Confidence

Self- (confidence, awareness, respect, preservation…)

“Last year, selfie was named International Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries, so how about self- as Word of the Age? That’s not self on its own, but self- the prefix, as in self-portrait, self-parody, self-referential and maybe a little self-obsessed. It expresses the zeitgeist. It runs like a red thread through the words that are written, spoken and read everywhere, by everyone from self-made pop culture icons and self-appointed bloggers to the self-satisfied guardians of high culture.

Trends from Havas

“Creating a positive self-image is now recognized as a vital task for everyone, boosted by good measures of self-confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline, self-respect and self-regard. Getting those right sets off a self-reinforcing process, especially for energetic self-starters. On the other hand, people who are prone to self-doubt or self-pity might want to try a little self-compassion and self-acceptance as part of a self-directed self-improvement program. Self-conscious or self-critical people might find this all a little too self-absorbed, whereas others could find it positively self-aware.”

In continual disagreement with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and in continual agreement with the quote above (from the Havas Worldwide white paper on the top 10 trends of 2015), I see self-confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline, self-respect and self-regard as vital qualities in today’s world. OK, maybe I am biased, but I still think that the Law of Attraction has got it sorted and that whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

So what are YOU doing to self-improve? How are YOU growing your confidence? Here’s 3 ways for people with little confidence in a particular area:

1) Decide, for no better reason than you have decided, that you will be more confident today.
Just deciding to be confident gives you confidence. Confident people don’t look for reasons to be confident, they just decide they are confident. The reason why you choose to wear that particular T-shirt, pair of trousers, skirt or hat is just as valid as the reason you choose to feel confident. It is all in the mind.

2) Reduce the tension.
Fear creates tension and tension is not helpful in overcoming lack of confidence. So with that new-found confidence (from deciding to be confident today), let go of the nervousness. Take a deep breath and let the tension go. Do it several times, until the tension has gone. Now you are ready to:

3) Take a (calculated) risk.
Confidence is the memory of past successes. If you want to build your past successes, you have to take risks. When you realise that those risks paid off (that you didn’t die), you can count it as a success and add it to the bank of past successes on which to build your confidence.

So now you can go out and conquer the world. Failing that, at least conquer your fear of talking to a stranger. Or that girl/boy you have the hots for. Or your lack of self-confidence!

Standard
Confidence

Why Fear is Like Sickness

I have been sick these last two days. Low energy, lying around, watching YouTube, not eating much… And of course, not getting any work done.

Fear is a sickness

That got me thinking, that these are the symptoms of when I procrastinate. When I feel fear. If Fear is in control, it takes my energy away and forces me to lie around, not doing any work. The difference, is that if I am sick, I notice it, because I am not always sick. I also do something about it: go and see the doctor, take medicine, get some rest, eat healthy food (if I eat at all)… Whereas with fear, if I notice it, I usually try and rationalise it away: “I really should be preparing that presentation. Why am I walking towards the fridge? Oh well, since I’m here, I might as well get myself a piece of cheese and a gherkin….” I don’t think to myself “This is not normal. I am not usually this afraid of preparing a presentation, I should contact The Confidence Doctor (read Guy) and see if he can tell me what is going on and what I can do to reduce the cause of this lack of activity and general inaction…”

So where to from here?

Well, I’m back on my feet (hence this article, which I could not have written yesterday) and therefore back to work. Does fear still control me? Sure it does! Who can say that they control fear in every aspect of their lives? I would love to meet that person!

Just remember to treat fear as a sickness – find out why you have it, get some help with identifying it (it likes to hide and fight for its survival, like a monster), then treat it, take the medicine and get yourself healthy again!

Standard
Confidence

Don’t worry, be happy!

How many times have we heard that message? yet I still come across clients who are focusing on the bad, the uncertain, the fact they should not be worrying….

Looking at the world in the right way

How often do you focus on the negative, rather than the positive? How often do you remind yourself that you are actually lucky? If you are reading this, you are lucky you can read. You are lucky you can see. You are lucky to have a device on which to read it. You are lucky to have the time to be able to read it. You are lucky to be able to think about what it means and whether you are focusing on the positive. You are lucky to consider yourself lucky. Ok, now we’re getting silly. But you get the idea.

Focus on what you have and you will increase it. Focus on what you do not have and you will increase that. Your choice.

Standard
Confidence

Bullying boxing and giving back

A girl gets bullied. As she is walking home, she notices women walking into a boxing gym and follows them in. She gets invited in and given boxing gloves to start training. Back on the street, she gets bullied again, but this time stands up to the bully. The bully walks away. Already a great message and one I mention often: a person’s reaction is vital in determining whether or not they are bullied. But this video takes it a step further and shows the -now grown- girl inviting another little girl in to learn how to fight. Yes, this could be a normal day on the street in any town. However it is the video to the song “Dynamite” by Karise Eden. Karise has an amazing voice and by adding the idea of giving back to this video has taken the message to a whole new level. Watch it here:

Standard
Confidence

Confidence to communicate

Some say we have unprecedented communication.

Some say we have more friends than ever before.

Some say we are linked to people across the globe in numbers unseen previously.

I say we are loosing touch with other.

When I see teenagers chatting to each other in the same room, but over Viber or WhatsApp, when I hear that young people would rather text than talk face to face, when I hear that students avoid interviews because they would mean being judged at a real and personal level, it scares me. What is happening to our communication? What is going to become the norm in 20 years time? How many people will still use their mouths to speak and how many will only use their fingers? Even deaf people communicate visually.

Have the confidence to SPEAK to each other. Have the courage to ask a stranger a question and listen to the answer. Experience the JOY of touching someone both physically and emotionally at the same time. Though much can be learned on the internet, relationships cannot. Communication cannot. Life cannot.

 

 

Standard
Confidence

3 simple tips to improve your exam results

In the Southern hemisphere, we are coming to the end of the school year, which invariably means EXAMS! The very word is enough to fill some students with dread. As you come up to exam time, how many times have you been told to just “get down and study!”, yet it’s still not happening? How many times do you watch yourself going to find some food, checking what others are saying about you in Facebook, saying yes to go out with people you don’t like, all just to get away from that desk, that blank piece of paper, that open book full of words, words, words? Exams are closely linked to our fear of failing. Yet tension and stress only make things worse.

Exam Fear

Here are 3 tips on how to be more focused, concentrated and clear-headed during exams:
1. As you approach the exams, relax. Learn as much as you can, but when you get to the exams, let go. What you know, you know. What you don’t know, you don’t know. You cannot know before the exam which questions will be asked, so don’t beat yourself up about not learning what you should have learned. Hindsight is good at making us feel miserable. So avoid it by only looking forward at the next exam (or the holidays, if it is your last one!).

2. Use a meditation to calm yourself just before you enter, or while sitting at your place, waiting for it to start. Breathe deeply and concentrate on your breath. Imagine you are fully relaxed – each muscle of your body from your head down to your toes. If you have never meditated before, check out this very good explanation of how to do a “breathing meditation”. If you prefer to have a guided meditation (where someone is speaking over peaceful music and you follow what they are saying), you can find them in YouTube. They can also be purchased from various online stores. One person I find very nice to listen to is Scott Gaul, who has a collection of various meditations at Quiet Mind Cafe.

3. Be fully in the moment. There is no danger during the exam, only fear. And F.E.A.R, as we know, is merely False Expectations Appearing Real. Don’t project into the future what may or may not happen, just be focused on what is happening now, the answer to the question you are working on at that moment. By separating danger from fear (danger is real, fear is perceived), you can easily convince yourself that you are not in danger of dying at any point during the exam (and if you are, please let the teachers know!). As long as you are not in danger, there is no need to let fear cloud your mind.

Good luck!

 

Standard