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How to Confront Your Inner Demons: Build Unexpected Confidence

How do you feel when you see someone who appears to be supremely confident?

What if I told you that person is no different to you or anyone else! 

We all have the same weaknesses and insecurities, it's just some have better control over them or are more adept and hiding them. 

  • We all have negative self-talk from time to time
  • We all lack confidence in certain situations
  • Everyone self-sabotages once in a while
  • Everyone has limiting beliefs of some sort
  • We are our own harshest judge and put ourselves down more than anyone else does
  • Most of us have to learn not to have a disempowering negative mindset
  • And yes we all procrastinate from time to time!

When these weaknesses befall us we tend to think we are the only one afflicted or that we are in some way worse than others and so we berate ourselves . It doesn't fit with that ideal of perfection we have all been brought up to expect in ourselves.  

Welcome to the human race! We are all similarly flawed!

The good news is all these traits were acquired during childhood. These characteristics were learned, which means they can, with a little effort, be unlearned and replaced with a more empowering mindset, which serves us better and gives us that confidence we so admire.

But don't be impatient. It took some time to learn them and it will be more than an overnight effort to vaporize them.   

We were born perfect, a clean slate, and these characteristics became part of our personality through the influence of our upbringing, our culture and key people around us such as our parents, teachers, coaches, friends and others who play a part in sculpting our malleable minds. 

We learned our negative self-talk from the authority figures who disciplined us when we were young and who on occasion said something unkind, perhaps unwittingly, like "you'll never amount to anything" if you don't do such and such.

Our lack of confidence comes from always being told our efforts don't quite match up with expectations and so it feels as if we are never as good as everyone else.

We self-sabotage, frequently unconsciously, because we are frightened of an outcome, either because it takes us out of our comfort zone or again because we believe it will fall short of the expectations of others. Want to discover which saboteurs are hold you back? 

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The universal saboteur we all possess is the judge. We judge ourselves, others and our circumstances. We do this because so many others have judged us in our lifetime and because it's an easy way to come up with an excuse for something we feel ill at ease with. 

However, we tend to be hashest on ourselves as we continually condemn every little mistake we make or error of judgement as the nagging monkey on our shoulder watches over our daily efforts. 

The good news about mindset is that modern research has disproved the old belief that you are either born with talent or not. The problem is that too many of us still hold fast to this belief. 

To quote Carol Dweck, American psychologist and author of "Mindset" (a book I recommend to all my clients): "If parents want t give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep learning. That way their children don't have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence".  

And finally a word about procrastination. A word which I believe is over-used, misunderstood and often ill defined. This will be the subject of a future blog. But suffice it to say we all procrastinate for a huge variety of reasons and it really isn't an issue if it occurs very sporadically. It only becomes an issue when it becomes chronic and abrogates responsibility.


So what conclusions can we draw from these feelings of inadequacy that make us feel less than good about ourselves? 

Perhaps the first thing to do is to rename them. We tend to look upon them as demons because they haunt us when we are at our weakest and show up at inopportune moments. If we could consider them easily corrected blemishes, we might see them in a less critical and personal light.

It is important to learn to love yourself, just as you are blemishes and all. You can do this convincingly in the knowledge that all these slight imperfections can be easily overcome with consistent and determined effort.

This self-inspiring effort will enable you to reclaim your confidence, rewrite your story and live an ever more fulfilling life regardless of your age. It should be the first step to initiating any radical change in your life, such as establishing your first business.



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