High self-esteem and self-confidence are the building blocks for an 'ACTION MAN' - one who gets things done. Confidence grows when you do things well, so you'd do well to think about the mystical confidence-competence loop. You may start out faking it to make it, but review this life strategy as soon as possible ...otherwise you'll end up with a classic case of imposter syndrome.
We have approximately 1 thought per second, productive but totally unreliable ...so don't believe everything you think!
Human beings suffer from 'thought blindness.' This makes them vulnerable to faulty thinking and errors, preventing a true assessment of reality and the erosion of confidence.
PS: Add a big dollop of unbridled ego, excessive self-focus plus the my-way or the highway crew ...and it's a disaster waiting to happen.
Factual Data Is Distorted
Imagine we had someone managing our thoughts, a quality controller. Familiar habitual thoughts would be given the stamp of approval, whilst 'suspicious' looking new & challenging ideas would be deleted, distorted or ignored. I can almost hear him saying: "Hey, whats the problem guys? You don't want me to change the habits of a lifetime do you?"
"Your Thought Factory is unreliable"
Over-ride Faulty Thinking
1. PAY ATTENTION: irrational thoughts
Notice when irrational thoughts create distressing feelings & sensations. It’s a bit of an ouch! so you can't miss it.
2. PAY ATTENTION: physical discomfort
Notice 'physical' discomfort triggered by anxiety, worry, doubt & fear. Track physiological sensations such as - breathing rhythm (shallow breathing, hyper-ventilation), sweating, increased heart rate.
Plus headaches & blurred vision, muscle tension & shakiness, digestion problems (extra visits to the toilet!) etc.
3. PAY ATTENTION: behaviour
Notice out of character behaviour - snappiness & irritability, angry outbursts & physical aggression. Monitor excessive days-off sick, and even the desire to isolate yourself from others.
Friends may notice you are drinking more alcohol, using recreational drugs or self-harming.
You may never have considered this ...but indulging in risky & dangerous activities such as driving too fast, taking up high-risk sports should be noted.
4. MAKE AN ASSESSMENT: of valued relationships
Measure the“quality" of your positive interactions with work colleagues, friends, partner, family, children etc. If you’re disappointed with your personal assessment - then start changing some of your automatic habits. (do a self assessment using a scale of 1-10, where 10=doing great ...and 0=awful).
5. FIND THE COURAGE: Raid the Thought Factory
Raid the thought factory basement every now and then ...do a bit of thought de-cluttering. BUT BEWARE ...in the miles of filing cabinets you'll inevitably stumble over long forgotten dreams, bright ideas & burning ambitions (so take a deep breath).
You'll also spot the origin of out-dated limiting self beliefs, the ones happily ticking over on automatic,but are ruining your life.
Self Assessment Tips:
Keep a small diary (or spreadsheet) and create 3 key performance indicators to monitor your behaviour.
Do spot-checks of the KPI's - your key performance indicators (e.g morning, afternoon, end of day). Only introduce new ones once you meet your original targets.
how confident am I / have I been (this morning, afternoon, evening)?
how relaxed am I / have I been (this morning, afternoon, evening)?
how sharp are my focus & concentration levels? (this morning, afternoon, evening)?
Set yourself a challenge. After each spot-check think of 1 small ACTION-MAN STEP you can do before the next round to improve your ratings by 1 point. You can even go large! Make that gigantic leap, decide what a rating of 10 would look like - and act it out like a pro!
THE AUTHOR: Joy Langley
Is a stress & anxiety Coach based in the UK who enjoys coaching men on how to take care of emotional health. She is skilled at sharing psychological hacks & strategies in practical, down-to-earth ways.
Her grand mission? (1) To help men find more rational options when they hit the stress & anxiety wall. (2) To fight & win the battle against dark negative thoughts, and (3) to encourage the involvement of partners (or family & friends) when things go pear-shaped ...after all, two heads are better than one!
It's a win-win for both parties understanding how & why a Strength can flip-flop into an Anti-Strength.