I love helping people increase their confidence and self esteem with hypnotherapy in Ely.

Having known what it is like to live with low confidence and self esteem, it is a wonderful thing to help someone let go of that burden and move on to living their lives doing what they want to do.

In this article, I'll be sharing some constructive actions you can immediately start taking to strengthen your confidence from today. I've also included a video testimonial from Marc who put these actions into place and is now more confident and happier in presentations, video conferences and in many other areas.

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With the festive season well and truly upon us, and all those Christmas meals and parties, your social anxiety may be getting to set to rise a few notches.

For some, just the thought of being around friends, relatives and work colleagues can create worry, anxiety and stress. After all, there is all that small talk to endure and all those 'what ifs?' about saying the wrong thing, messing up or being judged in some way.

And even if you decide not to go due to those fears, there may still be that nagging concern over what they will think if you don't show up. So you're kind of caught in a trap of worry about going versus the worry of not going.

Just like with presentations, social functions may lead to worry about making an idiot of yourself, perhaps by drying up during conversations, not knowing what to say, or worries about being thought of as boring.

So what can you do to lower social anxiety at social events?

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This week is National Anti-Bullying week and as part of that I thought I'd share some of my own experiences and learning from being the victim of bullying.

Personally I found it very hard to even admit (to myself or others) that I was being bullied. I was a grown man, working in a full time public sector role at the Legal Services Commission and I was living in a cycle of fear, misery and dread.

And one of the hardest things for me was that I hadn't even really noticed the bullying growing and deepening through the weeks.

In fact, as someone who at the time struggled with self esteem issues and a belief that I wasn't good enough, I thought it must just be me - that I wasn't up to the job, I was too weak, I was a failure, I had been found out at last...

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I help a lot of people who have low self esteem and confidence to learn how to feel better in themselves - to become comfortable being who they are.

So it was no surprise to come across a recent Daily Mail article with the headline, 'How having a facelift can make you feel worse. Some patients who appeared up to nine years younger after surgery said their confidence didn't increase.'

The article goes on to mention research that says that having a facelift doesn't necessarily boost self esteem and can even leave you feeling worse (not to mention financially poorer).

Which supports the obvious conclusion that self esteem is more than skin deep. So what exactly is this elusive self esteem that people are often seeking?

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Social anxiety can feel painful. You know you are fully capable ofr thinking and talking yet in those social moments that anxiety takes grip and you find youself trapped within your worry and panic.

It's no wonder that if you struggle with social anxiety, you may do all you can to avoid social situations and those uncomfortable feelings.

Yet it isn't always possible to avoid others, after all, you would probably like to enjoy spending time with others and doing the things you want to do and you may want to progress in your career and contribute to things that are important to you.

As a former sufferer of social anxiety, I know all too well the torment it brings, how it can rob you of enjoyment from social things and how it feels like you can't be the real you around others. So what can be done about social phobia?

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Do you live within your comfort zone, doing the same things day after day?

Obviously if you are happy where you are then that is fine! Yet many people feel stuck in the treadmill of their life, doing the same things over and over and getting nowhere even though they want to move forward.

We are all hard wired to want to learn and grow to feel fulfilled and more confident...so for most of us standing still isn't much of a fulfilling option.

So to start stretching that comfort zone and feeling naturally more confident and motivated do this:

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Are you always waiting until tomorrow to take action on your goals?  

Well, tomorrow is always a day away so if you want to make a change get started TODAY!

Even if only you take the smallest step forward step every day, you will create momentum, feel more positive and make progress.

Vividly imagine having completed your goal and how good that will be...

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Have you given up on yourself already? Or maybe if you don't get it right first time you decide there is no point and too difficult so what's the point.

I remember watching my daughter learning how to walk for the first time. She fell over, got back up and tried again. And then she feel over again but she kept going until she had mastered it.

Yet if a baby thought like most adults, she would fall over, decide she couldn’t do it, think she was a failure and bum shuffle her way through into her adult life! 

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When I used to struggle with social anxiety, I would find most social occasions an anxious, worry-inducing struggle. I would worry beforehand about what people thought about me, I would constantly try and 'read' what others were thinking about what I was doing and saying whilst I was with them, and then I would dwell and replay situations in a negative way after the event.

I was constantly worried about not being good enough and being judged negatively by others.

Yet from an early age I thought that somehow I could push myself through it.

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Are you stuck playing the waiting game and wondering why you aren't getting the results in life that you want?

Recently I was working with a client who had spent many days - and many hours during those days - waiting for someone else to make a decision for him so that he wouldn’t have to make it himself.

He would worry, stress and lose sleep over it all. He would get angry, frustrated and self-critical while he waited. He would blame the other person for not making a decision and he felt resentful towards them.

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