When people speak of confidence and how to have it, the most utilised tools are positive affirmations, coupled with psychological skills training (PST). PST utilises positive self-talk and visualisation, however in times of stress, where a person is gripped with anxiety, self-doubt creeps in and the self-talk and visualisation is likely to turn negative. Furthermore, there’s likely to be an increase in negative behaviours, such as anger, negative thinking, excess smoking, drinking, an increase or decrease in eating, drug use, avoidance coping styles such as excess cleaning or exercise, withdrawal and isolation. The list is long and not necessarily exhaustive.
If anxiety and fear aren’t dealt with and eliminated, positive affirmations, self-talk and visualisation contributes to arrogance and hubris. Every strength is amplified and any perceived external weakness and/or flaw in other people, situations, locations, organisations and countries is amplified and viewed with hostility. Thus, everything and everyone else becomes the enemy and a problem. All too easily anger and hostility arise and controlling behaviour ensues in an attempt to prevent anxiety of what one fears.
The blame game is a favourite pass time, as is dwelling on the past and telling the same story of woe, time and time again. Excuses for being miserable and a lack of success is a mantra because it attracts sympathy and attention. This reinforces the story and the cycle continues.
What is confidence? Confidence is the absence of fear, which has been dealt with and eliminated. Yes negative thinking can arise occasionally but, it’s often isolated and easily recognisable and quashed. Yes challenges arise but, one’s energy and focus is upon solution. Yes, one’s heart and mind can race as one works upon resolving the problem, a typical flight or fight response. One’s flaws are acknowledged and accepted and, if these can be worked on and eradicated, excellent. If not, acceptance creates an energy which causes other people to accept too. Think I’m wrong? Focus on a flaw and get upset about it mentally and surround yourself with people, who will quickly avoid you. Then turn the focus to acceptance and again, surround yourself with people and they won’t notice you as much and, although you may draw attention, depending upon what the flaw is, people will be nonchalant.
How do I know this? My skin is scarred from head to foot and I walk around in shorts, short skirts and dresses. People often look at the scars but lose interest quickly. The fear of repugnance of these scars kept me isolated and covered most of my life. What happened? I looked at myself in the mirror and accepted what I saw. I also, named all my flawed body parts, which have their own voices and personalities, which make me laugh. Yes, laughter really is the best medicine. So too is working on one’s fears and anxiety and seeing them for what they are, stories used to maintain a loser’s mentality.
What is confidence? Freedom from self-persecution! Freedom from all persecution even under the most arduous of challenges!