Self-Confidence Can Change Your Life
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Self-Confidence Can Change Your Life

By Alan B. Densky, CH

Self-confidence is the ability to believe in oneself and one's strengths and capabilities. It is a component of positive self-esteem, and necessary for success. Many people who develop a social phobia or fail to learn how to gain self confidence find it difficult to achieve success. The absence of self-confidence can be destructive to a person's success. Negative self-perception can prevent one from taking control over the past and making actual progress toward controlling one's own future. 

In comparison, self-confident people believe in themselves and their abilities to accomplish their goals. They are focused on success, willing to learn from mistakes made in the past and to grow from what they learn. Such people have learned that failing does not make them failures. Rather, they simply analyze the cause of failure and avoid falling into the same traps. Self-confident people are aware of, anticipate possible obstacles to their goals, and address these obstacles with the surety that they are able to overcome these potential difficulties.

Many factors cause an individual's low level of confidence. Often, people allow fear to become an obstacle, preventing them from achieving success in a certain area. At times, some individuals are hindered by real or imagined guilt over past mistakes.  Sometimes, a social phobia can hamper a person's self-confidence.

Another source of decreased self-confidence is unrealistic expectations. Perhaps an individual desires to accomplish something in a given time period. That goal may or may not be realistic. Moreover, succeeding at a task may sometimes take longer than initially planned. Requiring more time to complete a task, or having to overcome additional obstacles to realize one's desires is not an indication of failure, although it may sometimes be perceived as such.

Frequently, people who do not know how to gain self confidence seek treatment to boost self confidence. Often, they turn to counselors to help them build self confidence and resolve these issues. Many counseling theories focus on building self confidence. For example, cognitive behavioral theory instructs people to increase their level of confidence by creating goals for improving self confidence, such as standing up straight.  Alternatively, they measure an individual's successes by the accomplishment of smaller and then larger goals. Focusing on these tasks does help clients develop behaviors associated with self-confidence; however, it does not change their self-perceptions or help them resolve the issues that caused them to have a bad self-image.

Talking to one's self in positive terms is also a way of increasing self confidence. The "self-fulfilling prophecy" is a common theme of psychology classes. This concept argues that people are most likely to achieve what they believe themselves capable of achieving. Therefore, if people perceive themselves capable of failure or low achievement, this is exactly what they will do. In contrast, if people see themselves as high achievers capable of success, they will achieve their goals. Professionals who practice positive self-talk focus on helping individuals build self confidence, and assist them to view themselves as successful persons capable of pursuing their dreams effectively.  

Hypnotherapy is another treatment for building self-confidence. Through confidence hypnosis, individuals can reach a meditative state alone or with a therapist present. They listen to positive post-hypnotic suggestions that program them to feel more confident by offering powerful suggestions for confidence building behaviors. Confidence hypnosis is very effective for people who are not analytical or critical thinkers. For those who are, however, this method of improving self confidence is much less effective.

A newer alternative treatment used to increase confidence is NLP which stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. This revolutionary treatment can actually use a person's ideas that have contributed to a person's low level of self-confidence to trigger ideas that can develop self-confidence!

NLP techniques can allow an individual to relate past memories of success to the present. Through the technique of anchoring, individuals can learn to find memories of positive self confidence in the past, and anchor those moments by touching their fingers together while reliving those feelings. When that person needs to gain self confidence again, he or she simply touches those two fingers together to draw upon the strength of past experiences to believe in and anticipate the success of the present endeavor.

NLP is uniquely simple and yet incredibly effective. Unlike other therapies, it does not require painful probing into past problems or lengthy counseling sessions to become effective. NLP alone is effective for nearly every person who uses it properly. A high percentage of people who have used Neuro-Linguistic Programming a great deal of self confidence shortly after beginning the treatment.

Summary: Low self-confidence is a barrier to success that many people must overcome to pursue their dreams effectively. Many therapies exist to increase a person's self confidence. In my experience, the most effective treatment is NLP, which allows one to relate memories of past success to present feelings of self-confidence.  

© 2007By Alan B. Densky, CH.  This document may NOT be re-printed without permission. All Rights Reserved.  We are happy to syndicate our articles to approved websites.

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