How to Build Confidence and Peace of Mind

Eight Tips tp Help You Push Through the Fear and Self-doubt:

There are few of us who escape feelings of fear and self-doubt as we go about our life. Not to worry! We can all learn how to create within us a wonderful sense of confidence and peace of mind as we face all situations in our lives. Here are some powerful tools to help us push through the fear and self-doubt in order to create a beautiful and satisfying life:   

1. Build your sense of trust in yourself. Your first task is to build the trust that whatever happens in your life, you can handle it all. Right now, think of something about any area of your life that is bothering you and repeat to yourself ten times the important words, “Whatever happens, I’ll handle it.” I suspect you will immediately begin to feel a sense of peace within your being. These are important words to have when the “what if’s” come up. “What if I lose my job? I’ll handle it.” “What if I get sick? I’ll handle it.” “What if something happens to my marriage? I’ll handle it.” And what does “I’ll handle it” mean? It means, “I’ll learn from it. I’ll grow from it. I’ll make it a triumph!”

2. Do your very best, then let go of the outcome. To help you let go, develop the trust that “It’s all happening perfectly.” This calming affirmation is a shortened version of: “I’ve done my best, but even if things don’t go the way I want them to go, I will simply find a way to be enriched by whatever life brings me. I will learn and grow from it all. Therefore, it truly is all happening perfectly.” Repetition over and over again of this wonderful affirmation, will definitely quiet the negative chatter of the mind and help you let go of the outcome. Peace at last!

3. Stop complaining. Complaining is a big clue that you are not taking responsibility for your experience of life. Instead of seeing life’s obstacles as problems, see them as opportunities, opening the door to growth. When you can control your reactions to whatever life hands you, you have the upper hand. You now have a choice: You can create your own misery…or you can create your own sense of growth and wellbeing. That’s power! Every time you have the opportunity to stretch your capacity to handle the world around you, the more powerful and confident you will feel.

4. Yes, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” Often we think, “I’ll do it when I am not so afraid.” But in reality, it works the other way round. The “doing it” comes before the fear goes away. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it. Action is the key. Once you have done something you have feared a number of times, guess what happens…the fear of that particular situation goes away. And it’s then time to further expand the comfort zone and move on to the next situation you fear. That’s what growth is all about. And as your confidence builds, it will become easier and easier to “feel the fear and do it anyway!”

5. When making decisions, adopt the “no-lose” philosophy. The “no-lose” philosophy tells us that “I can’t lose – regardless of the outcome of the decision I make. I look forward to the opportunities for learning and for growing that either choice gives me.” Remember, if you learn through your “mistakes,” there are no mistakes! In this way, the “no-lose” approach to decision-making guarantees that all your decisions will be the right decisions.

6. Know that you count. Know that your presence makes a difference. If you don’t understand this very important fact, act as if you do make a difference! Just keep asking yourself the “act-as-if” question in all areas of your life: “What would I be doing if I were really important here?” Make a list and then take action. Soon you will “live into” the realization that you really are important.

7. Commit 100% to all areas of your life. That means when you are at work or with your family and friends, or meeting new people, or volunteering in the community…or whatever…give it all you’ve got, holding nothing back. When you commit to giving 100%, your sense of focus, excitement, participation, enjoyment, fulfillment, and happiness come alive. What a glorious feeling that is!

8. Say “thank you” a lot. Saying “thank you” is a wonderful way to make important connections in all areas of your life. The words “thank you” can also help you appreciate and focus on all the good that is around you, thus helping you release any feelings of anger and resentment you may be holding. You can see why the words “thank you” are two of the most powerful words ever spoken.

If you, step by step, begin incorporating into your life these tips, your sense of confidence and peace of mind will grow and grow. Remember: there is plenty of time…but now is definitely the time to begin!

Five Ways to Prioritize Self-Care During the Holidays

  1. Exercise!  Exercise is a natural mood-booster, helping to reduce stress, promote concentration, and kick depression to the curb. In only 10 minutes of exercise, your brain will begin to produce serotonin and dopamine—the same hormones targeted by antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications. The holidays are busy, and it’s easy to skip your workout in order to make time for seasonal activities… but even if you can only carve out time for a 10-minute walk, it’s important to maintain the healthy habit of daily exercise.
  2. Get grateful. The simple act of asking yourself, “What am I grateful for?” promotes the development of serotonin and dopamine in your brain… even if you can’t come up with an answer! Get into the habit of thinking of something you’re grateful for at the end of every day—it will help keep you grounded in the spirit of the holiday season, while promoting a more stable and upbeat mood.
  3. Sleep well.  Staying up late to wrap presents or to enjoy the company of friends and family at a party is par for the course during the holiday season. But don’t let your late nights get out of hand. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain, irritability, and heightened stress levels. If you’re having difficulty sleeping, eliminate caffeine after 2 p.m., exercise daily, and avoid eating for at least three hours before going to bed.
  4. Avoid emotional eating and drinking. The holidays aren’t joyful for everyone. Whether grieving the loss of a loved one, anticipating tense interactions with family, or experiencing financial hardship, the holidays often go hand-in-hand with higher stress levels and hard-to-handle emotions. And that’s okay… but allow yourself to feel these feelings, rather than use food or alcohol to avoid them. The more you sit with your emotions, the easier it will get to process them in a productive way.
  5. Stay present in the moment.  Each moment is a gift… that’s why they call it the present. Give yourself the gift of the present moment this holiday season. When you begin to get sucked into the stress of party planning and baking and shopping and wrapping… stop, and focus on something you feel good about right there in that moment.

Remember, most of the standards we hold ourselves to during the holiday season are self-imposed. Instead of creating stress, give yourself permission to sit back and relax a bit more. Ten, 20 or 30 years from now, you won’t remember that pecan pie you baked from scratch, or how you wrapped each gift with a perfectly spiraling ribbon; you’ll remember the good times you spent with your family and friends, laughing, and making memories.

Discovering the Courage Within

Christopher Columbus needed courage. So did Lance Armstrong when he defeated cancer and captured the Tour de France in 1999. History is littered with courageous acts and courageous people. You don’t have to be a world-class explorer or professional cyclist to have courage. Everybody needs it, but how do you get it, especially when you’re like the lion before he discovered the Wizard of Oz?  As the lion had to learn, courage exists inside of you. You just have to dredge it up after years of burying it behind your safety zones.

The Inborn Courage in You

Everyone was born with courage. You may not remember learning how to walk, but you know you fell hundreds of times before you stood on your own. Learning to walk took courage. And you succeeded because you had little fear or doubt. Eventually, that changed. Parents and other caregivers told you to be careful, to avoid dangers. Society, after all, values comfort over fulfillment. We’ve been exposed to a barrage of messages that discourage us from being courageous.

Your Adversity Quotient

As you grew up, you patterned your response to adversity on how people around you responded to difficulty. This reaction to adversity is known as the adversity quotient (AQ).
As a baby, your AQ is untested. By the time you’re 12, thanks to your environment and situations you’ve faced, you’ve developed your AQ. The higher your AQ, the better you’re able to summon courage and tap your greatness in times of need. Fortunately, your AQ can be strengthened.

Courage as a Necessity

Why do you need courage? Because courage will help you live your life the way you want. Courage is learning to overcome fear, and when you do that, you grow. Today, courage is needed more than ever before. Studies show that 98% of people predicted more difficulty, chaos and uncertainty in their lives in the future. Ten years ago, the average number of challenges people faced in a day was seven. Today, that number has risen to 23.

Linda Larsen, author of True Power, knows firsthand the power of courage. Over 20 years ago, she was kidnapped, raped and held hostage for over five hours. She summoned courage she didn’t know she had and escaped. “My courage didn’t let me down,” she says. “Once you know courage is always in you, you can start learning to act more courageously in life.”

Obstacles to Becoming Braver

There are, though, things that stand between you and your courageous self. Here is a list of the following obstacles:
• Fear of change. Learning how to be less controlled by your fears is one key to becoming more courageous.
• Either-or-thinking. You may think of yourself as a wimp and others as courageous, but there has to be a middle ground. You can live in a comfort zone, but you have to be willing to be courageous when it counts.
• Fear of failure. Failure is an important part of success, and being courageous involves being willing to fail at times.
• Lack of faith. Identify your self-doubt, so that you can act more courageously.
• Personal fears. These are fears such as fear of taking responsibility for your life; fear of self-discovery; fear of losing control; fear of moving forward; and fear of making the wrong decision. Know that you are bigger than your fears. Follow your instincts, and if doubts emerge, shove them aside.

Finding Courage in Times of Need

You draw courage from what matters to you. The changes you’re willing to make are the ones that have the greatest significance. For example, if you’ve been offered a job that will force you to move across the country but you don’t care about the job, you’ll have a hard time finding courage to make the move. Once you’ve decided what matters, then follow these suggestions for becoming more courageous.
• Recall previous times when you acted courageously. Did you move as a child and have to make new friends? Did you go away to college? Focusing on times when you acted courageously will instill more courage in you, adding that you should also applaud yourself for showing courage.
• Shift your focus. Don’t worry about failing or disappointing other people, Larsen says. Worry instead about failing yourself.
• Eliminate the words “wish,” “hope” and “maybe” from your vocabulary. These words erode your courage by filling you with doubt, fear or hesitation.
• Do your homework. If appropriate, know the obstacles you might encounter. Talk with other people who were once in your shoes. But, remember that no matter how much you analyze the situation, you’ll still have unknown answers. Courage doesn’t mean waiting to act until you have no fear. Courage means living with heart and doing what you want when you’re scared.
• Surround yourself with courageous people. There will always be people who say never. Find people who support and believe in you.
• Imagine what life will be like when your challenge has passed. Courage can come from seeing past adversity and knowing that although it may be horrible now, it’ll get better sometime.
• Give it your all but don’t expect perfection. Don’t give only 50%; then you can say later that you didn’t succeed because you weren’t trying that hard. To find courage, you must be willing to give 100%.
• Once you’ve acted with courage, assess your response. Did acting with courage move you forward? If not, figure out how you would behave differently next time. If so, then bottle that courage, reward yourself, and always remember this time when you acted with courage in spite of your fears.

Boost Your Confidence

Are you fairly confident in your own shoes? When do you feel your best? When do you feel the most insecure? Even the most confident individuals go through periods of self-doubt. Are there areas of your life where you are a bit insecure? It is very natural to feel confident in certain areas and lack the confidence in others. That means there is room for growth! Remember nobody is perfect, so don’t beat yourself up over your flaws. There are many things you can do to improve and boost your confidence. Just like you need to weight train in order to build your muscles, you need to take part in daily activities to boost you confidence. The people you associate with play an important role in your self-confidence. If the people you surround yourself with are constantly criticizing you or your abilities, of course you are going to harbor feelings of self-doubt. Be extremely picky in who you allow into your life! Just remember that self-confidence is a learned response over time. You put yourself in situations that will ultimately boost your confidence level. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Set and achieve goals. Setting, and then, achieving goals will boost your confidence. Most people, however, set unrealistic goals that are difficult to achieve. When you continue to fail in your goals, then, of course, your confidence plummets. For now, write down some realistic goals and the steps needed to achieve them. Crossing off even one step at a time will boost your confidence.

2. Participate in activities you enjoy. By participating in activities you enjoy, you are focusing on your strengths and passions. Highlighting your strengths instead of your weaknesses adds up over time. Commit to taking some time each and every day to do something you enjoy. This seems fairly simple, but most people don’t prioritize and set aside this time.

3. List past successes. Make a list of all your past achievements and success stories. It is amazing that we spend so much time and energy focusing on what we have done wrong, instead of remembering all we did right. Make this list and then read it when feelings of self-doubt begin to invade your mind. Keep this list handy and pat yourself on the back when you need a little boost.