Am I selfish…?

Am I selfish? And what if I were, really?Am I selfish for wanting to be happy?
Am I selfish for knowing what my worth is?
Even… Am I selfish for not wanting a baby?

We’ve all heard these questions, and variations thereof. And, maybe not surprisingly, I see a strong connection between these types of questions, and having low confidence and self-esteem.

But very well, then. AM I selfish for, say, spending more time, money and energy on myself than on anyone else?

Well, probably. But people tend to forget this one neat little counterpoint…:
Am I selfish? And what if I were?
The problem with the word ‘selfish’ — and, for that matter, the word ‘egotistical’ — is that it’s gotten a bad rep over time. When someone accuses someone else of being selfish, it’s necessarily implied that that person is being TOO selfish.

But… Too selfish for WHAT, exactly? Measured by exactly whose standards?

People rarely, if ever, elaborate on an accusation of selfishness. As if first and foremost tending to one’s own was a bad thing in and by itself.

But there’s good news: It’s not.

Sure, I might be wrong, but my general impression is, those who try to make others feel guilty about allegedly being ‘selfish’ tend to be the ones who don’t allow themselves to have very many joys in life.

Like I’ve talked about before, there’s nothing inherently wrong with allowing yourself to have cool things and experiences. For all we know, we only live once. So if I were you, I’d see to it that I start living it up instead of just getting by.

Yes, there are millions of innocent people suffering worldwide. And the idea that everyone should do their part in raising the lower bar is kind and beautiful, no doubt.

But is it realistic? Is it easily doable? Is it even specific?

Now don’t get me wrong here. Of course, ideally, everyone SHOULD definitely do whatever they can for those in dire need. And if you do, more power to ya.

But if you spend more time, money and energy on anything but your own goal in life, I’d personally say you were doing it wrong. (Unless, of course, that’s your goal in life.)

And, see, that’s another thing. What you do for yourself isn’t necessarily extravagance and gratuitous first-world luxury. It might even be small investments in becoming the person you genuinely want to be.

But everyone are unique and perfect just the way they are!” Yeah, unless, you know, they’re not. And the day you stop developing, you start withering.

 

Am I selfish for wanting to be like Lemmy?
Unless, of course, you simply reach max level. But really, don’t count on that.

By improving myself, I continually get better at improving the world and the people around me. If I didn’t continually spend time, money and energy educating myself on coaching, what kind of a coach would I be??

But of course, it goes way beyond my work. The reason I’m in the self-development industry in the first place is because I’ve been working with self-development on a personal level for years.

And when someone spends years refining the gentle arts of, say, goal-setting, daily reading, mental focus, physical health, time management, inner peace and calm, and prioritizing the most important daily tasks, do they tend to naturally improve the world around them?

Yeah, I thought so.

Now, you might CALL all of this ‘selfishness’. And you might even THINK that there’s something inherently wrong with improving upon oneself. But there isn’t, really. It’d only be you making a judgment.

The whole idea that you wouldn’t improve upon yourself for fear of what others might think is nothing more than a bad excuse for covering up self-sabotage. Because there ARE only excuses for not allowing oneself to grow into one’s inner ideals, however selfish others might judge them to be.

Let’s evolve!

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Can introverts be confident?

Can introverts be confident? Well, some of the world's greatest cultural and political personalities have been introvert. Do the math.I hear this question a lot. And it’s not hard to figure out why. So, CAN introverts be confident, then?

Let’s have a look. But for the purpose, its important to define ‘introvert’.

The Cambridge Dictionary* defines an introvert as “someone who is shy, quiet, and unable to make friends easily”. However, I consider this definition not only to be lacking in detail, but also to be incorrect. I find this much more in-depth description from New World Encyclopedia** far more exhaustive:

The introvert is introspective and finds meaning within, preferring their internal world of thoughts, feelings, fantasies, and dreams. […] Thus, one who is introverted is more likely to spend time alone or in contemplation, as these activities are rewarding. They may avoid social situations entirely, not because they are shy or misanthropic, but because they choose to. Introverts often enjoy long, one-on-one conversations about feelings or ideas, and may give excellent public presentations to large audiences. However, they find solitude, alone with their thoughts, nourishing and restorative.

That one hits the home run. Not only because it’s more detailed, but because it makes the important distinction between introversion and shyness.

As you may have gathered, shyness is strongly associated with low confidence and self-esteem. And so, this is what makes so many people confused.

So in other words, while shy people tend to be introverted, not all introverted people are shy. And in yet other words, just because you’re introverted doesn’t mean you’re non-fident.

On the contrary, some of the world’s greatest achievers were introverts***. And I don’t just mean faceless, corporate suits hiding behind huge desks in tall glass buildings. We’re talking Barack Obama, Albert Einstein, Lady Gaga, Mark Zuckerberg, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, Beyoncé Knowles, Emma Watson, Christina Aguilera, Steven Spielberg, Warren Buffett, J.K. Rowling, Michael Jordan, Harrison Ford, and Marlon Brando here.

The reason so many people ask this question, it would seem, is that in our highly media-oriented culture, introvert behavior and the daily doings of introverts isn’t something we’re exposed to at all.

Think about it. Introverts keep to themselves most of the time. So, do the introverts’ sitting around and minding their own business get sought out by the media? Does it make for great news and entertainment?

NO, duh. What does make for great news and entertainment are the outward directed actions and creations of, well, extroverts, mostly.

And really, can you even blame any media outlets for not doing a reality-style docu-soap about 10 introverts in a house not talking to each other? I mean, I wouldn’t wanna watch myself silently working at my laptop and occasionally eating for 7-8 hours every day.

And yes, I just used myself as an example. Because I’m largely introvert. And yes, I still mostly choose to spend time alone. But I’ve learned to love speaking and performing in front of crowds, and mingle with people at events. Hell, I’ve even learned to accept the social Top Ramen that is small-talk.

So, straight from the horse’s mouth:

It’s not the introversion itself that keeps anyone from doing anything. It’s simply the lack of confidence. They’re two different things.

Just because introverts keep to themselves doesn’t mean they can’t do any of the things that extroverts do. On the contrary, if you’re an introvert, you can be one of the world’s richest business people.

You could be the world’s most talented and successful basketball player. Founder of the world’s biggest social media. One of the world’s most popular and biggest-selling authors, musicians and movie directors. And did anyone say president of the United States?

The proper question, then, is not can introverts be confident?. Rather, it’s can introverts be confident in a culture that values extrovert behavior?.

And fortunately, the answer is a solid yes.


Sources:

* http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/introvert
** http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Introversion_and_extroversion
*** https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/23-amazingly-successful-introverts-throughout-history.html; https://www.feelingsuccess.com/famous-introverts/; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/08/15/famous-introverts_n_3733400.html

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Are you playing the victim?

If you're playing the victim, you will act like a victim. Guess how far that'll get ya?When I set out on my great escape from depression towards a confident life, one of the hardest things to realize was that I had a habit of unconsciously playing the victim.

A habit that I needed to outright slaughter if I was going to get confidence, and get where I wanted to be.

This goes for you and everyone else, too.

I find that pretty much all of us play the victim from time to time. You might only do it in certain areas of your life; you might only do it in certain periods — like when you’re really low on confidence and self-esteem.

Chances are, you’re doing it. No matter the details.

But you don’t get it! I…

Oh yes, I do very much so get it. Because I’ve been there, taken the ride and gotten my picture taken, and I’ve had it sit on my mantelpiece for years and years. And it did me no good.

But…

Yeah, there’s that word again. “But”. Let me guess…

Following that “but”, you were gonna talk about how this-and-that were affecting you in whichever-and-whatever way. And about how you wouldn’t know what to do about it, and how there might not be anything you CAN do about it. Because it’s out of your hands.

Here’s a great new way of thinking for ya:

Whenever we play the “but…”-game, we’re playing the victim.

It doesn’t matter how “right” we might be; what happened when; or what which person said or did. There are only two things that matter:

    1) How we think about it

    2) What we do about it

How we think about things speaks volumes of who we are. And if you wanna be the kind of person who thinks like a victor, not a victim, it all starts with the simple choice of doing so.

This is an area worth many articles and books in itself. For now, I’ll simply say that it CAN be done. But you gotta truly want it, and you gotta be willing to let go of those non-supportive ways of thinking. Including the “but…”-game.

And then, of course, there’s the small matter of what we do about things. — A matter which speaks immensely greater magnitudes of who we are, and which in itself is worth not several books, but libraries altogether.

If we really wanna do the things we say we wanna do, we need to think about them the right way. This means we need to stop playing the victim.

Nobody who ever completed any goal worth pursuing ever did so by playing the victim.

Yes, a lot of things happened to you. Yes, they hurt, and yes, it’s tough. What are you doing about it?

When we think like victims, we will act like victims. But when we think confidently, we will act confidently. And that’s how we set ourselves up to win.

Now, don’t get me wrong on all of this. This insight — this ONE insight of how I’d been playing the victim, and how I needed to take responsibility for my thoughts and actions — is one of the harshest insights I’ve ever had to deal with.

Re-wiring my ways of thinking took years, and it probably will for you, too. But if you really want to, and if you keep at it, you WILL find a way to do it.

ACTION ITEM:

For the next week, don’t begin any of your thoughts or spoken sentences with the word “but”. Instead, substitute for “yes”, or at least “okay”.

Notice how this one simple way of thinking makes you more open and accepting towards new ideas rather than being all-too conveniently dismissive of them.

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My thoughts on Mayo Clinic’s self-esteem checklist

Confidence coaching helps you gain and grow confidence and self-esteem once and for all.I came upon an article from Mayo Clinic the other day that really tickled my passion for confidence and self-esteem. So I thought I’d comment their take on the matter of healthy self-esteem.

First of all, they’re actually doing an important job by mentioning the factors that might influence our self-esteem. Which are as follows:

  • Your own thoughts and perceptions
  • How other people react to you
  • Experiences at home, school, work and in the community
  • Illness, disability or injury
  • Culture or religion
  • Role and status in society
  • Media messages

This is important, because I don’t think many people realize how many factors actually contribute to how we view and assess ourselves. Go ahead: Try to see if there’s any of the above points that doesn’t pertain to you.

Many of these things are more or less inescapable conditions that come with being a living human. We all have thoughts and perceptions. We all have other people react to us. By far most of us have homes, schools and jobs, and we all belong to several kinds of communities.

We all experience illness, disability or injury at some point. We all belong to certain cultures — national, local and subcultural. We’re not all religious, but being irreligious or simply “spiritual” has just as much effect on our identities. And whether we like it or not, we all have a certain societal staus, and we’re all exposed to certain media. (Unless you’re a forest-dwelling, Walden-style hermit, in which case, thanks for reading!)

The most important point Mayo Clinic makes is that the biggest impact on our self-esteem probably lies within our own thoughts. This is something we need to realize — especially when we’re low on confidence and self-esteem; and this is what confidence coaching is all about. We have the ability to change our thoughts towards patterns that support us.

If only more people were aware of this.

Another important point is that when we have high confidence and self-esteem, we’re more open to learning and feedback. This enables us to aquire and master new skills. The less confident and self-appreciative you are, the harder it is to take criticism. Confident people see opportunities for learning all around. Non-fident people see only struggling with everyday mundanities.

One thing I would question, though, is the premise that Mayo Clinic only talks about “normal, healthy” and “low” self-esteem, hinting to those two as being the “extremes”. They don’t mention “high”, or, indeed, “too high” self-esteem, and I think this illustrates the missing perspective:

When self-esteem is healthy and grounded in reality, it’s hard to have too much of it. Boasting and feeling superior to others around you isn’t a sign of too much self-esteem. It’s more likely evidence of insecurity and low self-esteem.“

While I would sometimes consider boasting a sign of insecurity, I think feeling superior CAN be a quite realistic judgment. If I earned millions, traveled the world, played hard rock on sold-out stadiums, had sex with supermodels, survived truckloads of drugs and maybe did extreme sports, I’d consider myself superior to most people.

But…

When is self-esteem “too much”? If you have “too much” of it, isn’t that exactly because it’s no longer “healthy and grounded in reality”?

Maybe part of the explanation lies in the summarizing conclusion, with which I also wholeheartedly agree:

Maintaining a healthy, realistic view of yourself isn’t about blowing your own horn. It’s about learning to like and respect yourself — faults and all.

The entire article can be found here.

(NB: Mayo Clinic are nonprofit, and I’m in no way affiliated with them.)

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5 stupid excuses for giving up

Your excuses for giving up are pathetic, and deep down you probably know it.Today, I’ll be presenting 5 stupid excuses for giving up. Last week, I wrote about consistency, and simply about giving up. Consider this post, then, the end of a trilogy.

There’s a saying that goes: “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.

Boom. Love it.

If a project is neither necessary or interesting for you anymore, there’s no shame in abandoning it. But otherwise, there are only excuses for giving up on working towards our deepest dreams and desires.

And I wage that there are only stupid excuses for giving up the project of building one’s confidence.

With that, I hereby line up five of these excuses and debunk them one at a time:

 

#1. “I’ve tried everything

First of all, no you haven’t. Because if you did, you’d have succeeded.

Second, let’s even say for a moment, hypothetically, that you’d literally tried everything and still not succeeded. Ask yourself what’s most likely: That A) somehow it just doesn’t work for you out of everyone who’s tried everything, ever, or that B) there’s one or more steps which you simply haven’t done properly.

 

#2. “It’s too hard

Too hard for what?? Nothing is “too hard” if you do it in achievable magnitudes. In other words: Break it down into smaller bits and don’t do more than possible at a time.

Even if you’re about to take on a major endeavour, you gotta start wherever you’re at. And all the better if you start slowly and accelerate gradually. If you’re gonna run a marathon, you’re not gonna start off by doing all 26 miles at once. But if you can run 20 minutes three times a week, you’re off to a decent start.

Wanna start your own business? Read the three best books in your field and you’ll be way ahead of the vast majority.

 

#3. “I’ve given up on everything else, once more won’t make any difference

This isn’t something we say out loud, but a piece of inner dialogue. It’s habitual thinking out of habitual action — or lack thereof. And it’s a painfully obvious result of low confidence and self-esteem.

If it’s important to you, it does so make a difference that you don’t give up. And that, plus the fact that you’ve given up on “everything else”, even if it’s an exaggeration, is all the more reason for you to not give up on this one.

 

#4. “I haven’t got the time

Just like the “I’ve tried everything” mindset, this mindset is one of limited resourcefulness. It’s probably the most common and reasonable one on here. — But it’s still no more than an excuse.

You see… WE ALL HAVE 24 HOURS EVERY DAY.

There is no such thing as “I haven’t got the time”. There is only wrong prioritizing and lack of energy, and these are amenable obstacles.

Getting a coach is a hugely effective way of solving this.

 

#5. “It feels safer and more comfortable doing what I’m used to

Like #3, this is one of those unsaid excuses we only tell ourselves, and that is just eerily close to its origin in fear, insecurity, and low confidence/self-esteem.

Look…:

The biggest risk is to bet your entire life on fear-based habits and instant gratification.

We’re here once. No reasonable basis for thinking otherwise. So let’s establish all the confidence we need. Let’s not waste our only chance by letting fear and insecurity get in the way.

Let’s stop coming up with dumb excuses for giving up on our true goals.

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Giving up is for losers

Giving up is the only, 100% surefire guaranteed way to lose.If you ever feel like giving up, here’s a little something to think about: What do 100% of everyone who give up have in common?

Please read on as you ponder this question.

When I claim that ‘giving up is for losers’, I’m not being pretentiously cynical. On the contrary, I’m being as literal as possible.

You see, when you give up on something, losing is inevitable. Losing, by definition, is a direct consequence of giving up.

We might have many a good reason for giving up on something. We might find out it’s not what we really want — or need. Maybe we don’t want it bad enough to hone the necessary skills. Maybe it didn’t align with our personal values.

But whatever the reason for quitting, it will necessarily mean not succeeding.

So, reversely, does this mean that simply keeping at something will necessarily result in success?

Actually… Yeah, pretty much!

Of course, there are parameters that need to be in order. You gotta know what you’re doing. You gotta do the right things, and preferably in the right sequence.

But you’re not gonna succeed unless you keep at it, and never, ever give up.

This is what having a strong confidence will help you do.

Think of it like this: Hypothetically, if you have exactly ZERO confidence in yourself, how far are you going to get in life?

Yeah, pretty much nowhere. Because, if you believe you literally can’t do anything whatsoever, why would you even bother?

But just imagine what it would be like if you had the highest possible level of confidence in the world.

Man, you’d be out there. Struggling. Sucking up blow upon devastating blow; getting on your feet over and over. Making no excuses; persisting no matter what.

Winning!

Because you’d not only think, but know that success was inevitable.

And you know what? Sometimes, this is kind of what not giving up feels like. (And, just to clear all doubt: It feels terrific.)

By now, you might have guessed the obvious answer to the initial question: What do 100% of everyone who give up have in common?

That’s right: THEY LOSE.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t abandon any project that no longer serves you? Of course not!

I kept holding on to my education for years. Because there was a part of me that would feel like I’d suffer defeat if I didn’t get my master’s degree. But when I finally took the decision of letting it go and becoming an entrepreneur, it was the best thing I’d ever done for myself.

Now, I’m not taking any responsibility if you all decide to drop out after reading this. But I’m saying that whatever we need to never give up on should, ideally, be something that matters so much to us that giving up on it really would be a defeat.

There are enough losers as it is. Don’t become one.

Now, as for what you should be forever devoted to, that’s entirely up to you. 😉

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Consistency — why is it important to me?

Confidence and consistency go hand in hand.Yes: Consistency. Now there’s an abstract word for you. Why would I present my readers with such an intangible term?

Because consistency applies to each and every one of us if we wanna get confidence on a permanent basis.

But how?

Well, thank you for asking!

Consistency basically means a constant regularity in whatever it is that you do.

For many people, especially those with low confidence and self-esteem, keeping up a critical amount of consistency can be an uphill battle. This, in part, is because consistency in itself is worth little to nothing without the necessary confidence and resolve to pursue one’s wishes.

However, achieving a certain amount of consistency can very well be the much-needed success which, then, becomes the tipping point towards unstoppable momentum.

Well, that sounds great. How does one do that?

Well, thank you for asking once again!

First, we need to make sure we have the right kind of consistency. By this, I mean that we need to be doing the right things.

Sounds obvious, yes? Well, it’s definitely NOT that obvious when you look at how far too many people spend their free time fidgeting away on their smartphones or watching TV instead of improving their lives in any way.

Many of us have consistency in getting up and going to work every morning, because we know that NOT doing so would have dire consequences. Just imagine if we could apply the same consistency to any goal of ours…

For example, let’s say you wanna lose weight. Here’s some hand-picked do’s and don’t’s for weight loss:

– Cardio exercise
– No sugar, starchy carbs or saturated fats
– 7-8 hours of sleep
– No smoking
– No more than 2 units of alcohol in one day
– Whole grains, fibres, legumes, and vegetables galore

I’m certain that by far most of you could meet all of the above in one day. Just one.

But how about one week? Or one month?

This is where having a strong confidence comes in handy. This is, amongst other things, what I help people do.

Now, it’s extremely important to know that we DON’T need to be some sort of superhuman who adheres to a set of criteria like these every single day for the rest of our lives. We need some variation; we need to go on holidays every once in a while. Hell, we need weekends to let loose and recover.

But if we don’t do certain actions on a sufficiently regular basis, we’ll never have the consistency we need to achieve the lives we truly want.

ACTION ITEM:

1) Pick just one action necessary to reach any goal of yours. Make sure it’s fairly compact and easily manageable; preferably doable in 1/2 hour — like with cardio exercise.
2) Do this action Monday, Wednesday and Friday the next week. Schedule time in your calendar this Sunday.
3) Repeat upon completion.
4) Repeat until you’ve done it for one month. Then, do it for another month.
5) Congratulations. You’ve just developed a habit supportive of your success.

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Depression is NOT “laziness”, it’s your ignorance and arrogance that’s lazy.

What does low confidence have in common with depression? A lot of things, including that none of them can be reduced to a simple matter of "laziness".Many non-fident people will be familiar with depression. In fact, you could very well say that confidence and self-esteem are pretty safe antidotes for depression. — And vice versa.

When we’re depressed, we have little faith in our abilities and our future. In our purpose, our entire existence, our very worth as human beings. Depression in its worst forms can be one of the most debilitating non-lethal illnesses ever known to mankind. In fact, according to the WHO, depression will account for “the highest level of disability accorded any physical or mental disorder in the world” by 2030.*

(And I say “non-lethal”. Because in the case of suicidal depression, it’s technically not the disease itself that kills you.)

And then, some ignorant, self-righteous idiot starts claiming that it’s all about “being lazy”, “pulling yourself together”, and “if I can, so can you”. And then, I involuntarily grind my teeth and clench my fists.

As if depression was simply a matter of being “lazy”. I mean, how dare these people?!

As if anyone who, remarkably enough, knows absolutely nothing about depression, were even remotely qualified to have an opinion on the matter. — Much less write the whole thing off as “laziness”.

Seriously, if you’ve ever thought someone suffering from depression was simply being lazy, up yours. Your point of view is not only objectively wrong and twisted, it’s insulting and harmful. The end, period.

In fact, I think it’s about time we put the very idea of “laziness” to scrutiny. Because what I’ve found is that, when there’s someone we might consider “lazy”, there’s really all other kinds of stuff going on underneath that perceived laziness.

There’s fear. Insecurity. Barriers. There is analysis paralysis. These things tend to manifest as procrastination, inactivity, isolation, and defensiveness.

… But they’re NOT “laziness”.

And no, not even procrastination. It’s all based in fear; it’s all driven by fear.

Insecurity is basically fear. We perceive barriers out of fear. We over-think, second-guess and go into analysis paralysis out of fear. The most primal human feeling, (apart from the conglomerate of physical attraction, survival instinct and dopamine-induced emotions that we call love), is fear.

… NOT “laziness”.

– “Okay, so now there’s no lazy people anymore? What if the name is there for a reason?

Well, everything’s here for a myriad of reasons. But just because every ol’ man-made notion or idea is here for a reason doesn’t make it true.

Our ancestors used to think the solar system was geocentric. Errrrrrp, wrong answer.

It’s not that I’m writing off the idea that someone can be lazy. But psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors and mental therapists have long since built an entire bulletproof framework around the concept of depression. By working with people suffering from depression and low confidence/self-esteem.

— Just like astronomers have long since discovered that our solar system is heliocentric.

Depression is real; it’s medically proven; and it’s not laziness. On the contrary, the only thing that’s remotely lazy in this context is the ignorance and arrogant attitude of anyone who claims that depressed people are simply being “lazy”.

 

* Source: https://www.psychology.org.au/publications/inpsych/2012/february/manicavasagar/

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On the paradox of finding comfort in low confidence

No matter how safe you might feel, staying with your low confidence is the biggest risk of all.If you know anyone with low confidence, you’d want them to feel more confident, right?

However, things aren’t always that simple.

Low confidence is a lot like depression. In that it has that one counter-intuitive paradox to it:

Depression and low confidence holds us back. But for that same reason, they can actually feel safe.

Indeed, confidence can be scary!

… Well, actually, it’s not confidence in itself that’s scary. On the contrary, confidence is the antithesis to being scared.

However, if one has low confidence or none at all, the IDEA of having it can sometimes be quite frightening.

Indeed, if you have low confidence, confident people can come off as brash, intimidating, and careless towards other people’s sensitivities.

Therefore, staying in your “safe spaces” can seem all too easily obvious. You don’t speak up; you tend not to disagree; maybe you don’t even get out much.

Ultimately, your low confidence can end up as a sort of trusted companion to you. Because not taking any risks can seem safe and secure.

And — you guessed it — here’s what’s wrong with that…:

Deep down and honestly, beyond all the fear, doubt and superficial comfort, we all know that we want more than that. Some of us might even know that we actually CAN DO better than that.

But taking action can be scary. Because often, we wouldn’t know where to start. Nobody told us. How would we know?

And what if we mess it all up beyond repair?? We could ruin our reputation, right?! And other people would maybe LAUGH at us!!

Here’s what we all need to realize:

The biggest risk is not taking any action at all.

Altogether now:

THE BIGGEST RISK IS NOT TAKING ANY ACTION AT ALL.

Only when we’ve made it fully clear to ourselves that our perceived comfort in low confidence is by far the bigger evil can we move towards action.

And the good part is that often, the biggest difference is not what action we take, rather than the fact that we take action in the first place.

See, if we truly wanna get confidence, we gotta start by getting used to taking action. And, popularly speaking, this means, get off your ass and deal with your circumstances.

But no, really: If you don’t take action on your own behalf, who do you expect will do it for you?

Nobody will! Your parents won’t be around forever. And your friends’ support, however generous, only goes so far. Their food budget isn’t yours, and you can’t stay on their couch forever. (Or, indeed, any couch.)

And of course, this only applies to those lucky enough to have parents and supportive friends. Not everyone is.

Whatever’s the case, it really is up to you to take action.

ACTION ITEM:

This week, stretch yourself. Challenge yourself in an area of your life where you have particularly low confidence. (And if that’s “all of them”, just pick one.)

If you’re anxious about approaching other people, do it. Ask a stranger for directions anywhere and exchange a few words in the process. If you feel like you could have done a lot better, do it again.

Getting our of our comfort zone is the true killer of low confidence.

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Forget about forgetting your insecurity — here’s what to do instead!

Only when we accept our insecurity will we get confidence to move on.Deep down, we’d all like to be able to simply forget — or delete — our insecurity.

Some people will claim that we’re better off having insecurity. Because it’s a natural, human trait that keeps us grounded and in touch with our humility.

But when someone with certain ambitions also has low confidence… They just wanna find that insecurity and simply press ‘delete’.

I know you’re out there, and I totally hear you.

However, here’s why we need to go about it a different way…:

Obviously there’s the fact that doing away with a considerable part of our mindset tends to be a time- and ressource-demanding process.

But there’s also the fact that when we want to get rid of something, first we need to accept it.

Those of you who struggle with stress and panic anxiety will know this. The more we fight it, the worse it tends to get. It doesn’t start to go away until we calmly and openly acknowledge and accept that it’s there.

It’s like that for all imaginable problems, really.

Hell, just imagine trying to walk on a broken leg because you won’t accept that it’s broken. Not exactly clever, yeah?

When we accept something, we grow a little. I’m all about personal growth, and this case is no exception.

Because, just like with stress and anxiety, when we embrace insecurity, its influence lessens because we allow ourselves to contain it.

When we’re big enough, we can contain anything. Including the things that have been opposing us. And if we simply absorb our obstacles, they’re no longer in our way.

Pretty cool philosophy, right?

Furthermore, if you’ve ever been insecure, you’ll always remember that feeling no matter how hard you try to forget it. So really, it’s no use. But the root of the matter is, it’s not about forgetting; it’s about learning to ignore it at the right moments.

And yes, I specifically use the word ‘ignore‘ here. Some might think me self-contradictory for talking about embracing insecurity first and  then simply ignore it. But really, this is how confident people do it.

Given the right set of circumstances, anyone can feel insecure about something. This is basic, primal neural functions at work. We’re hardwired to look for trouble. But that doesn’t mean there’s really anything to be insecure about. So we need to learn to distinguish between real and perceived threats. Then, we’ll be able to tell our insecurity to calm down when it’s not useful.

Which, in fact, it rarely is.

Now, apart from acknowledging your insecurity, there are several things you can do that will naturally diminish it.

If done right, meditation helps. Also, exercise is always a good thing. Eating healthy and getting enough sleep should go without saying. (And then, of course, there’s confidence coaching, which I most heartily recommend!)

Different things work for different people. But however you live your life, always remember this:

Everyone feels insecurity. Even confident people. It’s what we DO about it that shows our real character.

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