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The opinions expressed in this manuscript are solely the opinions of the author and do not represent the

opinions or thoughts of the publisher. The author has represented and warranted full ownership and/or legal right to publish all the materials in this book. Unstoppable Confidence A Life-Changing Workbook All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2009 Astrid Harris V3.0 Cover Photo 2009 JupiterImages Corporation. All rights reserved - used with permission. This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Outskirts Press, Inc. http://www.outskirtspress.com ISBN: 978-1-4327-3855-6 Library of Congress Control Number: 2009923157 Outskirts Press and the OP logo are trademarks belonging to Outskirts Press, Inc. PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Unstoppable Confidence
Astrids Life Coaching

Contents
Acknowledgement

Foreword

Introduction

Part 1:

The Confidence Evaluator: Just How Confident Are You?

Part 2:

Controlling Your Beliefs

Part 3:

How to Overcome Your Negative Thoughts

10

Part 4:

How to Overcome Negative Comments from Others

20

Part 5:

How to Feel Confident All of the Time

24

Part 6:

Your Confidence Plan How to Lead a Great, Confident Life

28

Unstoppable Confidence
Astrids Life Coaching

Acknowledgement
The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Dr. Kenneth Z. Altshuler, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas, for his advice early in the project, his suggestions about much of the content, and his editorial aid. Also, many thanks are due to those individuals who assisted in the completion of this workbook, including design, editing and production services of Mary M. Williams, Dallas, Texas. Astrid Harris Dallas, Texas

Unstoppable Confidence
Astrids Life Coaching

Foreword
Unstoppable Confidence is a
six-part course that will help you to improve and raise your confidence levels.

Unstoppable Confidence is a sixpart course that is designed to get you the self-confidence that you so desperately want. Each of the six modules includes a number of exercises and assignments that will teach you all you need to know in order to build your confidence. Unstoppable Confidence will enable you to smash through those barriers and limiting beliefs that you have about yourself and move forward with your life.

Without confidence you will never be able to lead the life that you want. Confident people are successful people. They stick out a mile, dont they? Many people in life have the same skills as the successful person, but what holds them back is their lack of self-belief. The difference between those who succeed and those who do not is confidence.

Unstoppable Confidence will


help you to break through the barriers that limit your selfconfidence.

The journey with Astrid makes clients less afraid, more understanding of themselves and more able to express and enjoy their feelings and their lives.

Astrid Harris
Astrid was born, raised and educated in France. She studied law at the University Robert Shuman in Strasbourg France. Blessed with an outgoing personality and a passion for learning and experiencing different cultures, she explored foreign nations and people, traveling extensively and living in several continents. Using her multilingual skills and her multicultural understanding, she taught in a prestigious language school for adults. She received awards such as Outstanding Teacher of the Year in the Texas district in recognition of her superior professional performance. Her interest in professional life coaching was a natural next step. With an unusual perceptive skill and an empathic understanding of personal problems, she aims to help people in various and often seemingly hopeless life situations.

Unstoppable Confidence
Astrids Life Coaching

Introduction
Todays society strongly emphasizes the importance of self-confidence. If you want to remain competitive in our fastpaced and challenging world, it is imperative to have a high level of selfconfidence. Without it, youll be left behind in the rat race while others reach their dreams and goals and you watch from the sidelines. Unstoppable Confidence is a six-part course that will help you to improve and raise your confidence levels. With this workbook, you will participate in exciting exercises and assignments that will teach you all you need to know in order to build your confidence. Unstoppable Confidence will help you to break through the barriers and limiting beliefs you have about yourself and about life in general and will move you forward toward achieving your dreams. Confident people are successful people. They stick it out until they get what they want. They do it because they confidently believe in their goals and their own ability. Having bought this workbook, you know that a lack of confidence has held you back in achieving the important goals of your life. Now is the time to throw away your misgivings and lack of self-belief. Why be timid and quiet when the world around you is confident and brims with life? So fight the coyness and get what you want self-confidence!

How to Get Full Advantage of This Course


In getting into the course, you will probably be tempted to read several sections, one part after the other. I strongly advise you not to do so. To get the most from the book, read and do the work from one part, then work on the lessons in that part for at least a week. When you have become comfortable with living and using the lessons learned, continue to the next section. Remember, its taken you a long time to get where you are, and the changes you seek will not occur overnight. Be the tortoise, not the hare, and you will win in the end.

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Part 1 The Confidence Evaluator: Just How Confident Are You?


If you want to remain competitive in our fastpaced and challenging world, it is imperative to have a high level of selfconfidence.

Rona Tyrrell was a member of a womens group at her church. At 43, she was too shy to speak up with friends or in groups. During a convention, Rona was unexpectedly asked to speak to a group. After the initial panic and fear, she slowly found herself relaxing. Deep breaths and a pep talk on the way to the pulpit helped. She was finally able to give her talk without anxiety. Rona Tyrrell was taking a confidence building course at the time

and was two weeks into it. Peter Malloy, a 24-year-old skilled graphic designer, is another example. Though Peters rsum exhibited his fine credentials, he could never really give voice to them. Most jobs he wanted required him to interact with clients, but he failed to impress prospective employers because of his lack of communication skills and low selfconfidence. Luckily, Peter enrolled himself in a confidence building course; and within a few weeks he

did well in an interview with an international firm he got the job! These two examples show how confidence building opens doors to opportunities and success. This section is all about self-discovery. Unless you know where you are, how will you move to where you want to be? Before we begin confidence building exercises that will work on areas where you need more confidence, take the following two assessment tests.

Self-assessment 1
Rate the following statements from 0 10 based on how much you believe each of them to be true. 0 = You dont believe the statement at all. 10 = You think its completely true. Statement
I like myself as a person. I am as good as everyone else. When I look at myself in the mirror, I like what I see. I don't feel like an overall failure. I am happy to be me. I respect myself. Id rather be me than anyone else. What others say to me has no effect. I enjoy communicating with others. I have the skills and qualities to make myself a success. I like to take risks. I am not afraid to make mistakes. I can laugh at myself.

Score

Total

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Confidence Evaluator
100 130 You have a high level of self-esteem and confidence. All you have to do is fine tune it and increase your confidence in a couple of areas. You have a medium to high ranking in self-esteem. While most of the time you are okay, there are times when you can feel like youre at rock bottom. You need to work on consistently feeling that you are confident. You have a low level of self-esteem. You lack confidence in yourself in most areas and need to develop an overall confidence-building plan. You have reached rock bottom and think that everything and everyone is against you. You are stuck in a rut and need to get out of it, quickly.

65 99

30 64

0 29

Self-assessment 2
So, what are your scores? Are they satisfactory, or are they a sign of needed improvement? If you are disappointed in your overall score, theres nothing to feel ashamed about. Thats why you are participating in this

workshop.
For this next self-assessment exercise, first write down some of the General Observations you made about yourself as you were completing Self-assessment 1. Second, refer to both assessments and write down what areas you think you need to concentrate on to build your confidence (Areas That Need Improvement). After you have written these thoughts down, take a look at your responses from both Self-assessments. You will get a more specific idea of areas that need work. Not every area of your life will need improvement, only some. The first step to improving anything is to know your starting point.

General Observations

Areas That Need Improvement

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Part 2 Controlling Your Beliefs


Lets start this chapter with your writing down two things you would love to master with regard to your confidence. Desired Mastery #1 Desired Mastery #2

You will also need a strong inner belief system to be the confident person you want to become. Selfacceptance gives you much needed energy and room to grow.

With the next exercise you will begin to create the confident person that you want to become. The secret of success lies in a visual image of how you want to act, walk, talk, think, move, and present yourself so that you know what to aspire to. What weve done so far should have helped you define the goals you are after, and your perceived weaknesses. Working toward confidence, as with any other aim, requires that you be clear about what you want to achieve. You need to know what you are after and how you are going to get it. So first define, as concretely as you can, what you want.

If your uncomfortably low self-esteem is an impediment, you will of course wonder what to do next. The answer:

Think of a Confidence Role Model.


There must be someone whose confidence level impresses you: a colleague, friend, family member, or even a famous personality who radiates selfconfidence someone who has high self-esteem and whom, therefore, you admire. This person will be your Confidence Role Model.

Confidence Role Model

Once you have identified your Confidence Role Model, ask yourself, How would my role model deal with this situation? Lets think of this persons confidence applied to your life as your alter-ego. This might feel awkward in the beginning, but it will do you loads of

good in the end. It is also your chance to start from scratch to improve your body language, the way you walk, talk, and think. Of course, the person whose

confidence level you admire should really be worth that admiration.

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Take a moment to complete the following exercises.


Confidence Role Model Emulator Exercise
When faced with a problem (illustrate one in your mind), visualize how your role model would function. He/she would act like

He/she would walk like

His/her body language would be like

He/she would talk like

He/she would think like

Other people think he/she is

Now take note of the few things you have written down about your Confidence Role Model. The idea is to make an effort to become like the person you desire to be. So lets start with the basics. Put these qualities into action! Act as if you are the person you want to be and notice the results. Again, dont worry if it feels strange at first. At first you are acting out what you desire to become. It will take a while for the imitation to sink in and feel normal. As you continue to emulate your role model, the emotions you credit to the other person will start to feel like your own. The effort to perform like someone else will also distract you from the anxiety you experience when called upon to do a challenging task. Concentrating as much on the role as on the real-life task will distract you from your anxiety and make the task easier.

Develop Your Inner Belief System


You will also need a strong inner belief system to be the confident person you want to become. Self-acceptance gives you much needed energy and room to grow. Your inner belief system helps you to develop an ability to accept yourself who you are, what you feel, think, and do. The benefits of a strong inner belief system are varied and great. Stronger self-confidence Healthy self-esteem Greater satisfaction out of life Comfort with yourself and others

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Assessing Your Inner Belief System


Consider the following questions. Finding answers to these questions can help you to weed out the influence of what others say and get you back to the purity of self-knowledge and self-expression. 1. What are your current beliefs about work, life, people, and about yourself? Write one word (work, life, etc.) and then write down whatever thoughts might be conjured up by the word.

2.

How much of what you believe is your own? A. Take a look at what you wrote. What messages may have come from parents, friends, family, peers, teachers, etc.? B. Now, pick out the things you feel truly reflect who you are and what you believe.

A.

B.

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3.

How much of what has influenced you is enabling versus disabling? A. Are the messages that came from others enabling and empowering? Or are they limiting? Do they fit with what is realistic? Or do they distort what is real? B. Now, look at the ones that reflect your own inner belief system. Are those empowering or limiting? How do they make you feel?

A. Types of Messages Coming from Others

B. How do these messages make you feel?

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4.

What do you want to believe? Think about your real beliefs. Be honest with yourself. Do they reflect how you want to feel about life, work, people and yourself? Write each idea or thought, and next to it, write how you'd like to feel or think about each, instead. How much of it is enabling versus disabling?

Re-program yourself by identifying the limiting thoughts as they pop into your head and replacing them with the thoughts and ideas you identified on the right hand side (how youd like to feel) instead. If you continue this exercise in life, you'll find that the old and limiting thoughts will creep up less and less; and the new, empowering thoughts will begin to take their place.

5.

What messages about life, people, work and yourself did you get from family members as you shaped your personality? Please write the messages below. Messages from family members are repetitive and will keep coming up. If you have chosen to re-program any of their thoughts, values and beliefs, be prepared to counter them at least in your mind when a family member articulates them, or when you are feeling or behaving as if they had just done so.

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6.

What's your response when you express your belief and someone disagrees? How are you going to respond when you share your beliefs with others and find that they disagree?

Here's a hint: Don't change your mind unless you have decided that you are wrong. It's okay that someone else believes differently from you, and its okay if they are right, or have the right to feel right, too. Such differences are what make us all unique.
If you believe your view is correct, you could simply state that you see life, work, people, etc., differently, or just repeat and reconfirm your own belief to yourself. Not every disagreement has to be argued out! If you say, You might be right to the other person, and just let it go, any tension between you will likely resolve.

These questions, their answers and the exercises associated with each are sure to strengthen your belief system. Your challenge is to develop confidence in your ability to feel and, at times, express these beliefs in an unwavering fashion. There are sure to be people who will disagree with your beliefs. What you have to do is test your ability to continue with your own belief system. If you first confirm that your belief is warranted and does not reflect a problem of your own, then keep it intact. As your confidence builds, what others think will not be as important to you as what you believe yourself. If contentiousness develops in a discussion, and your belief continues to feel solid, youll be comfortable in either restating and reinforcing your belief, or just dropping the argument. Once your belief system has been strengthened, youll also find that those having less confidence in their own beliefs will seek you out. You can then help and encourage others to tap into their own belief system, following the process you used to get to where you are now.

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Part 3 How to Overcome Your Negative Thoughts


Olympian John Konrads won one gold and one bronze medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics. During the 400-meter freestyle, for which Konrads won the bronze medal, he said he lost focus by nurturing negative thoughts on how archrival Murray Rose was going to perform. Konrads confessed that, though he had convinced himself he could win, these thoughts got in the way and ruined his chances. Actually, negative thoughts are common and anyone can be a victim to them. But its not negative thoughts that make or break our confidence and self-esteem, but the way we handle and react to them.

Its not negative thoughts that make or break our confidence and selfesteem, but the way we handle and react to them.

Nothing has any meaning in life, except the meaning you give it. If you ALLOW negative thoughts to HARM you THEY WILL! If you ALLOW negative thoughts to HELP you THEY WILL! You have a choice!

Before we get into this chapter, its important to keep a few points in mind: Its not only you who has negative thoughts; everyone on the planet has them. You are not making an attempt to totally uproot negative thoughts, but just to handle them more wisely. Negative thoughts do not harm you. Its what you say to yourself after the thought has entered your head that harms you. You can change any thought you want by changing what it means to you.

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Analyzing Your Thoughts


If you want to increase your confidence, you have to first find out what triggers those negative thoughts and emotions you have about yourself. It becomes easier to analyze and respond to them if you write them down. As we said, its not the trigger or the event that instigates the bad feelings, but the internal dialogues you have in response to the trigger. These inner dialogues are catalysts which distort reality and put your feelings in turmoil. Thats the kind of turmoil Lynette got into. Her husband Roger had been quite distracted over the past couple of weeks. Lynette tried talking to him on a few occasions, but he wasnt forthcoming. She heard him talking in hushed tones over the phone, and he also came home late more often than before. Lynette was perturbed and worried beyond words. She spent hours talking to herself, wondering, and almost certain that what Roger was up to was not good. If she would have said: Hes ignoring me. Maybe hes having an affair with someone. He doesnt find me attractive or interesting anymore. What would she have felt? Anger Resentment Grief Self-pity

But maybe she should have asked more questions, or have been more attentively involved with her husband. Did she know her husband well enough to arrive at the conclusions that she reached? Roger might have been having a tough time at work, a bad review by the boss, a fall in profits in business, a disagreement with a colleague. It could have been anything!

Remember: What gives events in life their meaning is influenced by the meaning you give them.
While Roger might have had a completely unrelated issue to struggle with and this time it turned out to be the case to Lynette it looked like a sure and certain problem in their relationship! Controlling your inner voice and what you say to yourself can make or break your self-esteem and confidence and it can influence events. Think Positively to Gain the Most Benefit from Everyday Occurrences One day at the office, Jocelyn is wearing a new, but inexpensive string of white pearls. Frank, a goodlooking man whom she finds interesting, says to her in what seems to be a neutral tone, Those are some pearls you have on. Jocelyn can interpret what he says as, He likes my slim neck and straight posture, and the pearls call attention to them. Or she could feel, He thinks Im overdressed for the office, in some cheap pearls to boot. Which interpretation would give a positive meaning and make Jocelyn feel more confident?

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Remember, You Have a Choice!


In this chapter, you will be introduced to a technique which you can use to control your inner dialogue and to help you understand just how hard and unreasonable you are on yourself. But before we get into the exercise, lets just discuss those negative thoughts you have.

Heres a little recap: It is not the trigger or the event that initiates the bad feelings, but the interpretation you make and the internal dialogues you have that make you angry or despondent.

Okay, to make it easier to understand, lets split these negative thoughts or distortions into 13 categories. Heres the list. You can use this as a quick reference: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Assuming Over-generalizing Shoulds Labeling Down-playing the positives And they all lived happily ever after! Blaming other people and events It's all or nothing! Negative thinking erodes your soul! Believing what you feel Personalizing Making comparisons to others I can't cope with life

While we go through them one by one, make notes of the ones you use most frequently.

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1. Assuming When you make assumptions with your thinking, you may be right or wrong, You may assume the worst without knowing the full picture, or without testing the evidence. Let's go back to our example of Lynette and her husband. She didn't have the facts, and she assumed that her relationship with her husband was in deep trouble. She could have tested the assumption by asking, Roger, did I do something that upset you? or Whats wrong? Im troubled by whats happening and I dont know what its about. Other examples of assuming self-talk are: This project is going to turn out badly. I know I'll make lots of mistakes. People will just hate me.
How could you rephrase some of these thoughts to make them more realistic?

Example -I am going to give this project a chance and make up my own mind.

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2. Over-generalizing You over-generalize when you make your thoughts more intense by the words you use. For instance, you would say things like: I always end up on the losing side. I make mistakes in everything I do. Everyone hates me. Everyone thinks I am dumb. I am never good at cooking. Just reading these lines makes their demoralizing effect evident. Yet, as much as you know that such over-generalizing internal dialogues are inaccurate, unjust, unfair, and can affect your confidence, you may still subject yourself to them. How do you turn this behavior around? Well, a better phrase to use would be, Sometimes my cooking doesn't turn out very well, but only sometimes. Does that sound more fair and reasonable?

Look for the good in situations and for what is working well. It can do wonders!
3. Shoulds Some people surround themselves with Shoulds. I should be thinner. I should have more friends. I should be earning more money. Are you the kind who says should all of the time?

Shoulds are the demands right or wrong that you place on yourself. A Should represents not only what you are not doing, but also what you think you ought to be doing! When you think you
should be doing something but are not doing it, you tend to feel inadequate, hopeless, frustrated, etc. The list can go on and on. What are your plans to get rid of the Shoulds ? Its not easy, but try changing the I should to I want or I could. I want to do this. How could I do this?

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4. Labeling How often do you use a negative adjective to describe yourself? Such labeling is a common sneak attack on your efforts to raise your self-esteem. Labeling occurs when you give yourself a negative name or statement that describes who you are. For example: I am a loser. I am stupid. I am ugly. I am fat. Is it possible that you are a loser in every aspect of your life? Is there nothing about you that is attractive? Are you forever a dimwit? Of course not! So watch out for labeling and try to be more specific in your thoughts. Instead of saying, I am a loser how about saying, That didn't work out as I would have liked.

Try not to let disappointments make you call yourself bad names.
5. Down-playing the Positives Do you tend to overlook compliments that people give you? Do you refuse to accept recognition and to ignore it if someone says, That was a great job. Well done, or You look fantastic today? How do you usually reply to praise? Oh, it was nothing, or It wasnt really that much, or I don't look so great; youre just saying that. Do you realize that youve just discounted the fact that you worked really hard to get that job done or that you took time to make sure you look your best? A simple Thank you with a smile is the perfect response. You would give credit to someone who did a great job. Make sure you accept the credit yourself when you do a great job. 6. And They All Lived Happily Ever After! Perfection is an illusion. So if you are a person who has to have everything perfect in your life, its going to be pretty tough! You are just setting yourself up for disappointments. Do you have thoughts like: That shouldn't happen to me. I can't believe that has happened. That's unfair. Stop looking for the perfect world. Everyone has things happen to him or her, good and bad. You are not a special case and no one is exempt. Instead, try to accept that bad times fall on all of us and ask yourself, What could I do to improve this situation now?

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7. Blaming Other People and Events Do you blame others and not accept responsibility for outcomes that are different from what you expected? Do you say: If only my parents had been more available and helped me more, I'd be a real success by now. If only I didn't have to impress people all of the time. He makes me feel so bad. She has a hold over me, which means I can't do anything. While this attitude is limiting and frustrating, it will also make you feel like a victim. A sense of helplessness, feeling that you are capable of very little or nothing, will always burden you. A bad experience may have affected you, but at the end of the day, only you have the responsibility to let it burden you with negativity. So, how do you turn these thoughts around? Well, for starters, focus on the reality. If you feel something is unfair or unjust, examine it. If it is unfair, accept that it is. Then recognize that the impact it has on you is your responsibility.

8. It's All or Nothing! Theres more in life than just black and white. There are several colors in between, like blue, green, red, yellow, pink, brown, purple, etc. So, why might you think that most aspects of life are either black or white? Are you one of those who thinks Its all or nothing? Is there no grey area in between? I am either a success or a failure. If I get first place, I am a winner. If I get second place, I am a loser. If I don't get things 100% perfect, I am a flop. If I don't get an early promotion, I am a failure. The reality is that, in life, there are rarely grand successes and total failures. In fact, success is a journey, not a destination. Success and failure are not meant to be measured in terms of 0% or 100%. At the end of the day, if you didnt perform to your highest standards, it certainly doesnt mean you scored a zero! An all or nothing attitude only sets you up for failure. How many times do you actually perform with absolute perfection? Is it possible? If you approach perfection less than 10% of the time, does that mean you are a failure 90% of the time?

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9. Negative Thinking Erodes Your Soul! How do you react to events that dont work out the way you planned? Negatively? For instance, your boss has said that you completed a piece of work incorrectly, so you return home and tell your partner that youve had a terrible day. You may have burned the pie, so the whole meal is ruined. You might have cut your finger while hiking, so the entire holiday is messed up. Your thoughts make the entire situation negative. What happens if you change your focus when you start thinking negatively? You can say: What is still good about this situation? That is only one bad thing, but what are the good things? What could I still enjoy about this experience? 10. Believing What You Feel Feelings are not facts. Yet the quality of your life is based upon the quality of your feelings. Thoughts and feelings are stimulated by the way we interpret events. If you are interpreting everything negatively and dont change your thinking, you are sure to suffer a confidence setback. Our thoughts and feelings reflect how weve selectively seen what happens around us. That we have them doesnt mean they accord with reality. It is we who give meaning to events and, hence, to our feelings. So, are you the type of person who believes all the feelings you have? I feel bad. Therefore, I must be bad. I feel like a loser. Therefore, I must be a loser. I feel ugly. Therefore, I must be ugly. I feel hurt. Therefore, I must have been hurt. Low levels of confidence can distort your thoughts. So you really need to question your feelings before you believe them. Ask yourself questions like: What would someone who is a 100% loser, who is bad or ugly, be like? Am I really like that? Did he, she, the boss, or the dog really neglect me and let or put me down, or is that just the way Im seeing it?

Challenge your feelings by questioning them.

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11. Personalizing Personalizing occurs when you blame yourself. Personalizing happens when you say: Its my fault that my son didnt get the good chances in life. If I werent so clingy, men would stay with me. Its all because of me that we got divorced. Blaming yourself for others actions and decisions means that you are putting too many responsibilities on your shoulders. Dont! You are not accountable for someone elses decisionmaking. Remember that you are not the only one giving advice or offering opinions. An individual meets a lot of people and, hence, gets a number of opinions. In the end, each individual has the freedom to decide what he or she will do. Mistakes do happen and your actions or decisions could bear on some of them but you are not responsible for all of them! Your confidence suffers a blow every time you hold yourself liable for someone elses life turning out to be miserable.

Take the reins of your own life into your hands. Dont blame yourself and dont let others do it unjustly.

12. Making Comparisons to Others Do you always compare yourself to others? If so, its high time you stop. Its a waste of time, a useless type of competition, and it isnt healthy. What you are doing through such comparisons is magnifying your weaknesses and others strengths, or shrinking others weaknesses and your strengths. If you saying things like: I haven't got a chance for this job. After all, who wants to hire a single mom? Maria is young, single, has no kids, and she has a degree. I am hopeless at cooking. Mark is a great cook, and it comes naturally to him. No one will want to go out with me. Im overweight. Look at Donna. She is beautiful, has lovely hair, nice skin, and she has a perfect figure.

Challenge these thoughts! Appreciate that you are a unique person.

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13. I Can't Cope with Life Do you find yourself feeling and thinking things like: I can't stand it. I couldn't live without you. I cant manage this. If so, you are accepting or even creating defeat, and telling yourself that you are not strong enough to cope with life. Yes, a lot of things in life are unpleasant and difficult. But you can cope with them; and in fact, you must! A better way is to transform such feelings into something like: I dont really like this, but I can stand it. How can you challenge and question this type of thinking? You do it by asking yourself the following questions: If this does happen, will I really be helpless and be unable to cope? If the worst happens, what will I do? When I look back in 30 years time, will anyone really care about this?

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Part 4 How to Overcome Negative Comments from Others


Nothing has meaning in life except the meaning you give it.

The meaning that things have in life is the meaning you give them. Its not what people say to you that is a problem. You have no control over what other people say. However, its what you say to yourself after people say unpleasant things that leads to a problem.

How to Respond to Confidence Destroyers We have already established that we cant do anything about people talking. The question is, how do you respond to negative comments coming from others, whether or not people have the intention to make you feel bad about yourself? For instance, when Candace wore a new, bold pink dress to the office, her colleague Syrah said, Yikes! Thats way too bright, Candace. With a play for superiority, Syrah sniffed, I would never wear something like that. What do you think Candace would have said? I did think it was too bright. Maybe I shouldnt have worn it. Why did I even buy it? But instead of sulking and beating herself up, she said, with a twinkle in her eyes, I know, Syrah, this color is really bold. It wouldnt go with you. But you know, it makes me feel bright and happy. Maybe it can even spread some pleasure to some others around me. Syrah was taken aback. And Candace thinks that in a couple of weeks Syrah may buy herself a dress in the same color! Candace didnt stop wearing bright-colored clothes. They looked good on her, and she was comfortable in showing a vibrant personality. She believed in what she did. An incident like this demonstrates the fact that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Its not what people say to you that affects your confidence. Its what you say to yourself after theyve stopped talking that either makes or breaks your self-esteem. Every feeling tells you something. But remember it has been evoked by what you have been thinking and saying to yourself. It will take time to recognize all the interpretations you make, but build up your awareness of them gradually, and your confidence will grow alongside.

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Feelings and Actions Feeling: Action: I dont feel confident about the way I look. Improve your overall appearance. Would losing or putting on some weight make you feel great? If so, do it! What clothes would your Confidence Role Model wear to feel good? Get a new haircut and treat yourself to a new outfit it makes you feel better and more confident. Buy something new each month and when you put it on, view it as your own confidence booster. Feeling: Action: I'm afraid of that person Im never confident around him/her. Just remember, everyone eats, sleeps, talks, and has fears just like you. Most people have problems similar to yours they just don't show it! Think, How would my Confidence Role Model deal with this person? What would he/she do? Remember that confidence is about acting the others are just better actors than you for the moment. Think of the things you can do that they cant, and of how they would feel if the roles were reversed.

Getting any closer?


Feeling: Action: Im afraid of the reaction and the feedback Im going to get when I complete this piece of work. As long as youve done everything to the best of your ability, you probably dont have to worry. Minor mistakes are almost always forgivable! See the situation as an opportunity to learn for the next time. The only people who dont make mistakes are those who are not doing anything. There are no failures in life as long as you learn from the experience.

Youre a winner!
Feeling: Action: Im really worried about this. Time to usher in your Confidence Role Model again. Would my Confidence Role Model worry about this? How would he/she deal with this situation? What would he/she do? In the grand scheme of things, what will worrying do to help this problem? Is there any action I can take to fix this right now? My friends are really negative thinkers and the same feelings fester in me when Im with them. Don't get rid of your friends but make sure you also surround yourself with positive and progressive people. Get to know people who are like your role model. You know what your friends are like, so try to accept them for what they are. If they are true friends, theyll stick around, and just be different from you.

Feeling: Action:

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Feeling: Action:

I cant do this. Oh, yes, you can! Break the problem down into small chunks and attack each chunk separately. Nothing is ever as daunting as it first seems. How would your Confidence Role Model do this? Think of a time when you have done something really difficult think this through in your mind and play it over and over like a video recording before you do the task at hand. Ill never have enough money to do the things I want. Ask yourself what you are doing about it. Do you have the, more month left at the end of the money problem, rather than more money left at the end of the month? Do you plan your budget? Do you know where all your money goes? If you answered yes to the first question and no to the next two, its time you made a plan of action. With planning, you may find your money can go farther than you thought. I dont feel worthwhile as a person. Write down your strengths on a piece of paper. Dont forget to list all your achievements in life, from your exams, to when you passed your driving test, to the job interviews you cleared, and the like. Remind yourself that youve already had many successes and you are not so bad as you think. Dont feel sorry for yourself. No matter where you are in life, there are others who are worse off than you. Put things into perspective; ask yourself what your Confidence Role Model would do.

Feeling: Action:

Feeling: Action:

More Actions Write down all of those confidence destroying statements that you say to yourself, or that others say to you. Also, write down next to each statement, why it is wrong. Statement Why is it wrong?

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Confidence-sapping Friends and Colleagues The people whom you hang out with your family, friends, or colleagues will have either a positive or negative effect on your levels of self-esteem and confidence. You are sure to have been around people who are positive, happy and pleasant. They are the ones who make you feel happy when youre with them, who smile and encourage you, and who dont dump advice and reproofs on you that you didnt ask for. Their personality rubs off on you, making you feel positive, happy and pleasant. Such lively people bring zest to a boring atmosphere and can fill a room with constructive energy and upbeat vibes. You must be familiar with the moaners, too. They are always putting people down. They dont like others being successful. They are jealous and negative thinkers. Such people deplete your energy and take you miles away from the level you want to be operating on. They try and urge you to join their miserable team misery loves company. So what should you do to make sure that the people you hang out with are empowering you and supporting what you stand for, rather than aiming to bring you down all the time? 1. You have the power to choose whom you hang out with. Ideally, you want happy, vibrant and positive people. People who are more like Candace and less like Syrah.

2. If you have good friends who are negative and yet you want to continue your association with them, make a point of letting them know how you feel. Do it gently, of course, not in anger but as an observation of difference. If they are true friends, they will respect you and your differences will not interfere. If they are negative from time to time, accept that thats what they are like, and dont let it rub off on you. 3. The same can be applied to family. Youve been conditioned by the behavior of your older family members for years. Some things about them you will like; others may really irritate you. Theres no need to fight about such differences. Continuing to do so only locks you into a child-like battle to make them change. Appreciate your relatives for who they are. But select carefully how you interpret what they say or do, since its these interpretations that determine how you feel. 4. And remember to keep this statement in your mind always: Nothing has meaning in life except the meaning you give it.

You do have a choice!

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Part 5 How to Feel Confident All of the Time


The power of the mind is truly remarkable. How you feel in any given moment is linked to:
The words you say to yourself, both in your mind and aloud, will have an impact on how you are feeling.

What you are focusing on How you are moving and using your body What language you are using No doubt, your mind controls all three. The moment you feel lethargic, or need an instant confidence or energy boost, change the way you feel by modifying where you are in relation to the above three points. What You Are Focusing On Stay conscious of what you are focusing on in a particular moment. Are your thoughts negative and lethargic? Are they low in confidence? Are they indicating that you could fail? Are you telling yourself that youre beaten and tired? If so, what could you focus on to feel vibrant and full of energy? What should you focus on to feel confident? Or, on the other hand, what are you thinking about if you are feeling vibrant and energized right now?

How You Are Moving and Using Your Body This is also called your physiology. Emotion is both created and expressed by motion, and the fewer movements you make the less energy you will have! Moreover, the type of movements you make will either pump you up or make you languid and want to doze off. Observe your body when you are feeling low in confidence. Are you sitting down? Is your head up or down? Are your shoulders slouched? Are you walking slowly or quickly? Are your facial muscles moving? What are you doing with your hands?

What Language You Are Using The words you say to yourself, both in your mind and aloud, will have an impact on how you are feeling. What words do you use to describe negative emotions? Do you say: Im feeling tired. Im stupid. Im angry. Im livid. Im overwhelmed. Im depressed.

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The Power of Negative Feelings and How to Counter Those Feelings Write down below all the characteristics of a confident person. Imagine there is a confident person before you now. How would that person be moving his/her body?

Okay, its your turn to feel energized and confident. When you are feeling low, emulate and practice the movements that you just wrote down. Youll become confident!

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Exercises to Counter Negative Language


Are You Using Negative Language? The intensity of negative sayings will have an effect on how you feel and whether you feel confident or not. What if instead of saying, Im really nervous, you tried, Im really excited? The feelings and emotions linked to nervousness and excitement are actually the same. Its just that you are giving the adrenaline a positive direction. As the intensity of the words lower, the intensity of the feelings lessen too. Lets practice with some simple exercises. First, lets review what words you use to describe negative emotions. So, what other words could you replace the negative sayings with? Try replacing Im feeling tired Im stupid Im angry Im livid Im overwhelmed Im feeling insecure Im depressed with with with with with with with Im feeling stronger Im learning Im a little annoyed Im a little miffed Im feeling busy Im questioning Im not on top of things

Change Your Negative Language to Confident Language Write down five old negative sayings or phrases that you say internally on a consistent basis and replace them with new, empowering and less intensified ones: Old Negative Phrases 1. 1. New, Empowering Low-intensity Phrases

2.

2.

3.

3.

4.

4.

5.

5.

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Increase the Intensity of Your Positive Language Just as you lower the intensity of words to lessen negative feelings, you can do the reverse to feel magnificent and confident every single day! Change your inner vocabulary to improve the quality of your day. Its simple! Increase the intensity of positive, good phrases and you will increase the positive feelings. For example, instead of saying to yourself I feel good, say, I feel fantastic! Change the good words of the present to magnificent words of the future. I feel okay I feel motivated I feel confident I feel energized with with with with I feel awesome I feel inspired I feel unstoppable I feel juiced

Write down some of your old Good phrases.

Now write down a new Magnificent phrase for each old Good phrase.

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Part 6 Your Confidence Plan How to Lead a Great, Confident Life


Congratulations! You have reached the last session of this confidence-building course! By now you should be more of a Doer and not just a Reader. The course will get you going only if you put into action all that you picked up. Reading alone isnt enough. Your confidence will shoot high only if you Do!

Change is hard to come by and takes time and effort.

The New Confident You


Are you all pumped up with confidence as you reach the final stages of this course? Have you been putting into action all of the recommendations that you came across in the course? If your answer is yes, be glad that you are serious about changing your life and increasing your levels of confidence and self-esteem. Great Job! And if you are not there yet, remember that change is hard to come by and takes time and effort. If youve used the tools you learned, you are on your way! You are now prepared to do an analysis of how you felt before the course and how you feel now. Compare the two by writing down concretely what you felt, and what you feel now. Doing this will help you appreciate your changes, and make them clear and recognizable. It can be difficult to represent the thoughts and link them to concrete events, but you will feel great once you have done the exercise. What You Felt Before the Course What You Feel Now After the Course

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You are on your way to becoming a champion! And youre feeling closer to having the self-confidence you always wanted. You have taken the first steps and you deserve to reward yourself. Go out and watch a movie, or get dinner in a fine restaurant, or get yourself a new dress or jacket. While you treat yourself, dont forget to take note of how your confidence has been building. Jot down all the things you have noticed that illustrate that your confidence is improving, no matter how small or large they are. Here is an 8-point reminder as a quick reference on how to get confidence in any given situation. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Think through your desired outcome. Ask yourself How would a person with confidence act in this situation? Prepare thoroughly. What are you going to say? How are you going to act? Visualize yourself doing the task. Close your eyes and see yourself acting successfully. Before you respond, go through your words and actions several times and be positive. Put things into perspective to reduce anxiety. No matter what the outcome, in 30 years time, will people really care about what happened? Act positively and confidently! Learn from your experience for the next time. Reward yourself for acting positively and confidently.

Wrap-up Going Forward


Well, here you are, more confident and improved, and ready to face the world. What you have gained from this workbook should last you a lifetime. Remember, you only live once, and hence, you have to make the most of every opportunity and every moment.

Change your thinking change your life.

The choice is yours!