Summoning up increased confidence at will is easier than you might think. An NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) technique called the “Circle of Excellence” can help you to bring past experiences of confidence into present-day situations. Calm your fear of public speaking, boost sports performance, and have access to more confidence in any situation by using these four steps:

1. Create the Circle

Start by imagining a circle in front of you on the floor. Visualize it about 3 feet in diameter, large enough to step into.

2. Your Most Confident Self

Step inside the circle and think of your most confident time(s) in life, the times when you felt the most bright, charming, likeable and at ease. Think of those instances personally or professionally went things went smoothly and you were a great success. If you cannot think of personal experiences that fit the bill, then bring to mind someone who embodies the sort of confidence you would like; it can be someone you know personally, a public figure, or even a fictional character. You can also make your ideal confident state a composite of several these resources.

The brain cannot discern between a real or imagined history. The important thing is to feel the emotions viscerally, as if you are really in that situation or state where your confidence is high. You should feel visceral, chemical changes in your body and mood.

3. Making it Visceral: Confidence at a Cellular Level

Flesh out the state visually, kinesthetically (feelings) and on an auditory level. How do you feel inside? Close your eyes and take an “outside” view of yourself and what others would see; how is your posture? What is your facial expression with high confidence? Have a full length mirror on hand to enhance your visual feedback of your optimal confident state. Imagine what around you tend to say to you when you’re at your most confident. Spend as much time as you need “charging yourself up” with this state at a deep and cellular level, breathing it deeply into every fiber of your being.

4. Your Own Portable Circle of Excellence

When you’ve fleshed out this state within yourself completely, imagine the 3’ diameter imaginary circle as completely charged up with this positive, resourceful energy as well. Know that you can now bring this charged-up circle with you to any situation, “step into it,” and feel highly confident, even in brand new situations.

Congratulations — you’ve just made a resource of you at your most confident, and it’s available anywhere and anytime you might need it. Whenever you even think of this charged-up circle, those deep feelings of confidence and resourcefulness will flood your awareness, helping you to be the very best you can be.