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!


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!


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:


Is Confidence Important?

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic wrote a book called Confidence about the fact confidence is “at best just a mask for our insecurities; at worst it’s a dangerous self-delusion.”

I disagree. I think confidence is vital. So do the many people I have asked.

Photo by Lee (on Flickr)

Photo by Lee (on Flickr)

But what do you think? Here are 3 questions I am currently using to ascertain the role of confidence in people’s lives and how they gained that confidence (or what they would do if they had it).

Remember that everyone is confident in certain areas and everyone has fear. Moving outside your comfort zone and doing something you are not comfortable doing is what takes confidence. With that in mind, I am interested in reading your answers to the following questions:

1) Which role does confidence play in your life (why is it important)?

2a) In the areas you are confident, how did you develop it, what were the main factors involved in developing it?

2b) In the areas you are not confident, what would you do differently if you had it?

3) How do you notice that someone (else) is confident?

N.B. The information in the answers I receive will only be used as an anonymous statistic. It will not be published, posted or otherwise made public in a form which could be traced back to you apart from the fact it appears on the comments below.


Investing in one’s knowledge

I went to listen to one of the best speakers I have heard last night and the best part is that I got in free, as it was in a school! If you have never heard of Allison Mooney (, you need to get your head out of your oven.

Laughing loudly (giving my personality type away) while Allison informed us in an entertaining, captivating way about the 4 personality types, I learned that I am a “powerful”. So I am decisive, to the point, quick to decide, good at taking action and a natural born leader. (Better than being a natural born killer, I suppose). I can also be tyrannical, dictatorial and need to say please and thank you more. That makes me “not better, just different” to the other types: Playful, precise and peaceful. And just as Allison predicted, I am married to a Peaceful…

As the talk was aimed at parents, I also learned how to encourage and discipline my playful child and how to deal with a precise teenage daughter. Highlight of the evening was 3 videos, each of someone changing their tyres in a way typical of their personality.

I am so happy I went! It really made me realise how much there is to learn out there! Now I can use the information I received to make not only my relationship with my family more fulfilling, but also to get more success in my business. If you want to keep growing, you need to keep informing yourself, learning. And is there any better investment than listening to a world class (Certified Speaking Professional – there are only 11 in NZ!) speaker for free?

What have you learned recently? Even if it was not from a speaker, it could have been from a book, a film, a conversation – each and every day give us the possibility of learning something really useful.


The 3 most common fears – 1/3

What is it that holds you back from doing what you want?

The answer I keep getting to that question can usually be traced back to 3 common fears which stop people from being confident. However, knowing what the fears are is only a small part of the problem. The much bigger part is learning what one can do to gain control of them. Fears are good, but only as long as they UNDER control, not IN control. In this and 2 further posts, I shall go into the 3 most common blocks to being confident, along with in each case one way to gain control of them:

1) Fear of Ridicule

Have you ever hear that voice inside your head which says, “If I do that, people will laugh at me!”? Have you ever shied back from doing something because you thought, “What will people THINK?” That is the fear of ridicule rearing its ugly head. That voice inside of us that dictates what we do and do not do, based on what OTHERS will think, say or imply.

So how can you gain control of these thoughts, so that you can decide to do it, irrespective of what others will think or say? One way is to be a skunk.

I have a pack of American Indian totem cards which have various animals depicted on them. Every now and then, I choose a card and read what the meaning of that particular card is. That gives me my message for the day. Or week. Well, one day I pulled the Skunk card. I tried thinking about what the message could be. Maybe it meant that I didn’t shower enough. Or that my hair was about to go grey in streaks…

Skunks are known for their stench. They repel any and every animal that comes near them, especially when these intend harm. There is, however, one animal which is not repelled by the smell and is in fact attracted by it: other skunks – the mates and friends who are helpful to his well-being.

And that was the message of the skunk: Be yourself and those you do not need or intend to harm you will be repelled, pushed away, while those who are attracted to you will be good for you. In the words of Dr. Seuss:

Be who you are

So if you have ever felt that the fear of ridicule is in your way, just remember the skunk and remember to be yourself. Do what pleases you. And if you don’t want to shower, don’t! There must be at least one person out there who likes someone who stinks… Hopefully…


What would you do differently if you had more confidence?

Confidence, Procrastination, Will power

2 steps to overcoming procrastination

What is it, that you would really like to do, but always seem to put off, without really having a reason to do so?

If you really want to do everything you want to do, there are only 2 steps needed to overcome procrastination:

1: Increase your will power

2: Overcome the fears which are holding you back from acting.

Well, I didn’t say EASY steps, I just said steps. Yes, these are indeed hard, but not impossible.

The big difficulty with increasing will power is that it requires will power. GREAT! I hear you say.  Don’t despair, there are small steps which can help you with that. I described some of them in an earlier blog, which can be found here

The big difficulty with overcoming fears, is that they are often unconscious and/or buried so deep in your being that you are not even aware they are there. There are various techniques to help gain control of your fear which don’t involve getting married to a psychiatrist. That is what I speak about and train people to do and it is a big subject, but I will try and go into these in more detail in future blogs.

So, what is it, that you would really like to do, but always seem to put off, without really having a reason to do so? – Please let me know in the “Leave a Reply” box below. Maybe we can find a way to overcome that block…  Or you can have a look at my website: