Boost self confidence
How to build confidence
. an introduction to the life-changing formula that will transform your life.
Self-esteem isn't everything, it's just that there's nothing without it. - Gloria Steinem
First, develop self-awareness: know yourself, acknowledge that there are aspects of yourself that you wish to change, and understand what has stopped you feeling confident so far.
Then apply the I-T-I-A Formula:
1. Assert your intention to be confident, and make a commitment.
2. Change your thinking. This includes changing restrictive attitudes and beliefs.
3. Use your imagination. Imagine yourself as a confident person.
4. Act as if you are already confident. The more you speak and behave confidently, the more confident you will become.
Decide right now to treat yourself with love and respect and accept only the best for yourself for the rest of your life.
How confident are you
. Defining your starting point.
If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you will be unhappy for the rest of your life. You'll be evading your own capabilities, your own possibilities. - Professor Abraham Maslow
Your self-image the way you see yourself is made up of three core feelings and beliefs:
1. Self-worth: the value you place on yourself how comfortable you are being you and the extent to which you feel worthy of happiness and success.
2. Competence: your beliefs about your capacity to achieve, solve problems and think for yourself. This is what I mean by confidence.
3. Belonging: whether you feel accepted and respected by others.
Your assessment of your self-worth and feelings of belonging make up your self-esteem.
Sow the seeds of confidence and watch them grow
. why you are the way you are and how you can become what you want to be.
And tomorrow only a vision
But today well lived makes
Every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope
Look well therefore to this day.
- Traditional Indian Poem
What you sow you reap is a time-honoured truism. If you plant an acorn in moist, fertile soil, it will grow into a mighty oak. It can't help it, it's genetically programmed that way.
Similarly, no matter what has gone before, if you plant the seeds of confidence in your consciousness through your intentions, thoughts, attitudes and beliefs, imaginings, actions and words, and keep them well nourished, confidence will grow.
The seeds or causes that have blossomed into the person you are include:
1. Your genetic inheritance and biochemistry (hormones etc). Scientists tell us that these account for around 25-35% of your character.
2. The environment in which you were raised, including people.
3. Your unique way of trying to make sense of it all, both at the time and now.
Confidence (or lack of it) is learned, mostly in the first few years of childhood. It began to take shape when you were weak and vulnerable, after which it became self-reinforcing. And anything which has been learned can be reappraised and replaced with new, superior learning.
Whose responsibility is your confidence
. Why, yours, of course!
For any of us to be truly free, we must first be willing to be responsible for our lives. - David McNally
Only one person can build your confidence guess who? That's right, you. If you don't do it, who will?
It will only happen if you make a firm commitment, set goals, plan a strategy and take action. All of this means accepting full responsibility for yourself deciding to be confident and refusing to allow anyone to deflect you from your chosen course.
Accepting responsibility adds up to never, never blaming other people for:
1. Your lack of confidence
2. How others treat you
3. Your thoughts, words and actions
4. Failures, misfortunes and setbacks
5. Or anything else.
Assume that everything that happens from now on is your own doing. Think and behave accordingly. You'll find it's one of the most liberating things you can do.
We have to learn to be our own best friend because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.
- Roderick Thorp
. setting goals which give you the impetus to change and to grow.
To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions. No excuses. - Professor William James
Building confidence takes time, patience and effort. You will have to take a few risks. At times you will feel anxious. How can you motivate yourself to put up with the discomfort and persevere?
We humans are motivated by:
1. A want or need which induces tension. Only if these are unsatisfied can there be motivational power.
2. Perceptions of 'pleasure'and 'pain'. We seek pleasure and are driven by a desire to avoid pain.
3. Hopes and expectations that we can get what we want, and that everything will come right in the end.
The strongest motivation comes from a passionate desire for something pleasurable, coupled with the avoidance of pain.
The best way to motivate yourself is to set yourself some worthy goals, find plenty of reasons why you want to accomplish them, and keep in mind the consequences of failure which is what you are about to do.
. identifying the reasons to change, and reinforcing your commitment to be confident.
If you head towards your goal with courage and determination, all the powers of the universe will come to your aid. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Determination is perhaps the quality that underpins all success. No one gets very far without it. If you've lacked confidence for years it won't change overnight without determination on your part.
Every choice you make including the choice to become more confident is a result of weighing up the balance of 'pleasure'and 'pain'. When faced with a decision, you consciousIy or subconsciously weigh up the alternatives and their consequences. You ask yourself:
1. What are the advantages of pursuing this course of action? If I go ahead, what will be the probable rewards? How much 'pleasure'will it bring? Are there any disadvantages? How much 'pain'?
2. If I do not go ahead, how much 'pain'will I avoid? And how much 'pleasure'am I likely to forego?
For example, learning a new skill potentially brings many future benefits, but may involve short-term sacrifices, especially the time and effort you put in. But as long as you keep in mind the advantages that will come your way, your determination remains strong. Anything is possible if you have enough reasons to change.
It only takes 30 days to lay the foundations for lasting change in your thinking, your behaviour and your life.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
Thinking like a confident person
. you start transforming your life by changing the way you think.
Unless there be correct thought, there cannot be any action, and when there is correct thought, right action will follow. - Henry George
Now it's time to take a close look at how you think.
As the greatest and wisest teachers have always taught, improving the quality of your thoughts improves your life almost immediately:
1. The Bible quotes King Solomon: 'As a man thinketh, so shall he be.'2. The Buddhist text, The Dhammapada, states: 'We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.'
3. The Greek philosopher Socrates said, 'To find yourself, think for yourself.'
When you think like a confident person, you automatically feel more confident and act more confidently. Positive thinkers are the happiest and most successful. Sometimes all it takes to change your life forever is a single thought!
Humans are not robots: you can intentionally choose how to think, and if you are serious about building your confidence you must start changing your thinking patterns without delay.
As long as you keep thinking as you've been thinking, you'll keep feeling as you've been feeling, doing as you've been doing, and getting what you've been getting.
We live ourselves by our thought, we climb upon our vision of ourselves. If you want to enlarge your life, you must first enlarge your thoughts of it and yourself. Hold the ideal of yourself as you long to be, always, everywhere.
- Orison Swett Marden
The Four Step Method
. a cast iron way to become a positive thinker.
Choose your own thoughts. Don't let anyone else choose them for you. - David Lawrence Preston
Negative thinking can quickly spiral out of control and destroy your confidence if you allow it. This is where The Four Step Method a simple technique for becoming aware of disempowering thoughts comes in. It's quickly learned and easily applied and, with practice, soon becomes second nature.
The four steps are:
1. Be mindful.
2. Stop disempowering thoughts.
3. Replace them with empowering thoughts.
4. Keep going until it becomes automatic.
The Four Step Method is quite simply the most effective single technique for building self-confidence.
Avoid destructive thinking. Improper negative thoughts sink people. A ship can sail around the world many, many times, but let just enough water get into the ship and it will sink. Just so with the human mind. Let enough negative thoughts or improper thoughts get into the human mind and the person sinks just like a ship.
- Alfred A. Montapert
Silencing the Inner Critic
. challenging the little voice in your head that loves to criticise you.
Don't be afraid of your negative thoughts: just know them for what they are not the truth, just negative thoughts. Give them no house room in your consciousness and they will dissolve into what they are false ideas, false concepts, with nothing to sustain them. - Nona Coxhead
The Inner Critic is that pernicious little voice inside your head that constantly carps, complains and condemns. It is the voice that sows doubt 'Yes... but.... supposing. You're rubbish at that, you know you are. It will all go wrong, it always does!'
If you let thoughts such as these go unchallenged you give the Inner Critic the power to destroy your confidence and lower your self-esteem. You must learn to tell it to shut up, stop being silly and go away. Then change the thoughts to something positive.
Sometimes all it takes is a single thought .
. how to use them to build confidence and the difference they make.
When we change our attitude towards ourselves, everything else changes as well, for our life is a reflection of the way we feel inside. - Dr Mansukh Patel
Affirmations are a form of self-suggestion a kind of sound-byte you give to yourself. You're using affirmations every moment whether you know it or not. You're affirming and creating your life experiences with every word and thought. They work on a principle known to advertisers and spin doctors the world over repetition. If you tell someone, including yourself, something often enough, sooner or later you will be believed. The more skilful the phrasing of the message and the more forcefully expressed, the better.
Affirmations help to:
1. Emphasise your good points.
2. Change weaknesses into strengths.
3. Change attitudes.
4. Focus on what you want for yourself.
Affirmations are extremely effective in changing thinking patterns and programming the subconscious mind. With practice they become a powerful weapon in your confidence-building arsenal.
Who do you imagine yourself to be
. self-image and the subconscious.
To come from no voice, no power, and to be able to achieve what I have means that only my own personal vision holds me back. - Oprah Winfrey
Our imagination will stretch to any scenario, but people lacking in confidence usually imagine themselves as failures. They do not realise that they cannot succeed at anything if they cannot imagine themselves doing so.
How you imagine yourself may bear no relation to the truth, but it is this, rather than the reality, which governs your feelings and behaviour. Changing what you imagine about yourself can bring about a profound growth in confidence. When you imagine yourself as a good, capable, confident person, it becomes easier to think and behave like one.
To understand why it is so important we must consider the subconscious mind in more detail. The mind is often compared to an iceberg, with more than 90% floating below the surface. This hidden mass is the subconscious, a vast storehouse of thoughts, memories and ideas.
The subconscious is always listening, watching, soaking up your experiences like a sponge. It then acts as a kind of database to which you constantly refer for guidance and support. Once your subconscious has accepted the idea that you are confident it makes sure your thinking, feelings and behaviour are brought into line; it makes confidence your reality.
You can talk to your subconscious, but it responds even better to mental images and emotions. Use your wonderful imagination to build confidence, by feeling and imagining yourself as confident until it becomes a natural part of you.
When willpower conflicts with the imagination, imagination prevails. Always.
- David Lawrence Preston
Getting the most from creative imagery
. life-transforming techniques which change your self-image permanently.
First I dream my painting. Then I paint my dream. - Vincent Van Gogh
Creative imagery is the process of consciously creating a mental image or impression as a means of influencing the all-important subconscious mind.
Techniques for creative imagery are best used when the body is relaxed and the mind is calm. They are also effective whenever you feel naturally dreamy, such as first thing in the morning, last thing at night and when daydreaming, because the mind is in a natural state of heightened awareness at these times.
Fantasising is good for you do it often. Fantasise about all the things you want out of life, places to visit, people you would like to meet, acquiring new skills and being the person you would like to be. Let your imagination run wild!
The As If Principle
. acting as if you're confident to become more confident.
Assume a virtue if you have it not. - William Shakespeare
When you speak and act confidently even if it's all a pretence you feel more confident. Others assume you're confident and treat you accordingly, which reinforces your behaviour and makes you feel even more confident.
The opposite is also true. If you speak and act timidly, others assume you are timid and treat you as such, which reinforces your timidity.
The 'As If 'Principle simply states that when you act as if you are confident, no matter how uncomfortable you feel inside, you become confident. Your feelings soon adapt to the new behaviour and, if you persevere, confidence blooms.
Be somebody. If you have lost confidence in yourself, make believe you are somebody else, somebody with brains, and act like him.
- Sol Hess
Eat an elephant
. the importance of taking it one step at a time.
Try a thing you haven't tried before three times: once to get over the fear, once to find out how to do it, and a third time to find out if you like it or not. - Virgil Thomson
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you climb a ladder? One rung at a time. How do you build confidence? One step at a time. Whatever we learn to do, we learn by doing it.
Change makes most of us feel uncomfortable. It arouses anxiety. But when you take small steps, the anxiety is more manageable. That's why it's important to have a go at things which you would previously have found scary on a regular basis. Do you find it hard to talk to people? Strike up a conversation with one new person every day! Do you keep quiet even when you have something to say? Speak up, say your piece! You gain encouragement and feel more confident every time you build on each small success.
Don't let uncomfortable feelings stop you, they come partly from your subconscious programming and partly from what you tell yourself about the situation. Stay calm, change the self-talk, and persevere.
Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but ignoring fear and proceeding in spite of it.
To grow in confidence
Clarify your intention and set goals.
Train yourself to think more confidently.
Imagine yourself as confident.
Act as if you are confident.
Develop greater self-awareness.
Self awareness the past
. examining how the past has affected you and what's been holding you back.
Knowing others is intelligence.
Knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength.
Mastering yourself is true power. - Lao Tsu
Everything is a result of what's gone before. Your level of confidence is mainly the result of the way you responded to those who raised you and the environment in which you grew up. But it is not the whole story.
Genetics nature accounts for around 25-35% of your character. Your past experiences and your interpretation of them nurture the remainder. When you were born you didn't lack confidence this came later, when you began to relate to other people and the world around you.
Confidence, or lack of it, is learned, mostly in the first few years of childhood. It developed when you were weak and mentally and emotionally vulnerable, then, as you grew up, it became self-reinforcing. So the better you understand what happened and how it affected you, the more effectively you can take charge of your present-day feelings and actions.
You may find that some of the exercises in the next few sections bring painful feelings to the surface, but don't be deterred. Be honest with yourself. You gain nothing by deliberately misleading or deceiving yourself.
One day I finally realised I no longer needed a personal history so I gave it up.
- Carlos Castaneda
Self awareness what are you like
. Understanding yourself the more self-aware you are, the more control you have over your life.
Know yourself, know your enemy, A hundred battles, a hundred victories. - Mao Tse-Tung
Confidence and self-esteem do not come in fixed amounts they vary from place to place, moment to moment according to what you're doing and with whom. For example, some people are extremely confident at work but fail in their relationships; and many brilliant individuals can barely string two words together when away from the security of their offices or laboratories.
How about you?
Take a close look at yourself. Step back and observe. The more self-aware you are, the more control you have over your life. Then, and only then, is lasting change possible.
. how your conditioning and your relationship with your parents as a child continue to affect you.
Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them. - Oscar Wilde
Your self-image began to take shape even before you left the cradle and was pretty well established by the time you reached the age of 8.
By then, on average, you had already received over 70,000 negative dictates: 'Don't do that', 'No you can't', 'Who do you think you are?''You'll never make anything of yourself,'and so on. Most of these were run of the mill reprimands to which adults attach little importance; but they affect a child deeply and the accumulated effect can be devastating. The truth is, children simply do not have the ability to distinguish between fair and unfair criticism, or make allowances if the adults in their lives have had a hard day.
When you pleased your parents, or other adult authority figures, they rewarded you: they gave you attention and approval. When you displeased them, they showed their disapproval by withdrawing attention or privileges or, in some cases, punishing you physically. The means by which a person moulds the behaviour of another using a combination of reward and punishment is termed conditioning. You experienced plenty of it as a child, much of it negative. Very few young people reach adulthood without having their confidence dented in some way.
Once you understand your conditioning you can unravel the knots, dispense with the ropes that tied you down and leave them behind forever.
. how you learned to get what you wanted from others, and how it still governs your behaviour.
No matter what kind of journey we make of life, where we started out will always be part of us. But only part. - Sir Alex Ferguson
Control dramas come in four types. Most of us have a favoured style, and adopt others from time to time according to circumstances:
4. Poor me
Understanding control dramas is extremely helpful. Once you have decided into which group you, your parents/guardians, siblings and anyone else who had a profound impact on your childhood fit most comfortably, you can use these insights to develop greater understanding of your childhood conditioning, and yourself as you are now.
Take care of your Inner Child
. learning to accept the child you once were as an important part of the adult you.
Whatever our upbringing has been, as adults our self-esteem is in our own hands. - Dr Nathaniel Branden
The child you once were lives on inside you, influencing every thought, every emotion, every move. You're with each other every minute of the day. Many people are in adult bodies but they still react like children, still attached to their parents, never having broken free from the attitudes and beliefs they acquired in their youth.
Your Inner Child is the part of your personality which:
1. Is playful and spontaneous
2. Likes having fun
3. Is imaginative
4. Loves the world of 'let's pretend'
5. Is sensitive
6. Needs to be cared for and understood
7. Likes to please, seeking love and approval in return.
Like a real child, an Inner Child starved of love, warmth and understanding is easily hurt, and may become depressed and withdrawn. The Inner Child can be the source of much adult unhappiness if it is still harbouring anger, pain and guilt from earlier years. If this is true for you, you can never be truly confident and happy unless these feelings are resolved.
Learn to accept your Inner Child as an important and valuable part of you.
Forgive forget and be free
. how to forgive those who have hurt you, take charge of your life and move on.
If you haven't forgiven your parents, you haven't left home. - Anon
No matter how you feel about it, as an adult you are totally responsible for the way you respond to everything that happens. Thinking otherwise just keeps you stuck in a victim pattern. Confidence and inner peace will only be yours when you stop blaming and practise forgiveness.
Who is there to forgive? Anyone whom you have ever blamed for how your life has turned out including, of course, your parents or guardians. After all, they had parents too! They were products of their own conditioning. They too may have suffered from low self-esteem or been under stress, and if they hurt you it was probably because they didn't know any better.
Besides, forgiveness doesn't mean condoning what was done, only that you are willing to live with whatever happened. And whether the perpetrators deserve to be forgiven is irrelevant; they may be completely culpable. But you don't do it for them. You do it for yourself. You're only hurting yourself by hanging on to the bitterness and resentment you've been carrying around with you.
Forgiveness is not necessarily easy, but is absolutely essential if you are to grow in maturity, self-esteem and confidence. It's how you set yourself free.
Let go of the past
. how to get rid of unwanted baggage from the past so it no longer affects you.
You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time. - Charles F. Kettering
The past lives on only in your thoughts. It is dead, but you're not. You'll grow in confidence only if you are willing to let go of the past, learn from it, and move on.
No matter what has gone before, your future, and how you feel about it, will be a direct result of what you do from now on. It is being shaped right now, moment by moment, as the consequences of your desires, thoughts, dreams, actions and words begin to crystallise.
The past only continues to affect you if you allow it. You may not be able to forget what has gone before, but you can stop dwelling on it.
. accepting yourself as you are, especially those things you cannot change.
Never grow old in your mind. Your true age is how you feel inside. - Valerie J. Hayward
Self-acceptance means acknowledging that you are as you are and being comfortable with it. It doesn't necessarily mean liking every aspect of yourself.
Some attributes can't be changed, and you may as well accept them right now. Take your age. You can disguise it, lie about it, try to hide it, but you can't change it. Similarly, you can do little about your gender (without going to drastic lengths), your race, height, eye colour etc. You also have little chance of transforming the way the world works, society in general and other people. But you can find a way of making the best of yourself, by:
1. becoming better informed
2. acquiring new skills
3. changing unwanted habits
4. handling relationships and problems more effectively.
But bear in mind, self-acceptance does not mean giving up on yourself. If some disliked aspect of yourself is important and can be changed, do something about it. There's no point in feeling bad about something you can change, just as there's no point in feeling bad about something you can't!
You must learn to accept yourself before you can expect others to accept you.
- David Baird
. love your body, warts and all!
If we are embarrassed about our bodies, we should remember that kings and philosophers shit, and so do ladies. - Michel Montaigne
What do you think of your body? Do you like it? Do you wish it were different in some way? If so, it may surprise you to discover that you're in the great majority. Most of us don't particularly like our bodies and could produce a lengthy list of 'faults'quite easily. Few people conform to the physical norms put across in the media.
People who can't accept their bodies are prone to desperately low self-esteem. They exhibit an above average degree of obsessive behaviours, eating disorders, self-hatred, sexual dysfunctions and many other problems. This is exacerbated by certain social and religious attitudes. Rumbling tummies, bad breath, bowel movements and breaking wind are part of our biology. Why be ashamed? When we get older our faces become lined, boobs and bellies droop, muscles sag, men lose their hair and so on. It's bound to happen, so why worry about it?
We must learn to accept our bodies with good grace and a touch of humour, to accept some of our so-called defects, and work on those which can be changed. If your confidence is affected by anything that can be improved, do it! Otherwise there's no point in feeling sorry for yourself.
Get in shape
. a health and fitness guide to give you more energy and more confidence.
A vigorous walk will do more for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. - Paul Dudley White
Getting in shape physically is a wonderful way of building your confidence and self-image. It's not easy to feel confident if you're overweight, and exhausted after climbing a flight of stairs. Health and fitness are just like any other areas of life: get the causes right and the effects come right too. This means, for instance, sensible eating, good breathing and posture, regular exercise and plenty of laughter and relaxation.
The recipe for better health, maximum energy, minimum illness and an extended lifespan has a familiar ring to it:
1. Choose fitness: make it your intention to be healthy.
2. Think health and fitness.
3. Imagine yourself in peak condition.
4. Act 'as if 'you want to be as fit and healthy as possible.
Give your body what it needs, and it will return the favour!
Just 20 minutes aerobic exercise a day is quite sufficient to enable most people to maintain good health.
Calmness and confidence
. deep relaxation and instant calmness for instant confidence.
If you are committed to your personal growth, you must have some quiet time to yourself every day. Make it a priority. - David Lawrence Preston
Calmness and confidence are very closely related, and they start with physical relaxation. When your body is relaxed, your mind is calmer and clearer, you are more in control of your emotions and better able to relate to others. Physical relaxation and mental calmness help you cope with stressful situations, release unrealistic fears and anxieties, and improve concentration and creativity.
To acquire these benefits for yourself, you must practise:
1. Entering a peaceful, deeply relaxed state so that you can recharge your batteries. Make the most of techniques such as autosuggestion, mental rehearsal, anchoring and reframing.
2. Instant calmers. Learn to calm down instantly and stay calm, so that you can deal with awkward people and situations with ease.
Fortunately these skills are easily learned. If it helps, you can use a pre-recorded relaxation programme (you can download some from my website for free). Most of the early problems you may encounter will disappear if you practise daily, and you will soon be able to relax quickly and easily whenever you have the need.
And remember the world won't fall apart if you take it easy for a while!
. how to produce confident feelings any time you wish.
People tell me I'm lucky, but I've noticed the harder I practise, the luckier I get. - Gary Player
Anchoring is a way of drawing on past experiences in which you felt confident to help you cope better in the present. It's another powerful weapon in your confidence armoury.
An anchor is any stimulus that consistently triggers an emotion. To use an anchor you have to:
1. Generate in yourself the particular set of feelings you wish to recreate.
2. Programme your subconscious to associate those feelings with specific words and gestures.
3. Use those words and gestures to trigger the desired feelings when required.
Sportsmen and women use anchors continually. For example, tennis players bounce the ball repeatedly before serving to calm themselves; most runners go through an elaborate routine to centre themselves, much of which is not strictly necessary to the actual performance; and the mighty All Black rugby team go through a series of rituals before each match to intimidate the opposition and fire themselves up.
You constantly anchor feelings in the nervous system whether you like it or not, so why not learn to use this to your advantage? Using anchors you can feel calm and confident, or energised and confident whenever you wish.
Find a purpose
. one that inspires and motivates you, and gives your life meaning and direction.
We act as though comfort and luxury are the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. - Charles Kingsley
How would you feel if everything you were ever going to be, you are right now? If everything you are going to achieve, you have already achieved? Life would be pretty meaningless, wouldn't it?
There's nothing more important than finding a purpose that inspires and motivates you and gives your life meaning and direction. There's nothing more soul destroying than drifting through life with nothing to strive for, no ambitions, no goals. Aimlessness destroys confidence and self-esteem.
When you find what you love to do and put your heart and soul into it, everything changes. Life becomes fulfilling and exciting. If your purpose benefits others as well as yourself, everything, yes, everything falls perfectly into place. If your motives are sound, happiness and prosperity simply flow towards you; nothing can stop them.
If you're not aware of having a purpose, it's not because you don't have one; everyone has. It's because you've never looked for it. It's lying dormant somewhere in your consciousness, waiting to be revealed.
Cherish the freedom to be yourself. Be guided by your inner voice and do what you believe in. Sing, dance and embrace life to the full.
- Linda Kelham
. consider what you wish to achieve in life, and get started right away.
That's not worthy of you. You came here to make a major contribution to life on this planet. - Paul Solomon
Practical goals build confidence and put you more in control of your life. When you set yourself a goal, even if you've never thought about it before, you unleash powerful mental forces. You accomplish more, often much more. Even if all you did was write down a goal and file the piece of paper away in a drawer, your life would be different in some way.
Why do clear, realistic goals make such a difference?
1. They clarify your purpose.
2. They show you're serious about achieving.
3. They stimulate excitement, anticipation, energy and enthusiasm.
4. They help to keep your mind on what you want. Goals impress your desires on the subconscious, heighten your awareness and highlight opportunities you may previously have missed.
5. They prompt you to acquire new knowledge and skills.
6. You discover reservoirs of imagination and creativity you previously didn't realise you had.
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
- Walter Bagehot
The Thinker thinks and the Prover proves
. how to draw on the power of the subconscious mind to build confidence.
Argue for your limitations, and they're yours. - Richard Carlson
Most thoughts come from the subconscious, that hive of mental activity that lies below the threshold of momentary awareness. You cannot prevent a thought floating up from the subconscious; this is beyond your conscious control.
However, you can always choose whether to accept, reject or ignore a thought, whether to voice it or act on it. Any pattern of thought or action which is repeated often is impressed on the subconscious and becomes a habit. Likewise, when you withdraw your attention from an unwanted thought or habit, it eventually withers and dies.
You constantly refer to your subconscious store of thoughts and memories for information and guidance, which sets up a cycle in which what you repeatedly think about tends to intensify in your experience.
The conscious mind is the Thinker; the subconscious is the Prover. If, for example, you hold the thought 'I'm not very clever', the subconscious looks for evidence that you are what you think you are. Consequently you steer clear of anything that requires intelligence, which 'proves'you were right all along. Except, of course, you may be misleading yourself. You may actually be far cleverer than you think you are!
That's why it's so important to turn your thinking around, by deliberately and consciously planting confident thoughts in your mind. When you let go of disempowering, confidence-draining thoughts and start thinking of yourself as strong, capable, likable and deserving, the cycle is reversed.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're quite right.
- Henry Ford
Confident self talk
. changing negative, restrictive thinking patterns to thoughts of confidence and self-worth.
If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet. - Isaac Bashevis Singer
When you think like a confident person, you automatically feel more confident and act more confidently. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Confident self-talk includes any language that helps you feel better and cope more easily. Words and sentences that imply that you are helpless or incapable, or that things are worse than they actually are, feed the Prover with potentially damaging ammunition, which is why the negative thought patterns discussed in this section come with a health warning.
. what they are, why they're important, how to change them and create self-belief.
Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. When I believe I can, I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning. - Mahatma Gandhi
A belief is a collection of thoughts that we accept as true. Most of our beliefs have their origins in childhood conditioning and our cultural background: they were absorbed without any effort on our part. Others were acquired as we matured and learned to interpret the world for ourselves.
Your beliefs affect everything you do:
1. Confident people believe they can be whatever they want to be and accomplish anything they choose. Even if their goals seem far off, they believe that everything is eventually attainable.
2. Believing you cannot do something makes you incapable of doing it. But it is not your actual abilities that determine the outcome, but what you believe about them.
3. Negative beliefs are like the automatic brakes fitted to certain vehicles. Just as you're about to break through old barriers, on come the brakes!
It's vital to let go of beliefs which destroy your confidence, and it's perfectly possible. Fortunately, no belief is permanently engraved on your brain. All beliefs are learned, and all learning can be re-evaluated and updated.
As soon as you adopt a new belief the Prover sets to work to validate the new belief. Suddenly all the incoming evidence supports your new way of thinking, and anything which contradicts it is rejected or ignored.
. seven attitudes of confidence for you to make your own.
Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so. - William Shakespeare
Attitudes and beliefs, while closely related, are not exactly the same. A belief is a thought or mental image we accept as true. An attitude is what you put out into the world through your words and actions.
For example, a belief such as 'I'm not good enough'will manifest in your speech and behaviour. That's when it becomes an attitude. In addition, attitudes involve a degree of evaluation, in other words, what you feel about the belief.
A positive attitude shows in everything you do how you walk, talk, what you say, how you say it, and the way others see you. It builds confidence and success in every area of your life. When you conquer attitudes of doubt and fear you effectively conquer feelings of failure.
The longer I live, the more I realise the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes!
- Charles Swindoll
. self-worth, the key to happiness and fulfilling relationships.
It's a funny thing about life: if you refuse to accept anything less than the best, you very often get it. - W. Somerset Maugham
Some people think it's a sin to love yourself. They consider those who love themselves to be selfish, conceited and rather unpleasant. But they're mistaken. They confuse self-love with false pride and narcissism which is quite a different matter. Vanity and arrogance are usually a form of bravado engaged in by people who love themselves too little and are trying to cover it up.
If you don't love yourself you'll have no sense of self-worth, and no feeling of acceptance or belonging. Furthermore, your capacity for loving others is directly related to how much love you have for yourself. You can't share anything you don't have. How can you truly love another if you don't feel worthy of giving and receiving love? Impossible.
The belief that you need to be different from how you are in order to be loved causes a great deal of misery. Unless you are happy within, you'll never be truly satisfied with what you do. Loving yourself unconditionally is the key to happiness. But you don't have to be perfect: the most loved person in the world makes mistakes! You don't even have to do your best. You don't have to prove anything. You're all right because you're all right, and lovable exactly as you are.
Concentrating on what you do well
. identifying your strengths, acquiring new personal qualities.
It is all too obvious that in the great majority of human beings, the greater part of their possibilities, whether physical or spiritual, intellectual or aesthetic, remains unrealised. - Sir Julian Huxley
To enjoy a better life you must focus on your potential, not your limitations, and concentrate on what you do well. You must make the most of your natural aptitudes and abilities.
Of course everyone has weaknesses, and it takes courage to admit to them. But it can be equally harrowing to accept that we have our strengths and acknowledge that we have talents and personal qualities that others don't have.
The world is full of unsuccessful people who have talent but lack confidence and tenacity, who feel that no matter how good they are at something, someone else is bound to be better. Don't be one of them.
. building on your strengths. The importance of concentrating on what you do well, and cultivating patience and persistence.
Nothing stops the man (sic) who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It's a strengthening of his power of accomplishment. - Eric Butterworth
Weaknesses come in three types:
1. Important traits which can be worked on, perhaps even eliminated if you want to and are willing to put in a little time and effort. These include those which originate in conscious attitudes or beliefs, are the result of flawed conditioning, or are basically down to lack of resolve, such as lack of patience or persistence, or laziness.
2. Those which make little difference to your life, or are relatively unimportant. For example, I have never learned to draw but it doesn't bother me because I have other priorities and little interest. It hardly affects my life at all.
3. Those which are impossible to change. These must be accepted or circumvented. For example, a person prone to congenital depression can learn to live with it and still have a successful and relatively happy life.
It's important to know which of your so-called weaknesses fall into each category. Then, like Benjamin Franklin, you can develop an active, systematic programme which will lead to steady improvements.
Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you say to me that you desire a fig, I shall answer, 'that requires time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.
Thousands of people have talent. I might as well congratulate you for having eyes in your head. The one and only thing that counts is, do you have staying power?
- Noel Coward
Take a risk
. how to get out of your comfort zone.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Begin it now. - Goethe
To build confidence you will occasionally have to push yourself to do things you don't feel like doing and put yourself on the line. Welcome every opportunity. Avoiding fresh challenges, difficult people and awkward situations is never gratifying in the long term and just keeps you stuck as you are now.
Of course taking risks invites failure, but that's OK. You can't expect to sail through life without coming a cropper sometimes, it's a natural part of human experience. Babies learning to walk topple over many times. As adults we too will fall, recover our balance and get back on our feet again. Nobody gets everything right all the time.
Go on take a risk (you know you want to)! If it feels uncomfortable it's only because you're not used to it. Change always feels uncomfortable at first, because your past conditioning tries to hold on to your old ways. Confident people don't always succeed, but they do always enjoy trying and they don't feel any less a person if they fail.
Be willing to confront your fears. Feel the fear, but don't be affected by it. You don't have to do everything perfectly. Just being yourself and having a go is enough.
The greatest success is not in never failing, but in rising every time you fall.
- Vince Lombardi
Just do it
. sure-fire confidence building activities. Go on have a go!
It is not the mountain that we conquer, but ourselves. - Sir Edmund Hillary
Why do most of us find it hard to put ourselves on the line? Usually because we're frightened of showing ourselves up. Overcoming these fears takes a rewriting of your self-talk and questioning your beliefs. With high self-esteem we don't worry about making fools of ourselves in front of others because we know that this is not a disaster.
So what if you don't succeed first time? The obstacles don't grow any bigger, but you do! With a positive self-image you can fail completely and still feel good about yourself.
1. Because I'm OK I can make mistakes. I can fail and still feel good about myself. 2. I am enthusiastic about life and filled with energy and purpose.
Confident body language
. adopt a confident posture and you feel more confident. You project confidence too.
No one has ever seen a cock crow with its head down. - Alonzo Newton Benn
When you move confidently and carry your body confidently, you not only feel more confident but others assume that you are.
You may be surprised to learn that only 7% of the information you transmit to others is in the language you use. The remainder comes from:
1. 38% How you speak quality of voice, accent, voice projection, emphasis, expression, pace, volume, pitch etc.
2. 55% Body language posture, position, eye contact, facial expression, head and body movements, gestures, touch etc.
Whereas people often try to disguise their true feelings in their utterances, they communicate them freely through their non-verbals. When your body language tells a different story from your spoken words, guess which is believed? The answer is, your body language. It imparts eight times as much information.
Pay more attention to how you use your body. Poor movement and posture restricts breathing, tightens the muscles and brings about skeletal disorders.
Conditions of worth
. how others assess you. and how to deal with rejection.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt
The link between confidence and self-esteem and your relationships is two-way:
1. Your relationships with others, both past and present, help determine your confidence.
2. As your confidence and self-esteem grow, your relationships improve.
People lacking in self-esteem often measure their worth in terms of other people's approval. Children and adults alike are under tremendous pressure to earn approval from others by conforming to attitudes and behaviours which are not necessarily of their choosing. This kind of approval is not freely given for who you are it is conditional on what you do.
The most common conditions of worth relate to our:
1. Physical appearance including style of dress.
2. Intelligence and mode of speech.
3. Accomplishments sporting, artistic, academic etc.
4. Money and possessions.
5. Family background.
We all want to be liked by others, and are willing to conform to some extent to win that approval. But when we feel we must do what others want so they'll like us, and this becomes the main reason for our actions, we're in grave danger of giving away our personal power and betraying our deepest values.
Your aim, of course, is to evaluate yourself by your own criteria, knowing that you are not what others think of you, but much more. Now you are an adult the only person whose approval you really need is you.
The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else.
Give up approval seeking behaviour
. there's only one person whose approval you really need guess who?
We can secure other people's approval if we do right and try hard, but our own is worth a hundred of it. - Mark Twain
Approval-seeking behaviour implies going along with what you think others expect out of fear that they won't like you. It means being excessively concerned with what others think.
Obviously there is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked and accepted; it's a natural human desire. But it becomes a problem when you allow others'approval to dictate how you feel about yourself.
Approval-seeking behaviour does have short-term benefits; it keeps others happy, gets them off your back. But it could be at the expense of your long-term self-esteem. You cannot find long-term happiness by constantly pandering to others.
There is only one person whose approval you really need, and that's you. Other people's expectations are not your concern. You didn't create them, and you don't own them. If others don't like what you do that's their problem, not yours.
When you stop doing things just because others expect it, the sense of freedom can be exhilarating. No longer do you have to pretend to be something you're not. You always have the choice of how to respond to others'expectations. Use it wisely!
. conversational skills that make others want to talk to you, and allow you to be confident.
We often pardon those who bore us, but never those whom we bore. - Duc De La Rochefoucauld
First impressions last. We make up our minds about other people very quickly. We form 90% of our opinions about others in the first four minutes, so it's vital you think about how you present yourself to others.
The next few sections are about communicating with others. Talking to other people can be a nightmare when you lack confidence, especially if you're meeting them for the first time. But even though we don't tend to think of it that way, conversation is a skill we can all learn, starting with a few basic techniques, then gradually developing our own style.
A sustained effort to improve your listening, conversational skills and assertiveness will enable you to reach new heights of confidence. Nothing brings confidence more surely than knowing that you can talk to people easily; that you always have something to say and know how to say it.
Be a good listener
. good listening is one of the secrets of confident communication and popularity.
The Chinese verb to listen is composed of five characters meaning ear, you, eyes, individual attention, heart. The art of listening involves all of our being. - Lynda Field
The art of good communication can be summarised in four points:
1. Be a good listener so you truly understand what others say to you. Good listening earns genuine respect and admiration, and is one of the secrets of popularity.
2. Have something good to say. Boring people make boring conversation.
3. Express yourself well. Use colourful, descriptive language. Make your conversation sound interesting.
4. Appeal to the emotions. There's a wise saying: The head never hears until the heart has listened.
You'd be amazed how much more confident you feel when you're a good listener. You find you can handle business and social situations confidently. Become a good listener and you'll gain a reputation as a good conversationalist without having to say very much at all.
Stand up for yourself
. introduction to assertiveness.
Too often our behaviour is dictated by obligation to others; in the process, we forget the primary obligation: to be ourselves. - Arthur Miller
Standing up for yourself assertiveness means expressing yourself clearly, staying true to your needs and values, while at the same time respecting the dignity of others.
Assertiveness is not to be confused with arrogance, rudeness and being unrealistic in your expectations of others. Confident, well-adjusted people have no need to brag, or be overbearing.
When you know how to stand up for yourself you deal with situations, including the most difficult, effectively. You are unlikely to be steamrollered into anything against your will.
Remember, you get treated the way you teach others to treat you. Assert yourself and you gain others'respect. Your relationships are more sincere, because everyone understands you perfectly.
How to be assertive
. effective tools and techniques for standing your ground and getting your point across.
This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. - William Shakespeare
Even if you've never considered yourself to be assertive, mastering a few basic techniques soon starts to reap untold rewards.
1. Decide to become more assertive.
2. Think like an assertive person, and think of yourself as one.
3. Imagine yourself behaving assertively and being treated accordingly.
4. Act assertively. Start by taking small steps. Keep going until the uncomfortable feelings fade.
Saying no when you mean no
. one of the hardest things to do when you lack confidence.
If we want to feet truly confident, we must break the habit of trying to please all people, all of the time. - Gael Lindenfield
Assertive people find it easy to say no when they mean no. They don't worry about being seen in a bad light. They know that just because they've been asked doesn't mean they're under any obligation. Passive people, on the other hand, usually find it hard to refuse.
Say you're asked a favour. It's inconvenient. You'd like to say no.
1. Passive behaviour: Saying, 'yes'while thinking, 'What a nuisance. Oh well!'or making a string of half-hearted excuses in a feeble attempt to avoid causing offence.
2. Aggressive behaviour: A blunt response, probably while thinking, 'Why the ... should I?'
3. Assertive behaviour: A warm, friendly smile, while saying, 'No, I'm sorry it's not convenient. I've made other arrangements'.
In the long run saying yes when you don't mean it only makes things worse for yourself. It puts you at greater risk of stress and lowers your confidence and self-respect.
The important thing is not what they think of me; it is what I think of them.
- Queen Victoria
Compliments and criticism
. how to handle criticism and give and receive compliments.
What you think of me is none of my business. - Terry Cole-Whittaker
Wouldn't it be wonderful to go through life without ever being criticised? Perhaps, but this is not possible. Employers, spouses, children, parents, friends and colleagues will all criticise you from time to time. You probably can't stop them, but you can learn to handle it.
Your attitude to criticism is heavily influenced by your experiences as a child; critical parents tend to raise either critical or defensive children. Only those with very low opinions of themselves are easily hurt or embarrassed by criticism, but if you have confidence in yourself you aren't unduly worried by it. You realise that people who constantly criticise others usually feel bad about themselves, and are projecting their low self-esteem onto others.
The inability to accept a compliment is another sign of low self-esteem. People lacking in confidence often regard compliments with suspicion, wondering why the other person is being so nice and if there's an ulterior motive. Get comfortable with compliments. They make both the giver and receiver feel good and build the self-esteem of all concerned.
How to ask for what you want
. and what to say when you don't get it.
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. - Michelangelo
Many people find it difficult to ask for what they want or to complain about poor service even when they are fully justified. They think it's impolite. They don't like upsetting people, or worry they might be met with hostility. They prefer to 'put up and shut up'. Why? There are two main root causes:
1. Low self-esteem; feeling unworthy of getting what they want.
2. Not knowing how to ask or complain effectively.
Confident people aren't afraid to complain. They're happy to ask for help when they need it. They find out what they're entitled to, and refuse to settle for any less. They know it's better to ask and run the risk of being turned down than to bottle up their grievances and lose out for sure.
. stop taking yourself too seriously and have a laugh.
Angels fly because they take themselves lightly. - Alan Watts
People who lack confidence often take themselves very seriously. They take offence easily and quickly get defensive. They rise to the bait when someone pokes fun at them. You can easily spot such people they're usually on their own!
It's impossible to laugh and feel anxious at the same time, and the less anxious, the more confident you feel. So lighten up. Make a determined effort to see the funny side of life. Seek out people who have a good sense of humour, and have one or two funny stories up your sleeve.
When you laugh and make others laugh, it does wonders for your self-esteem.
Whoever makes you laugh helps you live.
. understanding and managing your emotions; and relating to other people's in an appropriate manner.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things which should be changed, And the wisdom to know the difference. - Reinhold Niebuhr
Emotional intelligence is central for high self-esteem, confidence and assertiveness. It has two aspects, which are equally important:
1. Self-awareness: an understanding of, and ability to manage your emotions.
2. The ability to sense what others feel and respond appropriately. People who have this communicate more effectively, make friends more easily and inspire loyalty and confidence.
Human beings are more inclined to act emotionally than logically. When you relate to others on an emotional level, and realise that they're unlikely to think, feel and react like you you get on better with everybody. Be sensitive to others'feelings, accept and empathise with them. Then you'll be more confident in all your personal interactions.
Take an interest in others
. helping others does wonders for your own confidence.
When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves. - William Arthur Ward
Every one of us can look back upon people who have made a huge impact on our lives. They could be teachers, relatives, work colleagues or friends. Perhaps they simply set an example, or did something practical just because they cared. They didn't expect anything in return and probably didn't realise the effect they were having. You probably thought 'what a great person'.
Now it's your turn. One of the great secrets of building your own confidence and self-esteem is to become less self.
1. Take an active interest in others.
2. When you focus your attention on others rather than yourself, you make them feel better and raise their self-esteem.
3. And every time you contribute to raising another's self-esteem, you simultaneously raise your own to at least the same degree.
When you make a positive impact on another person's life, you attract the same from others because what we give out, we receive. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.
. becoming aware of your spiritual dimension and enjoying continual peace of mind.
We can cope with anything if we have the tools and can draw on our inner power. But there is no sun without rain; no joy without spiritual awareness; and no growth without the knowledge that help is always available and we can deal with life's difficulties. - Joy Ward
Deep inside, at our very core, lies a natural centre of absolute stillness and peace which can bring a profound sense of wellbeing. This is the spiritual self but how do we get in touch with it and experience it in our daily lives?
With a little reflection, it soon becomes apparent that you are more than just a collection of bones held together by muscle and soft tissue, and more than a collection of thoughts and emotions. Something in you is aware not only of what you are thinking but also that you are thinking.
When we realise that we are spiritual beings in human form, it's like waking from a dream. We can step back, see everything in its true perspective, deal with frustration, and find peace and understanding in an imperfect world.
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. effective tools and techniques for standing your ground and getting your point across.This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. - William Shakespeare Even if you've n
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. Different from other pocket billiard games, the balls in a one pocket rack are all placed randomly, similar to bank pool. The player making the?break shot?(typically after winning thelag) chooses a?foot?corner pocket?for the rest of the game; all of
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. Back in the 80s Kramer was one of the premier names in metal and hard rock. In fact, Eddie Van Halen even played a Kramer for a short period of time. In the 90s things took a weird turn, and Kramer was eventually bought up by Gibson. Anyone who remem
Benefits of Dates
. The researchers concluded that eating any variety or form of dates could add beneficial antioxidants to your diet. The American Dietetic Association reports that eating plenty of foods rich in antioxidants may help prevent diabetes, cancer, heart dis
Benefits of Custard Apple
Bone strength for children s
. When custard fruit given to children's regularly, it makes their bone healthy and stronger, also using custard seed powder over the scalp during bath helps to prevent hair fall, this is good remedy for hair fall for both sexes, not only that; when it
Benefits of Cardamom
. Cardamom is an anti spasmodic that can help get rid of hiccups. This also applies to other involuntary muscle spasms, like stomach and intestinal cramps. Cardamom is an anti spasmodic spice which can help you in getting rid of hiccups. This anti spas
Forever Young Naturally Lifestyle
Beating anxiety Candle meditation
. Light a candle and sit in front of it. When your body feels relaxed and your breathing is calm, begin to stare at the flame. Allow the light to erase thoughts from the present moment. Close your eyes and see your flame of life within. However brightl
New Mehandi Designs
Mehandi Design 25
. Here another very simple design inspired from the Arabic mehendi trends. The use of black mehendi makes the design prominent and beautiful. This simple design can be carried off by anyone and can be used on any occasion. If you are in need of a less