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Hello Vijay, Today we will examine the reasons behind lack of self confidence and explore many of the

concepts that can help you become more confident. We are also going to discuss more practical steps in the self confidence building process, let me know your feedback after you read the lesson. Becoming confident by knowing what's wrong In the last lesson I explained the concept of the inner judge or the critic who resides inside your mind and who evaluates all of your actions and behavior. We reached the conclusion that the only way to become confident is to convince that inner judge that you are really worthy instead of fooling him. The mistake most people do when trying to build self confidence is that they follows advices such as "set goals and achieve them", "treat yourself well" and "reward" your success. While these advices are great still they are too generic to be applied on a person by person basis. If you lack confidence because you think that you are not attractive then achieving goals won't do anything to help you become confident. Here is where the "becoming confident by knowing what's wrong" concept comes into play. The main reason you might not be feeling confident know is that you think that certain thing is wrong about you. A person might believe that he is not smart, another person might think that he is unattractive while a third person might believe that he is less worthy than others. It's that specific thing you believe is wrong is the main thing that is preventing you from becoming confident. All of your confidence building focus should be moved onto that specific area that you dislike about yourself so that you can become truly confident. Self confidence operates just like happiness, whenever you try to feel happy your mind will quickly recall all the problems that you are currently facing, if it found that the problems are too big or intolerable then you won't be able to feel happy. The same goes for confidence, you will confident about yourself unless you believe that something is wrong about you. It's as if you should pass through a probing machine that finds the faults in you and if a fault was found you won't be able to feel confident.

Dependency on people's judgment and seeking your answers When you were born you didn't know anything about the objects in this world nor did you even know your name. As you kept growing up you started to ask people about the objects around you. "Mom what's this?" "It's a chair honey" "Mom what's that" "That's a table dear" The only question you did not ask directly but instead you got its answer from the people around you is, "Am I important?" Some people were lucky enough to be given the right answer to this question and so they grew up feeling confident while others never got the answer, and since they didn't knew if they were important or not they started to depend on the external world for evaluation. If his friends told him that he is boring he feels too bad and if her friends told her that she is not that attractive she gets depressed. Remember the helicopter example in the beginning of this course? The reason you didn't believe a mobile phone was a helicopter is that you knew everything about it, had you not seen a mobile phone before you might have believed those who told you that this is a helicopter. The same goes for yourself, if you are not aware of your strengths and weaknesses then you will be subject to programming by everyone around you. You will become what they think of you not what you really are. So this brings us to a very important conclusion, not knowing who you are or what you can really do makes your

self confidence vulnerable, if people liked you one day you will feel good while if they though that you are boring your self confidence will drop. Self confidence comes from within and the only way to feel confident is to have that feeling that you are worthy with disregard to the opinion of others. Lots of people incorrectly get this concept and think that they have to stand in front of the mirror and decide that they like themselves in order to become invulnerable to the comments of others but the main point they forgot is that they have to prove to themselves first that they are worthy. What are the needed skills? Before you can proceed in building self confidence you must first figure out two things. What are the fields that you lack self confidence at and what are the necessary skills you need in order to build self confidence? After all you won't be confident before you prove to your inner judge that you can handle certain situations successfully and handling the situations successfully can't happen before you have the necessary skills. I want you to take all the time you need before proceeding, you don't even have to do this today but make sure that you don't write anything here before you think well about it When you make up your mind, draw a table that has the self confidence fields on the left side and the skills needed on the right side. Your table could contain entries similar to the following: Social life: Learning how to run a conversation, learning to speak assertively and learning how to approach strangers Career: learning how to make a presentation and learning how to manage stress Body image: Losing weight, eating healthy food and getting rid of acne Suppose that one of your goals was to successfully make a presentation in front of twenty persons. The skills you need might be something like learning how to speak assertively, learning the body language of confidence, learning relaxation techniques to combat fears, learning how to stop the negative thoughts that jump in your mind while talking and learning how to capture the attention of the listeners. The talent myth is one of the most famous myths that usually prevent people from reaching their full potential. While reading the previous paragraph you might have said to yourself "but I don't have the talent of capturing people's attention", but the fact is that its only a skill that can be learned by anybody who is persistent enough to go through all the learning stages. A talented person is someone who is born with an additional experience in doing a certain thing compared to his friends, this means that as soon as you acquire his level of experience you will have his same talent or you can even be better than him if you trained more.

Next, the skills required should be converted into smart goals As you already know, goals must be measurable, time limited, achievable and challenging. Taking the weight loss as an example, you can't just say I will have a perfect body but you must say something like "I will lose 10 pounds over the next 6 weeks" After you write all of your goals you should start working on achieving them. Without these goals and without committing to reaching them you will never develop the skills that you need to become self confident. If I was to pickup the most important page in this course it would have been this one. Forget about all what you were being told about the change coming from within and that you can be confident right now by repeating certain phrases or by using hypnosis. The truth is that you must bring a real tangible prove to your subconscious mind before it can change its idea about you. Self confidence building is combination of both bringing solid clues from the outside world and changing the operation of your inner world so that you don't discount the effect of these proofs.

Philosophy never worked and it will never work Lots of people give self confidence building advices that are based on self love and self acceptance, sadly this philosophical approach they use never works. They keep telling that you must accept who you are, that you are worthy because you are a human being and that self love will come when you accept everything about yourself. What those gentlemen didn't notice is that the main reason people lack self confidence is that they don't accept certain things about themselves!! How can we just ask them to accept themselves in few seconds in order to feel confident if there is already something that they don't accept about themselves? This lack of acceptance might be based on years and years of bad experiences and poor performance which resulted in this distorted ideas about ones self. The moment you will tell your subconscious mind something like, "I am worthy because I am a human being" it will reply back telling you "yeah right, tell this to the strangers you can't approach" Your subconscious mind might be thinking that you are worthless because you don't know how to make friends or you don't know how to succeed, keep telling it for 100 years that you are a worthy being and that you deserve to be confident and it will never believe you. So here comes another list of items that you should change about yourself, first figure out what are the things that you don't like about yourself, do you hate the fact that you tremble and shake each time you make a presentation? Do you feel that you are worthless because you don't know how to approach the opposite sex? Do you think that you act in a clumsy way in the company of others? Take a break now and figure out those things that you hate about yourself the most and when you find them add them to the previous table you constructed in the previous steps. So the table now should contain a combination of the skills that you need in order to be able to achieve certain tasks and the things that you dislike about yourself that needs to be changed. What about your strengthens and weaknesses? Few paragraphs ago I said that knowing who you are will prevent other's judgment from having any effect on you. Suppose that you knew for sure that you are intelligent, will being told that you are dumb affect you? No it won't have any effect at all provided that you are sure that you are intelligent. Documenting your strengthens and weaknesses is one of the strongest methods that can help you in preventing criticism from affecting you. But again this will bring us to the previous point, what if there are weaknesses that you don't like about yourself? Again they should be added to the table of the "things I want to change about myself" In short self confidence is acquired when true self acceptance happens and true self acceptance never happens before you get rid of the things that you don't like about yourself and become aware of your points of strength.

Does this mean that I have to write my strengths and weaknesses now? Of course you should know your strengths your weaknesses and you must even write them in order to bring them to your awareness but there is very important step that must be done before writing them which is finding who you really are. Suppose that there are things that you really dislike about yourself such as shyness, lack of persistence, poor self image or lack of certain social skills. Will writing your strengths and weaknesses be helpful? At this point they might actually be harmful because they will remind you of the things you dislike about yourself. So the most important step you should take is to set clear goals for eliminating those factors you hate about yourself. Just as I mentioned before, unless you get rid of the things that you hate about yourself you will never manage to love yourself. Self confidence after all is some kind of self love; if you loved who you are you will become a very confident person.

The past unfinished business Since the beginning of the course I have been saying that self confidence or lack of it is a result of the idea your subconscious mind has about you but I didn't explain yet where did these ideas come from. In this section I will let you become aware of how these beliefs were formed so that you can change them easily. Everything that happens to us in our past affects our self confidence in the future. Failing to make friends in the past might result in making you socially withdrawn in the future and failing to score high in the exams in your past might let you drop out of college as a grown up. What is meant by past unfinished business is something that you failed to do in the past and never managed to do till now. Suppose that as a little child you were bullied by your school mates everyday. Later on when grew up people started to become more mature and the bullying stopped but the old scar remained in your heart. At this point your subconscious mind still remember the bad experience that happens to you and will recall it quickly whenever you encounter anything that reminds you of it. (this happens on the unconscious level, you might not be even aware that something is taking place but all what you will experience is a sudden lack of confidence). A laughing face An evil smile The sounds of people laughing A weird look from a stranger Someone who looks like someone who bullied you Seeing someone else being bullied Seeing someone whispering while looking at you All of these can be triggers that remind you of one of these situations that happened to you earlier and all of these small events can trigger extreme feelings of anxiousness and lack of confidence. In order to be able to build solid confidence you must first learn how to identify these triggers that remind you of the past. You have to do nothing other than keeping a close eye on your thoughts and the self talk that runs in your mind and you will find these triggers. Becoming really confident requires being aware of these triggers and knowing how to bust them as soon as they appear, for example: Suppose that, like the guy of the previous example, you suddenly felt uncomfortable when you saw someone who looked like the person who bullied him in the past, what should you do? Here we are going to use one of the most famous treatment methods called Cognitive behavioral therapy , since we are going to talk about CBT a lot in this course let me first tell you about it. It was found that the events we experience never induce certain emotions before we personally interpret the events. For example if you were walking in a dark street then heard foot steps behind you then you won't feel afraid before you first analyze the situation. In a fraction of a second your mind might think of things like "The street is dark, could this be a thief coming from behind?" only at this point your emotions will change. You might be wondering how you sometimes experience sudden emotional changes and mood swings without even noticing this self talk that happened, the answer is that these automatic thoughts have been repeated thousands of times before in your mind to the extent that they happen so quickly!! Most of us became unaware of the thoughts that pass into our minds and the phrases that are constantly being exchanged between the conscious and the subconscious mind. I am not talking here about positive or negative thinking but I am referring to the thinking process itself that became so automated to be noticed by you. So back to CBT, it was found that if you corrected the perception you had of a certain event or alerted it soon enough before the emotions arise then you won't experience that emotion you would have experienced if you have done nothing. In the previous example I mentioned, all you have to do is to tell yourself that you are only seeing a reflection of your past and that there is no real danger of being bullied. Let me break this into practical steps:

First you need to be aware of your thoughts Second you need to be aware of the triggers that remind you of the past Third you need to modify these thoughts as soon as they are encountered.

In the beginning it will be a lot of effort but as you keep doing this for few weeks your mind will start automating your new thoughts and they will be launched as soon as the trigger is encountered without any effort from your side. Its extremely important that you use CBT to modify your view of these situations because one of the main reasons of lack of self confidence is the incorrect evidence that people keep colleting about themselves. Going back to the previous example, had you not used CBT to modify your thoughts the belief that this person was going to bully you will become stronger and so the feelings will be more intense on the next encounter. One of the main reasons such feelings are still triggered even though the initial experience that brought them to your consciousness happened long ago is that you kept strengthening them everyday by incorrectly perceiving events!! The more you keep reinforcing these feelings the more they will become stronger and the less your self confidence will be. Yes self confidence can be decreased!! Some people are not confident because they have been putting themselves down since they were born. Even though they were initially confident then have always incorrectly interpreted events throughout their lives and so they never managed to feel the confidence they initially had. Before you continue reading visit the URL below to read this article: The article will explain to you exactly how the distorted perception of reality happens and how to prevent it from happening. This is crucial to building self confidence.

In the previous section I talked about unconscious events that can suddenly make you feel less confident but what about events that are aware of? Anything that reminds you of one of the old wounds might result in shaking your identity and in making you feel worthless. For example if you faced a similar situation to the ones you used to face as a child you will remember the old wound and you will feel less confident if not worthless. Suppose that as a child you were embarrassed in front of your class mate because of not knowing how to answer a math problem. When you grow up you might have completely forgotten about this situation but as soon as you encounter any situation that makes you feel embarrassed you will recall the initial feelings of embarrassment that you had and you will feel that your confidence abandoned you. For example if you accidentally slipped in front of strangers or if you mispronounced a word in a presentation you are making you will recall the same feelings of embarrassment you had as a child. We do grow up but our emotional wounds, past experiences and thinking patterns grow with us too. A situation that happened to you 20 years ago will still have a very strong impact on your daily life even if you can't remember that situation. There is only one way to deal with past unfinished business which is to learn how to deal with the similar situations perfectly so that you prove to your subconscious mind that you can really do it. In such a case learning assertiveness, how to stand up for your rights and even martial arts if necessary will help you take the right action the next time someone attempts to bully you. TIP: Don't get me wrong, I am not asking you not to make mistakes but instead I am asking you to learn how to handle the situation even if you made mistakes. As you will see later on in the course the way you deal with your mistakes is responsible for 90% of the emotions you get after making the mistake.

If your subconscious mind found you capable of dealing with similar situations perfectly it will forget about the past and will start trusting you. Sadly some people try to avoid anything that reminds them of the past wounds and so remain with no confidence forever. For example a guy who used to be bullied might start to avoid all evil looking guys, might pickup harmless friends or even geeks just to stay away of bullies. Moreover this person might avoid certain places, certain jobs and certain life styles in order to remain in his own imaginary world that has no bullies, and sadly this imaginary world acts as a pain killer or even a strong drug that prevents the person from becoming aware of his wounds. A shy person who never made friends at school might grow up and become a computer expert in order to live with the computer most of the time and avoid social interactions. Unfortunately this person might not be even aware that he loves computers because it prevents him from coming in contact with those he can't deal with. Some people live in their imaginary world for years and wake up on a certain shock or identity crisis while others remain there for the rest of their lives!! As you might have already concluded, finishing your unfinished business is one of the most important steps in building self confidence. You new table should be populated with the past unfinished businesses you have. Fill the table, take your time to adjust it until you are sure 100% of what you wrote then start finishing your unfinished businesses, For example your table could contain entries like: Unfinished business one, being clumsy or having poor social skills: Action required, learning how to deal with people Unfinished business two, being bullied: learning how to reply to bullies, becoming assertive and learning kung fu So how will dealing with the unfinished businesses affect your self confidence? One of the powerful self confidence building methods is based on the concept that your behavior affects your self concept. If you scored 100 out of 100 in 10 consecutive math exams then you will come to believe that you are a math genius. On the other hand if you trembled and shacked each time you started talking to strangers you will believe that you have poor social skills and you won't have confidence in talking to strangers. Luckily the idea you have about yourself can be changed in few weeks provided that you perform well few times at that task. So to summarize this all, you must perform well many times in the things that you failed to perform well at in your past in order to finish the unfinished business Labels Why do you suddenly start to notice that everybody around you bought the same mobile phone you bought right after buying it? Why do pregnant women notice that there are lots of pregnant women out there even though they didn't use to notice them before? Why when you buy a new car you suddenly find that lots of other people bought it too? Simply because you get what you focus on. Your brain receives 2 billion bits of information per second but they are filtered until only 7 bits remain. Those 7 bits represent the things that are of importance to you. That's why we always notice the things that are of importance to us or that are related to our lives. But what does that has to do with self confidence? Suppose that for some reason you started to believe that you are a boring person, your mind will start focusing on the clues that support this belief and you will end up with hundreds of false proofs that supports the theory. For example if someone yawned while you were talking to him you will start to think that he yawned because he found you boring or if someone didn't say "Hi" in a good way you might think that he did so because he thinks that you are a boring person.

You will never assume that the first person yawned because he was tired or that the second person was feeling bad that day but instead you will misinterpret the events you encounter to support your beliefs about yourself. The real danger of getting what you focus on is that for every belief that you form about yourself you will find hundreds of false proofs for it. What's even more dangerous is that people tend to drop or discard all clues that oppose these beliefs!! If someone thinks that he is boring then was once told that he is interesting he might discard this clue by assuming that it was just a compliment from a nice person!! In short we tend to be biased towards our inner belief system when we interpret the daily events we encounter. False beliefs that people form about themselves are called labels. When you say I am a failure instead of saying I am failed or when you say i am a boring person instead of saying I was boring today then you are labeling yourself. People who label themselves sooner or later find millions of clues that reinforce these labels and so end up with low self confidence. Looser, geek and dumb are some of the very popular labels that circulate around these days. It all starts with a situation that shakes the person's confidence and then ends up with a label being assigned. Now the question is, How to prevent label formation? There are certain steps that you should take in order to get rid of your current labels and to prevent the formation of newer ones which are:

Understanding that you are not your behavior. Failing once, twice or ten times doesn't make you a failure but it just makes you someone who failed Challenge the label formation by asking yourself questions like, who said I am a total failure? Didn't i do well in so and so? Who said i am loser? Don't I have few people who love me? ....etc , the more you challenge your labels the more you will weaken them. (see below) Understand that the proofs you are collecting are false ones because you get what you focus on How beliefs are formed and how they are removed Certain statements turn into beliefs through repetition if there were no opposing beliefs in the person's mind. For example if the first time you ever saw an orange someone told you that its an apple you would believe him simply because you have no opposing beliefs at this point of time. However if someone told you earlier that this is called an orange then you are most likely to question the person's knowledge if he told you that it's an apple. Just as I said before, we are born clean with no beliefs about anything and that's why we become very sensitive to other's judgment during the first years of our lives. Here are very common examples of early belief formation and how these beliefs affect our lives: -If our parents didn't take care of us or neglected us we might grow up believing that we are worthless -If our parents were over protective we will grow up thinking that the world is dangerous and we might develop fear of people -If our teachers called us names like dumb or lazy we might grow up believing that we are different and so feel interior -If our friends used to bully us at school we might grow up feeling week and incompetent Back to belief formation, the first time a statement is told or the first time a situation is experienced a belief might be formed but it won't be that strong before it gets strengthened. For example if your teacher at school told you that you are dumb you might feel bad but the belief might not become strong before you hear this statement over and over. When the statement comes from a trusted source the belief becomes much stronger. For example if your parent called you dumb too then most probably the belief will become very strong.

In addition to trusted sources the beliefs are reinforced when they come through different sources. If more than one teacher told you that you are dumb then the belief will become even stronger. As we grow up these beliefs remain even though the situations we experience difference completely, you are not likely to be asked to solve a math problem as a grown up but if you failed to do a certain task at work or if you failed to establish a successful relationship with your spouse you might remember your old wound and feel inferior. So what does all this has to do with labels and why did I discuss belief formation now? The labels we were just discussing are nothing that beliefs that you formed about yourself earlier. Beliefs become stronger as they are reinforced and weaken if they were challenged. One of the main reasons large corporation spend billions on advertisements is that they know that the more you get exposed to their ads and products the more you will believe in them. (Provided that you don't have an opposing belief) When someone forms a label and sticks it to himself he never manages to get rid of it because of the false data he keeps collecting that strengthens the label (or the belief) Supported by the incorrect proofs you collected the label becomes stronger and stronger until you start dropping all clues that proof anything otherwise. This is where you find people who strongly believe that they are boring or uninteresting, it just started by a label that was formed earlier then strengthened throughout their lives!! The self fulfilling prophecy You might be telling yourself something like "No, it's not a label, someone has already told me that I am boring or that I am a loser" In such a case you seem to have a real proof that supports the idea of you being a loser or a failure and that's the beliefs about yourself solidified but have you ever heard of the self fulfilling prophecy? If a guy believed that he is boring the most probably he will start to avoid talking to strangers or to interact too much with people so that he avoids embarrassment. If that person remained silent, socially withdrawn and inhibited the people who accompany him will start to think that he is really boring!! Then one day one of those people would go to that guy and tell him "Honestly pal, I don't want to hurt you but everyone thinks that you are boring, you must change yourself" What a strong proof, now not only the guy thinks that he is boring but others do have the same belief too. But where did their belief come from? It was transferred from the person himself to others!! There are billions of cases where people had certain beliefs about themselves then transferred them to others without noticing. So this all started with the person's belief!!! And that's why it's was called the self fulfilling prophecy. A person who has a certain false belief about himself can make it become true in the real world by transferring it to others!! It's the same thing that can happen to a guy who believes that he will never find a good job. This guy will never try to get good grades or learn the required skills needed for the job market and so when he graduates he won't find a good job because he won't be qualified. At this point this guy will think that he didn't get a job because of the unemployment or the bad economy and he will even have solid proofs in the form of many rejection letters but the truth is that his beliefs led him there!! As you just saw, the combination of getting what you focus on plus the self fulfilling prophecy can turn any false belief you have about yourself into reality. Even if these beliefs were based on some true facts then you should change those things you dislike

about yourself so that you prevent these false beliefs from growing just like I mentioned earlier. So what's next? Don't forget to read the lessons more than once and to contact me directly through the members area in case you have any questions. In the next lesson you will learn how to challenge these beliefs, get rid of the labels and prevent the formation of new ones. Till then M.Farouk Radwan