Who’s your biggest cheerleader? Your mom, dad, significant other? Perhaps it’s someone in your immediate family, a close friend or an acquaintance? However, If you didn’t put yourself at the top of that list – we need to talk because you’ve got a problem. It may be comforting to know that other people want you to be successful – to live up to your full potential – but unless you believe in yourself – what others think means absolutely nothing. They can’t do it for you – others don’t determine your potential – only you can do that.
Are you doing what you really love to do – what truly makes you happy – what you were born to do? Or have you settled for something less? When you get up in the morning do you hit the ground running – full of energy and excitement – ready to take on the day or do you roll over in bed and try to squeeze the last 10 minutes out of your morning before the alarm clock summons you again? If that sounds all too familiar – then it’s time for you to make a change.
In a perfect world – what would you rather be doing? Take a moment and think about that. If you could start over – what would your ideal life look like? I want you to take a blank piece of paper and write it down. If you haven’t figured out yet what you’d rather be doing then start a “Happy Journal”. For the next two weeks – every time you catch yourself smiling – write down what you where doing at that moment. After recording your happy moments over a period of two weeks a pattern should start to emerge. What ever made you smile – is what you are truly meant to be doing.
Are you prepared to do what ever it takes to realize your full potential? Are you prepared to put a plan together and work your plan? If you believe you are mentally and physically capable of doing what you’d rather be doing – then the only person standing in your way is you. Once you’ve decided what your ideal career looks like – what new skills will you need to learn to accomplish it? Write those down on that piece of paper. What books will you need to start reading? What night courses should you sign up for? What associations or networking groups should you join? You need to surround yourself with “like” people. Think it, act it, and eventually you’ll become it. You aren’t born knowing how – but you are born with the ability to learn. Believe in yourself and never ever give up on becoming what you where truly meant to be. You’ve got to get out of your own way. You need to be your biggest cheerleader. 🙂
Life’s a circle. You get back what ever you put out. Attitude – your attitude is everything – it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think you can – or can’t – you’re right. The difference between those who accomplish what they set out to do – and those who don’t – are those who have an unshakeable belief in themselves. They truly believe they will achieve what ever they set out to do. They don’t let self-doubt creep in and sabotage themselves.
Worth Remembering … “If one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams and endeavors to live the life that they imagined, they will meet with success unexpected in common hours” – Henry David Thoreau
I’m not going to get too deep here – but your internal dialogue (what you say to yourself) has everything to do with how you see yourself. We all feel insecure and unsure of ourselves at times. We all have self-doubt – especially if we are attempting to do something for the very first time. Don’t let failure get in the way of you taking that first step. Self-doubt translates into a lack of confidence – which causes us to think negative thoughts – which in turn causes us to hold back and give up easily rather than face tough challenges. Have enough confidence in yourself – and your abilities – that you can accomplished anything you set out to do.
Worth Remembering … “Lack of confidence is not the result of difficulty. The difficulty comes from the lack of confidence.” – Seneca.
World class athletes, just like world-class actors visualize a gold medal – Oscar-winning performance. They set themselves up for a positive experience by visualizing in their mind’s eye what their performance will look like. They see themselves being successful. They see themselves as winners not whiners. You need to start acting like a winner. The more you do it – the more you will become it. (Think it, act it, become it) The better people think they are, the better they will be.
Here are some helpful tips on how to boost your self-confidence:
- Look for a role model or a mentor: What do they do that makes them appear confident? Act like they act and you’ll eventually begin to act like they act. When you change the habit – you change the result.
- Focus on your achievements not your failures: Focus on what you did well – and what you are going to improve upon the next time. We can all improve. Failure is not fatal. Not getting back up and trying again is.
- Be prepared for any task: Nothing beats thinking and planning it out. You can’t be prepared for everything but you should be able to predict the kinds of things that could go wrong and what you’ll do if it happens.
- Expect the unexpected: Remember nothing – and I mean nothing – ever goes exactly as planned. You need to learn to go with the flow and have confidence in your own ability to deal with what ever gets thrown your way.
Remember – You are what you think and do.
Dr. Nathaniel Branden – a Lecturer and practicing psychotherapists who has done more that any other theorist to advocate the importance of self-esteem to human well-being – and author of “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” believes that the value of self-esteem lies not merely in the fact that it allows us to feel better but that it allows us to live better – to respond to challenges and opportunities more resourcefully and more appropriately. Of all the judgements we pass in life, none is more important as the one we pass on ourselves. 🙂
Copyright 2012. Brian Smith. Excerpts for this article were taken from Brian’s soon-to-be published book self-help book “Get-A-Grip – Wishing and Hoping Won’t Make it Happen”
Worth Remembering …
“The better people think they are , the better they will be. A positive self-image creates success.” – Liisa Joronen
What is your biggest obstacle to more self-confidence? I think it’s your internal dialogue – the way you talk to yourself. If you think negative thoughts – then negative thoughts will happen. (It’s the law of attraction)
Here’s a story that will help explain what negative thinking can do. I know most of the golfers out there can identify with this. (Certainly the ones I play with) Have you ever walked on to a tee-box – ready to hit your first drive down the centre of the fairway – but you couldn’t stop thinking about the water hazard lurking just out of the corner of your eye to your right? You kept saying to yourself, “Whatever you do – DON’T hit it into the water”. And what did you end up doing? That’s right – you hit it into the water anyways. (That’s the law of attraction)
World class athletes, just like world class actors visualize a gold medal – Oscar winning performance. They set themselves up for a positive experience by visualizing in their minds eye what their performance will look like. And then they go out and replay that winning performance in real time.
If you have recently been promoted to a management position – but lack the self-confidence that only experience on the job can bring – take a page out of the actors handbook and try visualizing how a good manager looks and acts and then play that video in real time. (Fake it – until you make it) The more you do it – the more it will become you.
Here are five helpful tips on how to give your self-confidence a boost:
- Look for a role model or mentor. What is it about their style that you like? What do they do that makes them appear confident? How do they act? Act like they act – you will eventually act the same way.
- Focus on your achievements rather then your failures. Focus on what you’ve done well and what you are going to do better the next time you have the same opportunity. We can all improve. We’ve all done things that in hindsight we would have done differently.
- Focus on your good qualities. I can’t grow a full beard to save my life – but I can grow a great mustache. I’m a compassionate person and will give anyone a break. I believe in second chances. (Up to a point – but don’t try to take advantage of my good nature. I can be assertive when the situation warrants it)
- Dress for the job you want not the one you have. Clothes have a way of framing our thoughts. If you feel good about the way you look – you’ll feel better about yourself and project a more confident image. Their perception is the new reality.
- Expect the unexpected. Remember – nothing ever goes completely as planned. You need to learn to go with the flow and adapt. Have confidence in your own ability to deal with whatever gets thrown your way. You need to be able to solve problems by thinking on your feet – making the best decision that you can – with the information that you have at the moment – and move on.
Worth Remembering ”’
“Lack of confidence is not the result of difficulty. The difficulty comes from the lack of confidence.” – Seneca
Sir Winston Churchill once said “For myself – I am an optimist. It does not seem to be much use being anything else.” Do you walk around thinking that your cup is half-full or half-empty? I choose to see my cup as half-full. I choose to see the positives in everything that happens to me and around me – because I believe that everything in life is a learning opportunity. Even the negative things that happen to you, and trust me there will be plenty of them, are really positives if you choose to look at them from a different point of view. (It also helps if you believe in fate) I believe everything that happens to you in life – happens for a reason. Whatever happens today is preparing you for what is going to happen tomorrow.
Worth Remembering … “The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn” – Amanda Curtis Kane
I believe I am without a doubt the most optimistic person you will ever meet. But besides being an eternal optimist I’m also a realist. (I do have my Dr. Phil moments of clarity) I know that I can’t control everything that goes on around me. I know most outcomes are out of my hands. But I do know that I can control how I choose to react in any given situation. I know that in that space between stimulus and response that Dr. Covey talks about – and what Dr. Viktor Frankl knows to be true from his own experiences – that I must react in a way that is going to get me what I want.
Worth Remembering … “Everything can be taken away from man but one thing – to choose – ones attitude in a given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” – Frankl
Viktor Frankl was born into a Jewish Family and ended up being shipped to a German Nazi Concentration Camp along with his wife, mother and father during the Second World War. He lost his wife to the camp at Bergen-Belsen, his father to the camp at Theresienstadt and his mother to Auschwitz. Viktor considered himself one of the lucky ones who managed to survive the camps. Viktor understood the power to choose. Viktor understood that no one else but he could decide how he wanted to react to any given situation.
Viktor believed that the most powerful motivating and driving force in one’s life is the quest to find meaning in one’s life. He believed that it is that search for meaning which motivates us to carry on. And in some cases to endure tremendous hardships with the thought that there must be a better future waiting for us. Viktor believed that although the Nazi’s had taken away all that was dear to him – his prized manuscripts, his wife, his loving parents and friends – they could not take away his ability to choose.
Worth Remembering … “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound; rebuild those plans and set sail once more toward your goal” – Hill
Everything you do – is a matter of choice. You may not like the choices that you have to pick from – but it is a choice. You can choose to do nothing – and see what happens – or you can choose to do something and hopefully end up with what you want. Like Viktor – we all have choices. If you change the way you look at things – the things you look at will change. It’s a matter of choice.