by Melanie Greene

Resourcing yourself

When we lack confidence, we tend to forget our past achievements, our skills and our abilities. Instead, we focus on our fears, listen to our inner critic and get into a negative downward spiral of anxiety and loss of confidence.

Resourcing yourself works on the premises that you already have all the inner resources you need inside you. However, certain situations trigger a negative reaction from you (probably a combination of emotions like fear, anger, frustration and/or loss of confidence), which stops you from accessing all the positive inner resources that you have inside you.

What do we mean by inner resources?

These can be any inner qualities that might help you in your day-to-day life or when facing a particular situation.

For example...

  • Courage
  • Humour
  • Light heartedness/ Sense of humour
  • Patience
  • Contentment
  • Not taking things personally
  • Confidence
  • Wisdom
  • Energy/life force
  • Trustworthiness
  • Ability to step back/take a deep breath
  • Optimism
  • Clear headed/clear thinking
  • Sense of perspective
  • Compassion
  • Perseverance
  • Persistence
  • Assertiveness
  • Pragmatism
  • Focus/drive
  • ???

Seven steps to resourcefulness

You can use this exercise to resource yourself either for a specific situation that is coming up (for example, you might be facing a potentially challenging conversation with a team member or your boss or perhaps you need to make a presentation or chair a meeting) or as a general resource to help you in your day-to-day life when you start feeling under confident.

Although the following exercise may appear lengthy, it can actually be done in a few minutes once you are used to it.

Step 1: Creating a positive anchor

Anchors are usually an action, words, songs or particular sounds which, when we see or hear them, trigger either negative or positive responses in us (see What is anchoring? and Creating an anchor on purpose in the NLP topic). You will need to create an anchor that will be linked to your inner resources. The trigger needs to be something that you can easily activate unobtrusively, without anybody realising you are doing it. In other words, if it’s a song, you can sing it in your head, but if you were to choose jumping up and waving your hands above your head, this might prove uncomfortably noticeable! Before you move on to step 2, think of something that you can use as an anchor.

Step 2: Selecting your resources

Now think of three inner resources or qualities that would be useful to draw on in the situation you are facing or in daily life. You might want to refer to the above list of qualities to assist you in doing this:

Resources 1 ....................................................

Resources 2 ....................................................

Resources 3 ....................................................

Step 3: Connecting with the positive power of these resources

Think of the first resource and go back to a time in the past when you have used it or drawn upon it (this could be in or out of work). Think of yourself back in the situation when you were using this resource. See what there is to see, hear what there is to hear and feel what it felt like to use this positive inner resource and the positive impact it had on your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. If you seriously can’t remember a time when you had this resource, think of someone who has it, perhaps even someone in a film or a book, and imagine how it would feel. Once you are fully immersed in the sights, sounds and feelings, move on to Step 4.

Step 4: Visualising the future and anchoring your resources

Look up to the point where the wall meets the ceiling and imagine yourself using this resource in the future in a situation which you might find challenging. Imagine yourself using this inner resource in the challenging situation. Notice the positive impact that it has on your thoughts, feelings and behaviour in this situation. When you are completely happy with the vision you have, anchor it with your sight, sound or physical anchor.

Step 5: Now think of your second inner resource...

...and go through steps 3 and 4 again.

Step 6: Now think of your third inner resource...

...and go through steps 3 and 4 again.

Step 7: Triggering your resources

Either just before you are faced with a challenging situation or when you are in it, trigger your positive resources by firing the anchor (for example, hear the song or word, see the picture or use the physical anchor). In this way, you will access the positive resources that will counteract the effect of the negative anchors in your environment.

Increasing your resourcefulness

Once you have practised this technique, continue practising until it has become habitual:

  • Build up a bank of inner resources and anchors that you can easily and quickly draw on in different situations
  • Spot when you are feeling in a less-than-positive state and resource yourself with this exercise
  • Recognise that you do not have to remain in an unresourceful state – it is within your power to change this right now and create a more positive and empowering state to be in.