What is self-confidence?

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What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:40 am

You can't touch it, but you can feel it. It's linked with being busy and successful, but also with being calm and peaceful. I'm confused!

In this series of posts, I would like to share with you some hints and tips from my own experience and from the lives of the many wonderful women I have met in my work as a personal development trainer and coach. As we go along, it would be great to hear from you. You are not alone!

So, let's get started.

What is confidence? Before we can make any changes in our lives, it's important to be clear on what changes we want to make. You wouldn't get on a bus without knowing that it was going to take you to your stop would you? (If you would then, please let us know!) So let's start by building up a picture of what we think confidence is so that we can decide which bits we would like to adopt for ourselves.

Firstly, over the next week, take a look around you at other women in your personal and professional lives and begin to notice their behaviour. What do they do that you admire? Notice the situations and how they handle them. Notice the words and phrases they use and how they look. If you get the chance, have a chat with them about confidence and ask for their top tips.

Next week we will start to define that thing called confidence and I hope you will find it's a lot more simple than you think.


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interesting topic

Post  blueocean on Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:52 am

It is a very interesting and important topic and I can not wait to know more about it next week...
Cheers

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What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:20 pm

Did you enjoy people watching? I wonder if some of the women you spoke to mentioned that they feel more confident in some situations than in others. You may feel more comfortable taking something back to a shop for example, than you do saying ‘no’ to your boss!

I hope you reached the conclusion that confidence isn’t just what you say or do, but how you say or do it.

This week, I want you to observe yourself from the inside. As you encounter different day-to-day situations just notice what’s going on inside your head. What are you thinking? Don’t try to change or censure anything, just notice. If you can, make some notes.

I recently re-watched the musical, My Fair Lady, starring Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle. Have you seen it? Briefly, the story involves a working class girl being trained to speak and act as if she were an upper class lady. It occurred to me, that we could all act ‘as if’. As if we were confident, as if we were sure, as if we had faith in ourselves. Unfortunately, for Eliza she lost her sense of self and place in the world by trying to be someone she was not.

The idea of building self-confidence is to devise your own style that is true to you and not to try to be someone else. Confident people are positive people who believe in themselves and their abilities and live life to the full.

By next week, you will have your own ideas about the behaviours and thinking that will help create your own particular style of self-confidence, which we will build on.
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Re: What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:55 pm

So, if you’ve been observing yourself and others, you should have a pretty good idea of what self-confidence is about and what it is not about. Hopefully you have been making notes, so now is the time to review what you have learnt and to pull it all together.

Here are some (hopefully!) helpful suggestions, I am sure you have others. Self-confidence is about
 speaking clearly and calmly
 making eye contact
 holding our head high
 answering questions with conviction
 readily admitting when we don’t know something
 doing what we believe is right, even if others mock or criticize
 admitting our mistakes
 accepting compliments graciously

Sometimes we sabotage opportunities to show our self-confidence by
 making excuses
 speaking without thinking
 letting our emotions rule our head (and mouths!)
 beating ourselves up with negative internal dialogue and
 doubting ourselves

Self-confidence is also about positive thinking. Here are some suggestions.
 I can do this
 I am acting reasonably
 I truly believe this is right for me
 I believe in myself
 I deserve this

Your own list should only include ways of behaving and thinking that suit you and your character. It’s a bit like being your own personal tailor and designing a cloak with special powers just for you. Next week we will see what happens when you wear your cloak out in public!
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Re: What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:21 pm

During this last week, I have been thinking about what stops many of us from feeling as self-confident as we deserve to be. It’s all very well knowing what self-confidence is all about, it’s quite another to actually practice it. Reflecting on my own experience and on what I hear from other women, it seems to me that what most often gets in the way of feeling confident is fear. Try it now. Ask yourself. ‘What’s stopping me from feeling confident?’ and again, ‘What’s really stopping me from feeling confident?’ Often, the answer is in your unconscious mind, so it takes a bit of digging. Keep going until you find your truth.

You might be surprised to find that it’s not fear of failure that is stopping you, but fear of success. What would happen if you were to change the way you act with your family, neighbours, friends and work colleagues? How might they respond? Oh, it doesn’t bear thinking about!

Try again, what would happen if you were to push through that fear, as if it were an illusion, as indeed it is - after all, fear is only False Evidence Appearing Real! What would be on the other side? What indeed?!

Make a note of all the joys on the other side of fear. Here are a few of mine.

Growth
Respect
Influence
Liberation
Self-fulfilment

Might you finally be living your life?

I wonder if some of you may be worried about being thought of as arrogant. Let’s not confuse the two. Arrogance is about self-importance and superiority and operates through domination. Confidence is about positive belief in yourself and being assertive and works through discussion and agreement. Arrogant people generally don’t worry about being arrogant. Focus on what you have learned from your observations of others and your own experience and on why being self-confident is important to you.
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Re: What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:25 pm

I’m sure that many of you would agree that much of what we do day-by-day is out of habit. Particularly we multi-tasking women! We generally find the most economical way to prepare the meal, clean the bathroom, get the kids ready for school, drive to work and once we’ve found it, we never think about it again. We simply re-enact it unconsciously (probably while we are thinking about something else). In fact, if you have often found yourself ‘coming round’ after being ‘miles away’, then you will have been acting unconsciously. Much of our lives is simply repeated behaviour, based on learning from experience that becomes ingrained. This is all highly effective for the brain, afterall who wants to re-think how to take a shower everyday?! Personally, I am horrified to think how much of my day is ‘lost’ in unconscious activity and never really lived at all!

Now, if you accept this point and extend it beyond tasks and into your behaviour with other people, your reaction to certain situations and your way of thinking, then you can begin to appreciate how your experience of life has caused you to generate rules or habits which are deeply held and almost invisible. However, with a little attention and analysis, you can begin to unpick your habits, become conscious of them and understand them.

So, why am I going on about habits? Here’s the point - some habits are helpful in taking you forward in life, and some habits are unhelpful and are holding you back. The trick is to identify the unhelpful ones and begin to replace them with new ones. Try this. Fold your arms just as you would do normally. Now, fold them the other way. Awkward, huh? This is what it’s like trying to form a new habit. Like anything new, awkward and uncomfortable at first, but the more you practice it, the easier it gets. In fact, three weeks of practice is all it takes!

Your task this week, Ladies, is to reflect on a situation involving another person related to self-confidence. Try to recall the verbatim conversation that took place. Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. Write out the conversation on the right hand side like a script.

When you have done that, think over the conversation again and describe on the left hand side, what you were thinking and how you were feeling at each point.

You might be surprised that much of what you have written was unconscious - you didn’t realise it was going on in the background, but was vitally important to the progress and outcome of the conversation. This is a brilliant exercise for revealing your thinking habits and can help you to decide how you might want to do things differently, or at least consciously…
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be alert not to lose the "Inner I"

Post  showdow on Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:50 pm

Although, I haven’t been able to watch other people’s self-confidence, what I have to concur with you is that confidence isn't just what you say or do, but indeed it is how you say or do it. In my life, there were times where I had some issues and my self confidence was low. Than I realised that life isn’t worth living when I am always acting like that way so as I start doing things that I like to do and my confidence start to build up as well. I think people need to be more alert not to lose their "inner I" by acting somebody else who they are not in order to show that their confidence.

THANK YOU
afro
SH.S


Last edited by showdow on Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Having Faith

Post  Chloe on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:45 am

Being confident is about having faith in yourself and your abilities. We must think to ourselves that we CAN do something just as good as the person standing next to us.

We sometimes lose this faith in ourselves when we are feeling down or in a situation we are not comfortable with. But we must pick ourselves up and restore this faith by reminding ourselves why the inner 'you' is worth shouting about.

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Judging yourself through other people's eyes

Post  Faith on Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:36 pm

You are absolutely right, we must begin to have faith in ourselves. Many a time we feel negative and short of confidence because we think so low of ourselves and do not have faith in our own abilities and personality. This in effect leads us to believe that people around us do not like us or that we are ‘not good enough’. Therefore we subconsciously look for things that we think show their disapproval or dislike towards us. This is often the case when individuals are around people who are very different to themselves; whether it is in terms of race/colour, cultural, educational or financial background. One needs to break out of these feelings of insecurity and low self esteem in order to realise that we are all individuals and each and every one of us has been endowed by God Almighty with unique qualities and attributes which make us all very special individuals! If and when we stop trying to judge ourselves through other people’s eyes, we will find that we are much happier within ourselves and more confident individuals.

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Re: What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:50 pm

Thank you so much for your comments. It is always good to hear personal stories that support what I am saying!

Showdow, I love your phrase 'inner I'. It perfectly describes everyone's uniqueness, character and deeply held values and beliefs and needs loving and cherishing so that it will grow or as you say, 'life isn't worth living'. You can access your 'inner I' by listening to your intuition.

It is very interesting, Faith, that you talk about our fear that other people will 'show disapproval or dislike'. One of the biggest lessons of self-confidence is to learn to trust your self, which will always know what is best for you and not look to other people for emotional reassurance.

Thank you, Chloe for reminding us that we all have our off days. When this happens, self-confident people don't beat themselves up, they simply accept an off day as a temporary blip, get on with their lives and know that they will be back on track tomorrow.

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Believing that she is not good enough!

Post  Lone on Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:07 pm

This is a very interesting as I came across few weeks ago, a case where a young lady had a lot to offer. Yet again she couldn't deliver her presentation on her work due to her co-workers. They were giggling and keeping on a low key. As she has to start she realised that she was on her own and nobody is supporting her or her work. They suppose to be in a group work and not on her own. A day later she quite her job, believing that she is not good enough.

Having faith in your self is very important and as you go on in life, you will realise that you need not to see your self through other people's eyes.

I agree you all in this matter!

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Re: What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:18 pm

Thank you, Lone, for your story. I read it a few days ago and have been thinking about what lessons it has to offer us. You see, if the young lady had been self-confident, then she would have got on with her presentation, which would have been well received, and simply ignored her co-workers behaviour. Unfortunately, our young lady made the choice to let her co-workers influence her state, rather than relying on her ‘inner I’.

So, what would each of us do in this situation? I would like to share with you what I try to do, I can’t say I am successful every time, but try this and see what you think. It is just three simple words to ask yourself.

REAL: What is the reality of this situation? Take away the emotion, imagination, fantasy and fear. What are the facts?

REASONABLE: What is a reasonable course of action in this situation? What would a self-confident person do? What, in most cases would be acceptable action or behaviour?

REALISTIC: Given the circumstances, how realistic is that course of action? Considering the bigger picture, what is most likely to be successful?

If our young lady had used this model, she might have come up with the following answers:

REAL: I have been asked to deliver a presentation on my work and I am responsible for delivering that presentation.
REASONABLE: It is reasonable that I deliver this presentation as it is about the work that I have been doing and my manager and co-workers need to understand what I have achieved to help them in their work. It is reasonable that my co-workers support my presentation. It is not reasonable for my co-workers to giggle.
REALISTIC: It is realistic for me to deliver this presentation because I am capable of doing it. It is also realistic that I ask my co-workers for their support. It is not realistic for me to expect that support.

What do you think? Helpful? Try it and let me know how you get on.
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Re, self-confidence

Post  blueocean on Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:51 am

I think being a real confident person, ironically requires a state of mind that does not care the matter under the discussion. In other words to be confident person you need to not worry about if you are confident now, or whether or not you were confident in you last meeting or whether you will be confident or not in your next meeting. You need to free your mind to be there looking you down judging your actions and words according to other standards, whether that standards is an individual, group and society.

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Re: What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:21 am

Thank you, Blueocean for reminding us that whilst we are consciously acting self-confidently, the pendulum may swing too far and we may forget that we are part of a bigger society, whether that be a family, a club, a community or a country. There will always be a bigger culture of norms and expectations that we need to be aware of and commit to if we are to be active members of society. However, our wellbeing relies on achieving a balance between our needs and the needs of others, which could sometimes be in our favour and sometimes in theirs. We are talking about compromise and negotiation here, which could be the subject of a whole new thread!

I have been thinking about this process of achieving balanced self-confidence. By ‘balanced’, I mean a level of self-confidence that is assertive, honest and helpful to you and to others around you. I don’t know about you, but I have behaved in dishonest ways, by not saying what I wanted and by being upset about the symptom, rather than dealing with the cause, because I was out of balance.

Let me see if I can explain. When we are faced with a situation that makes us feel uncomfortable and we want to do something about it, but for lack of confidence, we do not, then we are out of balance. I noticed that when I am in this situation, my emotions get triggered and I hear a lot of self justified chatter in my head. When I have calmed down, my logic kicks in and starts up with all the sensible, reasonable stuff and then my intuition has its say and that’s when I get really confused. It feels so unreasonable for my logical brain to overrule my emotional brain, when my emotional brain knows its being unreasonable in the first place!!! Help! It’s a trap!

I wonder whether rather than trying to confuse us, all this internal chatter is meant to be helpful and if we could just sit down and have an orderly conversation with it; it might be a way forward out of this mess.

Think of these elements as three members of your self-confidence committee:
1. emotional brain
2. logical brain
3. intuition

Imagine yourself as the Chair person and, one at a time, in the order above, ask each of the members what they have to say on the matter. Don’t judge, just hear what each of them has to say. Make notes and sleep on it if you can. Remember, you have a right to express yourself. We can talk about this a bit more another time. When the three members of your committee are working in harmony and in support of your wellbeing, then you have achieved balance and it feels so right!


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Re: What is self-confidence?

Post  Faith on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:23 am

I like the way you explain what happens to us when we do not feel confident and when there is an imbalance. In the heat of the matter/issue that faces you though, i find that even if at times i try and think about the situation in a calm, reasonable manner without involving my emotions, it is not always possible to do so. Our emotions are so overpowering that it is difficult to think about things and detach our sentiments and feelings. I think it is only after everything has settled/exacerbated that we are finally able to think clearly about the situation we were facing and then it is often too late by then and we are left with lessons to learn. Perhaps, the lady who did not deliver her presentation now lives to regret that she was not confident that day and that she allowed her emotions to govern her actions and decisions.


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Re: What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:36 am

Faith, it is difficult, you are absolutely right. But remember that acting solely on our emotions often means we say or do something we later regret. The process of separating yourself from your emotions, so that you can make a considered response, takes practice. However, we must remember that we are all human and to forgive ourselves if we slip up!! What might be helpful, though, is simply to say what emotion you are feeling and that you need time out to think. Something like, 'I'm feeling [emotion] about this and I need some time to think about it before I can [action].'

Remember, 'Real, Reasonable and Realistic'? I would add another one to our list - Right. You have the right to express how you feel and what you want to happen.

Do let me know how you get on.
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Re: What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:03 pm

Thanks, Faith. You are absolutely right! Sometimes our emotions can be ‘overpowering’ and a good shout and scream feels like the only option. Nevertheless, we also know as mature people, that this reaction might feel satisfying at the time, but rarely gets the outcome we want and often triggers an undesirable reaction in the other person. After all, if you push someone, they either push back or retreat!

When I have been in this situation in the past, I would suppress my feelings, try to deny them and convince myself that I was unreasonable. Not good for my emotional wellbeing!!??

Let us go back to our ‘real, reasonable, realistic’ model of a self-confident person. I would like to add another element, which is ‘right’. You have the right to express how you feel and what you want.

When your emotions get to boiling point, try this. Say … ‘I am feeling [upset / angry / confused] about this right now, and I need [time to think / time to calm down / to get some advice] before I can [move forward / make a decision / discuss this further].

Fill in the gaps to suit your situation. The idea is to express how you feel and what you want and need to happen for there to be a positive outcome. Keep the situation as objective as possible by talking about your emotions as a separate thing to your self. You are experiencing an emotion. You are not the emotion. Keep the distinction in your mind.

I know it’s hard, so here is something which might help.

This is a list of typical ‘chatter’ and mistaken assumptions that go on in many women’s minds and in response to each one are your legitimate rights as a human being.

Please take time to read through this list - you may find it quite emotional. Print it off if you can, and highlight your top three ‘mistaken assumptions’ and this week, pledge to adopt their corresponding ‘legitimate rights’.

Using this list prepare an affirmation for yourself. For example, if you believe that ‘it is selfish to put your needs before others’ needs’, write an affirmation saying ‘I have the right to put myself first sometimes’. Make sure you keep it with you and read it several times a day. Say it to yourself as you are going about your morning and evening routine. Believe it, for it is true.

Let me know how you get on.


1.It is selfish to put your needs before others’ needs.
You have a right to put yourself first sometimes.

2.It is shameful to make mistakes. You should have an appropriate response for every occasion.
You have a right to make some mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable, particularly when you are stretching yourself to do something new or original.

3.If you can’t convince others that your feelings are reasonable, then the feelings must be wrong, or maybe you are going crazy.
You have a right to be the final judge of your feelings and accept them as legitimate.

4.You should respect the views of others, especially if they are in a position of authority. Keep your differences of opinion to yourself. Listen and learn. You have a right to have your own opinions and convictions.

5.You should always try to be logical and consistent.
You have a right to change your mind and decide on a different site of action.

6.You should be flexible and adjust. Others have good reasons for their actions and it is not polite to question them.
You have a right to protest against unfair treatment or criticism.

7.You should never interrupt people. Asking questions reveals your stupidity to others.
You have a right to interrupt in order to ask for clarification.

8.Things could get even worse. Don’t rock the boat.
You have a right to negotiate for change.

9.You shouldn’t take up other people’s valuable time with your problems.
You have a right to ask for help or for emotional support.

10.People don’t want to hear that you feel bad, so keep it to yourself.
You have a right to feel and express pain.

11.When someone takes the time to give you advice, you should take it very seriously. They are often right.
You have a right to ignore the advice of others.

12.Knowing that you did something well is its own reward. People don’t like show-offs. Successful people are secretly disliked and envied. Be modest when complimented.
You have a right to receive formal recognition for your work and your achievements.

13.You should always try to accommodate others. If you don’t, they won’t be there when you need them.
You have a right to say “No”.

14.Don’t be anti-social. People are going to think you don’t like them if you say you’d rather be alone instead of with them.
You have a right to be alone, even if others would prefer your company.

15.You should always have a good reason for everything you feel and do.
You have a right not to justify yourself to others.

16When someone is in trouble, you should help them.
You have a right not to take responsibility for someone else’s problem.

17.You need to be sensitive to the needs and wishes of others, even when they are unable to tell you what they want.
You have a right not to have to anticipate others’ needs and wishes.

18.It is always good policy to stay on people’s good side.
You have a right not to always worry about the goodwill of others.

19.It is not nice to put people off. If questioned, give an answer.
You have a right to choose not to respond to a situation.


Reprinted with permission from the Stress & Relaxation Workbook by Martha Davis PhD et al, New Harbinger Publications, Oakland, CA.

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Thanks

Post  Faith on Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:05 am

Thanks, the list is very helpful. We often need to be reminded that there is another side to things as well, esp when we find ourselves in difficult or embarassing situations. For e.g. when we make mistakes, we may feel awfully embarassed, but, as is stated on your list- it is inevitable that we will err and make mistakes, so we should relax a little and not be so harsh on ourselves.

The list i think is excellent as an aid to positive thinking and being okay with things when one feels unhappy about the situation one finds him/herself in. Thanks, i shall visit the list from time to time and work on my self-confidence!


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Re: What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:40 am

You're welcome. One step at a time, girls!!!
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Re: What is self-confidence?

Post  Core Purpose on Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:42 pm

As there haven’t been many recent contributions to this forum, I wondered if that might be because you are busy and have your minds on other things, or whether you might be feeling rather lonely and isolated. Do let me know how you are doing.

As we begin to make changes in ourselves, it sometimes means that other people can become unsettled, as the person they thought they knew starts doing and saying things differently. Sometimes this change helps a relationship move on and sometimes it challenges it. These are the perfect conditions for all your positive intentions to falter and you might begin to doubt yourself, which knocks your self-confidence.

What we are aiming for in becoming self-confident, is to be more emotionally self-reliant. What I mean is that instead of relying on other people for emotional support and confirmation that we are doing the right thing, we rely on ourselves. So, this week, I would like you to draw up a list of people whose opinions you value. They could be family members, friends, neighbours, even business people, celebrities or politicians. If you like their take on life, include them in your list - these are your ‘expert panel members’.

Previously, I have suggested holding a committee meeting with your brain and your intuition to resolve a situation. This is a similar technique, but brings in some external advice, which adds another dimension to your thinking. What I am suggesting is that rather than turning to other people for their opinions, you ask them in your imagination. In fact, if you simply ask for help, the best person for the job may well pop into your head! Friends and family can be well intentioned in their support, but aren’t always helpful. This way, you get the benefit of an opinion in a way that might be more helpful to you and from someone you might not normally speak to. Who has Moira Stewart or Jo Brand on their list??!??

Most importantly, if you need time to consider a situation and to consult with your committee or your imaginary panel members, then take it. You have the right.
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You can make it

Post  episkopos on Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:23 am

A virtuous woman will also have problems. God did not promise us a bed of roses. But he promised to
help us and lift us up. Woman, do not be discouraged because you face problems.
- from the book 'Daughter You can Make it' by Dag Heward-Mills

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Re: What is self-confidence?

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