
- Do you know the steps and stages?
- Do you have an action plan?
- Do you have a way to monitor your progress?
- Do you have a way to deal with any interferences?
- Do you have the resources? Both internal and external?

5. Use proactive goal setting – pseudo-orientation in time. In your imagination take yourself out into the future to the successful completion of the event (desired outcome). From that position, look back towards now and update your action plan. The practise of taking yourself out to the successful completion of the event and looking back towards now is known as ‘pseudo orientation in time’. It was a method used by Milton H Erickson, the American medical hypnotherapist of the mid 20th century who lived in Tucson Arizona. Pseudo orientation in time is a procedure which allows you to position yourself in either past or future, and step into or out of a memory – and build in new memories and thoughts that help you to access and mobilise your inner resources.

If you are new to NLP and self hypnosis then this might not make sense to you. So let me try and simplify the process. What do you want to do? What fear do you want to overcome? Would you like to catch a plane? Or perhaps talk to a group of people?

So now find someone who is comfortable with doing the desired activity – and model out their thought processes and behaviours. That is, learn to think the way that the expert does. So what pictures are they making in the cinema of their mind? Are they making still images or videos? Are they seeing themselves in the image or looking out of their own eyes? These submodality distinctions will give you the key to how their thinking is different to yours.

What are they saying to themselves? What is the volume, tonality and tempo of their self talk? What questions, statements and commands are they making to themselves? Is there focus on what they don’t want to happen or what they want to happen? Is there focus on the negative or the positive? What are their frames of mind – that is what are the beliefs and meta thoughts they hold about the activity? How do they think about an activity which is new, challenging, dangerous, etc? Are they scared and anxious or are they in a state of anticipation and nervous excitement?

How do they sort their thought process in terms of time. That is, are they look towards an event or are they looking back on the event, as-if it is completed? What is important to them about the event? How is their actual behaviour different to yours? Once you understand how the mind is structured then developing a new skill is just a matter of learning the process and  keeping yourself in a constant state of learning and improvement.

If you are interested in learning how to overcome anxiety and build confidence in public speaking; in dealing with fear of flying and learning to enjoy catching a plan – in fact in dealing with any fear or any phobia then feel free to contact Abby Eagle from (NLP Hypnotherapy Gold Coast Australia)





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