Tag Archives: self confidence

Thoughts on core beliefs

 

core beliefs

Thoughts on core beliefs

We all look at the world differently but it is easy to believe that others see things the same way we do. Two people can have the same experience but come away from that with a very different reaction/thought process. We all interpret the world differently according to our upbringings, genetics and past experiences.

Core beliefs are deeply held beliefs that can be hard to shake. Often, they are dysfunctional and inaccurate. For example – someone who was constantly told as a child that they are worthless will most likely internalise that and make that part of their identity, believing themselves to be worthless. Think of core beliefs like a pair of sunglasses – a kind of filter that we see the world through. We are more atuned to pick up on things around us that confirm our core beliefs and will reject or not notice things that don’t confirm our core beliefs. Events that happen that prove a person isn’t worthless may be dismissed as it doesn’t fit. This is how core beliefs can limit us unnecessarily.

How core beliefs can limit us:

Situation: You meet a new person and think about asking them to go for coffee.

Core belief – I’m not worthy = Consequence: Why would they go out with me? Don’t ask them for coffee

Core belief – I am worthy = Consequence: We might have fun if we go out together. Asks the person to go for coffee.

Many people have negative core beliefs that cause harmful consequences and limit their opportunities. They hold on to self limiting beliefs without realising it.

To begin challenging your core beliefs, you first need to identify what they are. Here are some common examples:

I am unworthy; I am  unloveable; I am unworthy; I’m ugly; I’m undeserving; I’m a bad person; I’m stupid…

What is one of your core beliefs? _______________________

List three pieces of evidence contrary to your belief_____________

Beliefs can be changed, that’s the good news. Some beliefs are old, outdated and just not true. Do a stock-take on your core beliefs and make sure you have core beliefs that support and empower you.

Mandy X

What is healthy self esteem?

 

self esteem photo

What is healthy self esteem?

We all tend to place a value on ourselves. Some of us quite like who we are and some of us tend to engage in far more self loathing. I am used to seeing clients feel very uncomfortable receiving a compliment. Why is it that we find it so hard to like and accept ourselves? After all, we have to make the most of who we are as this is what we have to work with for the rest of our lives. We can’t go to the shop and ask for a newer model. So what does it take to have healthy self esteem?

For one thing, self acceptance and liking yourself is a very different concept from thinking you are superior to others. Many people struggle with low self esteem and the main reasons for this are:

  1. Negative messages during childhood eg. you aren’t doing this right, can’t you ever get anything right?, you are fat, lazy etc
  2. Comparing ourselves to others
  3. Buying into the perfection the media show us on a daily basis
  4. Negative beliefs about ourselves (often from childhood)

Healthy self esteem is about thinking about ourselves in a balanced way. It’s okay to acknowledge our weaknesses as no one is perfect but instead of negative self talk (eg I am ugly; I am worthless; I am not good enough), we can say to ourselves: “I may not be perfect but no one is; we all make mistakes.

What we need to accept is that we aren’t perfect but that we can always strive to improve and understand ourselves better. We can recognise our strengths too. Having healthy self esteem doesn’t mean you will never think another negative thought about yourself, it means that you can come up with a rational alternative for a negative thought. If you have done some work on your self esteem, then the situations that are risky for you will be less frequent than before. This means it will take a lot more to ‘set off’ your low self esteem and insecurities.

How to improve your self esteem:

  1. Engage in positive self talk

Speak to yourself as you would a best friend. Never criticise yourself or call yourself names.

2. Challenge old beliefs about yourself that may no longer be valid

Sometimes our parents and significant authority figures in our lives when we are growing up make the mistake of criticising us. We can internalise these negative messages and begin to believe them. These beliefs can be updated and challenged by looking at the source. We are a lot more open to believing others when we are young but as we grow older we can decide whether these negative messages still hold true for us. Normally you will find that they no longer apply and it can also start a process of seeing that our parents have their own issues too and that their negative messages say more about them and their outlook than our actual worth as a person.

3. Focus on your strengths and minimise weaknesses

Acknowledge weaknesses but focus on what you do well.

4. Nurture self belief

Others don’t always know best. Most of us are trying to get through life as best we can – we are all trying to make sense of things. You have as much chance to be seen as an equal when it comes to value. Self belief can take you far in life – make sure you believe in yourself. You can’t afford not to.

Healthy self esteem takes work as we are regularly confronted with situations that bring out our insecurities but we can watch our thoughts and protect how we view ourselves by dismissing the negative thoughts. They are just that – thoughts NOT facts.

Mandy X

Please like me

 

people pleasing photo

Please like me

We’re all ‘people pleasers’ underneath. Who doesn’t want to be liked and popular? We can all fall into the trap of yearning for acceptance and validation from others. When we don’t get it we can feel useless and unloveable. We’re social creatures and we are wired to seek out acceptance and a sense of belonging. There is a BIG difference however between seeking a connection with someone else and seeking approval that we are fundamentally acceptable and okay.

Many of our negative ideas about ourselves come from when we were younger. It’s time to challenge these beliefs. Parents seem to know everything when we are young but as we age we tend to realise that they were flawed too. Use this fact to challenge any negative things they said to you. If you still believe negative remnants from your childhood – look for the evidence. Is it true or is it an ill-judged idea that was created a long time ago and is no longer valid?

Regularly look for evidence that is the opposite of your negative belief. You will find plenty of evidence although it may take some practise. When we have become accustomed to seeing ourselves in a certain way it can take time to allow new, healthier beliefs to emerge.

Make time each day to think about your inner dialogue. What do you tell yourself about you on a regular basis. Are these thoughts working for you and inspiring you or are they keeping you ‘small’ and fearful? Think about this – what do you want to believe about you? Why don’t you adopt the thoughts that you want to believe…what’s stopping you?

It takes practise but the more you watch your negative inner dialogue the better you get at challenging – you might not always get it right. Emotions tend to take us off on a tangent but even if you just manage to identify the thought, you’re on the right track. At least you are self aware – that’s a huge skill to possess and so many people respond to life like robots.

I’m imperfect. I’ve made many mistakes but replacing old negative beliefs and working on championing myself has helped me to have more self confidence. I am happy to be eccentric and a slight misfit but I embrace this (whereas I tried to disown that part of me previously) and won’t change who I am just to please the company I am in.

Mandy X

Photo by iloveart106

Super self confidence

 

winner photo

5 Tips for Super self confidence

I am in a very fortunate position in that I meet a lot of clients from different walks of life with many varying stories. I am always fascinated about  where they have come from, the experiences that have most impacted them in life, as well as what it is exactly that they think will make them happy.

Part of using CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) involves setting up ‘experiments’ in everyday life for the purpose of challenging a clients inner life script – in other words, the beliefs that they hold about the world around them. Sometimes these beliefs aren’t entirely rational yet we believe them without question. This is often because we were made to believe things by our parents, teachers and from society in general.

For example: Many of hold the belief that if we are nice to others,then they will like us.

Often a belief takes the format of “if this…then that….”

My job is to help clients challenge their thoughts that are unhelpful. Thoughts that make us fearful, involve faulty assumptions and thoughts than limit our potential in life all deserve to be challenged.

What makes a person super confident?

Think of your brain as the Captain of the ‘ship’. The messages sent from your brain will determine your actions in life and the direction that your life will take. Are your messages positive and inspiring or do you put yourself down, criticise yourself and remind yourself regularly of why you aren’t good enough?

If you do this – you will never reach your true potential.

1) They believe the best about themselves

Super confident people like themselves. They know they aren’t perfect and that there’s always room for improvement but they start from a place of self acceptance. They focus on their strengths and regularly remind themselves of their achievements in life.

2) Their approach = Positive Expectancy

They expect good things to happen. They expect that others will like them as they see themselves as being good company. Super confident people have self doubt and experience failure just as everyone else does but they do not let these thoughts and experiences overwhelm them or define them. They keep perspective and always have the foundation of self acceptance to fall back on. They trust themselves to be able to overcome tough times.

3) They live a life that’s ‘inside-out’

Instead of getting all their validation and self worth from external sources, such as the praise and approval of others, people with super self confidence are adept at searching inwards for their strength and validation. Why should someone else’s opinion of you matter more than your own opinion of you? When you seek approval from others or need a flashy car, powerful job or partner to make you feel worthy, you are subscribing to a life that is ‘outside-in’. A very precarious way to receive validation that relies on the generosity of others and leaves you ultimately in a powerless position. Refer to points 1,2 and 4 to live a life that’s ‘inside-out’.

4) Possess unwavering self belief

Super confident people do not let self doubt rule them. They make risk assessments and they are realistic about their abilities but when they go for it, they give it their all. They are not easily swayed by the critics and the nay-sayers of the world. The ‘noise’ from others does not dilute their focus. Richard Branson is a good example of someone who has taken the path less travelled, been told he will not succeed and has continued despite this. Find your inner motivation, and self belief and remember that other’s do not always know better than you do. Believe and persist…

5) Know themselves well

Super confident people know themselves well – they are aware of what they are good at and use this to their advantage. They have goals and purpose and don’t live life on automatic, going through the motions without ever checking whether what they are doing actually makes them happy and is leading them in the right direction. They actively seek out people and experiences in line with their goals and purpose.

6) There’s no need to prove themselves to others

Continuing on from point 3 – super confident people pursue goals and live their lives according to their own interests and motivation. They don’t need approval from others and this isn’t their primary motivating factor. Super confident people like approval from others but this is secondary to their approval of themselves. They enjoy looking in the mirror and liking the person staring back at them. Their inner world takes precedence over the outer world, this is where they take their lead from.

Decide on having a great life. Take time to get to know yourself and tune in to the real you, the one before you were told by everyone else what is possible for you or what you should be doing with your life. Get centred, stay focused and keep faith in yourself. Your inner beliefs have the potential to create or destroy you. Make sure you choose them wisely.

Mandy X

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Air brushed images and untouched images

 

airbrushed images before and after

Air brushed images and untouched images

Many of us get freaked out about the way we look. We feel inadequate compared to the models we see in magazines and in the general media. People, in general tend to be much harsher and critical of themselves than others. Couple that with this images of perfection constantly being displayed and it’s no wonder that many of us lack self confidence and don’t want to leave the house till we’ve lost the weight or that pesky pimple in the middle of our forehead.

While there will always be those that are better and those that are worse, it’s important to make the most of what we have been given. Focus on your good bits and not on what you feel you lack.

Before and After Images:

before and after Britney Spears airbrushed

airbrushed before and after

airbrushed before and after

airbrushed before and after

I hope that’s cheered you up. The next time you look at an image, remind yourself that it has probably been ‘doctored’. People still prefer the real thing, you’re the real thing and the ‘real’ model behind the airbrushed image doesn’t look like that in reality!

Mandy X

self belief

Do you believe in you?

 

self belief photo

Do you believe in you?

The best thing you can do for yourself is to cultivate a strong sense of self belief. We all know people who exude confidence and seem to cope with whatever life throws at them. When life gets tough, people with self belief are able to pull out inner resources and extra coping skills due to their self belief to help them get through. Life is easier when you have self belief. You manufacture less problems and believe in your abilities. You will feel more optimistic and ready for challenges.

So what exactly is self belief? It’s a sense that you can count on yourself to get through life. It’s a confidence in your thinking and beliefs. You are less swayed by what others think because you have faith in your own ideas and goals. Self belief involves a healthy appreciation of your skills and talents. It’s about seeing yourself as special and unique.  When you love yourself, others follow.

Focus on what is great about you instead of comparing. Being happy with yourself brings a self assurance that is charismatic and will draw others to you.

Life is a confidence trick. With enough confidence you can get away with anything. Real confidence is the unshakeable conviction that the world is unfolding to your advantage and that you can handle anything that comes your way.

How to increase self belief:

1) Never belittle yourself or criticise yourself.

2) Champion yourself. Remind yourself of your strengths regularly.

3) Look after yourself – make the effort to make the most of your looks and your health.

4) Define your current level of self belief (0-100%) and allow yourself to improve, go to the next level. Ask yourself what your lack of self belief has cost you. What would you do if you had 100% self belief?

5) Act as if – how would you behave, what would you do if you had at least double the self belief? Act as if you have this self belief already…

Have high expectations, believe the best about yourself and you will manifest this is your life.

Mandy X

Photo by symphony of love

who owns you

Who owns you?

 

boss photo

Who owns you?

Think about it. These three words can have a huge impact upon your life if you ask them regularly. Many people would automatically say that no one or no thing owns them but when they think about it carefully, the results can be illuminating.

Who owns you...really? 

Designer Goods

If you need designer goods to feel good about yourself or to feel worthy, it’s safe to say that designer goods own you. They have power over how you feel about yourself and you need to own them to feel valuable. It sounds crazy but it’s true. There is so much in the media that can contribute to us feeling inadequate and inferior. Don’t allow the media to have  a say in your self worth.

Your relationship/partner

Do you feel the need to always double check with your partner before making a decision- even if it is a small insignificant decision? When you feel that you cannot function as an independent person and think for yourself, you do not completely own yourself. Getting opinions is normal but if these opinions are required as part of the process and not seen as a bonus, there may be an issue. Learn to be self reliant and decide what works for you. Only you truly know.

Money/career

Are you putting off enjoying life now because you have decided that the future will be where you get to relax and be happy? Big mistake. Never take the future for granted – you may not get one. Learn to enjoy life as much as you can now. This doesn’t mean spending every cent you have and acting as if there is no future but putting off cherishing moments today for an illusory promise of future well being is silly and misguided. Practise mindfulness, be in the moment more and enjoy the small pleasures in life. The gift of life is in the moment called NOW.

Media/Government

Are you a critical thinker? Are you able to form your own opinions and not automatically believe what you are ‘fed’ by politicians and the media. Much of the information we receive is altered to be presented in the best light and there is ALWAYS another way to look at situations. If you remember this, you will always keep an open mind about what you are being told. DO your own research, check out Google but never allow the media and politicians to inform you solely. I am guilty of being a lazy consumer and accepting popular opinion at times but when I have taken the time on issues close to my heart, I have always found there are many ways to interpret the same set of facts.

Your fears

Is there anything you would like to do but have been to afraid to try? Ask yourself what is stopping you. What are you afraid will happen? Our fears are often mental monsters that creep around in our heads and tel us why we shouldn’t do things or why we need to stay safe. It’s time to see these ‘mental monsters’ are nothing but trouble makers that stop us from reaching our true potential.

Sit them on the naughty step far away, make sure you can’t hear a word they are saying and do what you want to do. It’s really that simple. Your fears are mental barriers. While it is good to do a risk assessment, too much analysing, “what if” thinking and endless consideration of the possible consequences will lead to stagnant paralysis. Research has shown that people regret what they didn’t try rather than what they did have a go at, even if the results weren’t great. We are much better at justifying a less than satisfactory outcome to ourselves than we are at never trying and wondering what could have been.

Nothing can be more scary that death and we have no choice about that, so pretty much everything else you try should be a breeze….

Your image

Is your image all important? Do you stop yourself from doing or saying things due to the worry of how you may come across?  If you are keeping yourself small in order to please others, be accepted or fit in, you are allowing your image to rule.  The real you doesn’t care about all that superficial nonsense.

So, who owns you? I hope that you own you. I hope that you can think for yourself, ignore what others think and be true to your calling – whatever that may be. The happiest people in life tend to be the people who know themselves well, maintain balance where ever possible and watch when external influences take over.

 

Mandy X

 

 

self esteem

Test Your Self Esteem

self acceptance photo

Test Your Self Esteem

How highly do you think of yourself? Do you regularly boost yourself by considering all your good points? Our level of self-esteem affects every part of our lives. What we tell ourselves internally (our inner dialogue) influences how we behave as well as how we communicate, verbally and non-verbally, with others.Our inner world mirrors our outer world. If our inner chatter is disparaging and negative, we will no doubt act in line with these beliefs. This is why it is vital to check what we are telling ourselves on a daily basis.

Below you will find 22 questions to test your self-esteem. Answer “yes” or “no” to each of the statements below.

1) Do you have a hard time nurturing yourself?

2) Have you ever turned down an invitation to a party or function because of the way you felt about yourself?

3) Do you get your sense of self-worth from the approval of others?

4) Are you supportive of others that berate of yourself?

5) Whenever things go wrong in life do you blame yourself?

6) Do you react to disappointment by blaming others?

7) Do you begin each day with a negative attitude?

8) Do you feel undeserving?

9) Do you ever feel like an imposter and that soon your  deficiencies will be exposed?

10) Do you have an inner critic who is disparaging or demeaning?

11) Do you believe that being hard on yourself is the best motivation for change?

12) Do your good points seem ordinary and your failings all-important?

13) Do you feel unattractive?

14) Have you ever felt your accomplishments are due to luck that your failures are due to incompetence or inadequacy?

15) Have you ever felt that if you are not a total success, then you are a failure and that there is no middle ground, no points for effort?

16) Do you feel unappreciated?

17) Do you feel lonely?

18) Do you struggle with feelings of inferiority?

19) Do other people’s opinions count more to you than your own?

20) Do you criticise yourself often?

21) Do others criticise you often?

22) Do you hesitate to do things because of what others might think?

Scoring:

If you scored eight “yes” answers or less, your self-esteem is healthy.

If you scored between eight and 15 “yes” answers, your self-esteem needs some work. Monitor your inner chatter and remind yourself regularly of your strengths.

If you scored 15 “yes” answers or more, this indicates low self-esteem. Low self esteem is often created during our childhoods and can be influenced by the way our parents treated us. Low self-esteem tends to be characterised by many self-limiting beliefs. Learn to love and accept yourself for who you are, don’t compare yourself to others and work towards being your number one fan. When you like yourself, others follow your lead automatically.

If you feel that you need extra help with your self-esteem issues, it might be worth looking into counselling to help you improve the way you see yourself. I am living proof that watching your thinking and reframing the negative thoughts can have a hugely positive impact. From a miserable childhood where I was constantly told I was a nuisance and that I was a liability, I have managed to undo most of the negative programming I received from my parents. Of course it is a work in progress that I’m far kinder to myself now than I was when I was younger.

Mandy X

Photo by symphony of love

Photo by symphony of love