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Develop self confidence: A success skill

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Self-confidence is a belief in oneself, one’s abilities, or one’s judgment. It is freedom from doubt. When you believe you can change things — or make a difference in a situation, you are much more likely to succeed.

As a self-confident person, you walk with a bounce in your step. You can control your thoughts and emotions and influence others. You are more prepared to tackle everyday challenges and recover from setbacks. This all leads to a greater degree of optimism and life satisfaction.

However, obstacles are encountered every day of our lives, but what we do and how we react during these events will determine the outcomes of such events. Our reactions to these obstacles will determine if the situation becomes a minor annoyance to a major event. Overreacting to a small annoyance can magnify the issue and make larger than it actually is and invariably leads to negative thoughts.

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Negative thinking is the process of thinking negative rather than positive thoughts, which will invariably impact your quality of life. Seemingly, positive thinking requires effort while negative thinking is uninvited and happens easily.

A person who has been brought up in a happy and positive atmosphere, where people value success and self-improvement will have a much easier time thinking positively. One who was brought up in a poor or difficult situation will probably continue to expect difficulties and failure. Negative thoughts center on the individual, others, and the future. Negative thinking causes problems such as depression, pessimism, and anxiety. Here are some typical types of negative thinking:

Overgeneralization is making a general universal rule from one isolated event; Global labeling is automatically using disparaging labels to describe yourself or others; Filtering is to pay attention selectively to the negative while disregarding the positive; Polarized thinking is to group things into absolute, black and white categories, assuming that you must be perfect or you are worthless; Self-blame is to persistently blame yourself for things that may not be your fault;

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Personalisation is to assume that everything has something to do with you, negatively comparing yourself to everyone else; Mind reading is to feel that people don’t like you or are angry with you, without any real evidence; Control fallacies are feeling that you have total responsibility for everybody and everything, or that you have no control as a helpless victim, and Emotional reasoning is when we believe that things are the way we feel about them.

On the other hand, being positive and feeling good about one’s self is the key, you must feel the part. Positivity is a leading factor in one’s self-confidence, it will help you keep a feeling of worth. Staying positive will provide you with a great asset in regards to self-talk and recognizing and working with your strengths. Everyone has weaknesses and by being positive you can recognize your weaknesses and then work on them to lesson to remove them altogether.

Worth is defined as “sufficiently good, important, or interesting to justify a specified action.” People with a sense of self-worth exude confidence in themselves. They feel in charge of their own destiny, and are happy. To create a picture of your self-worth, take a self-concept inventory, analyzing multiple attributes in your life.

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Physical appearance – Height, weight, facial appearance, skin, hair, style of dress, body areas
How you relate to others – Co-workers, friends, family, and strangers in social settings

Personality – Positive and negative personality traits

How other people see you – Positive and negative perceptions, as viewed by others
Performance at work or school -How you handle major tasks

Performance of the daily tasks of life – How you handle health, hygiene, maintenance of your living environment, food preparation, caring for children or parents

Mental functioning – How you reason and solve problems, your capacity for learning and creativity, your knowledge, wisdom, insights

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Positive self-talk allows you to recognize, validate, and apply your full potential with respect to all that you are, and do. Also called affirmations (to make something firm), positive self-talk serves as your own personal accomplishment scale. Below are some tips for positive self-talk:
Use the present tense; deal with what exists today; Be positive – rather than affirming what you don’t want; Remain personal; self-talk must relate to you and you only; Keep sentences short and simple; Go with your gut. If it “clicks”, then just say it. Self-talk should feel positive, expanding, freeing, and supporting; Focus on new things, rather than changing what is; Act “as if”; give yourself permission to believe the idea is true right now.

If self-talk is new to you, it is a good idea to first think about the things that are wonderful about you, such as:
• I have someone I love, and we enjoy spending time together

• I am a mother or father, fulfilled in this role

• My career is challenging and fulfilling.

• When I learn something new, I feel proud.

• I am worthwhile because I breathe and feel; I am aware.

• When I feel pain, I love, I try to survive. I am a good person.

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After an individual has listed words and phrases for self-attributes, they can be classified as strengths or weaknesses. This allows you to re-frame weaknesses into a message that don’t feed negative self-worth.

Physical appearance is also vital in self-confidence. A person who has a strong sense of personal worth makes a confident, positive appearance. Looking the part is important as it influences the people around us. It will provide a boost to confidence and in turn a boost to your performance. Once the higher performance is obtained it will then cycle back and make us more confident. Looking the part is an important part of being more assertive and confident as it is relatively quick and easy to do and pays off great dividends.

In the dictionary, appearance is defined as an external show or outward aspect. Your confidence depends significantly on your personal thoughts and perceptions about the way you look. Appearance is as important today as it ever was. The first thing noticed when meeting someone new is their appearance. That is why it is important as you only have one first impression.

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Body language is a form of non-verbal communication involving the use of stylized gestures, postures, and physiologic signs which act as cues to other people. Humans unconsciously send and receive non-verbal signals through body language all the time. One study at UCLA found that up to 93 percent of communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues. Another study indicated that the impact of a performance was determined 7 percent by the words used, 38 percent by voice quality, and 55 percent by non-verbal communication. Your body language must match the words used. If a conflict arises between your words and your body language, your body language governs. The components of body language include:

Eye contact: The impact of your message is affected by the amount of eye contact you maintain with the person with whom you are speaking. One who makes eye contact is normally perceived as more favorable and confident.

Posture: Find comfortable sitting and standing postures that work for you; avoid any rigid or slouching positions.

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Excessive or unrelated head, facial, hand and body Movement: Too much movement can divert attention from the verbal message. Your facial expressions should match the type of statement you are making; smile when saying “I like you”, and frowning when saying “I am annoyed with you”. Occasional gestures that reinforce your verbal message are acceptable.

Finally, self-confidence plays an important role in our everyday lives. Being confident allows us to set and reach our goals. It provides stability when we are faced with a challenge; it gives us that push that helps us overcome difficulties. Self-confidence is necessary for our personal and professional lives, as without it one would not be successful in either.

Let me know your self-confidence successes and challenges.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology and a Mental Health Commissioner in California.
Jars Education Group
info@akinmerino.com
Text: 909.681.0530 or 0705 629 0985
YouTube.com/akinmerino
Instagram: @drakinmerino:
Twitter: @drakindotun

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