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!

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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:

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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.

 

 

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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!

 

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Confidence

Confidence is…

Confidence is: Fighting our inner dragonsConfidence is courage. Confidence is doing what has to be done because it will lead to where you want to be. Confidence is feeling the resistance, but controlling it enough to push through that resistance. Confidence is fighting you inner dragons. Confidence is changing that inner voice which says you cannot, are not good enough, will never… Confidence is noticing that you are not happy and doing what it takes to become it. Confidence is taking responsibility for your life. Confidence is doing as much as you can. Confidence is realising that there are things that can be achieved more easily with help. Confidence is having the guts to say “No!”. Confidence is reaching out. Confidence is doing what it takes. Confidence means success. Confidence means fun. Confidence means love. Confidence means happiness. Confidence feels great!

What are you doing to increase your confidence?

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Confidence

Kinderleichte Interviews

[Why use the German word Kinderleicht? Because there is no English word for it. The closest is ‘very easy’, or ‘dead easy’, but the German word implies even a child can do it. Read on to understand why this is the perfect word to describe this blog…]

I just watched an extremely funny, yet pertinent interview. The people of Bored Shorts TV recorded kids doing an interview, then filmed adults acting it out. Brilliant! (link below)

It (quite rightly) illustrates the fact that what is said during an interview is not the most important part. The interviewer is trying to get a feel for the person, which cannot be had from a piece of paper, while the interviewee is concentrated on making the best impression possible, in the belief they can influence the outcome.

It also illustrates the fact that whether or not you are hired is nothing you as interviewee have any control over.

interview-tips

So why do we bother with interviews? Or more importantly, what is the role of confidence in interviews?

Some people I speak to say that being competent is enough. Others say that interviews are (hopefully) not something you will do very often in life and therefore being good at interviews is not important (though the better you are, the less you will have – is that a Catch 22? or just Murphy’s law?). Still others say that interview confidence is something you either have, or don’t have.

I disagree with all three of these thoughts. I think you CAN increase your confidence leading up to an interview. I think it is VITAL to do so and I think confidence DOES make a difference. Not only because I am the Confidence Guy, also because when I was manager of 2 businesses in Switzerland, I had to hire people. And those who showed confidence (independently of how they felt) DID have a higher chance of being hired. I also spoke to other HR people who confirmed my experience.

But don’t take my word for, ring up a local company, ask to speak to someone at HR and ask them what difference confidence (shown by the interviewee) makes in the hiring process.

However doing that takes confidence…

Well, you’ve read what I think. What do you think? Is feeling confident during an interview important? Why?

To watch the interview I am talking about, click this link.

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Confidence

Bigger Is Better

In the animal kingdom, appearing bigger than you are is vital. It is a survival technique, both for the individual animal and the species. It is why cats go onto tiptoes when they meet a dog; it is why peacocks fan their feathers when they see a peahen; it is why sea elephants raise themselves as high as possible when about to engage in combat.

White peacock

Humans do not have that ability. We cannot make ourselves bigger. But we can appear bigger. We can artificially inflate our confidence when going into an interview, or in front of a bully, making us look bigger than we are.

Confidence is vital to humans – just as much as to other animals – because it enables us to control fear. It enables us to prove to ourselves that we are more than we think, to reach our potential, to be the best we can be.

Confidence allows us to be who we want to be.

How do you react when confronted with fear, a rival, a potential mate? Do you shy away, feeling small and paralysed? Or stand up high on two legs, fan your feathers and make yourself look as confident and big as you can be, worthy of the attention?

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