Building confidence takes time, patience and effort. You will have to take a few risks. At times you will feel anxious. How can you motivate yourself to put up with the discomfort and persevere?
We humans are motivated by:
- A want or need which induces tension. Only if these are unsatisfied can there
be motivational power.
- Perceptions of ‘pleasure’ and ‘pain’. We seek pleasure and are driven by a
desire to avoid pain.
- Hopes and expectations that we can get what we want, and that everything
will come right in the end.
The strongest motivation comes from a passionate desire for something pleasurable, coupled with the avoidance of pain.
The best way to motivate yourself is to set yourself some worthy goals, find plenty of reasons why you want to accomplish them, and keep in mind the consequences of failure – which is what you are about to do.
Goals are so important that I shall assume for the rest of this programme that you have several on the go at all times. More about them in Section 29.
To change one’s life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions. No excuses
Professor William James
Ask yourself, ‘What am I trying to achieve by believing I lack confidence?’ Write down the answers.
A difficult one, this. You may have to be more honest with yourself than you’re used to; but don’t skip over it just because it makes you feel uncomfortable – your answers may illuminate and surprise you.
Write down this sentence:
‘If I had an excellent self-image and total confidence in my abilities, I would…’ Write down whatever comes to mind.
Take each item on your list from the above task and make it a firm goal. Write it in the form: ‘My goal is to…’
Commit yourself unreservedly to working towards these goals.
Make yourself very comfortable, either sitting or lying down. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and allow your imagination to flow freely.
Imagine you have accomplished the goals you set yourself in the last task. Visualise them coming true in every detail. How do you feel?
When you open your eyes write down any thoughts that come into your head.
Think of something you can do as a first step towards each goal set in Confidence Builder Step 31, one action you can take to get the ball rolling – even if it’s just making a short phone call or reading a relevant magazine article – and do it now. No exceptions, no excuses!
Write the following affirmation on a small card and carry it with you.
Repeat it silently or out loud, at least ten times, three or four times a day: ‘I think, speak and act confidently at all times.’
More about affirmations in Section 10.
Take a trip to your local library or book shop, find the self-help shelves and browse. There are dozens of excellent self-help books, chock full of information and ideas. Make your choice, and spend a few moments every day reading useful, inspiring material or listening to tape programmes.
If you want you could choose from the list below:
Alan Cohen, I Had it All the Time, (Cassette tape programme) Hay House, 1996.
Dr Wayne Dyer, Your Erroneous Zones, Warner Books, 1992.
Dr Wayne Dyer, Pulling Your Own Strings, Arrow Books, 1978.
Mike George, The Secrets of Self-Management, (Cassette tape programme) Brahma Kumaris Information Services Ltd., 2000.
Marcia Grad, Charisma, Wilshire Books, 1986.
Dr Susan Jeffers, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, Arrow Books, 1991.
Gael Lindenfield, Super Confidence, Thorsons, 1992.
David Lawrence Preston, In at the Deep End, DLP Publications, 2004.
David Lawrence Preston, 365 Ways to be your own Life Coach, How to Books, 2005
David Lawrence Preston, 365 Steps to Practical Spirituality, How to Books, 2007
David Lawrence Preston, Life Enrichment Programme, available at www.davidlawrencepreston.co.uk
James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy, Bantam Books, 1994.
Martin Shepard, DIY Psychotherapy, Vermillion, 1996.
David Swindley, Only The Truth Shall Set You Free, Inner Power Publications, 1998.
Ros Taylor et al, Confidence In Just Seven Days, Vermilion, 2000.
Eckhart Tolle, The Power Of Now, New World Library, 1999.
‘It feels really good to do something for myself’
One person who was motivated to change was Roshni. She had lived by other people’s rules for most of her life, usually allowing others to make decisions on her behalf. Then one evening, after a heated row, her abusive and manipulative husband of 20 years stormed out in a rage, threatening to throw himself over a cliff. He expected her to beg him to return, as she had always done before. But unbeknown to him she had been quietly working on her confidence and this time she refused. At first he threatened, then he pleaded, but she held firm.
This was the beginning of a new phase in her life. Six months later, no longer facing the daily outbursts which she had previously endured, her home was a haven of calm. She had taken computing lessons, found a well paid job, enrolled for evening art classes, and was performing with a local group of singers. Even her son, no longer having to endure the tension, was happier and more settled at school.
‘Since I worked on my confidence,’ Roshni said, ‘I feel as if I’m in control. It feels really good to do something for myself that I’ve always wanted to do. And I know if I don’t I’ve only got myself to blame’.