Self-Confidence is a Learned Skill

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Being Positive, Grateful, and Confident is a Skill. You want to be self-confident and you want to build that inner core of strength in your children and grandchildren. You have taken the first step on a wonderful journey that will help you to recognize and teach that you and yours are good human beings and worthy of respect and love.

Even if you tend to see the negative or look at life with pessimistic eyes, it is possible to change your viewpoint. Becoming an encouraging person with an attitude of gratitude is a skill. It is not an overnight acquisition nor is it something that can be purchased. Skills take work and practice. They take a dogged determination to overcome obstacles in order to gain a reward.

It takes a process similar to improving any other skill you have conquered in your life. Think back on when you learned to ride a bike, play an instrument, or speak a foreign language.

In order to learn any skill you must have a deep desire to:
1. Be aware and clear in your mind of the advantages in learning something new and incorporating it in your life.
2. Ask to be mentored or taught by someone you trust.
3. Learn the basics of the task or skill but don't expect perfection right away.
4. Expect some setbacks and don't become discouraged.
5. Set up a plan of action with measurable steps in order to reach an ultimate goal.
6. Focus on effort and use self-encouragement.
7. Move forward and do something every day to take advantage of momentum.
8. Enjoy the skill as it becomes automatic action and enhances your life.

Changing your outlook to one of encouragement and positive outcome will be a life skill that will not only affect you but everyone around you.

Why Do You Want to Build Confidence?
In order to change any long held thought, belief, or behavior you need to really think through why you want to make the effort. Human beings are only motivated to gain a reward ("I want to be promoted, I want to make friends") or avoid penalty ("I no longer want to be lonely. I want to stand up for myself when my spouse talks down to me").

What is in it for you? Why bother? What do you hope to gain? What will be your reward for all the energy you extend? If you can't answer this honestly, the chances are good you also won't finish this book. You might just as well put it on the shelf or give it to someone else. There is no judgment here from me, so don't judge yourself harshly either. The timing may just be off. You may need to spend time pondering the WHY before you can say "Why not."

To start off, list three reasons why learning and incorporating this information will benefit you and enhance your life.
1.____________________
2.____________________
3.____________________

Be Bold and Courageous. When you look back on
your life, you will regret the things you didn't do
much more than the things you did.
WIIFM?
What's in it for me?

Since I have asked you to be brutally honest about your motives, it is only fair that I do the same. Why did I take the time, effort, and money to write this book for you? After all, I may not know you personally and appear to have no vested interest in your future life. But I do.

My goal is to touch the hearts of many people on a global basis and assist them as they unlock the treasures in their soul. My message is to encourage mutual respect within families, communities and nations.

The only way to do that is one heart and soul at a time. And then to ask them to share what they have learned and been taught.

That is my WHY, and I cannot give up until it is done.
Keep Asking Why and Why Not?

My favorite way of teaching is to ask questions. Questions that challenge what we believe and why we formed those thought patterns. Questions that empower the participant to look deeply into the subconscious and see where the attitudes and perceptions are buried, and to bring them out, and see if they are relevant today.

This is filled with many questions, but no answers. There is no "right way" or "expert solution." The power is in your hands. You are "in"powered to change your mind and life. It is an inside job. Neither I, nor anyone else has the right to tell you what to do with your life. No one has the power to tell you how to feel, act, or react. You alone are in a position to open your heart and mind and hear what your spirit or inner still small voice is trying to tell you. I simply offer a few tools.

Please know that I come from a place of non-judgment and I respect where and who you are right now. I offer support in your quest if you desire and intend to be somewhere better in the future. Many parents make significant life changes not for themselves, but because they are hungry for a better life for their children.

Thank you for allowing me and mine to be on your success team and for being on ours by purchasing books and tele-classes.

What is holding you back?
Before you can start on a journey to somewhere better, you have to be clear about where you are right now. I am going to ask you to make a list of your insecurities. What does your self-talk say? Is there something that makes you feel ashamed or unworthy? If so give it a name and write it down. You can be specific ("I was teased in the second grade") or general (school and learning).
1.____________________
2.____________________
3.____________________
4.____________________
5.____________________
6.____________________
7.____________________
8.____________________
9.____________________
10.___________________

If you are uncomfortable, you can come back later and do this. You may want to add to the list as you identify the triggers of your discomfort in assuming your power as the vibrant and valuable human being that you are.

Remember that nobody is perfect, and we all see others at their best and ourselves at our worst. Just be honest and open to what your spirit is telling you in this exercise.

Don't waste time grieving over past mistakes.
Learn from them and move on.

A valuable lesson I hope you learn and pass on is that mistakes are not final. Everyone and everything deserves a second chance. You deserve the best and I am confident in your ability to impact the world by influencing others to make wise choices through the use of encouragement and attracting the positive.

Most of us never reach our full potential
because of our fear of taking chances.
Characteristics of Low Self-Confidence

There are universal characteristics of those who have low self-esteem and lack the confidence to attract abundance in all areas of life to them. These factors often influence and detract from the joy that a person may experience.
1. They are fearful of change. Many people with low confidence in the future come from a basis of lack and live their life in fear of "what if....." Low confidence people tend to be re-active rather than pro-active.
2. They are pessimistic and tend to see the glass as half empty. By blaming circumstances on other people they delay assuming personal responsibility for their own choices.
3. They have difficulty communicating what they really want from life. They have no clear idea of what they value and are muddy about goals and desires. When asked what would make them happy, they give generalities (rich, thin, beautiful) rather than specific ($200,000 a year, wearing size ten boot cut jeans).
4. They want to please others more than be true to themselves. The desire to have peace at any price is more important than discovering their potential. Much like chameleons (lizards that change colors to fit their environment) those who lack self-confidence would rather blend in than stand out.
5. They are insecure and are drawn to others who also see themselves as victims. They often form destructive and toxic relationships that reflect and increase their lack of self-worth.


If you want to build a better world...
just build a better you!
Characteristics of High Self-Confidence

There are also certain characteristics of those who have high self-esteem and confidence in their ability to affect the journey of their life. These factors are universal and can be learned if they are not present in your life right now.
1. They are ambitious. They want more from life than existence or survival.
2. They are goal oriented. They seek a challenge of completing and setting new goals for themselves. They are not especially competitive, except against themselves. They enjoy breaking their own records.
3. They are visionary. Rather than being stuck for too long, they can see themselves in better circumstances and surroundings. They keep a picture of what success will be like.
4. They have learned to communicate. They know how to ask for what they want and to hear and heed advice and counsel. It is less important for them to be right than to be effective. They listen more than they speak.
5. They are loving and kind. Those people who have a good inner self-image form nourishing relationships instead of toxic ones. They have learned to detach from relationships which do not allow them to be authentic.
6. They are attractive and open to others. Self-confident people are usually drawn to one another. They vibrate their confidence in a way that attracts good things and good people to them. Being attractive does not necessarily mean physically attractive in the usual sense of the word, but rather spiritually beautiful.

Confidence, self-esteem or sure knowledge of who you are comes from self-inspection of core beliefs, thought, and behavior patterns. It is an intimate experience that will take time and honest reflection. Internal work is the hardest labor you will ever do in your life. There is no greater barrier to strong, healthy, and mutually respectful relationships than lack of confidence.

If you hope to achieve a happy relationship with someone, nothing is more important than healthy self-esteem and confidence, both for you and the other person. No greater barrier or roadblock exists in relationships than the deep-seated feeling that one is not loveable or worthy.

Phrases to Build Confidence
When you build confidence, both in yourself and others, use strong words that evoke a sense of movement. For instance; "I can do it" is certainly stronger than "I can't do it." Contrast that to "I choose to do it" which sounds more powerful and sure. The strongest is "I am going to do it! I will start right now and practice it every day until it becomes automatic action."

Making a decision that you can do something is great but making a commitment and an action plan is even better.

The stronger the positive statements spoken with emotion and deep meaning, the more the sub-conscious mind believes you and works to make it come true.

Here is a list of 15 encouraging words and phrases that will assist you or your child to keep trying and increase self-esteem and confidence.
1. "I like the way you handled that."
2. "Wow, you really thought out the solution to that problem."
3. "I have faith in your ability."
4. "I appreciate what you did."
5. "You are really showing improvement."
6. "I know you will figure out a good way to do it next time."
7. "You don't have to be perfect. Effort and improvement are important."
8. "I trust you to be responsible."
9. "It must make you proud of yourself when you accomplish something like that."
10. "You are a valuable part of the team."
11. "It is okay to make a mistake, we all do. What do you think you learned from it?"
12. "How can we turn this into a positive?"
13. "I'm proud of you for trying."
14. "I'll bet by next year you will be able to handle it, you just need to grow a little."
15. "I know you are disappointed that you didn't win, but you'll do better next time."

We Create Our Own Reality
What we think about we bring about. The universe is composed of energy and it flows between everything and everybody. When we think negative thoughts about others, or ourselves, we literally act as a magnet drawing more and more negativity towards us. This phenomenon is known as the Law of Attraction.

If you don't value yourself you will attract people
who don't value you either!

Negative thoughts drain energy and take away the courage to take risks and try new things. When we are drained of energy we present a physical picture of drooping shoulders, slack jaw, downcast and half-closed eyes, and slow dragging feet. This is not a picture of confidence.

The more appreciation and gratitude we express to each other, the more positive the interactions will be. Everyone is encouraged by a "thank you" and true appreciation of effort.

The non-verbal communication is one of being closed off to new information and experiences. Be open and confident to attract the positive in life.

Mental Obstacles to Confidence
As we travel along the journey of life, it is natural to encounter obstacles and roadblocks. Developing alternate plans or routes as stated earlier, will help get you back on track. Many times the biggest hindrances to getting where we want to go are our old beliefs and traditions which no longer serve us.

Our creative powers and authentic selves may become stifled and held back because we are afraid to look foolish or risk rejection. Here are some suggestions on overcoming self-imposed limitations.
Meet fear head on: Ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen if you take action. If it isn't death or the world coming to an end, then just do it.
Mask negative self-talk: Avoid self-defeating thoughts and self-talk. If you think you are no good at math, you will avoid opportunities to learn new ways to accomplish growth. Pay attention to what you are telling yourself and simply override the thought with a more positive message.
Manage the parts of a problem: Avoid being overwhelmed with change of behavior or problem-solving. Break it down into manageable parts and then solve each section before moving on to the next.
Move forward with the end in site: Create a clear picture in your mind of what you want to accomplish. What will it look, feel, taste, smell, and sound like when you accomplish your goal? Keep that vision in your mind and work toward it each day.
Model what others have done: Is there someone who has already done what you would like to do? Then ask them for input and adapt the suggestions that feel right to you. Don't reinvent the wheel. Your situation may be unique, but there are many life skills that you can learn from others that are applicable to all members of the human race.
Mind map solutions: Put your ideas on paper and be open to inspiration. Build a flow chart, diagram, or mind map in order to see the big picture and all the components that will be necessary to accomplish your goal.
• While our background and experiences may have had some influence on who we were, we are fully in charge of who we are going to be.

We Are Hardwired For Success
Everyone, children and adults, learn and absorb life skills when what is right is pointed out, rather than what was wrong. We all yearn to create positive reinforcement of what our spirit already knows.

When most babies are born it is a natural instinct to move toward nourishment, to seek out that which is good for us. I consider one of my greatest blessings to have been present and assist with my youngest grandson's birth. Justus was a large baby, 9 lbs. 14 oz. and long too. As the midwife placed him on our daughter's stomach, preparing to deliver the afterbirth, I witnessed a miracle.

The siblings, while not present during this birth, were waiting eagerly outside the door. After greeting their new brother and kissing their mom, they became engrossed in examining the placenta and learning from the midwife the various properties, functions, and traditions associated with the sack of life.

My eyes were focused on this minute-old infant and I saw him move upward and to the right, seeking his mother's breast. He knew where, how, and why he needed to succeed. No one had to teach him to move toward the positive, just as no one had to tell him to suck, hold his head upright, or roll over.

As humans, we move toward positive experiences. It is only fear which makes us doubt.

Your Mind, Spirit, and Inner Guidance Want You to Succeed
You were born with a yearning to achieve. Learn to quiet your mind and return to the wholeness of the baby. That sense of wholeness is your authentic self. It is the real you who is filled with potential and greatness.

Encourage yourself and others with whom you come in contact, to expand and reach for the stars. If criticism or emotional abuse has stopped you, or a child in your circle, from reaching the kind of joy that is our birthright, then reframe those experiences.
What was said that stopped your progress? Who said it? Why did they say it? Who was around when it was said? What did you feel at the time? What promise did you make to yourself at the time that may need to be re-examined now?

The Three Most Negative Words in Language are:
Don't, Not, No
According to Michael Lozier, author of the best selling book The Law of Attraction,
"Whatever you give your attention, energy and focus to, you bring it into being."
If I say, "Don't think of the Statue of Liberty" or "Don't think of a cowboy hat." That is exactly what jumps into your mind.

If you don't like the results you are getting, quit using the three words; don't, not and no.
To get different results, you need to change your frame of reference. Instead of focusing on what you don't want in life, turn your attention to what you do want. While this is an easy concept to understand, it takes practice, and recognizing when you are sabotaging yourself. For example, "Dinner will be served at 6:00" (as opposed to "Don't be late for dinner") or "I like to be talked to in a calm voice" (instead of "Quit yelling").

Here is a little exercise to try. Keep a little card in your pocket today and make a check mark every time you catch yourself saying or thinking negative. At the end of the day transfer these negatives to the left-hand column of the chart below.

Then, in the right-hand column reframe the thoughts or words with a positive perspective and see what happens. It is pretty amazing.

Negative Thought                  Positive Perspective
___________________          ____________________

___________________          ____________________
___________________          ____________________

Reframing means to change how you see, say, and interpret an experience. So, in order to achieve more positive experiences with your family, friends, and associates and especially with yourself, you must learn how to reframe your words and thoughts.

Identifying what you want and asking for it is the first step in The Law of Attraction. The other two steps are: 1) believing that it will indeed happen in time, and 2) allowing it to happen without putting up resistance and doubt.

You must be able to visualize the end product before beginning the process of obtaining it. Can you see a specific picture of what you will look, feel, and experience when the goal is reached?

Memorize and use the following phrase constantly to speed up your results:

So, What Do I Really Want?
When you quit expressing what you don't want and start verbalizing what you do want, your words and attitude change, and your results accelerate. It's the Law of Attraction. Find your passion, bliss or deepest wish. You deserve happiness and have been given tools to achieve what you really want in life. I believe in you and your right to move toward success and joy. You must believe in yourself.

I enjoy working with parents to help them teach this concept to their children. When children are fussy, and spiraling either in a meltdown or whirlwind, touch their arms in a loving way and ask them "what do you want or need right now? Is it a hug, a little time out to calm down, or maybe some protein to make you think better?"

Very seldom is anger or frustration about the current event. It is usually some unmet need. Dig deep down to discover the unmet need you or your child is experiencing and is being manifested as outward unhappiness. Then use encouraging words and phrases to change your experience and outcome.

Ask for what you want.
Nan Russell, a friend and motivational speaker has said:

"Poorly chosen words can kill enthusiasm, impact self-esteem, lower expectations, and hold people back. Well chosen ones can motivate, offer hope, create vision, impact thinking, and alter results. I learned in 20 years in management my words have power over my thoughts and actions. They also impact and influence people I speak them to. If you want to be winning at working, learn to harness your word power to work for, not against you; select words that create a visual of the desired outcome; and choose each word as if it mattered. You might be surprised how much it does."

Successful people recognize that present reality is only temporary. Instead of saying "Well, I guess that is the way it is," or "But that's the way I have always done it" and accepting the limits of their present reality, they build a new reality every day. They are not content to sit around cursing fate, or blaming circumstances or even wishing their lottery number will come up.

If you truly want to be a high performance person who experiences abundance in all areas of life, you have to decide on the end results you are seeking. Build a clear picture in your mind about what you do want. If you can see it, feel it, and believe it, you can achieve it. You must be very authentic with yourself, both outwardly and inwardly.

The Three Most Positive Words 

The three most positive words about your communication style both internally and externally are:

You Can Change

It is not easy to change the habits and thinking patterns of our brain, but it is possible with intensive, repetitive practice.

If you approach this just as you would approach practicing the piano, you will recognize that you will have to do it over and over and over again until it becomes automatic action. In order for your brain to really buy in and start making those changes permanently, you need to be emotionally involved.

If you commit yourself to this type of practice you will soon be looking at old belief systems and habits with new eyes and making wiser choices. Contrary to what you may have previously thought about the abilities of a child or you as a child, there are always options and choices in life. By reflecting on what we have done in the past we can make a conscious decision to move toward more successful experiences and outcomes in the future.

Take a moment to write down some of the beliefs or actions that you would like to change.

Instead of doing this          I would rather do this

___________________     ____________________

___________________     ____________________
___________________     ____________________

Please do not ever think you are a hopeless, helpless victim of your upbringing or past experiences. The fact that you are now reading this book indicates that you recognize that you alone have the power to do and be whom you desire.

You have the power to change those things in your life that have not been working. You have the power to change your words, thoughts, and actions from negative and discouraging to positive and encouraging.

There are resources out there that you will be drawn to that can assist you in your journey. No one walks through this life alone. Thanks for inviting me along.

Never put a period where God has placed a comma.

Next: Positive Action Follows Positive Thought

Previous:  Maximize the Benefit of Building Self-Confidence with Encouraging Words

Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.

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