Monday, January 29, 2007

How to Build Confidence and Peace of Mind

Copyright © 2006 Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. Adapted from Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway ®. Article used by permission of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

A very powerful and useful email I received a few days back which I like to share with you. I like point 4 especially. I remember when I was on business trip to the Philippines, my role required me to make presentation to educate people on air pollution. Was I ever ready to make the first presentation? The truth is I was never ready. Did I have the fear of conducting the presentation? I had and I still have. But I found out that the best way to fight the fear and be ready, is in the doing. The more I do what I fear, the more chance I have in controlling that fear.

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 very 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" 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!


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