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Be a more confident you

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By Edited May 12, 2016 2 5

Be a more confident you!

I'm going to guess you have felt timid. You were afraid to do something you really wanted to achieve. Well in this article I will give you the tools to do what you always wanted to achieve.

When I was young I was always afraid to talk in front of people. Even a group of four or five friends I would clam up and say nothing. This continued even into my late 20's when I finally took public speaking and communication classes. My poor communication and writing skills were holding me back from the promotion I wanted. I felt I could do more than any man but I felt no one realized it because I could not communicate. I felt lesser talented men and women around me were getting promotions. I was motivated to change.

What had happened here? Was I motivated to change? You bet I was! I had always blamed my lower class poor upbringing on my failure to communicate. That was easy to believe. What was really happening? Have you ever wanted to do something but just could not do it? I bet you have! Why didn't you? I know the answer do you? Be honest with yourself! It's fear! Fear of failure, rejection, and humiliation.

Let us go back to the speaking in front of others. I was so afraid people would make fun of me but the pain of not getting what I wanted (promotions) had gotten greater than my fear of getting rejected. It was time to do something about it. I took classes where I had to give speeches and was taught the fundamentals. I wanted to give a great speech so badly how would I do it? The answer is practice. I would record my speech every night and listen to it on the way to work and home. By the time I got home I would be so angry at myself because my speech sounded so badly I would record it again. The next day it would be better but not good enough. I did this day after day. My speech was getting pretty good even in my overly critical eyes.

Finally the day came when the class was to give speeches. I sat through one really bad speech after another. I had sat there and listened and said to myself "I am going to do better than that". Finally my turn came and I got up in front of a totally bored looking classroom and I gave my speech. I knew every word. My voice was filled with passion. As I was speaking I saw the class go from being full of a bunch of yawners to a group of people smiling and looking intently. As I gave my final point I spoke with passion and intensity. The class erupted in a standing ovation. I will never forget the feeling I had at that moment.

So how did all this happen? How did this totally unconfident young man go from being this fumbling fool to a confident fiery speaker? Several things are in play here. I had motivation to change. The pain of being humbled because of my bad communication skills was no longer greater than the fear of being passed up for promotion. Secondly I practiced. Practicing over and over again leads to great skill.

So how can you apply this to your life? What is it you want to do, that you know that you could do but have not done? I'm not going to answer that for you but I will tell you why you have not done it. It's fear or perceived pain that comes with failure. The fear of failure is greater than the feeling of success you will gain.

So how do you accomplish what you want to do? Sit back and close your eyes and get really comfortable. Think of how it will feel to be successful. In the case of the speech feel the roar of the standing ovation. How do you feel? Put yourself right there! Enjoy the wonderful feeling even though it has not happened yet. You need to want to enjoy the good feeling of success more than the pain of failure.

Next practice practice practice! If you want to become skilled at anything you must practice. In the case of the speech I practiced day after day. Today I do not have to practice a speech like that because of confidence and skill.

I would like to share another story to illustrate my point. An electrician was fixing a machine. He had spent hours trying to troubleshoot the machine. He had pulled out prints and looked through the programming. He was very frustrated. Along came another electrician, he went up to the computer and with a few keystrokes he had the machine running. He indicated he would be right back. He came back and replaced a piece of cable. He old the operator to run the machine while undid what he had done in the computer. As he walked away I decided to ask him how he fixed the machine so fast. He proudly replied that he had studied the machine and practiced what to look for if it broke down. He walked away with a smirk on his face.

If you practice you will become more confident. Confidence spills over into every aspect of our lives. Knowing that we have succeeded in one area makes it much easier to succeed in other areas. Confidence builds and builds.

Be more confident, be a better you!



Dec 21, 2009 2:20pm
You gotta have confidence in anything that you do! keep up the good work!
Jan 15, 2010 8:30am
This comment has been deleted.
Apr 1, 2010 12:03pm
I like you had no confidence. In fact it wasnt until my adult 25-30 that I decided that I didnt care what people thought any more I would just say how I felt. That was wrong. Because I took my inadequencies out on them. But it made me realise...too that I had to stand up for myself instead of being pushed around and virtually laughed at.
I still could not give a speach. But love to write my feelings on paper. No longer worries me what other people think. I am me and what u see is what u get. I cannot be any different. Great article I would have liked this about 50 years ago it might have helped me to be more confident. thanks
Jun 9, 2010 9:34am
Confidence could be gained with time. I have always been a negative person so I lacked confidence but as I grew older I learned to have confidence in what I do.
Jun 18, 2010 5:20pm
Believe you can often is 100% of the battle. Keep your hopes up even when things get you down. Loved the article!
Jan 6, 2011 11:23am
Thank you for sharing these experiences. I like how you discussed having to practice to become a better speaker. great article.
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