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!


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.


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:


What Confidence isn’t…

ParalysisConfidence is not implying you are the best. Confidence is not hitting someone weaker than you. Confidence is not procrastinating. Confidence is not giving in to temptation. Confidence is not doing something detrimental to yourself, your health or your mental state. Confidence is not wondering whether she would go out on a date with you, but never asking. Confidence is not accepting to be paralysed in the face of doing something. Confidence is not shying away from trying something new. Confidence is not sitting around watching TV. Confidence is not checking Facebook to ensure you still have friends. Confidence does not mean arrogance. Confidence does not mean doubt. Confidence does not mean inaction. Confidence does not mean hesitation. Confidence does not mean stagnation.

What could you achieve with more confidence?

Confidence, Procrastination

The 3 most common fears – 3/3

What is it that holds you back from doing what you want? There are 3 most common fears that keep popping up when I ask that question and which stop people from being confident. However, the biggest question is not what they are, but what one can do to gain control of them. Fears are good, but only as long as they UNDER control, not IN control. Here are the 3 most common blocks to action, along with one way to gain control of them:

3) Fear of Rejection

Sometimes it's just a question of how you look at yourself. Photo by Pedro Moura Pinheiro

Sometimes it’s just a question of how you look at yourself.
Photo by Pedro Moura Pinheiro

How many times has your request been rejected? How many times have your attempts been blocked? Publishers, Universities, Employers, Clients, Team members, Strangers… So many people who we regularly ask for something say, “No.” Yes, it is easy to advise to just keep going. But I already know that. I already know that it is sometimes the 99th request which is finally accepted. But I still feel as though it is not my request which is being rejected, but me. My being. They don’t like me. My application/book/product/service/offer is a part of ME so it is ME they do not want. How can I continue to offer anything – especially myself – if no one likes me?

Although there are a few ‘quick-fix’ ideas that can work (visualisation, positive thinking…), the truth is that the fear of rejection is linked to your own self-worth. The less self-worth you have, you stronger your fear of rejection will be. And increasing self worth can be tricky, as it is based on what you think of yourself, often based on things that have happened in the past.

However, it is possible to improve self worth (thereby lessening the fear of rejection). Self worth is built on the realisation that others appreciate who/what you are. Everyone has something they are good at, though a lot of people don’t realise that others might appreciate that strength. Being good at something others wish they could do is great and having self worth in that case is not hard – you will have realised fairly quickly that your skills are valuable. But everyone has something they are good at. So start appreciating yourself for who you are. Even if you think that everyone hates you, love yourself.

Start a list of things you like about yourself. Each and every day for one month, add 3 things to that list. It might be that you have really nice ankles. Or that you are sensitive. Or that you see beauty in everything. Or anything else which YOU think is good/nice/positive about yourself (physically, emotionally, spiritually, things you are good at, etc…). Every couple of days, read through the list again and remind yourself of how valuable you are. How amazing you are. How WORTHY you are. And don’t comment below telling me you cannot think of anything! EVERYONE has something that can like about themselves – even if it is just the fact you care enough about your cat to feed it… That means you are caring.

By building up and referring to your list on a daily basis for a month (or more), you will start to appreciate yourself, leading to an increase in self worth, leading to a growing feeling that you are actually a worthwhile person who is fully justified in being on this planet/asking for that job/applying to that university/asking to be published/offering your service/product etc.

Then go out and do it!


What would you do differently if you had more confidence?

As a Keynote speaker, trainer and coach, Kanuka helps people increase their confidence, thus increasing not only their bottom line, but also their quality of life, what they get out of relationships and how they feel about themselves.