Self-Confidence: What is it, and Where does it come from?

A few weeks ago, I asked you: Are you self-confident? Your answers were fascinating. It showed a spectrum of perceptions about confidence, how we define it, and how it affects us. Some of the comments showed some questions regarding what I wrote about self-confidence.

That’s why I decided to write this post. This is my view of self-confidence. I speak from both experience and observation, but when it comes to your confidence, it’s about your definition and what makes you feel confident.

True self-confidence is achieved by knowing yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, abilities and being comfortable with who you are. To get to that level of awareness, a person would’ve had both achievements and failures.

Attitude is about behaviour. It’s about how you project yourself. The attitude is in walking in the room with your head held high, smiling at people, and making eye contact.

Self-confidence goes much deeper.

It’s a product of achievement and attitude, but that’s just one part of it, and an external part at that. There is the whole inner element of self-worth. When we are confident based on our skills and abilities, we are confident about those things but not others. But the inner confidence is about who you are. It exudes out of you, no matter what situation you are in. Even when you are not in control of a situation, even when you don’t have as much knowledge as the next person, when you have inner confidence, your self-worth remains intact despite temporary doubts and fears. That inner confidence is at the root of it all. It is what gives you that aura of self-confidence.

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:

What does self-confident mean to you? How do you feel about your inner confidence?

 

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Discover Your Why. Discover What Drives You.

Start with Why, that is the premise of Simon Sinek’s book of the same name. Start with your motivation, your purpose, and they will not lead you astray. When you first think about why you want to do something, the actions you take as a result of that, and how you do them, will be in alignment.

Your why, how and what will create a powerful trinity that propels you towards your dream, and at the same time closer to authenticity. Closer to being the person you are meant to be. Closer to living your purpose.

What is your why?

It is your intrinsic motivation. It is the thing that drives you. It is what fuels your passion. It is what gets you out of bed when you really would rather have five more minutes. It is your core reason for wanting the things you want.

I’ve been thinking about my Why for a while, though I didn’t exactly call it that. Since the beginning of Kaizen Journaling, I’ve shared my purpose for doing this. I even wrote a post to explain why Kaizen Journaling was about much more than journaling tips and techniques.

But since I read Start With Why, I’ve been digging deep, and I want to share my Why with you.

 

The why does not come from looking ahead at what you want to achieve and figuring out an appropriate strategy to get there. It is not born out of any market research. It does not come from extensive interviews with customers or even employees. It comes from looking in the completely opposite direction from where you are now. Finding why is a process of discovery, not invention.

– Simon Sinek

The process of discovery is a gradual one. I’ve been on that journey for a long time, and not surprisingly, the medium I use is journaling. After reading this book, when I specifically thought about my Why, it did not take long to come up with the answer because I’ve been discovering it for years.

My why is to be the best I can be, and to encourage others to do the same. It’s about inspiring people to create their Kaizen life. It’s about believing in individual potential. Happy and fulfilled individuals create a happy and fulfilled world. If each of us reached for the stars, if we reach for what we could accomplish, just imagine the sheer level of our collective potential.

Why do I care about individual potential?

I think each of us has a unique gift. Whether it’s a skill, a strength or a particular passion – we all have something, through which we can make our mark in this world. I believe, we owe it to ourselves and to others to use that strength and passion.

My strength is my passion and my drive to continuously push myself to be the best I can be. Both to achieve things, and also as a human being. My strength is to have complete belief and faith in the power of authenticity and in the power of individualism. Because I believe in it wholeheartedly, everything I do, and everything I want to accomplish is driven by that.

I choose to do things because they meet my why. Because they allow me to be authentic. Because they allow me to keep growing and keep learning.

That is my why, and so that is the gift I share with others. I encourage them to be their unique, authentic self, and keep growing and learning. I encourage them to live their Kaizen Life. This blog is also an avenue for that.

When you are clear about your why, when you know what motivates you and why you want the things you want, goals become easier. Tasks may be harder, and the time required to accomplish them may be long, but when you are clear about your why, your passion sustains you.

Why you want things is more important than what you want. Why you want things is more important than how you get them. What you want may change over time. How you want to achieve things may also change. But your why does not change.

Your why is a part of your personality. It stems from who you are, and that is why, as Simon Sinek said, why is not about invention. It’s about discovery.

To encourage each of you to discover your why, I’ve created a free Pdf worksheet that you can download. Simply enter your email address in the box below (if you are already subscribed, don’t worry, you won’t be double subscribed), and you will be taken to the download page.

 









 

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8 Ways Journaling Can Help Simplify Your Thoughts

I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.

– Oprah Winfrey

Do you often end up thinking yourself in circles? Whenever something is bugging me, especially something that’s causing me worry, stress or anger, I end up thinking in an endless cycle. I think about what I should do, what I shouldn’t do, what drastic change should I make, and why I shouldn’t change anything or rock the boat. I argue in my head as I walk, and I do it so well that I end up frustrated and with no solution.

Or at least this is how it used to be for me (sometimes, it still is) but on good days, now I remember that I have a solution.

You need to get through the thinking process, there is no question of that. Unless you are a super-evolved person, who’s managed to control their stray thoughts, you need to move past the Fog of Confusion and make your way to clarity.

You could do this in your head, but that’s bound to make you more confused. You could try talking to someone else, but it might be a private issue, or your listener might get fed up, having to listen to the same thing over and over again. But there is a better, more effective way, and you don’t need anyone else to make use of it.

You can use your journal to make your way to clarity, and simplify your thought process.

JOURNALING TO SIMPLIFY YOUR THOUGHTS

  1. Make a list. At the top of the page, write your main problem in capital letters. Then, underneath it, make a list of everything related to that problem. Write fast, for at least 7-10 minutes. Don’t think about what you are writing. Don’t worry if you end up repeating things.
  2. Draw a mindmap. Even if you aren’t a visual person,  try this techniques. Use colourful pens. Make branches, and draw images. You don’t have to be an artist, you can draw stick figures. Just go with the flow, and let some creativity in, and see if you come up with anything different.
  3. Focus on feelings. Just for this exercise, forget about the facts. Journal about how this problem makes you feel. You are allowed to be as unreasonable as you like. You don’t have to justify anything, or prove anything. Just be honest with your feelings, and admit them on the page.
  4. Focus on the facts. Now, it’s time to be objective. Write down all cold, hard facts related to what’s troubling you. Be ruthless about focusing on facts. If you find your subjectivity creeping in, cross it off. Immediately.
  5. Free write. Don’t try to worry about a topic or anything. Just write what comes to your mind, and your brain will automatically focus on things that are troubling you. Let your subconscious take over.
  6. Focus on other people. Make a list of everyone you think will be affected by your decision. How will they be affected. These are the people who are influencing your decisions. Are you stuck because you are trying to please everyone, and make sure everyone is happy with it?
  7. Look to your past. Have you faced this particular problem before? How did you deal with it then? Did you make a choice, or did you just ride it out? How did that work out for you? What can you learn from the past to either do now what you did before, or do something different?
  8. Project yourself to the future. Write in your journal, as if you are writing one month, or six months, or two years from now. How do you think has your choices affected you? If there are several avenues you could go with, do this exercises from each of those choices point of view. What do you think your life would be like if you went down Road A, as oppose to Road B?
When you journal, and especially when you journal with a focus on particular aspect, you will break your thought pattern. You will come up with things that you either did not think of before, or had relegated to the back of your mind.

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:

Pick the one issue that is troubling you the most right now, and try some of the above exercises. Try them all if you are up for a challenge, but at the very least, pick a handful that resonate with you, and you will end up with insightful results.

 

 

 

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Ask the Readers: What’s Your Favourite Book?


There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. 

– Ray Bradbury 

As a person who wrote one of the most beautiful books of all times, the late Mr. Bradbury knew what he was talking about. If you haven’t read Fahrenheit 451, do it now. Seriously. Go and get it from the library, or better yet buy a copy. Today.

It’s not just a great story and beautiful writing, but it shows the importance of books in our society. It doesn’t matter how high-tech we get. It doesn’t matter how much our culture advances. We need books. We need to read them. We need to make sure that new generations read them. Because books do one amazing thing that is essential for individual growth. They make us think.

The sum of individual growth = Society’s growth
So books make a society think, which is a very good think.

No, you don’t have to be restricted to non-fiction books only, or “serious” books. You don’t have to be limited to classics or high-brow literature. Well written books in any genre can give you food for thought. They enhance your imagination. They enhance your perception. They make you consider possibilities. And as a bonus….they entertain you.

What’s your all time favourite book? Feel free to name several, if you can’t pick one.  Tell me in the comments below.

My all time favourites (because I definitely can’t pick one)

  • The Blood Jewels Trilogy – Anne Bishop
  • The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  • Persuasion – Jane Austen
  • The Fountains of Paradise – Arthur C. Clarke
  • A Writer’s Diary – Virginia Woolf
  • The Great Gatsby – Scott F. Fitzgerald
  • Proust was a Neuroscientist – Jonah Lehrer

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:

Go read a book. Either re-read something that you love, or pick something completely new, and then journal about how it makes you think.

 

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