Self-Worth and Confidence

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Ideas Regarding Self-Improvement
One of the constants in life is change and our life experiences constantly change all of us. All of us have different life experiences with various events that happen which automatically effect and stretch us in some way and teach us assorted life lessons. We learn – mostly from negative experiences – these are our life experiences! We gradually learn to manage life's hurdles and challenges which will be ever present. Indeed we are always learning!
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Improve Self Confidence
Learn how to improve your most important asset - self confidence. Understand the reasons for the lack of self-confidence in order to utilise the techniques for gaining your confidence.
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Self Esteem Part I
Things happen and you give them a title - good/bad, sad/happy, boring/exciting, safe/dangerous, embarrassing/proud, etc... Then you file the event in your memory's "library" under the title you just gave it. If you ever remember the event again, you will always think of it as having the same "title" you first gave it. One day at school, when I was about 8 years old, the teacher asked me to draw an elephant on the blackboard at the front of the class. I heard muffled laughter behind me (it really was a funny looking elephant). I was very embarrassed and looked around to the teacher for support - she was smiling too! "Even the teacher is laughing at me as well" I thought. Thank goodness it was break time, but the kids in the playground didn't let up. "Ha, ha, ha, you can't draw, you can't draw." At that time I told myself "I'll never draw again!".
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Self Esteem Part II
Here is Part II of the Self Esteem E-Report. You can actually use any or all of the following techniques to create a new habit of good Self Esteem - I really like the 30 second tool. Use positive words of reinforcement We know that negative thoughts attract negative thoughts which leads to negative action and to negative reaction, so, at all cost we need to avoid using negative words. Encouraging words when dealing with anyone, especially your children and yourself, are paramount. Avoid negative statements or words, and some in common usage that immediately come to mind are calling yourself or your child "stupid" or an "idiot" and another is saying to a child or yourself that "you can't afford something ..." - it is far preferable to say "No ... other things are more important", so that you make it a choice. Yet another thing to avoid is denigrating yourself or your child, with the words "slow learner". There are many more and now that I have brought it to your attention you will have an awareness.

How do I overcome recurring negative and limiting thought patterns

It's always best to talk to yourself as though supporting a 3-year-old and get rid of unwanted thoughts by using the methods of "letting them go", as described in the above two answers.  If you find this negative self talk is really persistent, then besides working with a goal of saying that you are a wonderful, positive person, you could make your own meditation tape.  You would need to write the words down that would specifically address the issues which are emerging, using personal, positive and present tense language.  The meditative state takes you down into the Theta state, and this whole process will probably take about 15-20 minutes.  It's a good way of changing habits in the subconscious mind.

An additional way is to write out in colour, positive statements about yourself and put them in prominent places around your home or working area (as long as it is private).  This can be very reinforcing in a visual way.

I find certain meetings at work difficult. There's one person who is really aggressive and when they 'have a go' at me, I blush and stammer and my mind goes blank. And I'm really upset for the rest of the day.

There are lots of tips for changing the dynamics in a meeting – from where you sit at the table to how you hold your body. And you know the answer to your question already I think. You have told me clearly what you don't want to happen. Now ask yourself this question: "If not this, then what? How do I want to be in this situation?" Before the meeting, go to your Peaceful Place and imagine yourself successfully handling the meeting, maybe even influencing it so that there is no aggression. By thinking of a positive future scenario you stop playing the other person's game (which is in the past) and regain personal power by taking control of your own direction. It's amazing how it works.

I get so angry with myself when I recognise my negative self talk.  Any suggestions

It's always best to be kind to yourself.  Here's an analogy of how you would expand the comfort zone (subconscious mind) of a 3 year old who didn't want to learn to swim.  How do you teach the 3 year old to swim?  First of all, all your talk is encouraging and supportive.  You probably hug the 3 year old, as you walk into a swimming pool.  The first lesson might well be just experiencing the water, as you hold the child tight.  The next time you take it into the water, you probably get it to let go an arm and splash the top of the water - have a little fun.  The next time, the child is probably wearing a bubble and water wings, and you're still holding them while they see that the bubble and the wings keep them up.  The next lesson may well be letting go the hands of the child, as they realise that water is good fun.  It won't be long before the child is jumping into the pool.  All that you've done here is gradually expand the comfort zone of the child, as you give supportive, encouraging talk, congratulating them all the way.

That's the way you need to talk to yourself, so as you become aware of your negative talk, you congratulate yourself, and then you change it, saying the positive self talk, and then encourage yourself with positive self talk saying that every day, and in every way, you are getting more and more positive.

My self-confidence is extremely low, and I have no motivation to work at it. How can I overcome this

What I believe is that when you recognise a life challenge, or issue which is holding you back, then you're 50% of the way through the challenge.  The next 25% is saying - Yes, I want to do something about it.  So, by simply recognising a challenge and wanting to overcome it, you are already 75% of
the way there.  The remaining 25% is doing it - that's what my methods help with.

As to motivation - work with goals (refer to motivation questions and answers above).

Read and do the exercises in my book "Piece of Mind" - I recommend the book and the tape pack.

The next step is to come to my 2-day CALM Life Skills seminar (if you don't do the seminar then you need the CALM Kit plus the book "Switch on to Your Inner Strength", plus the Peaceful Place Tape (or CD)  Collection).

What are your suggestions for handling repeated negative self talk

The first thing is to acknowledge the thought, and congratulate yourself for becoming aware of the issue.  If you were not aware of the issue then you couldn't do anything about it.  I actually twist that famous philosopher Aristotles' words a little to be - when you recognise a challenge (negative self talk), then you're half way through the challenge.  The next step is to decide whether you're going to do something about it or not.  If you choose yes, then you're 75% of the way through the challenge.  The last bit is doing it.  And the techniques that I espouse will teach you how to "do it".

What you need to do is to let the thought go.  My wife Sandra, just lets out a big breath, blowing the thought away from her.  In my seminars, I suggest letting the thought out through the top of your head and then watch it going up and away from you - or onto an escalator that is going away from you.

Or, replace the negative thought by saying your new habit (or goal)  immediately.

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