Exam Nerves and Building Confidence
I have worked extensively in the education sector, both with training teachers and also helping clients. One of the main requests in private practice is to greatly reduce exam nerves. This may be an academic learning situation or other situation such as a driving test. In all these scenarios, BEFORE the person experiences feeling nervous, they have to think in a specific way to then FEEL the feelings of nervousness. By using NLP, Hypnosis and other approaches, we can change how the client thinks about this to then experience a new freedom and confidence.
Some people think about the exam ahead and then picture things not going well, while others make unhelpful suggestions to themselves. I had one client who kept saying to himself in an anxious voice “It’s going to be grim” over and over again in his head so the result was that he felt more and more nervous and of course this unhelpful emotional state is one of the worst states to access when you want to remember information clearly!
In 2000 I began working with Mick Statham, a longstanding teacher of 25+ years, to create an online resource for learning for the educational sector, with a specific emphasis on better exam preparation and establishing effective states including problem solving, learning and recall. I was first employed to present to teachers in his school, which triggered the creation of our collaborative product:
“Nick has given us an entirely new perspective on raising achievement within our team of 17 science teachers. Staff have enthusiastically taken on board many of the ‘ways of working’ that Nick has worked with us to develop and we have the results to prove their effectiveness”
Mick Statham – Head of Science
This exam success based project has been many years in the research stage and consists of extensive audio and visual information. The heart of this program focuses on generating excellent states and strategies for learning and recalling information. I use many of these techniques in private practice with great success.
When I see private clients who have the problem of exam nerves, I think to myself “How are they creating this unhelpful feeling” and “What needs to be different for them to feel more confident?” Many clients report that even thinking about attending an exam triggers the feeling of nervousness. By using Hypnotherapy, NLP and other approaches we can begin to train the learner’s brain to think about this activity in a different way producing a greater sense of confidence, relaxation and clarity. This then has benefits in all sorts of other areas, with greater confidence and ease in solving problems, learning new skills and the ability to explore the opportunities that life brings