Tag Archives: confidence

Tuning into your ‘Funny’ Feeling

If you’re someone who is new to (for example) NLP, it takes a while to begin trusting your gut feeling; or to tune into it, or to realise that you even have one.

It takes time because you need to let your confidence in yourself and your methods develop, but most of all you need the experience of dealing with young people and to start noticing the patterns in the behaviour and what the clues they give you mean. Some people would say that the funny feeling you get (when you get it) comes from picking up on somebody’s energy or aura. Some believe it comes to them through telepathy or from being a little psychic.

I don’t believe it’s any of those. I think that actually people give off clues, usually via their words, tone or physiology that are almost under the radar, but not quite. Consciously we may have no idea what the clue was. But our unconscious mind does spot the clue and transmits to us an internal message that some would call their gut feeling or instinct. Or in my case, I just say “I feel funny.”

Over the years, I’ve started to pay more attention to what gave me a funny feeling. Obviously depending on the situation, there may be different things.

The very first time I trusted my gut it wasn’t with a client, it was in a safe environment. With my friends in the pub. I was with my two good friends Chris and Matthew. Matthew was going to the bar to buy the drinks (this in itself is an event and a bit like the chances of seeing an albino stag) and he asked Chris and I what we wanted to drink. To be honest, asking the question was a little redundant as he already knew what the answer would be, as we always drank the same thing. However, it was a good thing he did as despite Chris always requesting a vodka-Redbull, this day he paused. It was a tiny pause followed by an “Umm”.

This was enough for my funny feeling to kick in and for me to jump in and say, “He wants pear cider today.”

Poor Chris nearly fell off his chair. He started exclaiming. “How did you know?! How did you know? You’re doing your weird mind ninja tricks on me!”

Then I had to ask myself the question, “How did I know?” The fact I felt a very strong feeling wasn’t really explanation enough. So I rewound the event and considered what clues might have shone out of Chris to give me a strong enough funny feeling that I felt confident to order his drink for him.

When I replayed it in my mind, this was the series of events:

  1. He paused a millisecond. When Chris is sure he just goes for it. One time on a bus in Las Vegas we ended up in the middle of the Nevada desert because he was so quick and assertive at saying “This is our stop!” that we all followed him off of the bus. It wasn’t our stop at all and I’ve no idea why none of us twigged.

2. He said “Umm” which meant he was considering something.

3. His eyes flicked away from Matthew for a minuscule moment and towards an advert on the inside of the door of the pub. It was an advert for pear cider.

When it comes to working with clients, you’ll start to get funny feelings about why they might be thinking or feeling. But a funny feeling on its own is not enough. Start getting tuned into what’s behind you getting that funny feeling. Is it the way someone said something? Is it how they looked when they said it?

The more you can begin to corroborate your funny feeling with real evidence the more you can begin to trust it.

By Gemma Bailey


Find Your Happy

Some might say happiness is the absence of fear, stress or anxiety. For me it is more than that. Happiness helps us to access confidence more easily and is responsible for generating your overall feeling of positivity and contentment.

Since happiness is an emotion, it means we have full-time access to it, after all, we are the generators of our emotions. Of course, our circumstances might cause us to feel other emotions too. Ones that interfere with out ability to access happiness in that moment. Although it is estimated that only 10% of our overall happiness comes from your environment.

This means that whilst we could take a universal tragedy, that depending on how someone perceived that situation, there could still be people who would consider themselves happy in spite of it. This can only be caused by how they chose to think about the life rather than what life actually presents them with.

Learning to find happiness (especially if you have grown up with or work in an environment with particularly negative people) can be a real challenge. How can you condition yourself to have more happiness more of the time?

Comparative thinking is just one of the ways that we teach clients at the hypnotherapy and NLP Clinic in Hertfordshire. Comparative thinking is when, if you’re in a bad place and you notice someone who’s in a worse position than you, it starts to make you feel better as a result of comparing your situation to that of somebody who is, in some way, worse off. Comparative thinking comes from the school of positive psychology and is a way that people can effectively begin to change how they feel about their present circumstances.

Another way to increase your levels of happiness is to stop only rewarding yourself with happiness when you have achieved a goal. You’ve probably heard about the dangers in seeing yourself as successful once you have completed something. The problem this creates is you only have a very short moment of feeling successful before you have to create another goal post somewhere further away. If you do this with happiness too, it’s something you will constantly seek and never find. Avoid telling yourself things like “I’ll be happy when I’m with my perfect partner” or “I’ll be happy when I’ve bought a new car.” Find happiness in the now.

If happiness for what you have right now seems like to big an undertaking, then a smaller step can be to begin to find happiness in the every day things that you have learned to take for granted. For example, seeing a butterfly or a moment of warm sunshine on your face before the clouds blow over. When you have these experiences remark out loud or in your mind how lovely they are, or how grate fun you are. This will start to reprogram your mind to seek out more experiences like this. Plus it increases your positive memory references so that you have good memories you can return to for a top-up or ‘happy’ when you need it.

By Gemma Bailey

Learning to Make Connections After Overcoming Social Anxiety

The anxiety is gone (or at the very least is entirely manageable now) and you’re ready to start getting out there in the big wide world, making new friends and forging new relationships. But wait? How do you do that exactly?

I remember being about 7 years old and able to walk up to a child and say “Hi, I’m Gemma. Would you like to play with me?” It was a pretty cool strategy that worked almost all of the time. Except this one time when I was on holiday with my grandparents. We were in Spain and I was playing alone in a swimming pool. I saw a little girl just like me and thought it would be nice to play.

The challenge was that I hadn’t realised she was Spanish. So when I approached her to say hello, she looked at me and freaked out because I was speaking to her in the wrong language. I watched her swim away hurriedly to her father, talk to him in her own language and point at me as if I had threatened to kill her. It was a big wake up call. Making friends wasn’t always going to be as easy in the future as it had been in the past, and clearly there was a little more that I need to know when it came to making relationships. “Hello, do you want to be my friend?” wasn’t the fail safe that I thought it was.

There’s a rule when it comes to communications that ‘People like people who are like themselves’. Meaning that we prefer to connect with others who in some way appear to be like us. That could be something about their posture or how they use their body, the tone of their voice or even the sorts of words and language they use.

Therefore, a good first step in building up relationships with others after overcoming social anxiety, is to observe others first. Notice the communication styles they use. At the Hypnotherapy and NLP Clinic in Hertfordshire, we teach people all of the different clues you can look out for to identify someone’s communication style; how to replicate it and communicate back to them in that style causing them to feel comfortable and at ease with you.

We’ll also teach you how to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. It goes without saying that we have all experienced an uncomfortable social encounter at some time, but when someone has had social anxiety, they have felt that feeling (or at the very least feared having that feeling) for a significant period of time. Taking that first bold steps to ‘get back out there’ and face up to whatever may come your way takes an honest acknowledgement that just because you feel better, it doesn’t mean that everyone you meet will be lovely, or that they’ll love you. Becoming comfortable with the idea that sometimes your conversations may be stilted or that people might not be as friendly as you would have liked; whilst still maintaining the knowledge that many people will be friendly and many other conversations will be wonderful, takes a kind of acceptance of the idea that that things may not be perfect every time and that this is perfectly natural and okay.

By Gemma Bailey

Overcoming Parental Abuse

Our parents are the people we should be able to depend on the most. They are the people who have the greatest responsibility in not just raising us in healthy and safe ways, but also in a way that will develop our self esteem to enable us to have robust mental well-being.

Sadly for some, this basic requirement was not met. There are multiple reasons why a parent would fail in this way and each case were this failure has happened has its own intricate web of history. Some parents simply lack skills, others had themselves experienced poor parenting and some were just not fit to parent or to deal with the many challenges that a child can bring. Some Parental abuse may be physical, verbal or worse still. Some abuse may be deliberate and other abuses come from ignorance. For that reason, we will not dwell too much on the reasons for abuse or the type of abuse that can occur because each case should be regarded as unique.

What is important to consider is how you as an adult, now move on with your life in a way that enables you to feel free of the past.

For some, knowing why something occurred is important to them. Knowing why doesn’t always provide a sense of peace and knowing the real reasons why someone did what they did may be impossible at times to explore, let alone understand.

However, at The Hypnotherapy and NLP Clinic, we use a framework called the six human needs. These are different to Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs. The six human needs are based around emotional drivers.

The human needs are as follows:


Most of the behaviours we do will meet one or more of the needs above. This includes our negative behaviours as well as the positive ones.

For example, being physically aggressive towards another person could meet the needs of:

Certainty – That the aggressor will be feared and therefore feel more in control.
Uncertainty – That the other person may react in an unexpected way. It’s easy to think we may dislike uncertainty, but actually excitement and thrill comes from our need for uncertainty.
Significance – The aggressor will be noticed, acknowledged, recognised etc. Love – Clearly I do not imply that this is in a loving, appropriate or meaningful way, but that a certain amount of connection and attention may come from being aggressive. The aggressor may also have reasoned with themselves that this behaviour is a way to teach/create boundaries/communicate the importance of their message which they believe is a loving one.

There is a presupposition within NLP that “All behaviour has a positive intention.”

For someone who has been abused by a parent, the idea that their parents behaviour was in any way positive can be a bitter pill to swallow. However, it is important to point out that the behaviour isn’t necessarily intended to have a positive effect on the person at the receiving end of it. It simply means that for the perpetrator of the behaviour, there is a positive intention. That positive intention doesn’t necessarily mean that they are doing the behaviour from a positive frame of mind or with positive emotion. It simply means that the intention behind their behaviour is to meet one of those six human needs.

In meeting their needs, this allows them to avoid having to deal with other unwanted emotions that perhaps they would not have the resources to deal with.

With a combination of NLP and Hypnotherapy at our clinic in Hertfordshire, you can find that you are able to forgive parental abuse. That is not to say that you will forget the abuse or suddenly develop loving feelings towards your abuser. In fact forgiveness is as much for yourself as it may be for your abuser. Hanging onto parental abuse only serves to continue to harm yourself and this is where forgiveness can be very valuable. Many people feel frustration at how they have allowed the past to continue to hurt them long after the abusive situations have ended. When you learn to forgive yourself for abusing yourself in this way, then the real healing from parental abuse can begin.

By Gemma Bailey