Self-Confidence (19)

If you have confidence, winning new friends becomes easy. It will attract people almost automatically. People love others who exude confidence. Think about the people at work. Do you tend to migrate towards confident people naturally?3938309770?profile=RESIZE_710x

It’s essential not to take your confidence too far where you are looked upon as being arrogant. This has the potential to turn people off more than win any friendships. Overconfident people are seen as unwavering, and others tend to avoid these types. It’s not necessary either. The key is to be yourself without stepping on others.

Believing in yourself is the first step towards gaining confidence. Everyone has some amount of self-doubt, but you need to get over it. Start by observing others who you feel are confident. What qualities do they possess? Do they talk about themselves, or do you find them positively talking about others? Do others get excited when those confident people enter the room?

Sometimes, confidence comes from learning new skills. If you know what others don’t, people will come to you when they discover you have those skills or knowledge.  But don’t stop at just a cursory level of experience. Become an expert, and you will have the confidence necessary when people do approach you. It’s okay not to know everything at the beginning, don’t pretend as you do. But, as long as you continue on the path of learning more, it will serve you well.

Confidence also comes from knowing the strength of others and using it to help them as well as you. If you are part of a team, get to know what others are good at on your team. Then, when you come across those attributes in your job, you can rely on their expertise. They will appreciate you for recognizing their abilities.

Help others who are not good at something but show a willingness to learn. These people will become allies, and they too will appreciate your efforts to help. They will become part of your network and will talk you up to others.

Friendship will happen when you gain confidence in your life and work. It will seem effortless, and you will end up with more friends than you know what to do with. That is certainly a better problem to have than having no friends at all. Don’t be surprised if you get approached by unknown people saying that your friends have recommended you.

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Steps to Building Self Belief

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but trust me when I say, “you are good enough.” No matter what you are going through right now, you need to believe in yourself.3779882764?profile=RESIZE_710x

Self-belief will help get you through the tough times, and then propel you towards your goals in the good times. If you suffer from a lack of self-belief, all hope is not lost! You can begin to cultivate it by following the tips:

  1. Identify Your Negative Feelings
    You need to recognize and acknowledge the negative feelings you have about yourself. You can’t just stick your head in the sand and ignore them. Think about them, write them down and say them out loud. Make a mental note to catch yourself when you start thinking about these things.
  2. Keep Track of Your Wins
    Take some time to write down a list of your “wins.” These can be successes you’ve had in your life, relationships that matter to you, and anything else you are grateful for. Anytime your self-talk starts the mantra; you aren’t good enough; reflect on the list to remind yourself that you are.
  3. Ask Others For Positive Feedback
    We are often our own worst critics. Take some time to reach out to people you trust and ask them what they think your strengths are. You might be surprised by what you hear.
  4. Work On Your Competence
    Competence breeds confidence. If you lack self-belief, one of the best things you can do is commit to lifelong learning. The more you know about a subject, the more confident you will be in your abilities.
  5. Focus On Your Strengths
    Stop beating yourself up over what you lack. Instead of worrying about the things you can’t do well, focus on the things you can do well.
  6. Stop Comparing
    One of the worst things you can do is compare your circumstances to others. First off, there is no race, and you don’t have to compete with anyone. Secondly, you have no idea what kind of lives other people live.
  7. Take Care of Yourself
    If you lack self-belief, don’t let that hold you back from taking care of yourself. Commit to eating right and exercising. You will naturally feel better about yourself if you are actively working towards a healthier lifestyle.
  8. Visualize A Confident You
    Even if you don’t feel confident, act as if you are filled with confidence. Take time to visualize what you would be like with limitless self-belief. Don’t be afraid to think big either. Imagine yourself with everything you want – including a new confident attitude.
  9. Set a Goal
    The mere act of setting a goal can instantly help you feel more confident. Even if you doubt your capability to achieve the goal, taking action and working towards this goal will build the momentum you need.

 

 

ACTIONABLE STEPS

 

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Start to keep a list of all of your successes and wins. You can use a simple notebook if you want, or an app like Evernote.


The goal is to list all of your past successes, as well as track any new ones.

 

When you lack self-belief, you can refer to this list to see just how much you can (and have!) accomplished.

 

 

Take some time to list your strengths.

 

If you are struggling to come up with enough, then reach out to loved ones and ask them.

 

They may come up with some strengths that you never even knew you had.

 

Now it is time to set a goal.


It doesn’t have to be something major, or even big. Starting small is an excellent way to boost self-belief.

 

Choose a simple goal that you could realistically accomplish in a week or two.

 

Write it down – and go for it!

 

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A wise thing to remember when it comes to our thoughts and actions is that although we have little control over how we feel intrinsically, we can control what we do about those feelings. In that, we have absolute authority over our behavior and the way that we react to those emotions, and although our subsequent actions may not always feel to be under our control, they are. Better thoughts for better behavior will come with practice. 3403846061?profile=RESIZE_710x

As with most things, this concept certainly more often than not falls under the category of “easier said than done.”  Easier said, yes, but not impossible to do. People vary widely in their natural inclinations in terms of behavior and impulse control, in that some of us are more energetic and passionate, and others are easier going about their thoughts and tendencies.

Either way, our thoughts, and emotions can get the best of us at times, and almost always react out of emotionally inflammatory “heat of the moment” type duress. The result is regretting our actions.

When considering better thoughts for better behavior, which is a discussion that has been thoroughly explored by psychiatrists, philosophers, and poets alike and whose quotes on the topic have provided much insight on the subject.

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato was once quoted, saying wisely that “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.”  It is the “knowledge” factor in human behavior that more often than not that has the most potential to result in wise decisions, and although the elements of “desire” and “emotion” of which he spoke often lead to impulsive, not well thought out decisions. This is not absolute; not all decisions derived from desire and emotion lead to bad choices. It just depends on if you are in control of your feelings or your emotions control you.

The American poet Emily Dickinson, who was relatively reclusive and whose work was often dark and melancholy, wrote that “Behavior is what a man does, not what he thinks, feels, or believes.”  The insight that can be inferred from this quote is that we should no more take credit for our “good” thoughts than we should admonish ourselves for our “bad” ideas, but instead, it is the choices and decisions that we consciously make in response to those thoughts and emotions that matter most.

The French poet and playwright Moliere had an interesting, albeit pacifying thought on human behavior when he stated that “A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation.”  From this quote can be derived the sage advice of not falling victim to one’s “hot-headed” tendencies, but instead rising above and mastering control over one’s impulsivity is not only possible but desirable.

And lastly, the contemporary (and often controversial) American author Tucker Max had a surprisingly mature and intellectually cognitive take on psychoanalysis when he said that “The point of psychoanalysis is to understand the roots of your behavior.  Understand why you’re doing what you’re doing – and connect your unconscious to your conscious.” 

The advice that can be derived from this statement is that to master one’s behavior and actions, one need’s first to have a deep and profound understanding of their inner tendencies, and once a person knows themselves thoroughly, the better chance one has of controlling their behavior.

Thinking before acting is always the better path, no matter how difficult it may be in any given situation. It will take discipline when we are faced with problematic choices and decisions when emotions are high.

As unrealistic as it may be to think that every person could make informed and well thought out decisions at every juncture, every effort made to encourage that type of thinking will undoubtedly always result in wiser and more prudent actions. Better thoughts for better behavior.

 
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When a beginner runner prepares for their first marathon, there are several routine changes they must implement to build their endurance. Initially, they need to practice running long-distances to build stamina — their diet needs to provide them with the nutrients required to fuel their body.

These changes will be challenging; thus, taking them out of their comfort zone. However, by making these small changes, they are essentially making themselves stronger for the long run. Often, making small changes in our routine can be likened to taking a risk. We are removing comfort from our mindset and challenging ourselves each day, enabling ourselves to reach new levels.3389897035?profile=RESIZE_710x

Taking risks will make you a stronger, both mentally and physically. A recent study found people who took risks were more fulfilled and happier than those who played it safe. Individuals who enjoy challenging themselves with new activities find great excitement in not knowing the outcome of their actions.

Individuals who participate in cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety-related disorders sit with their feelings of tension to build a tolerance to the emotions. The fear associated with anxiety is not knowing what is to going to happen. When patients risk exposing themselves to their fears, they are building their mental strength and resilience. 

Taking Risks Builds Confidence

Psychology professor Andreas Wilke researched the decision-making process from a psychological perspective. He states, "When we decide to take a risk, we are very quickly, and often subconsciously, evaluating the perceived chances and benefits of success versus the perceived chances and costs of failure.”

Risk-taking builds confidence and trust in your intuition. You aren’t approaching life with the sense of impending doom. Instead, you are positioning yourself to reach your goals.

Taking Risks Builds Self-Reliance 

When taking risks, you have to rely on your ability to know what is best, intuitively. Likely, others will view your decision as unwise; perhaps even offering unsolicited advice. You will need inner strength not to fall prey to their advice. However, the ability to take a risk with the hopes of achieving ultimate success sparks enthusiasm. With this new confidence, the opinions of others no longer carry the weight it once did. Instead, you are building a belief in yourself to create opportunities.

Taking Risks Supports Innovative Thinking

There is no easy way when it comes to risk-taking, nor is there a one-size-fits-all approach on how to read intuition. Because of this intuitive approach, risk-taking involves thinking on your feet and getting creative about problem-solving. Remember, every excuse has a solution.

The way we have been conditioned to think will control our behavior. We can choose to take the safe route because it’s acceptable to our peers and our inner critic. Or, take risks that will expose yourself to endless opportunities for achieving success, which is right outside of your comfort zone!

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People are different. While this seems like an obvious statement, don’t take it lightly. Because people are different, this means that you will never be able to please everyone. Therefore, stop trying to do so. Instead, focus on pleasing yourself. Those who love and respect you will also love and respect you for doing this. They may not agree with you, but they won’t stop being your friend because of it. Trying to please everyone pleases no one.3140820386?profile=RESIZE_710x

Some people will disassociate with you if you don’t please them. Forget about them. They aren’t worth the brain power expended. Move on with your life, and don’t worry about what they think. If they aren’t pleased by your actions, probably nothing will ever bring them around.

Of course, you shouldn’t trample on people. If your actions are such that you are doing wrong by others, they have the right to be upset with you. In these cases, you need to reevaluate what you are doing and adjust accordingly. You want to be happy, but you want to do it with integrity. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

When your decisions are about you or your family, then you should follow your moral values, trying to please everyone pleases no one. Another good motto to live by is – “what people say about you is none of your business.” When you repeat that motto, it helps you to move on and care less what people think. People are going to have their opinions no matter what you do. You may as well make yourself happy rather than others.

Another point is you are the only one responsible for the decisions you make. You must live with those decisions. Others may think they know what’s best for you, but they don’t. You make that determination yourself, and you need to take responsibility for those decisions.

If you make decisions to make others happy, you would not be able to blame your choices on them. They probably wouldn’t accept such blame anyway. People will make excuses, such as they didn't have all of the facts. Or, they will say the situation is different because it was you and not them. These are more reasons not to worry about what people think and live your life to keep your self-respect. Read the poem“The Man in The Glass” till you internalize the poem. Trying to please everyone pleases no one.

 
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If your boss tells you that you did something wrong, do you get flustered about the exchange? As long as your boss is not saying something about you personally, you should not take what he or she said to heart. It’s the job of a boss to make sure you are doing the right activities. Too many people will take the criticism as an affront to their personality, and this can be a problem. Don’t take everything so personally.

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Develop Thicker Skin

You need to develop a thicker skin, as they say. You cannot know everything there is to know about your company or the people who work there. That means you will naturally make mistakes. Embrace the errors as a learning experience.

You are not going to last long in your job if you take everything that people say about you in a personal way.  That attitude will hurt you in many things you do.

Look For Feedback

You should welcome criticism. It’s a way to learn and get feedback on what you are supposed to do and avoid doing what you aren’t. If you take what is said personally, you probably won’t listen to the criticism. More often than not, this results in a repeat of your offense, and this can get you into trouble long term.

Of course, if someone says something that is personal and they shouldn't have said it, you have the right to confront the person saying it. It’s one thing to say that you performed a particular job incorrectly, etc. But, if someone says you are incompetent or stupid, then you should not let them get away with that and handle the situation immediately.

Sometimes people will say something in a joking manner, and you may not take it as lightly as it was intended. This situation can be difficult because if you get too confrontational, you could be made to look bad. Others may say it was only a joke. Not all humor is funny, though, and people have different tastes on what constitutes humor.  In this situation, you need to calmly state that you didn’t find what the person said as being funny and ask them to refrain from making such jokes. Then, everyone should move on.

It is a good idea to not focus on gossip. Someone may tell you that you were the subject of some gossip. The action to take is often to do nothing at all because you won’t be able to prove what was said. Develop a thicker skin and don’t take everything so personally.

 
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Positive living is a mindset. Your attitude about life will affect your health, both physically and mentally. A negative mindset will raise blood pressure, stress levels, and makes everything a chore. You find adversities and hardships in life overwhelming.

Enjoying life is harder when you experience life with a negative mindset. It does not matter if you blame everything that goes wrong on yourself or everyone else; the result is the same. You are more prone to failure.

Anyone can introduce a more positive attitude in their lives. The power of positive thinking does work.  The detractors of The Power of Positive Thinking never put actions into their thoughts. They believe in the magic wand approach to life.  Thinking positive will change your mood, self-esteem, and reduce your risk of chronic illness.

Implement the following ten ways to a more positive viewpoint.

1.      Learn From Mistakes

Put down the baseball bat. Beating yourself up over mistakes accomplishes nothing constructive. It locks you into the past. Everyone makes mistakes. Do not waste your time covering them up. Look at went wrong and learn from it.

2.      Find positive friends

Who do you know that has that sunny outlook on life. Get closer to them that outlook on life is contagious.  Being around positive, upbeat people will help maintain a positive view on life.

3.      Be Grateful 

Look for the good in each situation. A significant change with little effort is to reflect on your day before going to sleep and find three things to be grateful for that day. Reflect on a gift you gave that day. Reflect on a gift that was given you that day.  These gifts do not need to be big or extravagant. Holding the door for someone, a smile, or buying someone a cup of coffee is a gift. Gratitude is a positive step towards positive living. 

4.      Find Humor

Watching funny movies or doing things that make you laugh signals the brain to release endorphins that make you feel good, what is better to relieve stress than a good laugh. After a while, you will find you are laughing at yourself all the time.

5.      Assess what you’d like to change 

Change may be scary at first. We are taught to look for security instead of happiness in life. Most of us bury our heart’s desire to follow the allusion of security. Starting small to test the waters is excellent. A common thing is wanting to change jobs. Changing jobs may not be the place to start. Do you come home to colors that you do not like? Change the color. Observe the effect it has on you. It will be easier to make a more significant change.

6.      Start your day with positive affirmations

Begin your day on a positive note. The news is not going to help you be positive. A daily meditation reading is an excellent way to introduce positive living into the rest of your day. Bring attention to everything that can go wrong today is not the way to positive living.

7.      Stop the flow of negative thoughts

Stopping negative thinking will take a lot of effort and discipline. It is worth the time and effort. When you have a negative thought, you must change the thought immediately. Insert a good feeling, prayer, or action in its place. Emmet Fox wrote a pamphlet “The 7 Day Mental Diet”. Emmet Fox gives detailed instructions on accomplishing this task.

8.      Find something you love to do

Finding what you love to do may be a hard task. We are overload with ideas for things to keep us busy. We are always presented with a new shiny, trendy something to try out. What brings you a sense of fulfillment? Find your heart’s desire.

9.      Live a healthy lifestyle 

Choose positive living by eating right, exercise, and associating with like-minded people. Your lifestyle has a significant influence on your mood and confidence levels. You will see life in a brighter light.

10.      Practice makes perfect

Winston Churchill gave a nine-word speech. He starts with “Never give up.”. He took some time and then repeated: “Never give up.”  He again took some time scanning the audience and said: “Never give up.” If you follow his direction, you will find yourself faced with a crisis and your thought will be what tools do we deal with this.  

We hear the answer is simple. We mistake “simple” as meaning easy. Life is not easy.  It is your choice of how life looks. Positive living is a choice. The steps to positive living are simple but not easy. The old cliche “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it” holds true.  

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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If you are ready to increase your personal power, here are some critical habits you need to cultivate. Check each off as you master them in your life, and you will have full control over your life and personal power in no time.

1.Stop complaining

  • Complaints serve no purpose and do not solve the problem. Get busy working on a solution instead.

2.Accept responsibility for your emotions

  • No one can MAKE you feel anything. You are the only one who allows yourself to feel anything. Stop allowing others to control how you feel as well as react to events, situations, and outcomes.

3.Be forgiving of others.

  • Holding on to negative feelings, like complaining, does nothing. Let go of those feelings and move on.

4.Be clear about what you believe in

  • If you are not grounded in your values and beliefs, your personal power withers. Your values guide your emotions and actions, so be sure you know what you really believe and want deep down.

5.Take action

  • You can only create positive outcomes when you act. And when you do, you will feel more powerful. Seize opportunities to make things happen. Action is crucial to your development.

6. Make sure you have boundaries.

  • Boundaries allow you to dictate what happens in your life and how you allow yourself to react emotionally. Establish boundaries that honor your personal power.

 7.Stop playing the victim.

  • You choose how to react to all of life's events. You can want to learn from what has happened to you and use it in the future, or you can choose to be victimized. Being a victim gives away your power to others.

 8.Stop thinking unproductively

  • Thoughts that focus on the “what ifs” in life are not helpful. Don’t’ spend hours wondering what life would be like if something happened. Go out and make that happen, instead.

 9.Learn to be uncomfortable

  • Learning to deal with the hard and uncomfortable things in your life is part of accepting your personal power. When things are difficult, you have much to learn. Embrace the learning experience.

10. Let go of what is not serving you.

  • Make a choice in each moment of your life to hold onto those things that give you the power and serve your goals and let go of everything else.

 11.Stop being dependent on others' opinions.

  • It does not matter what others think about you or your life. They are not living it; you are. You do not need to be liked by everyone, and no one else’s approval matters.

 12.Be authentically you

  • Living life on your terms, as your authentic self, is the only way to live within your personal power. You are unique and different, and you should honor that whenever possible.

 13.Pay attention to pain.

  • The things that hurt most in life are those that can teach you the most about increasing your personal power. When you feel pain, you are headed in the wrong direction. Challenge yourself to see your pain more often to keep you focused on your goals.

 14.Stand out

  • When you are trying to blend in, you have doubt and fear, not personal power. Do not disguise who you really are. Instead, trust that you are enough, and stand out!

 15.Let your heart guide you.

  • Personal power is courage, which comes from your heart. Use your heart to guide you, which will help you be resolute in your convictions and actions.

 16.Love all aspects of yourself

  • When you completely accept yourself, for all your flaws and imperfections, you regain your personal power. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with being flawed, as it is part of being human. Embrace it, do not hate it.

 17.Believe in your goals.

  • Compromising your goals for others will leave you feeling unhappy and forces you to give your power to others. Remain steadfast in your beliefs and goals if you want to live a great, happy life.

 18.Remain in control of your emotions

  • Allowing others to evoke reactions from you and to push your buttons is giving them power over you. Name your triggers and learn to control your responses to these.

 19.Always remember, you can shift the tide.

  • When things are not going like you want or need, you have the ability to change directions, make new choices, and turn it all around.

 20.Celebrate your power

  • Being grateful for your life and your ability to feel empowered will help you honor and support your work toward increasing your personal power.

 21.See the distinction

  • There’s a difference between giving your power away and empowering others, the latter helps increase your personal power.

22. Use your personal power to challenge, influence, encourage command respect and hold people accountable. This will only increase your strength.

23.You don't need to intimidate others to display your personal power, embrace yourself, to increase your own power.

24.Don't concern yourself with what others think.

  • There’s a difference between empathy and giving your power to everyone else.

25.Don't wait for someone else to solve your problems, you have the power to do it yourself, and when you exercise that power, it provides you with a boost.

26.Don't be afraid to admit your shortcomings.

  • This allows you to improve and improvement begets personal power.

27.Learn to temper your emotions

  • You can be in touch with your emotions, but to increase your personal power you cannot wear them on your sleeve.

28.Learn to manage stress, be positive, and relax

  • Stress and negativity are quick ways to sap your personal power.

29.Think before you speak (or act)

30.Exercise your self-worth, establish your boundaries and be assertive in your bid to maintain them.

31.Leave your ego at home, find logical solutions, and avoid getting into heated arguments.

32.Create a schedule that is realistic, knocking out your to-do list is a sure way to boost your personal power.

 33.What’s in your heart?

  • Courage, which is a form of your personal power, can be seen in your actions and those actions stem from what’s in your heart.

34.Accept yourself as you are

  • You can be accountable for your actions and still embrace yourself for who you are.

35.Recognize that you are capable of affecting change, whether it’s for yourself, others or the world around you.

 36.Take action

  • You feel more powerful when you act in ways to create your own positive outcome.

 37.In an ideal world, we would be pain-free.

  • There is a lesson in pain, but don’t allow yourself to be obsessed with it. It’s a cue that you’re heading in the wrong direction.

 38.Sometimes you have to learn how to deal with discomfort.

  • You can’t push it all aside, you have to walk through it – that means letting go of negative emotions when it’s time.

39.You are powerful enough to shape events, you can use your compassion and kindness to be instrumental in redirecting negative actions.

40.Celebrate all the wins in your life, even the smallest ones.

  • With every victory, your personal power will increase.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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Thinking big is all about believing in you. It's all about internalizing the things you really want are attainable. It's all about making your dreams come true. The one problem that stops people from thinking big is a lack of belief in themselves and in their goals and dreams. They can't get to where they want to go because they don't believe that someone like them could actually get there. Thinking big requires a clear picture of your dreams and in the life that you truly want. If you're going to think big, then believe. Raise your level of belief so that you can start the process of genuinely thinking big in your own life.

First, take a look around you. There are people, right now, in your life that are examples of thinking big. These people are proof that with a roadmap you can get from Point A to Point B. They are also proof that thinking big and achieving big is something within your grasp. Those people got to where they wanted to go. If they did it, so can you. There is a path, and all you have to do is find that path and follow it.

Some people have a problem with believing in themselves because they feel they have nothing to contribute. They haven't come up with any new, game-changing ideas. Because of this, they think that there is no point in thinking big. They have nothing to bring to the table, so why bother. Thinking big is for those other guys that do have creative ideas. The thing is thinking big is not about coming up with revolutionary ideas. Instead, it's about taking an existing idea and making it just a little bit better. Anyone can do this. There is room for improvement everywhere you look.

Here's a simple exercise that anyone can do to build a strong system of self-belief.  Begin every day by deciding that you're going to think bigger about a routine task. This involves asking yourself how you can improve the way the job is performed now. How can you achieve a better result? Can you change how it is currently done? When you take this approach to a single task, bringing all your focus and attention to it, you will find that you actually are achieving better results. This, in turn, reinforces your belief in yourself and in the process of "if you want to think big then believe."

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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People always seem to have something to say. They have opinions about others, and you may be part of those opinions. This can be quite distracting. Remember that criticizing someone takes no effort. This means that these people have really put no effort into what they are saying. Therefore, use these tips to try and make their efforts less effective.

  1. Surround yourself with positive people.
    Spending time with negative people will break your spirits over time. Try to avoid these people as much as possible. When you instead spend time with positive people, that will rub off on you. These positive people are less likely to have negative opinions about you.
  2. Prove naysayers wrong.
    People often have opinions about you because they don’t believe in your abilities. Put that to rest by showing them how wrong they are about the situation.
  3. Don’t be your own worst enemy. If you beat down your abilities, so will everyone else. Have confidence in yourself, and that confidence will show through. Even when people have opinions, your confidence will help you ignore them.
  4. Consider why others are making opinions about you.
    Sometimes, what others say about you may be true. Perhaps you did something that wasn’t right, and you don’t admit to it being a problem. Try to reflect on what they said.
  5. Treat what others say about you as it being none of your business.
    When you have this attitude that it is none of your business, you can go on with your life and not worry about what others believe.
  6. You cannot please everyone and shouldn’t try. Some people like to complain about everything. There is simply no pleasing these people. Why bother trying? Even when you do try, they won't respond. They will continue to complain or have their opinions. Don't waste your time on them. You can spend that time with people who believe in you.
  7. Know that making mistakes will help you learn.
    You may be afraid of making mistakes in front of others. When you do, people may have an opinion about those mistakes. As long as you learn something from your mistakes, that will serve you well in your life. When you realize this, you will be less afraid to make mistakes.
  8. People won’t always do what they advise you to do.
    You have heard a few people say, “if I were you I would…” The trouble is when you see those people faced with the same situation, they don’t even come close to doing what they suggested. Therefore, when you hear that phrase, ignore it and trust your own judgment.
  9. Don’t be opinionated about others.
    If you are always criticizing others, you will gain a bad reputation for doing so. This will cause others to do the same to you. What goes around comes around, as they say. Don’t get caught up in this negative behavior. Some people will still form opinions about you, but it won’t be because you are opinionated yourself.

Here are three action steps you can take:

  1. Write down three mistakes that you have made in the past five years. When you list them, try to remember the lesson you learned from those mistakes. When you show that you are not afraid to make mistakes, others will admire this and be drawn to you.                                                          
  2. Think of two people you had opinions about in the past. Upon learning more information about them, were you wrong? Try to use this information the next time you are compelled to make opinions about others.                                                                                                                                       
  3. List any opinions others have made about you. Which of those opinions were correct? It's challenging to be honest with ourselves. However, if those opinions are well-founded, they can help you improve yourself.

Image by Christine Sponchia from Pixabay

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Embracing Imperfection

The Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi is just embracing imperfection in ourselves and our surroundings, which includes everyone we meet. Everyone we meet will be a tall order, so let us put that aside and look at the flaws in our surroundings and seeing the quirks in ourselves.  This will show us the beauty in life revealed through imperfections.

Many everyday items we use are the result of failed attempts to develop a particular product. Instead of throwing the failed attempt out. They found another use for the failed product. Sticky notes are one example. They were trying to develop a much stronger adhesive for a different purpose altogether.  They looked at what they had and brainstormed till coming up with the idea to repurpose the glue they developed into sticky notes. Nothing went to waste. If they were not willing to see the usefulness of the failure they had, we would not have sticky notes. Something that everyone has used. Corn Flakes came out of trying to control sexual urges. The list goes on.

Try not to Take Yourself so Seriously

Once you start embracing imperfection in objects around you, you will begin to relax into your environment.  You already practice this philosophy without knowing it. All you need to do is acknowledge it and to draw your attention to the objects with imperfections in your life. When I want a cup of coffee, I head for the cabinet. I am already thinking about the mug from the Tolland Innand the chips on the bottom rim. These chips came from my using the mug and my wife washing and putting the mug away. I did not throw the cup out because I chipped it. No, instead, embracing imperfection in the mug,  it can never be replaced. If that mug were to fall and break into pieces, another Tolland House mug could never replace the good feelings from the cup with the chips.

 

My personality and life are full of chips. I have embraced them as who I am. I can laugh at them. I just chuckle and say what a bone head thing to do. Then I picture God rolling on the floor laughing holding his guts calling Peter "get over here, look at what Lefty is doing now. You have to see this. He has outdone himself this time."

 

When you get this perspective in your own life, you will start to encourage others to laugh at their mistakes.  You will show them embracing imperfection is actually a quality instead of a character flaw. The more people you help to embrace imperfection, the more you will be surrounded by people practicing Wabi-Sabi. They will help you stay focused on the beauty of imperfections in life.

 

I have imperfections that I embrace but am actively trying to change. I do not like the effect they have in my life and the people I come in contact with during my daily activities. There are no defects in my life that have transformed themselves into quality or have entirely left my life until I have embraced them as a part of me. Denying them has only empowered them.

Do something out of your comfort zone.

Try learning a new skill or doing something daring. Do this with other people who have done this before. Entering into unknown situations will likely lead to mistakes, which is what you want. Exposing yourself when you know you are going to make mistakes is a very empowering event. It will also build comradery of like-minded people laughing with you at the mistakes you make. When the laughing is done, you will get feedback on how to correct the error to achieve the goal you have set.

Now you will experience what is meant by "hanging out with successful people, and it will rub off on you." 

If you were perfect, you’d be similar to a drone.


You would be the same as everyone else. Where is the fun in that? When you embrace your imperfections, you will realize they make up who you are. It’s best to forget about being perfect.

Image by 진혁 최 from Pixabay

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Using quotes to build self-confidence is a very effective strategy. The great people of history have our respect. I have picked a few to develop your self-confidence and remove the nagging self-doubt which is crippling you.

Put these quotes where you can see them. On your dashboard, desk, phone, any place you visit. This will help you remember them when you are overwhelmed.

Here are four quotes from famous people that deal with self-doubt.

William Shakespeare

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” - William Shakespeare

Self-doubt is crippling because it stops us in our tracks. It tricks us into believing not to try at all. He talks about fear. Like it or not, fear is the root of self-doubt, and we’ll never know what good we’re missing out on because of it. Treat those feelings of doubts like the traitors Mr. Shakespeare recognized them as. Fight them, ignore them, do whatever you have to do to keep them from forcing you into “fearing to attempt” to do what you’ve set out to do.  

Dale Carnegie

"It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about." – Dale Carnegie

So often we focus on what we have, who we are, or who we think we should be, that we forget about being happy. Instead, we let the self-doubt creep in and question everything we do, everything we are, and everything we have accomplished. Don't let self-doubt destroy your happiness. Instead, make it a habit to think about all the good you've done and everything you've accomplished so far. And the key creating this or any practice is to make yourself do it every single day until it becomes a habit. Stick the quote by Mr. Carnegie on your bathroom mirror and use it as a reminder to practice thinking about all your positive accomplishments.  

Robert Frost

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

Here’s an interesting quote by Robert Frost that has an essential lesson about doubt in general and self-doubt in particular in it. It’s not evident at first glance, but in our context, this quote is all about making choices – even the unpopular ones and sticking to them. Self-doubt is often fueled by a lack of confidence in ourselves. And the end result is not taking action on anything. Instead, we become paralyzed into not doing anything, lest we make the wrong choice, or not choose the right road. Frost teaches us that it’s ok to use the road less traveled. The only wrong choice when you come to a fork in the road is not to make any choice at all. Standing there at the fork in the road without choosing your path is what gets you stuck. Make a choice and see it through and who knows where your path will lead you.  

J.K. Rowling 

“Failure is a stripping away of the inessential. “ – J.K. Rowling

It’s an interesting idea, isn’t it? We are so afraid of failure, when it may just be something we should embrace instead. Because when we fail, we learn. Think back to your childhood days. You made lots and lots of mistakes every single day. You had to make every single one of those of errors to get to where you are today. Yet, as adults, we suddenly expect to get it all right on the first try. Take that pressure off yourself and embrace failure. Look at it as a way to get down to what’s truly important and essential. This little shift in perception takes away the bad feeling and self-doubt associated with fear. And suddenly fear no longer paralyzes us into not doing anything, but instead motivates us to take massive action, fail fast and get to the solution that actually works.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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