7/28/09

Reading, Writing, Self-Confidence

You can achieve anything when you put your mind to it. How many times have we heard that or a variation of it? We may have heard it from parents, teachers, coaches, or friends. We read it in newspapers and hear it in films. Unfortunately, many of us lack the confidence to believe we can have a fraction of what we want, let alone all of it. Without confidence, most goals will remain unattainable. So how can we develop self-confidence?

One of the best ways to start developing your self-confidence is to gather evidence of all of your skills and talents. Make a list, and then read and rewrite it frequently. By gathering this evidence, you begin to appreciate yourself. By reading it over frequently, you reaffirm your self-appreciation. By writing it over repeatedly, the evidence filters down to the subconscious so that you can begin to believe in yourself.

In making your list, the first step is to think about your past and current situation. Think back all the way to the time you were small up to the present day. What did you used to do well or do well now? What awards, scholarships, commendations, or other special recognitions have you received? What skills have enabled you to succeed professionally, socially, athletically, etc.? What leadership roles have you held in professional, social, or other organizations? What makes you unique? Write all of this down.

The second step is to think in a larger circle. Think about those who love, like, respect, or care about you. What do you think they like about you? What are you complimented on? What do you have that others envy? What nice, thoughtful, or helpful things have you done for others? What can you do as well as or better than anyone else you know or admire? Write all of this down on your list.

Once you have exhausted your own thoughts, the third step is to ask close friends and family members to check over your list and add their suggestions. Ask them the same kind of questions you asked yourself. This will help them to think of a wider range of skills and talents, including those that they might have otherwise overlooked. Write this on your list.

Now that you have a lengthy and informative list full of ways in which you are unique and special, the fourth step is to believe that this is true. Every day, you will read over your list, add to it, and copy it out again by hand. By reading it, you are seeing visual proof of your worthiness. By adding to it, you are increasing your awareness of how special you are. By writing it out, you are internalizing the information. This repetition will send the evidence down to your subconscious, where it will take root. Your confidence will begin to grow and flourish as a result.

Building self-confidence takes time. If you give up too quickly or too easily, then you are telling yourself that you are not worthwhile, that you don't deserve to feel good about yourself. That is not true. You do deserve to feel good about yourself. By taking the actions above, you can begin to believe in yourself. Once you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.


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