|Emotional Mastery Emotional intelligence, addiction and recovery, grieving, loss, fear, anger, guilt, resentment, frustration, anxiety, depression, happiness, joy, love, kindness, forgiveness, self-acceptance, confidence, escaping the pit of despair, EFT|
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|01-10-2007, 07:46 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Lack of confidence is a habit
I've seen a lot of posts in this forum about confidence, so I decided to create this thread. Here, I'm sharing my opinion on why the lack of confidence in ourselves is nothing but a habit. Feel free to give your two cents
Being confident is a habit that's developed over time. Confidence is created the same way that low self-esteem is created, by beliefs. If you take actions which lead to low self-esteem, then that's what you get. If you want to change your self-image, then you need to change your actions and beliefs. And the only way to gain confidence, is to condition yourself to be confident, one day at a time.
There's no quick fix for becoming confident. Just like there's no quick fix for losing weight, quitting smoking, attracting terrible relationships or mismanaging your money. Your thoughts, beliefs and habits dictate your life. If you think thoughts of "Oh I'll never be good at xxxx", you will NOT be good at it. Period. No matter how many books you read or podcasts you listen to, your life won't change...until YOU do. And that's why people who read loads of self-help books/blogs and who don't change, continue to complain that self-help is a scam. They think all they have to do is read a book and then boom! They're successful. I don't think so.
I suggest that if you want to be more confident, look at how your environment is reinforcing your low self-esteem and then do something about it. But don't stop there. Then do a little something everyday that your think your ideal self would do, even if it's dressing a little better or drinking more water to be healthy. Also you need to journal and ask yourself "Why do I feel I can't do xxx? Why do I lack confidence in this?" This way you can uncover where these limiting beliefs are orginating from, so you can develop new beliefs to replace the limiting beliefs.
Whenever, I hear myself say "I can't", I turn it around and say "I don't know how to do xxx, but if I really want this, I sure as hell can learn how!"
Here are some examples of how to turn I can't into a positive statement:
Low self-esteem: I can't be wealthy and I'll always be broke.
Instead say: I don't know how to be wealthy, but I can learn the skills from people who are wealthy or who are at least successfully learning to be wealthy. Point: Don't seek help from other broke people who have 50 books on personal finance, but still bounce checks!
Low self-esteem: I can't attact my dream relationship and I'll be lonely forever.
Instead say: I don't know how to attract my dream person. But I can learn how if I seek help and guidance from people in happy relationships. Point: Don't ask for help from people who are in bad relationships, even if they are in your family, are a friend or your co-worker! If you were trying to kick a drug habit, would you ask a current junkie how to quit? So don't seek help from folks in less than stellar relationships.
Low self-esteem: I can't have the career I want and will aways hate my job.
Instead say: I don't know how to get the career I want, but I can figure it out if I seek help from those who love their careers. I can find these people online or offline. All I have to do is ask for help. Point: Don't seek help from people who hate their jobs or who are very status quo! You want to live a purpose centered life, so find people on the journey to success. Don't bother with people who don't care about their careers.
Low self-esteem: I can't lose 50 pounds, be fit or sexy. I'll always be fat.
Instead say: I don't know how to lose 50 pounds, but if I ask for help and advice from healthy people, I can become as sexy and fit as I want to be Point: Don't seek help from people who have poor eating habits. Stay away from folks who are on "See-Food" diets (They eat anything they see and get fat!).
And here is the BIG point...If you don't know HOW to do something, you can ALWAYS learn! Just educate yourself into oblivion and you'll eventually get what you. If you can learn to read, ride a bike, drive or use Windows , you can build confidence in yourself. However, it won't happen overnight, but it will happen if you keep at it.
I hope this post has helped and sorry it's so long. Here is a link to Steve's article on "Education Kills Fear" and the "Overcoming Fear" podcast. I've found both to be very helpful to me.
|01-10-2007, 08:51 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Usually I'm not a fan of how to articles, or "practical confidence" articles, but this I really liked.
I'll only add some extra thoughts - there is no quick fix to confidence, but there are better methods than others - just like wealth creation or weight loss.
|01-10-2007, 09:01 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New Hampshire, USA
This topic reminds me of the book that I'm reading now, Happiness is a Choice. It's all about beliefs and has stories of people changing theirs to become what they want. Good post! Are you by any chance thinking of having a blogging contest with Steve?
|01-10-2007, 09:22 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
i agree with your statement that low self esteem is a habit and that its because of what we think of ourselves. i am working on this in myself at the moment, and it gets frustrating at times, but as you say, one day at a time. it takes patience and awareness to disidentify from all these limiting beliefs.
|01-10-2007, 10:38 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Boston, MA
But I do consider this post to be part of my training to be a Venture Captialist. It's my long term goal (5-6 years from now) to help people create technology companies and make them successful. My life purpose is to shepherd and encourage others to create social value.
Also, the book you are reading sounds interesting. I'm on my way to get take-out Japanese and then I'll stop by the book store to check it out. Thanks for the tip!
|01-13-2007, 08:23 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
Excellent point, I think like that too.
One way to overcome this habit is to surround yourself with reinforcing ideas. Stop listening to stupid music, bad movies and books. Read self-help books, watch Tony Robbins, listen to motivational tapes. You must reinforce the idea within yourself that you are great and you need external support for that. And don't this for a day or two, do this your entire life! Because if you stop you will fall back into your default habits of feeling low.
|01-13-2007, 09:28 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: London, UK
Thoughts aren't enough
I fully agree that you need to get your mental stand point in line before you can really get anywhere with confidence.
However, I don't believe that's enough.
Yes, turn your thoughts around - change from "I can't" to "I can" to "I will" to "I do!" This is integral.
But to truly give yourself confidence, to carry yourself in that special way that some people do that's so clear when you see it, I believe you need to follow this: Non verba, sed facta
That is: Not words, but deeds.
Yes, understand what it is to be confident. Take it upon yourself to know everything there is to know about your goal and how you can reach it. But don't be satifised with just having knowledge. It does nothing simmering in your brain, aside from perhaps sometimes fooling you with a false sense of external accomplishment.
Another belief that is important to let go of is that confidence is something that only comes into play around other people, or where there are external influences involved.
The key to being confident around other people is having complete belief and confidence in yourself as someone who is in control of their reality, emotions, responses and person, when you're alone, AND that that can be carried over to when you're with others.
Just as much as a lack of confidence is built from a series of bad habits in regards to thoughts, it's also bad habits externally, too. You can probably really easilly see these when you start looking for them: you're fully aware of negative thoughts that flick through your mind (in fact you probably give yourself a hard time over them, too), and you're aware of yourself when you look at other people and you feel jealousy or envy.
But are you aware of how you're physically presenting this?
Think about how you position yourself in social situations - if there's a group of people, where do you stand relative to them? Do you face in, or at an angle? When you're talking to someone, do you keep eye contact? Do you watch their mouth, do you mirror how they're standing?
What about when you're by yourself - say, going shopping for example. How do you tend to walk? Slightly slouched or with a straight back? Do you make eye contact with the cashier when they say "Thank you" or are you looking into your wallet/purse and grabbing for your bags to go? How much of your time do you spend smiling? Or dancing?
I think if you can really mulch through the internal mindset that you have and learn how to be "confident" then these things will seep through to your physical, external representation of yourself.
Some people will say that there's either an outside->in (kind of along the lines of: fake it til you make it) or an inside->out approach to this, (kind of like a bottom-up or top-down analysis of something), but I'd have to say that when it comes to confidence it's neither: If you don't believe that you can hold eye contact with someone for an entire conversation, you won't - and if you don't actually hold eye contact with someone, you won't believe you can!
So the solution is this, as you bring your thoughts to clarity, externalise these beliefs at the same time. Stop reading books on confidence (because it's highly likely you already know what you want to achieve and how to do it) and actually start putting things into practise.
The whole point is, your internal beliefs have to be congruent with your external presentations, otherwise you won't see any change, and you'll fall back into that endlessly twisty black spiral of anti-improvement.
If I had to start someone off anywhere, I'd immediately recommend the following (you could even do this right now in front of your pc/laptop) - sit with a straight back, and for heaven's sake SMILE.
Next time you leave the house (hopefully today) take it upon yourself to try and smile consistently. If someone looks at you funny, it's highly likely that it's because they've never had someone in the street smile at them before (people have said this to me!)
The reason I say start off with a smile, is because everyone responds positively to a smile. I think it's just the most lovely external representation of positive energy.
As you see positive responses to your new external representation of yourself, you'll start to internalise people's responses and this will fuel the cycle of superlove crazy happy bonanza.
And I'm pretty sure we all want to be in the cycle of superlove crazy happy bonanza.
|01-13-2007, 12:11 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Excellent thread and posts. I fully agree.
I had to identify that lack of confidence was one of my weaknesses. After going through PD stuff since Oct last year, I can say that its slowly changing. I am making a conscious effort to do so.
It will take time and effort, but once that time has passed and that effort has been put in, looking back I'll be smiling.
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