Self Esteem and Confidence
Self Esteem, Confidence & Self Help
You may notice that this information sheet is almost identical to that for Personal Development... well, there's no mystery here, for the same techniques are every bit as important and effective in both circumstances.
There are very many methods for achieving improvement to our personal confidence and self esteem, far too many to investigate in depth in a short information file. So on this page, we will have a look at the most popular and, for most people, the most effective.
Motivation & Goal Setting
Two Self help methods: Self hypnosis; Visualisation
Self acceptance is one of the most important aspects of personal confidence and also for self esteem. The trick is to work out what you can change and set about doing so - and this page has a good few hints how you can go about that - and accept that which you cannot change.
We all have aspects of our personality and 'way of being' that we feel uncomfortable about; maybe we see ourselves as selfish, dim on occasions, over-emotional, under-responsive, or any one of a whole variety of pretty standard human behaviour patterns. The trouble is that when anybody mentions any of those things, our personal confidence is dented and self esteem sags. Yet accept those things as just part of what goes to make the whole of you and that overall, you are no worse and no better than the next human being and you can start to enjoy being you and all that being you means.
Here's a little story that illustrates the point:
Billy's first shool report said: "Billy is very bright but he is a chatterbox - he never stops talking." Now, this was true, and his parents laughed about it; they showed relatives, who also laughed. The same sort of thing was repeated the next term and the term after "Billy is intelligent but he never stops talking." He didn't really understand what was such a bad thing about talking - he was fascinated by lots of things and loved to talk about them.
That people laughed every time a school report was read made him uncomfortable and eventually he decided that if this was a bad thing, or laughable, he had better stop. His efforts were in vain; so many things fascinated him that enthusiasm would burst out of him in a torrent of excited chatter. One day, when he was a young adult, somebody said: "My God, do you never stop talking?" That hit hard at the sore spot that had been created over the years and he suddenly started to stutter.
Then people laughed even more. Social gatherings, parties, dinners, holidays, even family get-togethers all quickly became no-go areas. He became introverted and timid and eventually found himself with a therapist, recounting those early experiences of people laughing because he was a 'chatterbox'. "Tell me again about that teacher," the therapist said.
"She said I never stopped talking," Billy replied.
"That's funny," the therapist said. "I though you told me she said you were intelligent."
"Well, yes she did," Billy agreed. "But I don't think I noticed that bit."
The Ugly Duckling
From that moment on, it was like the Ugly Duckling story all over again. There was an almost instant acceptance that he was a natural talker, a communicator of ideas and concepts. Time passed. Billy talked A LOT and if anybody said anything at all about it, he would simply smile and agree with them. "I've always been talkative," he would say, "Thank goodness. I love to share all my ideas." No comments could hit any target now and there was no longer a sore spot; he knew that his talkativeness was a measure of his intelligence and his entire joy of living.
Acceptance is a wonderful thing. Accept the way you are and embrace it - warts and all - and you will become instantly more comfortable with yourself and others. When you accept those facets of self which you thought were negative, no matter what they are, nobody can push your buttons any more because you won't be trying to hide them. More importantly, perhaps, you will discover that many others actually like those facets of self that you tried so hard to conceal!
One of the prime necessities to achieve good motivation in life or career is to have a clear goal - if you don't have, then it's extremely unlikely that you will achieve much. Yet set a goal and set it well, know exactly why you want it and how your life will improve when you get it and you're almost home and dry!
When setting your goals, it is important that you recognise the four rules that apply to any goal, if you are to have any chance of getting what you want:
- The goal must be plausible, possible and realistic
- It must be suitable for your personality type
- You must have a clear idea of what you are seeking
- Positive orientation
Plausible and Realistic
Anything that can be done, you can do. Anything that could never be done, you will not achieve, either. We are not conducting magic but simply using natural resources to achieve natural goals. If you are 65 years old, for instance, you will not become an Olympic standard athlete. It simply is not realistic. If you have only one leg, you cannot attempt to climb Mount Everest for exactly the same reason.
Suitable for Your Personality
For a goal to have a chance of success it should reflect your natural personality; always select a goal that you feel would not surprise other that you were doing it.
A Clear Idea
You have to know EXACTLY what it is that you want. It sounds obvious but an awful lot of people simply have never worked it out! Somebody might say: "I want to make something of myself." Well, good but make what exactly? The subconscious - and that is the part of you which will achieve success or otherwise - only works with uncomplicated and positive statements with no ambiguity or implication. After all, if you made a failure of yourself, that would comply with the above goal, wouldn't it? 'Make a success' is not much better, either. One person's success simply doesn't 'work' for another. "I want to have my own business selling trading materials on the internet," is a clear goal. So is: "I want to make xxxxxxxx money a year from trading," as long as you state a figure that you know can be achieved. Make your goal specific and you have a far higher chance of success. Some methods of achieving that success are discussed here.
Two Self help methods
There are very many methods of improving self worth and confidence. The most important thing to recognise, probably, is that precisely nothing will happen if you don't put some input into the plan. You can read the best self help books in the world and nothing will happen unless you have an action plan. You can listen to self help and personal development CDs until you know them off by heart, but the result will be a big fat nothing if that is all you do.
If you want to get anywhere, you have to accept that it is YOU who must make the change - nobody, absolutely nobody, can do it for you. Nothing changes if nothing changes...
Self hypnosis can be remarkably effective for the reduction of stress and improvement in life generally. It is a specific skill and one which can easily be learned via one of the many books on the subject or the completely free seven-lesson self hypnosis course available from this site - there's a download link later on.
Though some people are wary of hypnosis and self hypnosis until they discover more about it, it's used on a daily basis by sportsmen and musicians, business people and artists, housewives, policemen, engineers, shop assistants... in fact it's used by millions of people from all walks of life all over the globe!
Let's dispel a few of the anxieties that some visitors might have... the following 'rules' are applicable to all types of hypnosis:
- You cannot 'get stuck' - this is quite impossible
- You do not become unconscious or go to sleep
- You know what's happening at all times
- You can exit the state whenever you wish to
- You cannot 'lose your mind'
- It is not connected in any shape or form with the occult
- There is no such thing as a 'hypnotised feeling'
- It is actually a totally natural state which we all go into several times a day
- It is very similar to meditation or relaxation techniques
- IT IS COMPLETELY SAFE!
Getting into a state of self-hypnosis is a specific skill and as with all skills, some people are better at it than others. It is fair to say, though, that almost everybody can benefit from learning how to use it. Among other things, you can help yourself to:
- Combat Stress - use it with the routines above for a real power session!
- Lose weight
- Quit smoking
- Improve sporting and other performance
- Increase concentration and recall
- Improve confidence and self-confidence
- Work effectively with motivation issues
The Self Hypnosis tuition available from this site as a free download was written by Terence Watts, the owner of this site and a therapist with many thousands of hours of experience. It will take you from the very basics all the way through to the way the professional hypnotherapists do it... Download now
The subconscious works in concepts, rather than words, and simple concepts at that. The easiest way to begin to programme yourself to get what you want in life is to imagine vividly what it will be like when you have got it. When you can do that, you have set a process in action that will automatically lead you towards what you want, and when you do it in hypnosis, it accelerates the process to an amazing degree, by focussing your mind in a manner that is just not possible otherwise.
To use visualisation at its most effective, you should use at least three of your five senses. Bringing one or both of the others - in other words using, Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell and Taste is possible sometimes, too, so do use them if you can.
When you have succeeded in making your goal that vivid that you can see it clearly, every tiny detail, in your mind's eye; when you can hear what it sounds like or sounds that are relevant to it (even total silence is imaginable if you work at it); when you can smell it, and feel it, then you are well on the way to achieving it. At this stage, you should not waste time thinking about how on earth you will achieve it; that is the problem for your subconscious to solve - and it can solve the problem.
There is much that has been written about this almost magical power but it all says essentially the same thing; create an image of what you want (it doesn't have to be visual - some people work effectively by the feel of a goal), then let yourself actually feel the way you will when you have achieved it. This emotional reward is very important, since it is that which will encourage your subconscious to start seeking ways to achieve it.
The book 'Warriors, Settlers & Nomads', by Terence Watts provides the ability to create a perfect success plan geared up to your personality - it's available from our Book Store or from good book shops.
Motivational therapy, and personal confidence
Finally, an excellent way of developing your life in the way you want it is to visit a motivational coach, hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner. Huge numbers of sporting personalities, stars of stage and screen, wildly successful business leaders and 'executive climbers', amongst others, have achieved their success via this route. Hypnotherapy and/or NLP can provide somewhat faster and more long-lasting results than coaching and often with fewer sessions.
If you decide to investigate this route, your local Yellow Pages is a good starting point; initial consultations are often at no charge, though you should make clear exactly why you are consulting.