Tag Archives: confidence

Be your number one fan

fan photo

Be your number one fan

If you don’t like and love yourself, you’ll find that others like you less too. It’s an energy thing – we pick up on each other’s vibes and can usually tell how comfortable someone is on their own skin. The more at ease someone is with themselves, the more likeable and charismatic they tend to be. You need to be your number one fan and the way I see it, we don’t have much choice in the matter. Either you find a way to like the ‘you’ you have been given to live with or you don’t. Which one do you think is going to lead to a happier life? Why waste energy not liking yourself?

So, make a choice to get comfy with who you are. Sure we can all improve upon ourselves but work on self acceptance in the meantime. Like who you are and what you see when you look in the mirror.

Live according to your values, only speak positively to yourself and make the most of what you have rather than comparing yourself unfavourably to others. If you can do those three things you will be on the way to living out your full potential. It makes sense to try to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be and to treat yourself well. Self compassion is underrated. Those that are at peace with themselves tend to emit positive happy energy to others. They don’t keep score and their inner contentment leaves them with no need to project bitterness and hate onto others.

Learn to be your number one fan, you;ll be amazed at how this can transform your attitude and your life.

Mandy X

 

How to deal with a confidence crisis

 

confidence crisis

 

How to deal with a confidence crisis

Confidence is a dynamic concept and it varies throughout our lives. Usually there will be a trigger that strips our confidence away. If we aren’t able to nip this in the bud, a full confidence crisis can ensue where we are so focused on what it is that we perceive are our shortcomings…that in the end our insecurities become all we can see.

Here are a few tips to help overcome and deal with a confidence crisis:

  1. Get out of your head

Once we focus on our perceived shortcomings, we tend to spiral downwards. Remind yourself that your thinking is probably distorted and not entirely realistic. We tend to be our own worst critics. Instead, remind yourself that thoughts aren’t facts and don’t allow yourself to dwell on negative thoughts about yourself. If you catch yourself being self focused, make an effort to distract yourself.

2. Have clear goals

Know what you are good at and know where you are headed in life. Having that commitment to ourselves and our goals can help us to stay strong when our foundations get shaken. Regularly remind yourself of all that you are proud of and why you think you are a lovely person – whether it’s the way you make a cake, drive a car, your sense of humour or your kindness…never stop letting yourself know why you are special and why you deserve love and to be cherished.

3. Don’t compare

It’s so tempting to compare ourselves to others and we all do it but it is probably one of the most destructive things we can do. We very rarely come out ‘on top’ when we do that. Accept that we are all different and we all have different priorities. Love your own priorities even they seem different to other people’s. Embrace your differences rather than seeing them as inferior.

4.Evaluate your triggers

Figure out what is causing your confidence crisis and decide whether something can be done about it. Is it a specific relationship causing your confidence crisis? Is it a job, a situation? You will usually have three options – change, accept or let go. If you can change it then get stuck in – have that conversation, don;t let things get out of hand. The less assertive we are, the worse the situation will become. Often, we turn a blind eye and hope that the situation will resolve itself but it rarely does. It will often take an active and assertive intervention. If you feel unwilling or unable to make changes then you need to learn to accept the way it makes you feel or learn to let it go – whichever is applicable.

Face your triggers head on, part of approaching the problem will lead to an increase in confidence. When we do something actively to sort our troubles out, we often feel empowered. Believe in yourself.

5. Trust your instincts

All too often we lack the self belief and self doubt gets the better of us. When in the throes of a confidence crisis we may find it even harder to approach the problem and fix it. A confidence crisis never lasts thankfully, and you will get back up again and feel stronger.

In the meantime, be kind to yourself, don’t criticise yourself and never allow someone else to make you feel inferior.No one is perfect and if some one else is somehow leading to your confidence crisis, make sure you keep perspective. You are wonderfully and unique and don’t let anyone else ever lead you to believe otherwise!

Mandy X

 

 

Things resilient people don’t do

 

resilience

 

Things resilient people don’t do

  1. They don’t do everything themselves – they know how to delegate.
  2. They don’t spend inordinate amounts of time researching before making a decision. Example: reading a lot of documentation on a topic; asking for the same information from a number of people; and shopping for a very long time before choosing a present for someone.
  3. Resilient people don’t keep questioning a decision they have made due to uncertainty that they have made the right choice.
  4. Look for reassurance – resilient people are comfortable with making decisions and take personal responsibility for themselves. They know they won’t always get it right but use these errors to learn.
  5. The don’t see failure as a negative thing – they see it as a necessary part of the process.
  6. They don’t see themselves as a victim. They realise life is tough at times but instead of blaming others and/or circumstance, they move forward and look for solutions.
  7. They don’t talk negatively to themselves. Instead, they talk to themselves as they would a best friend.
  8. They live in the moment as much as possible, spending time enjoying the present instead of worrying about the past or the future.

Resilience means you believe you have the resources to get you through the challenges of life. We all suffer negative consequences but resilient people see the bigger picture….

Mandy X

5 Things confident people do in relationships

 

confidence in relationships

5 Things confident people do in relationships

 

  1. They assume all is fine in the relationship unless told otherwise

Instead of focusing on what might be wrong and allowing insecurities to get the better of them, confident people assume that everything is going well in their relationship unless told otherwise. They expect that their partner will love them and care for them because they value themselves and see their strengths and value to others.  Confident people don’t attach their worth to how others treat them. They know their own worth and as such have healthy boundaries in relationships.

2. They ask for what they want

Confident people have no trouble asking for what they want in a relationship. They will never assume the other person is a mind reader. They will be clear and ask that their needs are met. They are good communicators and aren’t afraid to talk about touchy subjects. Communication is the key to a happy relationship as it allows issues to be dealt with without an emotional ‘backlog’ of resentment building up.

3. They take responsibility for their part in the relationship

Confident people in relationships understand that they are mutually responsible for the success of the relationship and don’t put all of the responsibility on to their partners. They put their far share of love, affection and energy into making the relationship work and don’t shy away when the going gets tough. They easily see the bigger picture when they relationship hits a rocky patch.

4. They see rejection as incompatibility rather than as something wrong with them

When they are rejected they don’t spend time agonising over what they did wrong or whether they aren’t good enough. They are philosophical and understand that there are times when two people need to go their separate ways due to incompatibility.

5. They maintain their identity

Confident people stay true to their basic character and don’t stop doing things they love for the sake of a relationship. They understand that it is healthy to have your own interests and to have time apart as it creates more interest in the relationship. Insecure people try too hard to please whereas confident people know they need to be themselves. It’s exhausting and unsustainable to pretend to be someone you’re not.

Enjoy the relationship and accept it for what it is. Communicate regularly and never try to change your partner’s fundamental characteristics. A good relationship can be a wonderful source of love and support and we can all do with an ally or two in this world!

Mandy X

How to improve self esteem

 

happy person photo

Quick Tips to Help Improve Self-Esteem

1) Speak positively to yourself

Don’t be critical of yourself. Be kind to yourself and talk to yourself as you would to a dear friend.

2) Reward yourself

Allow yourself a treat now and then and make sure you reward yourself for positive behaviour.

3) Own your successes, no matter how small

It’s okay to congratulate yourself and to let others know that you are proud of yourself. Positive self regard is healthy.

4) Practise assertiveness

Don’t allow others to walk all over you – it will damage your self esteem. Aim for a ‘win-win’ situation where both parties needs are  met. Aggressive behaviour asserts: my needs ahead of yours. Passive behaviour asserts: your needs ahead of mine. Assertiveness aims for a happy balance.

5) Accept responsibility

When we blame others for our misfortune we leave ourselves feeling powerless. Accepting that we are responsible for where we are in life and our attitude to life is empowering and puts us back in charge of our future.

6) Don’t compare

What a waste of energy it is to compare ourselves to others. We all have different priorities and different ideas about fulfilment. Comparing yourself to others is like comparing shopping baskets after a trip to the grocery store and feeling upset because they bought items you don’t have and vice versa. We have different needs and want different outcomes…enjoy the items in your basket!

Mandy X

Photo by LyndaSanchez

Are you powerful?

 

exhuberance photo

Are you powerful?

If you want to be powerful in life it is important to have established a good foundation of self worth. If you do not have self belief and fully back yourself you will hold back on achieving your true potential and taking up opportunities to grow and develop. Allowing yourself to be powerful is a challenge. True power is internal. It is deep within you. Like everyone else you came into this world with your own specific talents. How you use these talents is how you use your power.  They find a talent and they make the most of it. They don’t keep it hidden from others. Are you being the best possible version of yourself? Are you selling yourself short?

Think about this question: what would changing your life be like if you were 40% more powerful? Make a note of five differences that you would notice. When you decide that you are here for a reason and that you have a purpose it becomes easier to bring out your potential and to contribute to life. As the poet Rumi once said, “Everyone has been called for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in their heart”.

Answer these questions with 10 words or a short statement for each:

1) what do you want most out of life?

2) what do you want to see in the world?

3) what makes you special?

4) things I can do/am capable of doing right now

now write the statement as follows: I will… (Choose one answer from 4), using my… (Answer from 3), to finish… (Answer from 2), and in doing so achieve… (Answer from one).

This is a clever way to reveal what really matters to you. Use this little exercise to help you focus on your purpose in life. The more aligned to our highest desires, the more power you will pull through yourself and express.

Ways to feel more powerful

Make a list of all the ways in which you feel proud of yourself. Jot down three things that come to mind immediately. This list tells you how brilliant you are already, how complex, how clever and how brilliant. Unless you appreciate your worth and value in this way, you can’t use it or make it work for you. Losing sight of yourself is easily done in a busy schedule and the key to more power is appreciating your value. Make this list as compelling as you can so that when you look at it you can’t help but feel immensely proud of who you are. This isn’t about narcissism, it’s a way of looking at yourself that gives you access to your own power base. Remind yourself regularly that you are fabulous.

Try not to be a drama queen. It’s undignified. Arguing, sulking, battling is drama and it’s exhausting. Think about keeping energy in reserve for those occasions when it’s worth making a stand or taking up a position. Make your point with grace and charm. People don’t mind being won over-it’s being defeated that they object to. At times the powerful thing to do is to walk away. Moving on is another powerful tactic. Resist being desperate about anything. Now that you can live without this thing, person or whatever. You are more powerful than you think.

Do you see yourself as important? You decide. Act as if you are. Forget about other people taking away your power- that’s an absurd idea. People can only have power if you give it to them so watch yourself in everyday situations. Why hang around with someone who is popular but no fun at all? What you are effectively doing is pumping them full of their own self-importance and ignoring your own power so don’t buy into this trendy and ‘happening’ stuff. It can be a hollow experience. Have standards.

Never put yourself down or criticise yourself especially in front of others. Believe in being powerful and act in a powerful way. Sometimes the only person getting in the way is you.

Sometimes we find ourselves asking “Who  am I to think that I am brilliant, fabulous and powerful?” Actually, who are you not to be? When you play small you do not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people around you won’t feel insecure. We are all meant to shine and there is enough success for everyone. Just because one person has something does not mean that there is a limited supply and therefore less available for you and others. When we claim our power we unconsciously give other people permission to claim theirs.

Mandy X

Photo by n.hewson

High self esteem

 

confident photo

High self esteem

 

How high is your self esteem? How do you behave towards others and what internal dialogue do you have with yourself on a regular basis?

Can self esteem be boosted by external factors or is it something that only you can give yourself? According to Martin Seligman, a Professor of Positive Psychology, self esteem cannot be obtained through external means. It has to come from within an individual. This makes sense to me, as when feeling good about yourself comes solely from the appreciation of others, we place ourselves in a precarious and vulnerable position. One where we cannot feel good about ourselves in the absence of approval from others. I certainly don’t want to be reliant on others for my self worth.

Professor Jean Twenge supports Martin Seligman’s idea that self esteem comes from within. It is now over ten years since Baumeister’s research completely demolished the notion that self-esteem building is some kind of magic bullet and more than five years since Emler’s research indicating it might be positively harmful. Yet in the US the self-esteem bandwagon rolls on unabated. Twenge reports that in January 2006 a search on Google for Elementary School Mission Statements for Self-Esteem yielded a staggering 308,000 web pages.

Self-esteem in the U.K.

One would assume that the UK, with its inclination to ‘put down’ rather than ‘big up’ would provide less fertile ground for self esteem work but this seems not to be the case. There is a thriving self-help book market and many focus on self esteem. A search on Google using ‘self esteem’ and ‘UK’ as keywords provides three million hits.

Across education in the U.K. many teachers are consciously aiming to improve pupils’ self-esteem, either through increased praise and awards, or through specific programmes. A retired head teacher member of the Professional Association of Teachers put forward a motion at the 2005 annual conference proposing that the word ‘fail’ be deleted from school vocabulary and replaced it with the term ‘deferred success’ as a way to protect young people with fragile self-esteem. The motion was defeated but some argued it was unnecessary as schools no longer use the word ‘fail’ anyway.

In 2004 two prestigious, and influential think tank bodies published reports on self-esteem. One was for Demos and called ‘The Self-Esteem Society’. In it the author acknowledges the research by Baumeister and Emler but still proposes widespread action throughout society to create a self-esteem society. Her argument is that we need to boost self-esteem to protect and develop democracy. She argues that individuals with high self-esteem make ‘good citizens’ and ‘good choices’. But in fact Twenge’s research on young people in the US, who have high self-esteem, does not indicate this at all. She shows they are obsessed with themselves and their feelings, prone to anxiety and depression, lonely and lacking in belief that you can do anything much to change the world round about you.

What is also odd about the Demos research is that they conducted their own poll and asked people to rate their self-esteem. Only 6% of the sample rated their self-esteem as low or very low – so hardly something that needs widespread action.

The Work Foundation produced a similar paper in 2004. It is called ‘Me, Myself and Work’. It makes passing reference to Emler’s work but largely ignores his conclusions or that of Professor Roy Baumeister. Referring to the California task-force’s original research the author writes:

It found that the family – and parental influences in particular – was an important factor in establishing. The school climate was considered crucial. Once people had developed higher self-esteem they were less likely to be involved in self-destructive behaviour such as alcohol abuse, violence or crime and less likely to become pregnant as teenagers.

Having completely failed to grasp that this simply is not true, the author then goes on to exhort the Labour Government to do more to ensure that self-esteem is increased in ‘early years, general education – welfare to work’ and so forth, without one question, of the merit of such an approach.

So, can self esteem be boosted by artificial means and do people with high self esteem become self obsessed individuals?

Education:

Research has shown that there is very little correlation between self esteem and academic performance. This who perform well in their studies do not necessarily have high self regard. Good academic performance is down to IQ, family background and ability.

Relationships:

Evidence suggests that people with high self esteem tend to do better in relationships as they are more likely to approach members of the opposite sex. Research also suggests that those with high self esteem are also more likely to end a relationship if they are dissatisfied which could have negative consequences in terms of divorce levels and broken homes for children.

 Effects of high self esteem:

People with high self esteem have more confidence in their ideas and opinions and will be more likely to speak out even when their opinion may not be popular. There is also evidence to suggest that people with high self esteem are less likely to stay in abusive relationships and have the confidence to participate in altruistic behaviours for the greater good. They are also more likely to stand up to bullies.

Ways to improve self esteem

Self esteem should ideally come from within but there is no denying that external validation helps boost self esteem. Here are a few tips/reminders to consider for improving self esteem:

1) Watch the negative self talk – it serves no purpose other than to deflate you so why do it?

2) Remind yourself regularly of all the great things you like about yourself.

3) Focus on strengths more than weaknesses.

4) Watch your interpretations of the world – for example. See failure as a learning curve, something that didn’t work rather than seeing YOU as the failure.

5) Keep perspective – no one is perfect. Cut yourself some slack. Get to know and like yourself as you are.

6) Never compare yourself to others unless you are comparing yourself in a favourable light. Comparisons are often based on assumptions – they may not even be correct.

 

Champion yourself, be your number one fan. Help others – this always makes us feel good about ourselves and keep a sense of purpose in your life. Live your life for you, no one else. Too much people pleasing leads to resentment and can affect self esteem. Monitor your levels of self acceptance regularly. Live with integrity and make sure you like who you see in the mirror and you’re on the right track!

Mandy X

 

 

Things emotionally strong people don’t do

confident photo

 

10 Things emotionally strong people don’t do

Mental and emotional strength are the key deciding factors in whether you will have a happy life or not. It’s not what happens to you but what you think about it that matters. If you crumble and catastrophise every time there is a crisis, you can bet your life will be more unhappy than the person who is able to put the setback into perspective, see the bigger picture and find solutions as soon as possible.

They affect the way our body functions and they drive every single one of our actions. Without emotion, we would have no reason to act, to do anything with ourselves.

Emotions are our greatest motivators. Unfortunately, they can motivate us to act in any direction, even the wrong one. For this reason, emotional strength is essential.

1) They don’t try too hard

They don’t need the approval from others. They like it but it isn’t something that drives their decision making. Trying too hard shows that you lack confidence and need reassurance and you can’t be strong if your strength can only come through others approving of you.

2) They don’t give up on themselves

They nurture their self belief as if their lives depended on it. They believe in their ideas and their opinions and aren’t afraid to be themselves even when it may result in disapproval or incorrect assumptions about them. They have nothing to prove to others – they know who they are and live their life to please themselves instead of engaging in the exhausting process of people pleasing.

3) They don’t allow others to treat them with disrespect

This world is full of pessimism, haters and cynics. Emotionally strong people don’t allow unnecessary negativity to stick around and won’t put up with constant malicious criticism or jealousy from others. Staying emotionally strong means spending time with uplifting people and situations. Too much negativity makes this job very tough indeed.

4) They don’t need to fit in

The stronger you are emotionally, the more independent you become. You don’t feel the need to fit in because you fit in where it matters: the world – instead of fitting in to be liked by others. People form smaller social groups that are often skewed and unhealthy. Wanting to fit in doesn’t say much more than “I’m afraid to be myself.”

 5) They don’t forget that happiness is a choice/decision

Most importantly, the emotionally strong have learned to understand the power their brains have over both the mind and body. They understand that emotions are reactions, not reactions to direct physical causes, but to the way we perceive those causes. In other words, our emotions don’t reflect reality; rather, our emotions reflect the way we interpret reality. Understanding this gives us near-full control of our emotions and, therefore, our lives. We have more power over how we wish to see the world rather than the world ‘happening’ to us as passive participants.

6) They don’t forget to be assertive

Saying “no” is a basic yet essential skill to keep our lives clutter free and as pure as possible. The more we get used to saying “no” the easier it becomes.  We all do things that we don’t love to do, but we should never do things that we don’t want to do. The emotionally strong understand that and almost always manage to figure out a way to focus on what they love, which allows them to figure out what they need to do, in order to do what they love.

Although they may not love every second of it, they like doing what they are doing because it’s bringing them one step closer to what they would love to do.

7) They are not afraid to slow down

Emotionally strong people aren’t in need of constant action and excitement. They don’t need to run around all day and keep moving in order to avoid their demons. They appreciate a slow moment because it brings them closer to what it feels like to do nothing but living, breathing – being mindful and in the present moment. This is not to say that they don’t enjoy excitement in their lives, but they aren’t junkies and are more than happy to just go for a walk and smell the roses.

8) They aren’t afraid to love

If you’re afraid to love, you don’t have enough confidence in yourself. You obviously think you can’t be in a lasting relationship, but only in one that is doomed for disaster. You don’t want to get hurt again because getting hurt really sucks.

There is no reason for you to get your heart broken again because you are awesome. If things don’t work out, it’s not you. It’s the two of you together. Unless, of course, you are an awful human being; in that case, it is you.

9) Emotionally strong people don’t see being mean and aloof as a good thing

People are mean. But we wonder, why? Being a jerk is only good as an intimidation factor, and if you’re trying to intimidate people, then you better be a negotiator by profession; if you’re intimidating just for the sake of it, you’re obviously overcompensating for a lack of confidence. Do you also drive a very large automobile, perhaps?  Overcompensating??

10) They don’t hold grudges

If you’re holding a grudge, then you already care more about a situation than you should. Why carry around that negativity when the incident is over? You are probably being affected more than the other person is who has probably moved on already.  If a person apologizes genuinely, forgive him or her. If this person doesn’t apologize, then don’t interact with him or her, but don’t hold grudges. People with whom you seek to alienate and hold grudges against take up too much of your mental energy, doing more harm than good.

Are you an emotionally strong person? Withstand pressure from others, dance to your own beat and follow the path of being true to yourself and doing what you love as much as possible. Be kind, give back to others and you will reap the rewards.

Mandy X

 

Photo by International Information Program (IIP)