Cheltenham
The Cheltonian > Articles

Modern Life Skills

Personal Power crack

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are
liberated from our own fear, our presence
automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

Nelson Mandela included this inspiring piece of writing in his inaugural speech in South Africa in 1994.It epitomizes quite perfectly the need for us to embrace the potential within us confidently and positively.

There are many ways to develop self confidence and what works for some may not work for another. However, here are few suggestions:

How to Improve Your Confidence

Trust Yourself
This is the real key to self confidence. It is about believing in yourself and trusting your own views and opinions. This, at times, can be difficult, especially if you have a tendency to listen to others and benchmark yourself against what they think of you. This is, however, very dangerous and the ability to be able to establish your own inner benchmark to success is essential.

Like Yourself
If there is something about yourself that you do not like then you may be able to change it.

However, consider this:

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” - Reinhold Niebuhr

Every human being has the ability to take control and make positive changes. Other people can try and stop you, but only if you let them. When you look in the mirror, be proud of the person that you see, knowing that you do the best you can.

Listen to Yourself
Tell yourself that you are confident and believe in yourself. Focus on your strengths and the positive aspects of your character and set about developing the area that you have for potential.

Develop Good Posture
The way a person carries themselves tells a story. People with slumped shoulders and lethargic movements display a lack of self confidence. They aren’t enthusiastic about what they’re doing and they don’t consider themselves important. By practicing good posture, you’ll automatically feel more confident. Stand up straight, keep your head up, and make eye contact. You’ll make a positive impression on others and instantly feel more alert and empowered.

Motivate Yourself
One of the best ways to build confidence is listening to a motivational speech. There are some great CDs out there. You can even write your own. Write a 30- 60 second speech that highlights your strengths and goals. Then recite it in front of the mirror aloud (or inside your head if you prefer) whenever you need a confidence boost.

Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
Be grateful for what you have. Set aside time each day to mentally list everything you have to be grateful for. Recall your past successes, unique skills, loving relationships, and positive momentum. You’ll be amazed how much you have going for you and motivated to take that next step towards success.

Compliment Other People
When we think negatively about ourselves, we often project that feeling on to others in the form of insults and gossip. To break this cycle of negativity, get in the habit of praising other people.

Refuse to engage in back stabbing office gossip and make an effort to compliment those around you. In the process, you’ll become well liked and, by looking for the best in others, you indirectly bring out the best in yourself.

Sit in the Front Row
In meetings and public assemblies around the world, people constantly strive to sit at the back of the room. Most people prefer the back because they’re afraid of being noticed. This reflects a lack of self-confidence. By deciding to sit in the front row, you can get over this irrational fear and build your self-confidence You’ll also be more visible to the important people talking from the front of the room.

Speak Up
During group discussions and meetings at work, many people never speak up because they’re afraid that people will judge them for saying something stupid. This fear isn’t really justified. Generally, people are much more accepting than we imagine. In fact, most people are dealing with the exact same fears. By making an effort to speak up at least once in every group discussion, you’ll become a better public speaker, more confident in your own thoughts, and recognised as a leader by your peers.

Exercise
Along the same lines as personal appearance, physical fitness has a huge effect on self confidence. If you’re out of shape, you’ll feel insecure, unattractive, and less energetic. By working out, you improve your physical appearance, energise yourself, and accomplish something positive. Having the discipline to work out not only makes you feel better, it creates positive momentum that you can build on for the rest of the day.

Walk Faster
One of the easiest ways to tell how a person feels about themselves is to examine their walk. Is it slow? Tired? Painful? Or is it energetic and purposeful? People with confidence walk quickly. They have places to go, people to see, and important work to do. Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self-confidence by putting some pep in your step. Walking 25% faster will make you look and feel more
energised and confident.

Look Outwards
Too often we get caught up in our own desires. We focus too much on ourselves and not enough on the needs of other people. If you stop thinking about yourself and concentrate on the contribution you’re making to the rest of the world, you won’t worry as much about you own flaws. This will increase self-confidence and allow you to contribute with maximum efficiency. The more you contribute to the world, the more you’ll be rewarded with personal success and recognition.

In Summary
Developing a sense of awareness and understanding yourself will help you to develop your confidence and positively increase your personal power and ability.

“Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself.”

The Happy Handbook – A Compendium of Modern Life Skills by Liggy Webb is out in September 2010.
Email: info@thelearningarchitect.com Or call 01242 700027