Good afternoon you lovely people!
Hope you have all had an enjoyable week and are having lots of Halloween fun?
So, following our A-Z of Menopause Symptoms path we find ourselves at C this week and I would like to talk about Confidence (or rather a lack of it!!)
Now some may argue ‘how can a lack of confidence be a physical symptom of Menopause’…….and I might be inclined to agree to a point. Confidence surely is a feeling that we either have or we don’t so why should a reduction in our reproductive hormones bare any influence on this. Well, I also remember, first-hand, that feeling of my confidence just slipping away from me day by day as my body (and my brain) moved through the transition to Menopause.
So, when I got down to thinking about writing this blog I started to think more deeply about what having confidence actually means and, as we do with every pondering in our lives these days, I had a bit of a Google and had to chuckle at some of my findings. It appears that confidence is all about success in the wider world and I came across quotes from motivational speakers telling me things such as “know your value. Confidence breeds success. Act like the person you want to become, and people will start seeing you as that person” – Mark. M Ford
Michael Josephson states – “Don’t let others define you. Don’t let the past confine you. Take charge of your life with confidence and determination and there are no limits on what you can do or be.”
Now this is all very inspirational for those that are looking to mold their confidence into something dynamic, but what happens when your inner confidence has been swayed due to the fact that you no longer feel like you can even trust the body you are living in. Suddenly you find yourself not only experiencing unusual, confusing and fluctuating physical symptoms, but your good old reliable mind is throwing in some curve balls too…..leaving you with nothing but critical self-talk and self-doubt. If you read last week’s ‘Brain Fog’ blog you will soon see how your confidence can take a battering. I certainly couldn’t ‘act like the person I wanted to become’ because I found myself not even knowing, or recognising the person I had been all my life…….once again, thank goodness that I found hypnotherapy, in more ways than one!
So let me tell you more about how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy can actually move you on from that unconfident, critical, doubt ridden place. Well, for a start we never delve into the past, why would we when that can feel like opening up old wounds. The brain doesn’t understand the difference between reality and imagination, so if I ask you to recall difficult, sad or stressful moments in your life – guess how you’re going to be feeling? That’s right, sad and stressed!
Alternatively we work through what’s been good, focusing on what we call the 3 P’s – positive interactions, positive activities and positive thoughts and feelings and…..surprise, surprise…you start to feel positive! The reason for this is due to our happy hormone Serotonin that is released when we experience those 3 P’s (and remember, the brain doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality), which means, even recalling the memory of a positive thing, we have released more Serotonin equalling more happiness!
Once you find yourself in that lovely Serotonin zone you will also find yourself moving out of your primitive, negative brain and working from your intellectual brain, the pre-frontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that makes decision based upon a rational assessment of the situation as well as being solution focused. This then allows us to explore small steps and goals, that once you are thinking rationally, are easy to achieve. Team this with the hypnotherapy that is emptying your stress bucket (see my Anxiety blog) and you are now what we might say ‘cooking on gas’!! It really is as simple as that.
Suddenly you find yourself assessing situations like the old you, making decisions and taking positive steps to change or adjust the things that might not be serving you, giving you an element of control that you may have felt was missing. You may have noticed that my strap line states, ‘Power to Reclaim Command of Your Life’, well now you know why, and the beauty is the more that control returns, the more your confidence returns.
So, now even when those hormones are fluctuating, which of course they will throughout perimenopause and menopause, you have learnt how to apply the tools for the job to work through those difficult days. You have carved out new, positive neural pathways that don’t just default to the primitive, negative brain but with the use of that fabulous intellectual brain, can assess the situation and deal with it with the confidence that you have worked to reinstate back into your life.
Once this is achieved, this is when we can look at those motivational and inspirational quotes again and, through the strength of those small steps and goals maybe you are then able to “Act like the person you want to become, and people will start seeing you as that person” (Mark. M Ford).
Drop me a line if you want to find out more. Contact