Anxious about your exam or other?

It is fair to say that clients often approach me in a bit of a panic last-minute before their exams, job interview or test but, whilst much can be done in a two-hour appointment, consideration to adding Hypnotherapy and NLP techniques earlier would give clients a greater feeling of control and range of treatment options. Having a personalised hypnosis recording to listen to in the run up to "the event" develops a positive calm mind-set, techniques deal with that irritating negative inner voice and "anchoring" connects you to the "confident and competent you".  More time better cements confidence, introduces self-hypnosis and, when wanted, clients can adapt their oral presentation content and style in light of the speech and language tips they have learned. 

As the exam season is soon upon us I thought of mentioning how I can help and some other pointers. I recall my own university exams and the palpable tension at home when my children were swotting for their all-too-important school ones and sport competitions.  Fortunately these and driving tests are in the bag, but the need to perform well carries on through much of our lives. 

The first thing might be to recognise that tension before exams/performance has a positive intention.  It wakes us up to the fact that we need to prepare ourselves properly.  Indeed a useful maxim is: "Proper prior planning prevents poor performance!"  So ask yourself, "Have I prepared properly?"

The degree of effort and preparation will depend on many things but my psychology lecturer once said something that rang true for me.  It was: "If you're not brilliant, be bright enough to know you have to work."  That might entail reading sufficiently around your subject; applying yourself more than a friend; taking sufficient lessons so that you feel ready for the level in question; completing practice papers to get the technique and timing down to a fine art; learning the Highway Code, poem or script thoroughly; rehearsing with your group adequately; putting together visuals and thinking-through and revising your accompanying talk.  But don't forget the obvious such as putting in your application on time, paying any fees and finding out the routine for the day!

Another question to ask is, "Have I got all the equipment I need?"  For instance, a spare pen; new batteries in the calculator; an electrical point for the power-point presentation and possibly internet connection or refreshments for those attending; gear which meets the current safety standards for your sport's competition or exam; a spare guitar string or drumsticks;  your earphones and preferred distraction music.  I would also include checking out how you will get to the event and ensuring your choice of clothes is clean - even if it is an old lucky t-shirt!  You want to arrive looking and feeling the part.

The second positive thing to recognise about performance anxiety is that a degree of tension is needed for peak performance - we don't see top athletes sitting down before they start, do we?  We see them signalling to their body to get ready, consciously getting themselves "into the zone" - a frame of mind where there is a combination of confidence and alertness which allows the mind and body to sync and flow.  Some describe it as a feeling of having a sixth sense.  Would a walk around the block or run up the stairs set you up better than a coffee?

A good way to check that you are properly prepared is to visualise or imagine your event - that is taking the time to "run the movie of your success" in detail from start to finish in your mind several times beforehand.  This rehearsed routine will bring a sense of familiarity and anchor you to a positive frame of mind when you actually do it. I suggest that if at any time your mind blocks / the movie stops, consider this an intuitive indicator that something in your preparation needs attention.  As an example, for a university exam you'd visualise packing your bag the night before adding the items you need.  You'd continue to visualise and self-talk yourself through sleeping well, getting ready then picking up your bag and making your way to the exam in good time, all the while paying particular attention to how relaxed and positive you feel...  You'd continue connecting to a calm but alert feeling while you visualise taking your place in the exam hall, enjoying a long out-breath and shoulder shrug when the invigilator instructs you to begin.  You'd imagine yourself reading the questions with care to select the best ones then see / sense yourself working with skill and reasonable speed to complete them, keeping a cautionary eye on the time.  And lastly, you'd finish by visualising a positive outcome, sensing your satisfaction and a winning smile - you may even smell your success!  After all you have prepared well, so it stands to reason!  This mental rehearsal takes the "Can I?" to "I Can".  That's hugely significant for achieving success.

Your success is my ambition - hypnotherapy is available from 7 years; life coaching from 16 years.  Please email or phone 075 548 54321. 


Audrey at Summit supports your success with Hypnotherapy and NLP techniques for confidence 

Audrey at Summit supports your success with Hypnotherapy and NLP techniques for confidence 

“I sought Audrey’s help ahead of a major promotion process for a senior role - having previously found NLP useful in interview and assessment situations. She worked with me over a couple of 2-hour sessions to help quiet my inner negative dialogue and build my confidence with positive reinforcement. We used a combination of NLP, hypnotherapy with coaching to get me into the right frame of mind and I’m delighted to say that I was successful.

Audrey is professional, focused and compassionate. She was able to help me get to the root of things quickly and to provide me with the tools and support I needed to meet my desired goal. I’m very grateful for her help and advice.”
— Dave Watson, Edinburgh