If you want to be more confident, this is the book for you. I am more confident than I ever used to be. This book mentions the ACT Therapy (Acceptance & Commitment). 1) Practise the skills; 2) Utilize them effectively; 3) Evaluate results; 4) Adjust as needed. If you had unlimited confidence, would you do anything differently? This book will cover issues on mindfulness, goal-setting, fear communication etc.
Mindfulness. This is an ancient concept found in Buddhism etc. It involves being present in the current moment. It involves being curious and open, especially in unpleasant situations. Defusion, expansion and engagement are all key elements. Defusion involves detaching yourself from your thoughts in order to prevent them from controlling your actions. Have a sense of separation from such a thought. Singing the thought aloud helps. Recite your thought in a silly voice. Imagine your thoughts on leaves which are floating down a stream. Keep repeating until you get the hang of it. Stay in the present moment. When life gives you pain, try to enlarge and open and accept the pain. Expansion means making room for your emotions. It is important to notice, acknowledge and then make room. Be aware. Engagement means to be engaged in the present moment. Take deep breaths and then relax. Breathe in, breathe out. When you get distracted, please return your focus on your breathing.
Values. Keep your values strong and keep pushing. Stand for something in your life. What can a clear set of values do for you? An example is that of Nelson Mandela. Goals set in accordance to values are very fulfilling indeed. Values are more about long term reward than short-term gain. Even if you don’t achieve your goals, it is satisfying to be able to live up to your values. Create a values list and write it down. There are plenty of values that this book suggests. Values are not rules.
Goals. A ship must have a rudder. You must be able to steer your own ship. Set meaningful goals for yourself and work towards them. Do not drift about aimlessly in life. Many people are full of self-doubt. Your beliefs must change first. You need to want it and know what you want before you can achieve it. True success is living by your values. Embrace the process and let go of the outcome. The process is more important than the outcome. Now that you have written your values, learn to write down your goals in terms of both career, love, play, health etc. Choose one area of your life to focus on first. It is very important not to let your thoughts hold you back.
Fear. When we are in autopilot mode, we are not aware of our emotions. How do you face your fears? Notice which part of your body experiences fear. Let your mind chatter away. Acknowledge your feeling by its name. For example, say ‘Here’s stress’. Make space and breathe. Loosen up and feel yourself. Expand your awareness. Every day, you should be working towards your values. Do something fun and meaningful each day.
Remember, the actions of confidence come first and the feelings of confidence come later. – Unknown
Self-Acceptance. You have to fully accept yourself and avoid judging yourself at all costs. Focus on how to improve instead. When you recognize a judgment, stop and acknowledge that it is a judgment. Break the habit of judging other people as well. Learn to compete with yourself instead. Focus on every experience and learn from it.
Body. Exercise makes you happier and more confident. It makes you look more radiant and happy. Do not neglect your health and your body. Try walking for long distances if you have not incorporated exercise into your routine. Nutrition is important as well. Incorporate healthy diet choices into your lifestyle.
Communication. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Communicating with confidence is important. Learn to genuinely treat people well. Practise using confident body language. Fake it till you become it. Do not hesitate to record yourself in the mirror etc. Pay attention to how professional leaders project their voice. If you are good at social interaction, people will pay attention to you.
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. – Lao Tzu
Appreciation. Be grateful for everything you have. Say thanks to everyone. Savor every last experience of life. Make a gratitude notecard to note down the important moments in life. Practising gratitude isn’t easy. Be a giving and compassionate person. Give without constraints. Make small donations to charity. Buy a gift to show appreciation for someone.
If we give with no thought of getting, there is no limit to the abundance that will accrue to us. We limit our happiness to the extent that we try to measure out happiness to others. – Earl Nightingale
Forgiveness. Do not hold on to anger. Instead, learn to let it go. If you are healthy, you should be able to forgive others. Don’t be a slave to negative experiences. The past has no power over the present. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes and learn to move on.
Practice. Nothing will happen if you don’t practice. Being confident is a skill that is useful and you can carry with for the rest of your life.
Win. Russ Harris wrote a book on confidence. There are 10 rules for confidence. Negative thoughts are normal. Learn to defuse them, but do not fight them. True success is living by your values. Befriend your fears. Peak performance is achieved through total engagement.