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On today’s show, I’ll let you know the unfortunate truth about how your confidence got the way it did.
But, I’ll also show you what you need to do, to take responsibility for your confidence in the future. And ways to make that happen.
In the Podcast, I mention the Carl Jung discovery that “what you resist, persists”. You can read more about that on the Psychology Today Website.
If you have any questions, or comments, please leave them in the comments section below.
Podcast music: Is ‘Sweet Life’ by Twisterium.
Music Link: https://www.twisterium.com
Hello and welcome to the Everyday Confidence Podcast from theskillfulmind.com.
I’m your host, Steve George and today we’re gonna be talking about making confident decisions.
Hello again. Okay, I’m going to start today by revealing a very simple truth that you probably don’t want to hear, but it’s important that you understand… And that truth is… If you want your confidence and self-esteem to improve, the first thing you need to do is take responsibility for the fact that you created that level of confidence and self-esteem in the first place.
And I know we don’t want to believe that it’s our fault. We need to believe that someone else did this to us. But they didn’t. Because, you won’t ever control the way other people act, or think. But you definitely can control what you attribute to the experience. And that’s why it’s your fault.
I’ll give you an example. I’ll use an situation from my own life. Back in high school, there was one particular bully there, who made it his mission to not only embarrass me, every single day, but also cause me physical pain and he did it pretty much whenever he had an audience.
I believed at the time, that he was doing it to me, because he didn’t like me. And that I should be grateful that it only ever happened at school. And if I wasn’t strong enough to fight back, well that was how it was gonna be. There’s nothing I can do about that.
But, I blamed his behavior for my problem. And because I didn’t feel like I had any control over the situation that’s why it was happening. And my self-esteem and confidence plummeted from that point on.
What I didn’t understand until years later, was that how that bully was acting, was a reflection of him and not me.
At the time, I thought that ‘it was doing these things everyday’ that was giving him the pleasure and so there’s nothing I could have done to stop it. But the truth is, it wasn’t causing the suffering that was giving him pleasure, it was my reaction to it that was doing that.
If I hadn’t made the decision to react the way I had, like running out of class, or whatever it happened to be. He wouldn’t have got the same level of pleasure from it. And how I reacted was all me. I was responsible for that, not him.
And, yet years later, I was still reluctant to do anything that might cause the same reaction from someone else. So, I didn’t go anywhere, or do anything that brought me into contact with other people. Just in case.
So, the truth is, if you can’t accept that the decisions you took before, got you to where you are now, you’ll never gonna accept that the decisions you make now will be able to change how you feel, or behave in the future.
If you believe that you had no control over your decisions then, how can you possibly believe you’ve got control over them now?
So, my advice today is to take responsibility for all of your decisions, past and present. Because even deciding to take no action is still a decision. And every decision has a consequence. So, make sure it’s a consequence you want.
Okay, so what’s the exercise for today?
Well, once this podcast’s finished, or as soon as you can after that, sit yourself down with a notepad, or better yet, your journal if you keep one. And by the way, if you don’t why not?
But either way, sit down somewhere quiet and think of three things you can do, or stop doing from now on, to take responsibility for your confidence and self-esteem.
Now, I’ll give you some example, so you can see what I mean…
You can stop blaming other people, or your current circumstances, or even things that have happened to you in the past, for the fact your confidence or self-esteem is so low at the moment.
You can stop making excuses. Like saying “it’s too hard”, “I’m far too busy” or “I’ve got no money”.
Or, you can stop needing so much external validation for everything. Don’t judge what’s good for you, on what someone else believes. That’s just basing your confidence and self-esteem on something that’s external to you. And if you don’t control it, you can’t change it.
So what about what you can do…
Well, you can take the time to discover the positives that can come from every action you’re thinking of taking. So, don’t just immediately think that the negative things are what’s bound to happen.
Or, you can realize that you’ve got total control over how you react to anything. So choose a positive reaction, even if you need a bit of time to work out what that positive reaction is.
So, make the decision today, to face up to problems and difficulties rather than avoiding them. It’s completely understandable that you’d want to avoid pain and discomfort, but, as Carl Jung once said…”What you resist, Persists”. The more you try to push difficult situations away, the more you’ll find yourself being confronted by similar situations over and over again. Until eventually, you’re gonna have to face up to them anyway, so you might as well face them now, because pushing them away all the time, does nothing for your confidence.
Once you’ve got your three things, why not write each one down on a separate piece of paper and put them in different places around your home. That way, you’ll see them every day and it’ll remind you of your promise to your self.
So, from now on accept full responsibility for your decisions – all of them, good and bad. Even look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say something like, “Today, and for the rest of my life, I’m gonna take full responsibility for my decisions.”
Use whatever works for you. Because, once you accept that you control your life, you can start to take control of how you live it.
That’s it for today. Thanks very much for spending your precious time listening to me today. The show notes, as usual will be over at theskillfulmind.com/podcast/15. And I’d love to hear how you’re getting on with these different things, so please let me know. You can do that either on the podcast page of any show, or even send me an email at email@example.com.
Again, thanks for listening, bye for now!