Sunday, May 22, 2011

Building Self-Confidence

What is confidence?  I checked out the definition and one of the reoccurring words used to describe confidence was “belief.”  Think about that.  What is belief but a conviction of one’s ideals?  You can even toss some faith into the mix.

How does one go about improving their self-confidence?  I’m, for the most part, a very self-confident person.  Hey, if I wasn’t then I bet there would be a good chance that no one would bother to watch any of my self-help videos, or read this blog.  But would you believe that, at times, I question my own self-confidence?  You bet I do!

The key to success is not in the questioning of one’s belief or confidence, but in the understanding that it is okay to do so.  And then know what it takes to build that confidence back.


One of the things I’ve practiced over the years is what I call Life Writing.  Basically this a version of goal setting, or writing down what I’d like to achieve over the course of a few weeks, months, and even years.  A few years ago I was in a rut with my career—I worked at home, telecommuting (which was a good gig for awhile), but only using a fraction of my experience.  I decided that I wanted to head back into the office, pursue a path that would eventually lead me back into managing people, rather than sitting at a desk at home banging on a keyboard by myself.  I literally wrote down what I needed to do to attain this goal, how I was to go about it, what short, mid, and long-terms goals I needed reach in order to succeed.  Now, less than 18 months later, I have moved up two levels into management, successfully realizing what I only dreamed (and wrote) about.  You can too!


We all have had some modicum of success in our lives, right?  Come on, close your eyes and let your imagination roam—see it now?  Of course you do.  Problem with most folks is they tend to remember to failures more than their successes.  Hey, we’re human!  Whenever I feel my confidence waning, I force my mind to remember a time when I was very successful, encouraging those images and sensations to the forefront of my being, and soon I am basking in my own personal love fest.  This is the time to toss the ego out the door.  There is nothing wrong with recalling past success to remind yourself that you not only can do the task before you, but HAVE done it, or something similar, many times over.


Practice may not make perfect, but it sure goes a long way toward making you successful.  Sweat equity overcomes myriad other weaknesses.  The opposite of success is failure, but failing is not a bad thing.  Through failure you learn, get important feedback, and improve.  But you have to try and fail first, to be successful, leading to that all important self-confidence.  The best athletes are not always those blessed with the best physical gifts.  Often, they are the ones who work harder, practice longer, and want it more than the other person.  Hard work never hurt anyone; in fact, it just may be the key to improving your confidence.


There’s a fine line between being overconfident and arrogant—believe me, I’ve walked that tightrope all my life.  But I’d rather have too much confidence than too little.  My father taught me at a very young age the power of motivation, of positive thinking, of believing that I could do just about anything I put my mind to.  And, being young and one who looked up to my old man, I believed him.  I’ve taken that belief in myself with me throughout my life, a life, by the way, filled with as much failure as success.  Don’t wait for someone else to believe in you, believe in yourself and success may be right around the corner.

Building self-confidence will not happen overnight—hey, most overnight successes struggled years and years before reaching the top.  But it is can be easier than you ever imagined.  All you have to do is See, Relive, Practice, and Believe.

Until next time…



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Most of you, I assume, know what this date is all about—lots of delicious Mexican food, right?!  Actually, Cinco de Mayo, besides literally meaning May 5th, represents Mexico’s army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16th.

But for many of us, Cinco de Mayo is all about celebrating the amazing culinary wonder of Mexican cuisine.  Hey, I’m all for cheering about who won what battle for whatever, but, more importantly it's really about how to make excellent salsa, right?  Check this out…

Actually, salsa is only one of the many reasons why I indulge in and love Mexican food.  Guacamole is another…

Okay, seriously, why else should you embrace this cool day?  How about healthy, tasty, easy to make enchiladas? 

I never heard of Cinco de Mayo until I migrated from New England out to Southern California in the eighties, but now this tasty holiday appears to be growing in popularity.  Whatever the reason, take today off and dive into some Mexican history, with some guac and salsa on the side.  Oh, and don’t forget the jalapenos…

Until next time…