“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”. (Henry Ford)
It is a matter purely of what you believe.
Confidence will help you break through any barriers and fixed ideas you may have about yourself and life in general, and move you forward to where you want to be. Confident people are successful people, not only in business, but in life. They don’t let anything stop them from going after what they want. This is because they confidently believe in their goals and their own ability.
Has a lack of confidence held you back from achieving important goals you have set for yourself? If you answered yes, then it’s time you changed how you think about yourself, and gain some belief in yourself.
A technique a lot of people use is visualisation. Try visualising how you want to act, walk, talk, think and move. And then begin to ‘act as if’ you are the person you want to be and notice the results. You’ve probably heard that before. It’s kind of like pretending, but it’s not really, because you’re actually acting out what is really inside you, but you don’t know it yet. So try it this week. Do that visualisation exercise, and then try ‘acting as if’ it were true (because it actually is!)
You will also need a strong inner belief system to be the confident person you want to become. Self-acceptance gives you the much needed energy and room to grow. Your inner belief system helps you develop an ability to accept yourself – who you are, what you feel, think and do.
The are some amazing benefits of a strong belief system :
- Stronger self-confidence
- Healthy self-esteem
- Greater life satisfaction and joy
- Feel comfortable being yourself with others
So let’s look at how this inner belief system is developed.
Consider the following questions. Finding the answers to these can help you discover where you’ve let others define you, and bring you back to the purity and perfection of your own self-expression.
1. What are your current beliefs about work, life, people, and about yourself? Let go and try a free-writing exercise.
- On top of a page write one word (work, life, etc, – one for each page) and then free associate for each word.
- Write down whatever thoughts might come up by the word at the top of the page.
- Write until each page is full!
2. How much of what you believe is your own?
- Take a look at what you wrote on each page.
- What messages may have come from parents, friends, family, peers, teachers, etc?
- Identify the recurring themes?
- Now, pick out and highlight the things you feel truly reflect who you are and what you believe.
3. How much of it is enabling versus disabling?
- Are the messages that came from others enabling and empowering? Or are they limiting?
- Now, look at the ones that reflect your own inner belief system – are those empowering or limiting?
- How do they make you feel?
4. What do you want to believe?
- Meditate on your true beliefs.
- Do they reflect how you want to feel about life, work, people and yourself?
- Write each idea or thought down on the left hand side of a page, and on the right hand side, write how you’d like to feel/think about each instead.
- Re-program yourself by identifying these limiting thoughts as they pop into your head, and replacing them with the thoughts and ideas you identified on the right hand side instead.
- If you continue this exercise, you’ll find the old limiting thoughts creeping up less and less, and the new empowering thoughts will begin to take their place.
5. What messages about life, people, work and yourself did you get from family as you shaped your personality?
- Be prepared.
- Messages from family members are repetitive and will keep coming up.
- If you have chosen to re-program any of their thoughts, values and beliefs, then be prepared to counter these beliefs whenever a family member articulates them.
6. What’s your response when you express your belief and someone disagrees?
- How are you going to respond should you share your beliefs with others, and find that they disagree?
- Here’s a hint: don’t change your mind. It’s okay that someone else believes differently from you – that’s what makes the world go round after all.
- Instead, simply state that you see life/work/people/etc. differently, and then repeat and re-confirm your belief to yourself.
These questions, their answers and the exercises associated with each are designed to strengthen your belief system. As your mind is transformed with the new belief, it becomes a part of you, just like breathing.
Your challenge though is to develop confidence in your ability to express these beliefs unwaveringly, and without compromising.
There are always people who will disregard your beliefs and will challenge your belief in yourself. What you have to do is test your ability to continue with your belief system and keep it intact as a part of your personal growth.
We will continue talking about unstoppable confidence next time.