My desire is simply to encourage you to…
To obtain or secure something desired, favorable, or profitable. More…
To undergo a natural development by changing and progressing to maturity. More…
To freely transfer the possession of something to someone; to bestow love; to convey a message; to sacrifice for a purpose. More…
What is it you would like to gain?
Here are just a few thoughts – Confidence, self-esteem, knowledge, skill, education, credentials, a more positive outlook, improved self-image, health, wellness, increased earning power, a competitive advantage. Chris W. Dunn wrote a great article on 10 Things You Can Do to Boost Self-Confidence.
by Chris W. Dunn
“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on.” — Maxwell Maltz
Nobody is born with limitless self-confidence. If someone seems to have incredible self-confidence, it’s because he or she has worked on building it for years. Self-confidence is something that you learn to build up because the challenging world of business, and life in general, can deflate it.
1. Visualize yourself as you want to be.
“What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill
Visualization is the technique of seeing an image of yourself that you are proud of, in your own mind. When we struggle with low self-confidence, we have a poor perception of ourselves that is often inaccurate. Practice visualizing a fantastic version of yourself, achieving your goals.
2. Affirm yourself.
“Affirmations are a powerful tool to deliberately install desired beliefs about yourself.” — Nikki Carnevale
We tend to behave in accordance with our own self-image. The trick to making lasting change is to change how you view yourself.
Affirmations are positive and uplifting statements that we say to ourselves. These are normally more effective if said out loud so that you can hear yourself say it. We tend to believe whatever we tell ourselves constantly. For example, if you hate your own physical appearance, practice saying something that you appreciate or like about yourself when you next look in the mirror.
To get your brain to accept your positive statements more quickly, phrase your affirmations as questions like, “Why am I so good in making deals?” instead of “I am so good at making deals.” Our brains are biologically wired to seek answers to questions, without analyzing whether the question is valid or not.
3. Do one thing that scares you every day.
“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” — T. Harv Eker
The best way to overcome fear is to face it head-on. By doing something that scares you every day and gaining confidence from every experience, you will see your self-confidence soar. So, get out of your comfort zone and face your fears!
4. Question your inner critic.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise L. Hay
Some of the harshest comments that we get come from ourselves, via the “voice of the inner critic.” If you struggle with low self-confidence, there is a possibility that your inner critic has become overactive and inaccurate.
Strategies like cognitive behavioral therapy help you to question your inner critic, and look for evidence to support or deny the things that your inner critic is saying to you. For example, if you think that you are a failure, ask yourself, “What evidence is there to support the thought that I am a failure?” and “What evidence is there that doesn’t support the thought that I am a failure?”
Find opportunities to congratulate, compliment and reward yourself, even for the smallest successes. As Mark Twain said, “[A] man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
5. Take the 100 days of rejection challenge.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
Jia Jiang has become famous for recording his experience of “busting fear” by purposefully making crazy requests of people in order to be rejected over 100 days. His purpose was to desensitize himself to rejection, after he became more upset than he expected over rejection from a potential investor. Busting fear isn’t easy to do, but if you want to have fun while building up your self-confidence, this is a powerful way to do it.
6. Set yourself up to win.
“To establish true self-confidence, we must concentrate on our successes and forget about the failures and the negatives in our lives.” — Denis Waitley
Too many people are discouraged about their abilities because they set themselves goals that are too difficult to achieve. Start by setting yourself small goals that you can win easily.
Once you have built a stream of successes that make you feel good about yourself, you can then move on to harder goals. Make sure that you also keep a list of all your achievements, both large and small, to remind yourself of the times that you have done well.
Instead of focusing only on “to-do” lists, I like to spend time reflecting on “did-it” lists. Reflecting on the major milestones, projects and goals you’ve achieved is a great way to reinforce confidence in your skills.
7. Help someone else.
Helping someone else often enables us to forget about ourselves and to feel grateful for what we have. It also feels good when you are able to make a difference for someone else.
Instead of focusing on your own weaknesses, volunteer to mentor, practically assist or teach another, and you’ll see your self-confidence grow automatically in the process.
8. Care for yourself.
“Self-care is never a selfish act — it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” — Parker Palmer
Self-confidence depends on a combination of good physical health, emotional health and social health. It is hard to feel good about yourself if you hate your physique or constantly have low energy.
Make time to cultivate great exercise, eating and sleep habits. In addition, dress the way you want to feel. You have heard the saying that “clothes make the man.” Build your self-confidence by making the effort to look after your own needs.
9. Create personal boundaries.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”— Harvey Fierstein
Learn to say no. Teach others to respect your personal boundaries. If necessary, take classes on how to be more assertive and learn to ask for what you want. The more control and say that you have over your own life, the greater will be your self-confidence.
10. Shift to an equality mentality.
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” — Marilyn Monroe
People with low self-confidence see others as better or more deserving than themselves. Instead of carrying this perception, see yourself as being equal to everyone. They are no better or more deserving than you. Make a mental shift to an equality mentality and you will automatically see an improvement in your self-confidence.
How do you want to grow?
The object of growth is fundamentally about striving to make any change to improve your life. It involves setting personal and professional goals in a way to ensure that you are clearly making progress toward achieving your goals. This can apply to the emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, financial, and even the recreational aspects of your life. I’ve provided an easy way of thinking about spurring growth that involves a review of who, what, when, where, why and how.
Who. First, make a list of your professional network and personal support team. These are people you spend quality time with and who tell you the truth while encouraging you to blossom and become your best. Pay attention to how you act and react. Look at who is getting promoted at work and who isn’t. Hang out with people who contribute to your growth. Avoid toxic people. Find at least one key person who can serve as your mentor in a specific area where you wish to grow and who will give you good, healthy advice.
Why. Answering why permits you to create meaningful and purposeful vision statements. This is how you imagine yourself and writing them down serves as your reasons and motivations for wanting to grow and continue growing. Knowing your why ties your growth ideals to values you identify with, and this then helps you stay motivated on days where you feel like giving up.
What. What is the thing you are determined to modify and evaluate. Each item you want must be very precise, attainable and measurable. For example, if you say you want to make more money, it is attainable, but that alone is not precise or measurable. If you say you want to make a million dollars next year, it is precise and measurable, but most likely that is unattainable unless you are already close to producing a million dollars this year. An example related to producing more money that is precise, attainable and measurable is saying something like I want to increase my income by x percent by (state the year) with the x based on your current job, status or industry and knowledge and skill level and the likelihood of you securing a new position that will satisfy your criteria. Always continue learning. Warren Buffet said, “Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do.” Consider earning an advantaged degree or specialized training that will set you apart from your competition.
When. When defines a time frame that you establish for accomplishing the growth you desire. Designating a time frame helps determine the feasibility of what it is that you want because it helps you realistically monitor the amount of time you need to make this growth or change to occur. As an example, generally it will take approximately five weeks to lose five pounds if you are willing to monitor and reduce your diet by 500 calories a day. Keep in mind some people require more or less time to achieve the same results. Also realize that working too much or staying too busy can be counterproductive. Learn to take meaningful breaks and appreciate the fact that beautiful, strong trees don’t grow year round; they rest in the wintertime. Enjoy the seasons of life even when they seem cold and unproductive.
How. How are action steps you take to hit your personal or professional growth target. Author, speaker Brian Tracy’s suggestion is to “do something every day that moves you in the direction of your most important goal at the moment. Develop the discipline of doing something 365 days each year that is moving you forward. You will be absolutely astonished at how much you accomplish when you utilize this formula in your life every single day”. You must decide what action steps to take that are most relevant to your goal. It may be getting out of bed an hour earlier every morning to exercise. It may be to schedule and commit to spending two hours each evening after dinner with a goal of writing a chapter for your new book. You must decide.
What can you give, and why is giving good?
The act of giving can vary from volunteering your time, donating money or services, and generating kindness; whether it be in words like giving someone a genuine compliment, gestures like a hug or simply a smile in passing. For some this act comes naturally because it feels good or because it has been modeled by those who influence them. For others it may just be a tax right off. Still for others it can be a way to resist greed or fear of losing what they already have. Below is an article from Create The Good that provides Top 10 Reasons for Giving Back.
Top 10 Reasons for Giving Back
Some people volunteer to make new friends. Others give back because it just feels good….We’ve ranked ten of the many motives people have for giving back in their communities and beyond. What’s your biggest reason for volunteering?
1. Make an impact: Looking to make a real, lasting difference in this world? Unlike other aspects of life you may not be able to control, volunteering allows you to choose where and how to make a difference. It’s easy to get inspired with a cause you truly care about—and it’s rewarding to see your direct impact.
2. Strengthen communities: From cleaning up a street to reading to kids at the local library, you can enhance your own life by improving the areas where you work, live and play. A strong community with a high quality of life means safer, healthier lives for you and those around you.
3. Meet others: Looking to broaden your network or find others with similar interests? Volunteering is a great outlet for meeting others. A local club or organization can put you face-to-face with people right in your community—plus, it’s easy to bond over a shared passion. You can create lasting friendships with those you may not have otherwise met in your day-to-day grind.
4. Improve your health: Yes! Volunteering is actually good for you. Studies have shown that volunteering makes people feel physically healthier, manage chronic health conditions and lower stress!
5. Take the lead: Often what a great effort needs most is a great leader. If you see a cause that needs a push or a group that needs a head—take the lead! Many find leadership rewarding in itself because of the opportunity to share their passion, value and inspiration with others. When you take a leadership role, you also have the ability shape the world around you in the ways you choose.
6. Share expertise: Everyone has a skill or experience from which someone else can benefit. If you aren’t putting your talents to their best use in your everyday life (or even if you are!), volunteering can be a prime way to share. Get out in your community and put your skills—from teaching to sewing—toward helping others. You may be surprised at how your own abilities sharpen when you share your knowledge.
7. Improve skills—or learn new ones: Want to learn basic carpentry, improve your cooking or discover how something works? Classes and courses can come at a cost—but volunteering is free! Why not begin your learning at no charge with an organization or opportunity where you can learn by doing?
8. Up your resume ante: Considering a career shift? Want to try out a new field before taking the leap? A volunteering gig can be a perfect way to fill a knowledge or employment gap. It can also be a valuable addition to a resume if you’re applying to a new job or graduate school program.
9. Find new opportunities: Doors open when you volunteer. You can widen your social network, discover an organization in your community or finally talk to the person you always see on the bus! Who knows: You may even stumble across your dream job by meeting your future colleague or next job reference.
10. Because it just feels good: We thought it was worth a mention!