Archive for the ‘Self Confidence’ Category

Is Throwing a Ball as Simple as you Think?

This will assume that you are not doing a hand stand.

If you aim and toss a ball upwards, it will go up. If you toss the ball downwards, the ball will go down. If you throw a ball straight, it will go straight. Now at some point in time you might think “will this really happen like this again”? That is your low self-confidence speaking. I use this example to show people that even in the most common situations in which we have a general prowess of information available to us, we tend to doubt ourselves. Some people doubt themselves too much, to the self of not saying anything in situations that call for their specific intellect. Not only does this prevent self-discovery and learning, but it also restricts future growth and opportunity.

I am scared of being wrong, but I do not let the fear of being wrong and learning a lesson stop me from voicing an opinion. I learned this lesson hard and painful. Countless times I have let my opinions go unheard, leaving my thoughts and ideas to bundle up inside of me. Leaving ideas go unheard is very unhealthy. In the span of the past five months I have simply gave up on giving ideas on how to improve work flow here at the humane society.

One day at the humane society I work at, I let the community service get the best of me. I enforce sanitization polices very strictly. I am sure that the community service worker was not sanitizing the cages and I was convincing myself that he was, even though I did not see him with a spray bottle. This was my second day as a supervisor of the cat room and I was scared to examine, and to tell the truth. I set a test which involved hiding the bottle and when I finally concluded the bottle was not being moved, I spoke up.

Another form of low confidence is to distrust what you have learned from valuable sources such as books and online resources. One day I was talking to a person about how upper respiratory infection was spread though fomites – inanimate objects. A worker cut in and tried to explain that upper respiratory infections can only be spread by the air. I did not tell him he was wrong and had to look up this information to make sure even though I have read tons on this subject. I was right and I did not speak up when it was important to. Do not let another individual’s opinion shut yours down. Speak up with confidence.

Another form of low confidence can include thinking your ideas are stupid. I have come up with five really great ideas that enforce sanitization 100% and thereby increased work productivity. I started to place small ping pong balls on the hand sanitizer bottles and placing small pieces of thread in the cat cages. If these items were not removed, I knew that the cages were not being sanitized and the bottles were not being used. I was scared to say this to the boss but knew something had to be done. I spoke up and I had some resistance by one worker, but my idea went through and the boss said “great job!”

I have found one great way to not agree with someone’s opinion and place in your own to get a conversation started. It goes like this According to what I have learned; this cat’s traits and characteristics are consistent with…” What this does is tell them up straight what the facts are, and what you have examined in your past that justifies your thinking. If you started with “I think this might be the case but I am not sure” you sound like you do not know anything. What I needed to do was speak up at the first red flag that indicated something was wrong. I also needed to speak up when being right was important. Being confident does mean trusting your instincts and gut feeling.

You do not need a road map, or blueprints, to make a statement on even the widest of issues that can have many opinions. Remember to be honest, and to voice your opinions when you feel they are important but withdraw or tune them down a bit when the situation demands it. Being confident is never easy and being right is like being alone. But being confident and being right is never wrong.


That Advice You Thought you Needed

The Need for Advice

In my opinion, the need to ask for advice derives primarily from the fear of being successful and the fear of messing that success expectancy up. We don’t want to take the risk of stepping forward into darkness. We might be taking the wrong turn, we might say the wrong thing, or we might just completely wreck an opportunity.

In situations of anxiety, it common to develop a habit of doing what any person might do in a complicated situation. Ask for advice. Simple enough, right? Not really. What I didn’t know at this time was that advice can be against you more than it can be for you. Asking for advice can be dangerous if you are not careful.

There are plenty of valid reasons to ask for advice; there are also a cloud of reasons not to. Valid reasons to ask for advice might be for example, asking for directions to the nearest bar, or asking for help on writing an essay. But when we begin to challenge our own thoughts and beliefs to the point of being blind, we lose all perspective of ourselves. It is then that we feel that we have to constantly ask for help over every small task. We become the opposite of self-dependent.

When I was completely unsure of myself, I would ask for feedback on just about everything. I would ask advice on how I can talk without offending someone. I would ask for advice on how to approach my boss. I would even ask advice on how to tie a knot. When I got feedback, it was mostly unproductive and biased. I had my own ideas of talking to my boss, and my own ideas of talking to people. And what other people offered seemed even more offensive to say than what I thought mine would.

Serve Yourself First

The individual giving feedback wants to act as a consultant. His role entails that he assists you in evaluating all possible movements that you can take and how they will impact the outcome. Together you work as a team to find the best possible solution. He explains the benefits and downsides of every turn you can take. Together, you collaborate to come up with the ideas that help you form your own solution. Unfortunately a lot of feedback masquerades as the real thing.

You might find that when you ask for another individuals advice,  that you get a lot of biased emotions and experiences built in to the mix. Any answer to a problem based only upon another individuals emotional thoughts are the nails that builds a house of failure. Emotional feelings are very useful in feedback when they are not used in a manner that is threating or forces change, but emotions should not be enough. It is always important to give both the emotional side and the realistic side.

To go about any problem correctly, you need to build the basics of what you want to do or feel that you should do. Then you ask for neutral advice and feedback. You then discuss the options and multiple avenues that you can take to complete it.

We Stop at an Answer – Not the Answer

Be Prepared for the Darkness

Can we be honest for a minute? Good. We all do not know for sure where we are going, or where we are going to end up in twenty years. The most unknown to us is the future. We do not know for sure if that next presentation will go well or if our next job promotion will be actually worth it. But by taking unsolicited advice from other people, we are bankrupting ourselves of our own feelings and thoughts.

The problem in giving advice is that every situation is unique. What might work for another person might not work for another person. I am not saying that all advice is useless. This is the reason behind computer advice being so damaging, they do not have the power to see your unique situation and offer advice based on that.

There is a lot of good advice on the internet, but there are also enough bad advice for you to be alert. Most of the advice I have received from behavioral places were useful in helping me in designing my own solutions, but I have to say that most advice I got of the internet was useless since it is generalized and not personalized.

There are two halves to every whole. Obviously you can’t depend on everyone to help you along for the rest of your life. We all have our own unique situations, thoughts and experiences. The secret is to depend on yourself and use everyone’s advice as a modifier to your own only in moderation. If their advice raises a red flag, then dissect it and figure out what you need to change. The idea is not to shut people out but to consult yourself first and foremost.

Six Secret Tips to Building Confidence

A lot of intelligent people across the world have ideas on how to be more confident. And as I read though some of the recent comments on my posts, I can see that I have been of some help. The problem is that a lot of confidence advice is very straight forward while a lot of the more perplex ways to build confidence is not really looked out. Why you ask? Because a lot of us do confidence building subconsciously without knowing it.

I want to share some of the methods and tactics I used to build up on my confidence throughout school and work.

Don’t invade a castle with only a sword. While it is possible to invade castle with only a sword and possibly effective, you would feel more confident with a shield until you had enough experience without one. The same applies to real life. The last few years people would comment that I wear long sleeves and hoodies too often, even in the summer time. This is because I was picked on when I was younger and the hoodie supplied a lot of mental protection. It is a good idea to wear a hoodie or a jacket and long sleeved shirts while building up the first particles of confidence. You will want to move on to short sleeves and a hoodie. Eventually you will want to eliminate the hoodie.

Share your interests strategically. If you are really as scared as I am about meeting new people, exploring interests and communicating your likes, there is hope. If you are an avid reader, writer or movie watcher, then allow people to see what you are engrossed in. I have the tendency to place a book that I am finished reading face down so that I do not have to show people and talk about it. Recently I have found pleasure in leaving the title face up so that I can get a conversation starter. If you try to show your interests in other ways such as watching movies and even wearing shirts of a favorite band, you might just find that conversations come just that much easier and without saying a word.

Use an ipod around people that you know. Listen to an ipod on low volume setting with only one ear bud in. I use to be very cautious with people looking over my conversations and bashing my music taste. This method helped by reinforcing the idea that it is okay to listen to what you prefer around people even if they don’t like your taste of music. I switched to a louder music setting and moved to a portable radio after. People do say bad things about my music and I have learned to accept criticism by not making a retort back. What you want to do is make a neutral comment back that acknowledges his opinion and engages his thoughts about tasteful music. This not only helps you build on sharing your music tastes more but also allows you to be more outgoing and social.

Games help build confidence. Even if you are not the best a video game, the fun in competing with other online players will inspire you to do better the next time. I like to play video games that I really like and that I know I will be good at such as shooter games and puzzle games. The only thing that I recommend is to end the video game on a good note. You don’t want to end a video game with you getting no points and everyone else getting a ton. We all have our bad games, but save them for when you compensate if at all possible. To enhance your video game experience with online players you can buy a microphone and chat online.

Have a chat on the internet. If you have problems on what to say during a conversation then you might want to consider video games and chat rooms. I find that it is a lot easier due to low expectations to chat in chat rooms and video games. If you start with “Hi” you will find that you get “Hi” back. If you have a proper conversation, you should not be bitten. If you do get bitten when you are sure you have been polite then you have ran into a cyber-bully and it would be a good idea to disengage the conversation and search for another.

Sorry, thank you and your welcome. A lot of people have problems with accepting praise, giving praise, and being wrong. This one involves a lot of real experience. Start by saying “thank you” online and move to saying it for short and nice things people do. Then move to saying the words for bigger things. Saying “your welcome” is not as hard but requires the same method. “Sorry” is a straight shooter and only practice makes perfect.

I really help you enjoyed my tips and apply them to your life. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out my other articles!

Being Able to See the Real You

Confidence Holds No Barrier

Confidence can range anywhere from being our own worst enemy to being our absolute best friend. For example, what if your confidence and self-esteem were so low, that you could not even pick up a napkin or walk in a straight line? I know what you are thinking. It is hard to fathom that any individual’s self confidence in the world could possibly be that degraded or devalued, even for people who are clinically depressed.

Look into a mirror and ask yourself one important question. Who do you honestly see? I have a habit of seeing someone I’m not. I visualize someone more successful, more rich and powerful, and to an enormous extent, a person I believe I won’t ever be in the future. I draw conclusions before I even try. This is what I like to call career limiting, and on a higher level, life limiting.

For several years I was under the erroneous assumption that only financially successful people were qualified to be confident. This statement would mean that workers like me shouldn’t be confident. For three weeks, I surveyed several stores such as Walmart and Krogers. What I found in three weeks contradicted my assumption. The Workers were working very hard, and they enjoyed being employed with their current boss. The workers were genuinely confident in what they did for a living.

How I learned to be confident

At first, I was very shy at trying new activities and even talking to people in general. I had trouble getting up from my seat in lunch to put a tray away due to the thought that I would knock all the trays off. The worst thing that I had experienced was being scared to pick up a napkin from a table. I literally thought I would knock the whole container off.

I have learned to be confident from working and by doing many of the activities that I thought I couldn’t do. When I just decided to bite the bullet and try some of the daunting challenges that I thought in a million years I would never do, and succeeded, I started to become more confident in everything I did. It was a very long process and did not happen overnight or in one weekend, but if done at a steady pace, it can yield significant results.

My first baby step towards building up confidence inside myself was to start easy and work myself up. I started by putting my tray away before someone else had to do it for me. I adopted the policy of grabbing a napkin everytime I had to eat messy food. I even got up to the point where I could walk in a straight line infront of a group of people. I found that my premonitions of the worse outcomes were very exaggerated and not logically possible when looked at realistically.

You Have the Power

So we have learned that being confident is not a rich person attribute. We just have to get up to the point to where we can express our confidence more often. This can be done by challenging ourselves more often and succeeding. I find that a lack of confidence is usually found in individuals that have never experienced success or praise in their daily work or people that believe that because they do not receive constant feedback, they must be doing everything wrong or just enough to get by.

Success is in the eyes of the beholder. If success is the reason for not being motivated or not being confident, I suggest that you take an honest view at yourself. What do you do best? Are you the best worker in your specific career, or business? Are you an expert on a subject? Chances are you are good at something. If lack of praise is a problem, know that not everyone is accustomed to giving praise where praise is due. They do not realize that praise is the easiest way of motivating hard workers.

Most importantly, don’t expect anything from other people. Expect everything from yourself. You don’t have to change yourself to experience success. All you have to do is to be yourself and challenge yourself to do more everyday. Even if it is a small obstacle, work to overcome it. Little by little. I feel that we can make that happen, one day at a time, one challenge after another.

Let this be the beginning of your success.

Living with a Disability: The Less you Know the More you Stand to Gain

Falling off a Cliff…

I am sure we have all had that one moment in life when we have beaten ourselves up for being slow at learning a new skill. I know that feeling of falling off a cliff, the feeling that emanates from being a gradual leaner in a world that seems to run on by. Just the thought of being a lesser force in the eyes of other people can be stressful and can lower our self-confidence.

I am by formal diagnosis, developmentally disabled. The specific label for my handicap is called autism. I have trouble comprehending physical tasks such as mopping, sweeping, and even mowing. I can do computer tasks perfectly – it is the assignments that require hand and muscle to perform that causes the initial problem.

I usually need several demonstrations and elaborations for me to finally get a new task down, but the important concept is to finally get the task down and mastered. Since I do have trouble learning new tasks, I have a job coach at my place of work. Job coaches help new workers succeed by providing specific examples of specific tasks that need completed by oral communication and visual example. They also assist in giving feedback, so that we can do our job more efficiently the next time around.

At first I was like a salmon trying to swim upstream. I could not push myself to work hard anymore after my first few mistakes on the job. I felt like what a baseball player must feel after losing an important game. I felt very discounted, and felt above all else, that I would never learn anything.

Common Negative Feelings about Being Developmentally Disabled

“I Am Useless”
“Someone Could do Better”
“I do not Have Enough Experience”
“I am being Watched and Evaluated”
“I Only Fight the Small Fires”

Most of the reasons above that I have listed were also my beginning thoughts when I had started working. I believe that others might feel the same way – judged, constantly evaluated and often labeled by others as less competent. It is true that we are slow at learning things, but the only importance is that we get to where we are going eventually and are still happy while doing it.

After many questions and coaching, I finally got all the tasks down. And after two weeks went by, I was constantly being referred to as a hard worker. Just because we learn at a slower rate, doesn’t imply that we won’t ever be an hard worker.

It’s Time to be Yourself

I don’t want you to get the idea that being a unique learner is actually bad, it isn’t. There are several key perks about being developmentally disabled that I have discovered during my time at the humane society. The key to feeling confident about being a slow learner is that the less that you know – the more you stand to gain. It is as easy as it sounds.

In the working world, it is only natural to feel good about ourselves when we finally conquer a new skill. The longer a skill takes to master, the better we feel. In other words, the less we know, the more we have to learn and the more we have to gain. So if that one hard task requires an extra day to learn, than that is just one more reward that you deserve – along with a pat on the back!

The second good thing about being developmentally disabled is that I find it possible to never get bored of work. I feel every new skill is a huge stepping stone towards a much bigger objective. It is much like a video game in that we get assigned harder tasks when we advance past the simple ones. The positive end of this thinking is that you will succeed much more professionally if you do not stress about the small stuff and learn from past errors.

Reward Yourself

I have realized that people whom are learning disabled are usually very hard workers since additional work is mandated to get to where we are wanting to go in life. If you are like me, you also put off rewarding yourself until later. Studies have shown that if rewards are given right when we succeed, it increases our confidence. So I have been rewarding myself a lot more lately for my hard work and I encourage you to do it as well.

Being developmentally disabled is not a bad thing. Being slow to learn things can be annoying, but I have found that learning information at a slower pace can increase our overall general understanding too, and that is the most important thing – the final result after everything is said and done.