Forget about never being made fun of: Here’s what to do instead

Being made fun of happens to everyone, and it's not up to us to decide the details. So we might as well embrace it.Being made fun of is probably one of the most common fears among people with confidence and self-esteem issues. And for many a good reason.

With the possible exception of Larry David and other deliberately self-deprecating comedians, nobody likes being made fun of. When somebody makes fun of us, a part of us is involuntarily exposed beyond our control. We don’t get to decide when it happens, or in front of whom, or the specific subject matter.

If we feel particularly vulnerable towards ridicule, we might feel like preventing being made fun of by only surrounding ourselves with asskissers and yes-men. But really, show me just one person who’s effectively made that idea work.

Or, we might feel like not surrounding ourselves with people at all — yet another common go-to idea amongst non-fidents. And can you guess if that’s really a good, sensible idea?

Yeah, I thought so.

So, what do we do about being made fun of, then?

Well, as with a great many other things in life, there are options. And, as with life in general, there’s no manual. So, in practice, it really comes down to personal preference and simply winging it.

However, if we wish to take the path of confidence, there are certain things to consider.

You see, confidence is all about latitude and inclusiveness. The more confident we are, the bigger we consider ourselves. And the bigger we consider ourselves, the more we allow ourselves to contain. Even being made fun of.

This doesn’t mean we should lie down and take one insult after another like a little, submissive bitch. It means we should consider the reasons we might FEEL like a little, submissive bitch. Is it someone else “making” us feel this way? Or would we feel this way at all if we weren’t disposed towards it in the first place?

This is a provocative question, I know. And as such, it’s all the more important to consider.

And here’s something else…

Have you ever noticed how no matter what happens in any given week, satirical shows will necessarily find a way to poke fun at it?

In fact, have you ever noticed how you’re not the only person being made fun of? And, indeed, have you ever noticed how anyone can, in principle, make fun of anything, at any time?

Yes, they can. And this just so happens to include you. And me. In fact, everyone.

This is one of those inescapable conditions of being human. There’s no changing it.

And this is why, when we try to actively escape or refrain from being made fun of, it only makes us look even more pathetic and hilarious. Because, considering how far we’ve come as a civilization, certain human traits ARE still pretty inelegant.

So accept it. Forget about never being made fun of. Instead, learn to embrace and love the idea that anyone can, in principle, make fun of anything, at any time — including you. Anything else is just fear-based insecurity.

Which everybody has. It’s just that confident people act in spite of it. And Hell, confident people even make fun of themselves.

MENTAL EXERCISE

1) Turn off your phone, and eliminate all other possible distractions.
2) Close your eyes.
3) Now imagine that you’re 200 feet tall and made out of diamonds.
4) Get heavy on the details. Imagine your surroundings. Where are you at? Is it a city? If yes, which one, and which part of it?
Try walking around. What do people, buildings, animals, cars, streets, etc. look like from up there?
Engage your other senses as well. Are you hearing the wind more clearly up there? Maybe tasting the cool air?
Are you walking slowly and confidently? Do movements seem slower? Maybe less risky than usual?

Try doing this for 5 minutes. Notice how you feel afterwards.

It’s when we think of ourselves as big that we grow a little.

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Overcoming analysis paralysis in 6 simple steps

Analysis paralysis should be dealt with like any other problem: Calmly, systematically and meticulously.Analysis paralysis is a term that seems to be increasing in popularity. And it’s a term with which many non-fidents, whether they’ve come across it or not, will be all too familiar.

Basically, analysis paralysis means over-thinking and over-analyzing one’s options until they all seem equally good, bad, or anywhere in-between. And so one is left unable to make a choice and move on.

The expression allegedly stems from ‘paralysis by analysis’, which should be seen as the opposite of ‘extinct by instinct’. The latter, of course, meaning a disastrous choice based on reflexes or one’s immediate gut feeling.

Making choices can be hard when we’re low on confidence and self-esteem. It should come as no surprise that confident people tend to have a can-do mentality. They’re effective, energetic, and they take firm, consistent action.

And, of course, non-fident people tend to be the exact opposite: Timid, apprehensive, and reticent.

Certain studies could be said to point towards non-fident people generally having higher brain activity.* However, others point towards the exact opposite.**

The basis for analysis paralysis, then, must be found in the one emotion by which non-fident people tend to let themselves be guided…

Fear.

Fear is one of the most common human motivators. And it doesn’t only apply to non-fident people. We’re all afraid of something, and only the fewest of us dare defy our instincts and seek out the source of our fear. Because instincts are exactly what’s at play here. In other words: We can’t really help it.

… But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to get around it. And in the case of analysis paralysis, here’s 6 simple steps not only taking that damn decision, but standing by it and making sure you keep moving forward.

#1 Get outside perspective

When we’ve been stuck with a problem for a certain amount of time, we tend to reach a point of saturation. It’s not funny or interesting anymore, and we just wanna move on. Enough is enough already.

In one such forest-for-the-trees situation, as it were, outside perspective often does the trick. Different people have different perspectives and ideas, and we can only analyze so deep on our own.

Consulting someone who has a certain amount of experience regarding the matter may be preferable. But if you’re stuck, any input is better than nothing. And in certain cases, a total outside stranger to the topic might actually provide a less biased, less predisposed angle on your situation.

#2 Eyes on the prize

Whatever you do, working towards a meaningful goal is a powerful motivator. — One that is all too unfamiliar for most non-fident people. If you have a clearly defined goal, the easier it is to take action. And the more clearly defined your goal is, the easier it’ll be knowing exactly what to do.

But whether or not you have one such goal, ask yourself things like, “Will this choice bring me closer to where I wanna be in life?” “Does this choice align with my values and my identity?” “In one year, will I be happy I made this choice?”

#3 Set a deadline

Something that gives analysis paralysis so treacherously favorable conditions is when time isn’t really an issue. If it has no consequence to us whether we do or decide something within a certain time frame, it’s so much easier to give it second priority than deal with it. Which makes perfect sense.

On way of getting around this in casu analysis paralysis is to decide on a deadline. And, of course, treat it like any deadline that you wouldn’t wanna miss.

Imagine having to explain to your boss why you didn’t make it. Or much better, make a bet with a friend or acquaintance.  — If you don’t keep your deadline, you owe them $100. (Optionally, use the person who provided the outside perspective!)

The deadline should depend on the magnitude of your decision. The smaller the decision, the closer the deadline. But in any case, make it close enough to motivate yourself to get busy!

#4 Take babysteps

What often seems scary about making decisions for non-fidents is the element of commitment. We tend to be somewhat afraid of losing control; of letting the choice “take over”, and “invade” our life and identity.

This is the aforementioned fear talking. And it’s actually possible to shut that fear up just enough to get going — by taking action on a minimal basis.

We should feel that we’re making progress. — Because otherwise, we’re probably not. We should still be hearing the faint whispers of our fear. But if we take babysteps instead of hurling ourselves head first out into a new direction in life, a mere whisper is exactly what it will be.

#5 Support and honor your choice

Whatever you choose to do, you will have a reason for doing so. Even if it’s a result of tossing a coin. Your final choice would not have been an option if it hadn’t had any value or benefit to you. So focus on these values and benefits.

Furthermore, prepare for what people might say. Try to entertain any possible objections people might have beforehand. Tell them about why this is important to you; about what you’re trying to accomplish. And, if nothing else, tell them that you simply needed to make a decision and get on with it.

#6 Remember: You can always go back

I know: This one might seem a little counterproductive, seeing as how this is about moving onwards and not looking back. But many non-fident people will find comfort in remembering that any choice isn’t final.

Unless you’ve quite literally jumped from somewhere high (for whatever reason), most choices are fairly easy to undo.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t honor your choice or put your back into making it work. You totally should, because that’s a just cool mindset to nurture. But if you find you’re clearly headed down a totally wrong path in your life, there’s nothing wrong with turning around and going another direction.

Whenever you find yourself struck by analysis paralysis, just remember: It’s better to make a mistake and learn from it than not do anything at all.

… And by all means, do quote me on that.


Sources:

* http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/hyperactivity-in-brain-may-explain-228954; http://www.thecrimson.com/column/who-what-and-wyatt/article/2013/2/22/Wyatt-depression/

** http://assets.csom.umn.edu/71496.pdf; http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/images/application_uploads/Lyubomirsky-PositiveAffectBenefits.pdf

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Yes, you gotta believe in yourself. BUT…

Believe in yourself, by all means. But that in itself will not get you anywhere near your goals.Believe in yourself.

Ah, how quaintly those three words ring throughout our collective childhood memories.

And for many a good reason. They’re age-old wisdom, really. You know how some people say that every one of those cliché’d sayings always have their legitimacy back somewhere?

Yeah, this one’s a prime example.

Believe in yourself is something we’re usually told as we grow up. It’s the predictable point of every other fable, fairytale, kid’s show, cartoon, or other type of narrative cultural product aimed at children.

And indeed, why wouldn’t it be? ALL confident people believe in themselves. The one common denominator for everyone who ever stood up for themselves and made a deliberate effort to change the world for the better, is confidence. And that means believing in yourself.

Oh, and claiming that believe in yourself is somewhat of a mantra within the world of self-help and self-development would be an understatement on par with “Batman Forever isn’t exactly the greatest movie ever” or “Donald Trump can seem a little self-centered sometimes”.

So then why is this one confidence coach all of a sudden coming along and telling you to NOT believe in yourself??

Well, I’m not.

But

Like I’ve written about before, simply loving yourself isn’t gonna cut it in and by itself if you want to achieve lasting confidence. Well, this is kinda the same thing.

And indeed, the two are highly alike. One couldn’t very well love oneself without believing in oneself, or vice versa.

In fact…

Loving yourself = self-esteem.

And…

Believing in yourself = self-confidence.

Okay, wait a minute, WAIT A MINUTE! So you’re saying that there’s a “but“… If I wanna build my confidence… by being confident?!?

No.

My point is, that simply believing in yourself is not enough to build lasting confidence if what you’re doing doesn’t truly support you and matter to you.

I’ll even say it again for good measure:

To believe in yourself is not enough to build lasting confidence if none of what you’re doing is truly supportive or truly relevant to you.

For example, you might believe in yourself when it comes to playing video games. And your confidence in your video game skills might be ever so justified. But if you sit around playing video games literally all day, chances are you’re not gonna have much going for you out in the real world.

(Unless, of course, you’re one of those professional gamers who go to tournaments and win huge cash prices and whatnot.)

You might believe in yourself in a whole lot of areas and still end up making a complete crash-landing of your entire life — or even worse.

Think I’m kidding? I know this, because I did this. And lot of people I know did this, too.

… In fact, pretty much every successful person ever did this.

Yes, you gotta believe in yourself if you want confidence. It goes without saying. But the crucial “but” here is that your confidence won’t last unless you…

  • Do what matters to you
  • Know what you’re doing
  • Know why you’re doing it
  • Do the right things at the right time
  • Stay focused
  • Keep at it and never give up

Do all of the above check out with you? Good. In that case, you can hardly believe in yourself too much.

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Not doing what you say: How it cripples you

Not doing what you say will eventually debilitate you from carrying out life itself.Not doing what you say you’re gonna do is a habit. — A habit that is unsupportive of your success.

That’s what my old group coach used to say. In every single session.

Of course, we’re not just talking about not taking out the trash when you said you would, or not buying milk when you said you would. (Although those things might be symptoms of a bigger problem).

We’re talking never getting around to writing that novel. We’re talking friendships dying because you never took each other up on those empty words of “we should totally hang out”.

This is level not-having-the-guts-to-go-up-and-talk-to-that-someone-who-might-just-turn-out-to-be-the-love-of-your-life here.

The whole thing about not doing what you say is actually fairly simple, and I’m not gonna wait ‘till the end to say it:

Doing what you say feels natural. You say something, you do it. Whoomp; fair, square and simple.

But NOT doing what you say you’re gonna do causes, as I love putting it, a disturbance in The Force. We feel a certain discomfort. A dissonance. A discrepancy.

In one of my former articles, I’ve written about how the one source of unhappiness in the world really comes down to a discrepancy between how things ARE vs. how we WANT them to be. And it’s basically the same mechanism at play here.

Think about it. If someone claims the Earth is flat and you happen to know what 2nd graders know about astronomy, you probably wanna call them out on it. Because there’s a discrepancy between what you KNOW, and what someone else THINKS, which makes them questionable.

And if someone says they’re gonna do something and then don’t, at least you’re gonna notice, if nothing more. Because there’s a discrepancy between what they SAY and what they DO, which makes them questionable.

So when you notice this discrepancy in yourself, you’re the one who’s questionable — to yourself.

Not exactly a nice feeling.

In fact, if you keep on not doing what you say you’re gonna do, it becomes the rule rather than the exception. This means, you will effectively make a habit out of something harmful, like with any toxic addiction.

And yes, I deliberately use the word “toxic” here. Because eventually, you’ll either be incapable of carrying out anything important you say, or you’ll care so little that you’ll have exactly zero aspirations towards your entire life.

Think I’m kidding? Go ahead: Try and prove me wrong; see for yourself how it plays out in 10 to 20 years from now.

(In fact: Don’t!)

Okay, so ideally, doing what you say should be practiced by everyone. And NOT doing what you say should be practiced by no one. Big whoop.

… But yes, I deliberately use the word “ideally” here. 🙂

Because we’ve all been there. We’ve all said we were gonna do something and then didn’t. For whatever reason.

We might’ve postponed it until we forgot. Maybe we just didn’t feel like doing it any longer.

Or maybe we deliberately procrastinated. Because deep down, we knew that doing it would take us to the next step. — Which could mean responsibility for our lives, other people getting expectations towards us, or rewards of which we basically felt unworthy.

While not doing what you say you’re gonna do is fairly common, these last mentioned fears are especially common amongst people with low confidence and self-esteem.

To confident people, doing what you say comes just as natural as thinking it and saying it. Confident people do what they say, say what they mean, and think before they say it. Confident people aren’t afraid of responsibility or expectations.

In fact, they gladly take responsibility, and, in addition to what other people might expect, they set expectations for themselves. And they don’t consider themselves unworthy of any kind of reward. They accept it gladly, gracefully, and gratefully.

Just to make it clear: It’s not that confident people never have any slip-ups or problems with balancing what they say and do. It’s the fact that they want to improve at it, and are therefore willing to accept and learn from these slip-ups and problems which makes them good at keeping that consistency.

Want confidence? Doing what you say you’re gonna do is mandatory.

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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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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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There’s only ONE source of unhappiness in the world, and we’re hardly even aware of it

The one and only source of unhappiness in the world is the discrepancy between how things are, and how we want them to be.Ever stop to think that there’s actually only one source of unhappiness in the world?

Yeah, me neither. That is, until that time last year when I watched this TED Talk. I forget which, but the idea stuck with me.

I wanna share it with you, because I think it’s quite relevant to the topic of confidence and self-esteem.

See, we can probably all agree that non-fidence is not a happy state of mind. Of course, like I’ve written about in another article, there’s the paradox that low confidence, (or, as I like to call it, non-fidence) can seem like a safe space for us, because our fear of taking risks haves us believe so.

But, like I said, deep down we’re lying to ourselves. If we’re non-fident, a part of us KNOWS that there’s more to life than what we allow ourselves to partake in. And we KNOW deep down that we’re missing out.

So, is this the one source of unhappiness in the world that I’m talking about?

In a way, yes. What I’m talking about is the principle that lies beneath. And it really is extremely simple once you get your head around it.

Let’s look at some examples.

Why are suppressed people unhappy? Because they want freedom.

Why are starving people unhappy? Because they want food. Duh.

Why might unemployed people be unhappy? Yeah, probably because they want a job.

Why might single people be unhappy? Well, then it’s probably because they want a partner, right?

You’re probably starting to see the pattern here. So let’s just get to the point already.

The one and only source of unhappiness in the world is the discrepancy between how things ARE and how we WANT them to be.

Makes perfectly good sense, right? Why aren’t more people talking about this?

Good question. Probably because most of us tend to get too stuck in our own misery to see the bigger perspective. (Indeed, one’s own problems tend to eclipse most other problems in the world, no?)

So, just to be clear, why are non-fident people unhappy? Because they want confidence!

Hell, they NEED confidence. Otherwise there wouldn’t really be a problem, no?

Okay, so how do we go about all this? How do we make things be like we want them to be?

Yeah, there’s another good question. 😉

We all want different things. But confidence is something we all want.

ACTION ITEM:

Like I said, the only source of unhappiness in the world is the discrepancy between how things ARE, and how we WANT them to be.

Using your awareness of this insight, try to locate the one area of your life where there’s the most discrepancy between how things are, and how you’d like them to be. Write this down.

For example, if you have a really hard time getting up in the morning, do a brainstorm on why this might be. Maybe you’re not getting enough sleep. Maybe the sleep you’re getting isn’t sufficient because of distractions or obstructions like sounds, lights, heat, movement, sleep apnea etc..

For each of these distractions or obstructions, write down three possible solutions. In the following week, implement at least one of each solution.

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