Consider, in detail, the trait, skill or behaviour you would like to achieve, in what situation, with whom etc.
- Rehearse the situation in the imagination, using the desired behaviours, skills etc. Imagine seeing yourself in that situation, as you want to be – what you look like, how you sound – what you’re saying and how you say it, how you see yourself acting.
- Anticipate others’ responses to this new you – rehearse them responding in different ways, sometimes negatively – and then rehearse those difficult scenarios with yourself responding in the way you’d like to respond.
- If necessary, prepare a script of what you want to say (e.g. when planning to stand up to someone in authority).
- Use this imagery several times a day, for a minimum of 10 days. The more you practice, the easier it becomes, and the easier you will find the actual situation when it happens.
For example, apprehension about a job interview
- Enact a detailed scene in the mind;
- Use different scenarios of the situation – see yourself being introduced to the interviewer, and also taking the initiative and introducing yourself;
- Imagine being asked likely questions, and rehearse your responses;
- See yourself looking calm and confident – imagine what that looks like, what you’ll be doing, how you’ll be doing it.