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Chapter 3 – Build Confidence And Destroy Fear
FRIENDS MEAN WELL WHEN they say, “It’s only your imagination. Don’t worry. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
But you and I know this kind of fear medicine never really works. Such soothing remarks may give us fear relief for a few minutes or maybe even a few hours. But the “it’s-only-in-your imagination” treatment doesn’t really build confidence and cure fear.
Yes, fear is real. And we must recognize it exists before we can conquer it.
Most fear today is psychological. Worry, tension, embarrassment, panic all stem from mismanaged, negative imagination. But simply knowing the breeding ground of fear doesn’t cure fear. If a physician discovers you have an infection in some part of your body, he doesn’t stop there. He proceeds with treatment to cure the infection.
The old “it’s-only-in-your-mind” treatment presumes fear doesn’t really exist. But it does. Fear is real. Fear is success enemy number one. Fear stops people from capitalizing on opportunity; fear wears down physical vitality; fear actually makes people sick, causes organic difficulties, shortens life; fear closes your mouth when you want to speak.
Fear-uncertainty, lack of confidence–explains why we still have economic recessions. Fear explains why millions of people accomplish little and enjoy little.
Truly, fear is a powerful force. In one way or another fear prevents people from getting what they want from life.
Fear of all kinds and sizes is a form of psychological infection. We can cure a mental infection the same way we cure a body infection-with specific, proved treatments.
First, though, as part of your pretreatment preparation, condition yourself with this’ fact: all confidence is acquired, developed. No one is born with confidence. Those people you know who radiate confidence, who have conquered worry, who are at ease everywhere and all the time, acquired their confidence, every bit of it.
You can, too. This chapter shows how.
During World War II the Navy made sure that all of its new recruits either knew how to swim or learned how-the idea being, of course, that the ability to swim might someday save the sailor’s life at sea.
Nonswimming recruits were put into swimming classes. I watched a number of these training experiences. In a superficial sort of way, it was amusing to see young, healthy, men terrified by a few feet of water. One of the exercises I recall required the new sailor to jump—not dive-from a board six feet in the air into eight or more feet of water while a half-dozen expert swimmers stood by.
In a deeper sense, it was a sad sight. The fear those young men displayed was real. Yet all that stood between them and the defeat of that fear was one drop into the water below. On more than one occasion I saw young men “accidentally” pushed off the board. The result: fear defeated.
This incident, familiar to thousands of former Navy men, illustrates just one point: action cures fear. Indecision, postponement, on the other hand, fertilize fear.
Jot that down in your success rule book right now. Action cures fear.
Action does cure fear. Several months ago a very troubled executive in his early forties came to see me. He had a responsible job as a buyer for a large retailing organization.
Worriedly, he explained, ”I’m afraid of losing my job. I’ve got that feeling that my days are numbered.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Well, the pattern is against me. Sales figures in my department are off seven percent from a year ago. This is pretty bad, especially since the store’s total sales are up six percent. I’ve made a couple of unwise decisions recently, and I’ve been singled out several times by the merchandise manager for not keeping pace with the company’s progress.
‘I’ve never felt quite like this before,” he continued. ‘I’ve lost my grip, and it shows. My assistant buyer senses it. The sales people see it, too. Other executives, of course, are aware that I’m slipping. One buyer even suggested at a meeting of all head buyers the other day that part of my line should be put in his department, where, he said, ‘It could make money for the store.’ It’s like drowning and having a crowd of spectators just standing there waiting for me to sink away.”
The executive talked on, elaborating further on his predicament. Finally I cut in and asked, ‘What are you doing about it? What are you trying to do to correct the situation?”
“Well,” he answered, “there isn’t much I can do, I guess, but hope for the best.”
To this comment I asked, “Honestly; now; is hope enough?” Pausing, but not giving him a chance to answer, I put another question to him: “Why not take action to support your hope?”
“Go on,” he said.
“Well, there are two kinds .of action that seem to fit your case. First, start this afternoon to move those sales figures upward. We’ve got to face it. There’s a reason your sales are slipping. Find it. Maybe you need a special sale to clear out your slow-moving merchandise, so you’ll be in a position to buy some fresh stock. Perhaps you can rearrange your display counters. Maybe your salespeople need more enthusiasm.’ I can’t pinpoint what will turn your sales volume upward, but something will. And it would probably be wise to talk privately with your merchandise manager. He may be on the verge of putting you out, but when you talk it over with him and ask his advice, he’ll certainly give you more time to work things out. It’s too expensive for the store to replace you as long as top management feels there’s a chance you’ll find a solution.”
I went on, “Then get your assistant buyers on the ball. Quit acting like a drowning man. Let people around you know that you’re still alive.”
Courage was again in his eyes. Then he asked, “You said there are two kinds of action I should take. What’s the second?”
“The second type of action, which you might say is an insurance policy; is to let two or three of your closest business friends in the trade know you might consider an offer from another store, assuming, of course, it is substantially better than your present job.
“I don’t believe your job will be insecure after you take some affirmative action to get those sales figures on the rise. But just in case, it’s good to have an offer or two. Remember, it’s ten times easier for a man with a job toget another job than it is for
someone unemployed to connect.”
Two days ago this once-troubled executive called me.
“After our talk I buckled down. I made a number of changes, but the most basic one was with my salespeople. I used to hold sales meetings once a week, but now I’m holding one every morning. I’ve got those people really enthusiastic. I guess once they saw some life in me they were ready to push harder too. They were just waiting for me to start things moving again.
“Things sure are working out okay. Last week my sales were well ahead of a year ago and much better than the store’s average.
“Oh, by the way,” he continued, “I want to tell you some other good news. I got two job offers since we talked. Naturally I’m glad, but I’ve turned them both down since everything is looking good here again.”
When we face tough problems, we stay mired in. the mud until we take action. Hope is a start. But hope needs action to win victories.
Put the action principle to work. Next time you experience big fear or little fear, steady yourself Then search for an answer to this question: What kind of action can I take to conquer my fear?
Isolate your fear. Then take appropriate action.
Below are some examples of fear and some possible action
TYPE OF FEAR
- Embarrassment because of personal appearance.
- Fear of losing an important customer. Embarrassment because of personal appearance.
- Fear of failing an examination.
- Fear of dungs totally beyond your control.
- Fear of being physically hurt by something you can’t control, such as a tornado or an airplane out of control.
- Fear of what other people may think and say.
- Fear of making an investment purchasing a home.
- Fear of people.
- Improve it. Go to a barbershop or beauty salon. Shine your shoes. Get your clothes cleaned and pressed. In general, practice better grooming. It doesn’t always take new clothes.
- Work doubly hard to give better. service. Correct anything that may have caused customers to lose confidence in you.
- Convert worry time into study.
- Turn your attention to helping to relieve the fear of others. Pray.
- Switch your attention to some~ thing totally different. Go out into your yard and pull up weeds. Play with your children. Go to a movie.
- Make sure that what you plan to do is right. Then do it. No one ever does anything worthwhile for which he is not criticized.
- Analyze all factors. Then be decisive. Make a decision and stick with it. Trust your own judgment.
- Put them in proper perspective. Remember, the other person is just another human being pretty much like yourself.
Use this two-step procedure to cure fear and win confidence:
- Isolate your fear. Pin it down. Determine exactly what you are afraid of.
- Then take action. There is some kind of action for any kind of fear.
And remember, hesitation only enlarges, magnifies the fear. Take action promptly. Be decisive.
Much lack of self-confidence can be traced directly to a mismanaged memory.
Your brain is very much like a bank. Every day you make thought deposits in your “mind bank.” These thought deposits grow and become your memory. When you settle down to think or when you face a problem, in effect you say to your memory bank, ”What do I already know about this?”
Your memory bank automatically answers and supplies you with bits of information relating to this situation that you deposited on previous occasions. Your memory; then, is the basic supplier of raw material for your new thought.
The teller in your memory bank is tremendously reliable. He never crosses you up. If you approach him and say; “Mr. Teller, let me withdraw some thoughts I deposited in the past proving I’m inferior to just about everybody else,” he’ll say; “Certainly; sir. Recall how you failed two times previously when you tried this?
Recall what your sixth-grade teacher told you about your inability to accomplish things … Recall what you overheard some fellow workers saying about you … Recall … ”
And on and on Mr. Teller goes, digging out of your brain thought after thought that proves you are inadequate.
But suppose you visit your memory teller with this request: “Mr. Teller, I face a difficult decision. Can you supply me with any thoughts which will give me reassurance?”
And again Mr. Teller says, “Certainly, sir,” but this time he delivers thoughts you deposited earlier that say you can succeed. “Recall the excellent job you did in a similar situation before …. Recall how much confidence Mr. Smith placed in you …. Recall what your good friends said about you …. Recall … “
Mr. Teller, perfectly responsive, lets you withdraw the thought deposits you want to withdraw. After all; it is your bank.
Here are two specific things to do to build confidence through efficient management of your memory bank.
1.Deposit only positive thoughts in your memory bank. Let’s face it squarely: everyone encounters plenty of unpleasant, embarrassing, and discouraging situations. But unsuccessful and successful people deal with these situations in directly opposite ways. Unsuccessful people take them to heart, so to speak. They dwell on the unpleasant situations, thereby giving them a good start in their memory. They don’t take their minds away from them. At night the unpleasant situation is the last thing they think about.
Confident, successful people, on the other hand, “don’t give it another thought.” Successful people specialize in putting positive thoughts into their memory bank.
What kind of performance would your car deliver if every morning before you left for work you scooped up a double handful of dirt and put it into your crankcase? That fine engine would soon be a mess, unable to do what you want it to do. Negative, unpleasant thoughts deposited in your mind affect your mind the same way. Negative thoughts produce needless wear and tear on your mental motor. They create worry, frustration, and feelings of inferiority. They put you beside the road while others drive ahead.
Do this: in these moments when you’re alone with your thoughts-when you’re driving your carol’ eating alone-recall pleasant, positive experiences. Put good thoughts in your memory bank. This boosts confidence. It gives you that “I-sure-feelgood” feeling. It helps keep your body functioning right, too.
Here is an excellent plan. Just before you go to sleep, deposit good thoughts in your memory bank. Count your blessings. Recall the many good things you have to be thankful for: your wife or husband, your children, your friends, your health. Recall the good things you saw people do today. Recall your little victories and accomplishments. Go over the reasons why you are glad to be alive.
2. Withdraw only positive thoughts from your memory bank. I was closely associated several years ago in Chicago with a firm of psychological consultants. They handled many types of cases, but mostly marriage problems and psychological adjustment situations, all dealing with mind matters.
One afternoon as I was talking with the head of the firm about his profession and his techniques for helping the seriously maladjusted person, he made this remark: “You know, there would be no need for my services if people would do just one thing.”
“What’s that?” I asked eagerly.
“Simply this: destroy their negative thoughts before those thoughts become mental monsters.”
“Most individuals I try to help,” he continued, “are operating their own private museum of mental horror. Many marriage difficulties, for example, involve the ‘honeymoon monster.’ The honeymoon wasn’t as satisfactory as one or both of the marriage partners had hoped, but instead of burying the memory, they reflected on it hundreds of times until it was a giant obstacle to successful marital relationships. They come to me as much as five or ten years later.
‘Usually, of course, my clients don’t see where their trouble lies. It’s my job to uncover and explain the source of their difficulty to them and help them to see what a triviality it really is.
”A person can make a mental monster out of almost any unpleasant happening,” my psychologist friend went on. ”A job failure, a jilted romance, a bad investment, disappointment in the behavior of a teenage child-these are common monsters I have to help troubled people destroy.”
It is clear that any negative thought, if fertilized with repeated recall, can develop into a real mind monster, breaking down confidence and paving the way to serious psychological difficulties.
In an article in Cosmopolitan magazine, “The Drive Toward Self-Destruction,” Alice Mulcahey pointed out that upward of 30,000 Americans commit suicide each year and another 100,000 attempt to take their own lives. She went on to say, “There is shocking· evidence that millions of other people are killing themselves by slower, less obvious methods. Still others are committing spiritual rather than physical suicide, constantly seeking out ways to humiliate, punish, and generally diminish themselves.”
The psychologist. friend mentioned before told me how he helped one of his patients to stop committing “mental and spiritual suicide.” “This patient,” he explained, “was in her late thirties and had two children. In lay terminology she suffered from severe depression. She looked back on every incident of her life as being an unhappy experience. Her school days, her marriage, the bearing of her children, the places she had lived all were thought of negatively. She volunteered that she couldn’t remember ever having been truly happy. And since what one remembers from the past colors what one sees in the present, she saw nothing but pessimism and darkness.
“When I asked her what she saw in a picture which I showed her she said, ‘It looks like there will be a terrible thunderstorm tonight.’ That was the gloomiest interpretation of the picture I’ve yet heard.” (The picture was a large oil painting of the sun low in the sky and a jagged, rocky coastline. The painting was very cleverly done and could be construed to be either’ a sunrise or a sunset. The psychologist commented to me that what a person sees in the picture is a clue to his personality. Most people say it is a sunrise. But the depressed, mentally disturbed person nearly always says it’s a sunset.)
‘As a psychologist, I can’t change what already is in a person’s memory. But I can, with the patient’s cooperation, help the individual to see his past in a different light. That’s the general treatment I used on this woman. I worked with her to help her to see joy and pleasure in her past instead of total disappointment. After six months she began to show improvement. At that point, I gave her a special assignment. Each day I asked her to think of and write down three specific reasons she has to be happy. Then at her next appointment with me on Thursdays I’d go over her list with her. I continued this sort of treatment for three months.
Her improvement was very satisfactory. Today that woman is very well adjusted to her situation. She’s positive and certainly as ‘happy as most people.”
When this woman quit drawing negatives from her memory bank, she was headed toward recovery.
Whether the psychological problem is big or little, the cure comes when one learns to quit drawing negatives from one’s memory bank and withdraws positives instead.
Don’t build mental monsters. Refuse to withdraw the unpleasant thoughts from your memory bank. When you remember situations of any kind, concentrate on the good part of the experience; forget the bad. Bury it. If you find yourself thinking about the negative side, turn your mind off completely.
And here is something very significant and very encouraging. Your mind wants you to forget the unpleasant. If you will just cooperate, unpleasant memories will gradually shrivel and the teller in your memory bank will cancel them out.
Dr. Melvin,S. Hattwick, noted advertising psychologist, in commenting on our ability to remember, says, “When the feeling aroused is pleasant, the advertisement has a better chance to be remembered. When the feeling aroused is unpleasant, the
reader or listener tends to forget the advertisement message. The unpleasant runs counter to what we want, we don’t want to remember it.”
In brief, it really is easy to forget the unpleasant if we simply refuse to recall it. Withdraw only positive thoughts from your memory bank. Let the others fade away. And your confidence, that feeling of being on top of the world, will zoom upward. You take a big step forward toward conquering fear when you refuse to remember negative, self-deprecating thoughts.
Why do people fear other people? Why do many folks feel self-conscious around others? What’s behind shyness? What can we do about it?
Fear of other people is a big fear. But there is a way to conquer it. You can conquer fear of people if you will learn to put them into proper perspective.
A business friend, who is doing exceptionally well operating his own wood-novelty plant, explained to me how he got the proper perspective of people. His example is interesting.
“Before I went into the army in World War II, I was scared of just about everybody. You just wouldn’t believe how shy and timid I was. I felt everyone else was a lot smarter. I worried about my physical and mental inadequacies. I thought I was born to fail.
“Then by some fortunate quirk of fate I lost my fear of people in the Army. During part of 1942 and 1943, when the Army was inducting men at a terrific clip, I was stationed as a medic at one of the big induction centers. Day after day I assisted in examining those men. The more I looked at these recruits, the less afraid of people I became.
‘All those men lined up by the hundreds, naked as jaybirds, looked so much alike. Oh sure, there were fat ones and skinny ones, tall ones and short ones, but they all were confused, all were lonesome. Just a few days before some of these were rising young executives. Some were farmers, some were salesmen, drifters, blue-collar workers. A few days before they had been many things. But at the induction center they were all alike.
“I figured out something pretty basic back then. I discovered people are alike in many, many more ways than they are different. I discovered the other fellow is pretty much like me. He likes good food, he misses his family and friends, he wants to get ahead, he has problems, he likes to relax. So if the. other fellow is basically like me, there’s no point in being afraid of him.”
Now, doesn’t that make sense? If the other fellow is basically like me, there’s no reason to be afraid of him.
Here are two ways to put people in proper perspective:
1.Get a balanced view of the other fellow. Keep these two points in mind when dealing with people: first, the other fellow is important. Emphatically, he is important. Every human being is. But remember this, also: You are important, too. So when you meet another person, make it a policy to think, “We’re just two important people sitting down to discuss something of mutual interest and benefit.”
A couple of months ago, a business executive phoned to tell me he had just employed a young man whom I had recommended to him shortly before. “Do you know what really sold me on that fellow?” asked my friend. “What?” I asked. “Well, it was the way he handled himself. Most job applicants when they walk in here are half scared. They give me all the answers they think I want to hear. In a way, most job applicants are a little like beggars-they’ll accept anything, and they aren’t particular.
“But G. handled himself differently. He respected me, but what’s just as important, he respects himself. What’s more, he asked me as many questions as I asked him. He’s no mouse. He’s a real man, and he’s going to do all right.”
This mutually important attitude helps you keep the situation balanced. The other fellow does not become too important relative to you in your thinking.
The other fellow might look frightfully big, frightfully important. But remember, he is still a human being with essentially the same interests, desires, and problems as you.
2. Develop an understanding attitude. People who want figuratively to bite you, growl at you, pick on you, and otherwise chop you down are not rare. If you’re not prepared for people like that, they can punch big holes in your confidence and make you feel completely defeated. You need a defense against the adult bully, the fellow who likes to throw his meager weight around.
A few months ago, at the reservations desk of a Memphis hotel, I saw an excellent demonstration of the right way to handle folks like this.
It was shortly after 5 P.M., and the hotel was busy registering new guests. The fellow ahead of me gave his name to the clerk in a commanding way. The clerk said, “Yes sir, Mr. R., we have a fine Single for you.”
“Single?” shouted the fellow. “I ordered a double.”
The clerk said, very politely, “Let me check, sir.” He pulled the guest’s reservation from the file and said, “I’m sorry, sir. Your telegram specified a single. I’d be happy to put you in a double room, sir, if we had any available. But we simply do not.”
Then the irate customer said, “I don’t care what the h-that piece of paper says, I want a double.”
Then he started in with that “do-you-know-who-I-am?” bit, followed with ”I’ll have you fired. You’ll see, I’ll have you fired.”
As best he could, under the verbal tornado, the young clerk injected, “Sir, we’re terribly sorry; but we acted on your instructions.”
Finally the customer, really furious now, said, “I wouldn’t stay in the best suite in this — hotel now that I know how badly managed it is,” and stormed out.
I stepped up to the desk, thinking the clerk, who had taken one of the worst public tongue-lashings I’d seen in some time, would be upset. Instead he greeted me with one of the finest “Good evening, sir” s I’d ever heard. As he went through the routine of processing my room, I said to him, “I certainly admire the way you handled yourself just a moment ago. You have tremendous temper control.”
“Well, sir,” he said, “I really can’t get mad at a fellow like that. You see, he really isn’t mad at me. I was just the scapegoat. The poor fellow may be in bad trouble with his wife, or his business may be off, or maybe he feels inferior and this was’ his golden chance to feel like a wheel. I’m just the guy who gave him a chance to get something out of his system.”
The clerk added, “Underneath he’s probably a very nice guy. Most folks are.”
Walking toward the elevators, I caught myself repeating aloud, “Underneath he’s probably a very nice guy. Most folks are.”
Remember those two short sentences next time someone declares war on you. Hold your fire. The way to win in situations like this is to let the other fellow blow his stack and then forget it.
Several years ago, while checking student examination papers, I came across one that especially disturbed me. The student who wrote the examination had demonstrated in class discussions and previous tests that he was far better qualified than his paper indicated, He was, in fact, the fellow who I thought would finish at the top of the class, Instead his paper put him at the bottom, All was my custom in such cases, I had my secretary call the student and ask him to come by my office on an urgent matter.
Paul W. appeared shortly. He looked as though he had been through a terrible experience, After he was comfortably seated, I said to him, “What happened, Paul? This just isn’t the quality paper I expected you to write,”
Paul struggled with himself, looked in the direction of his feet and replied, “Sir, after I saw that you had spotted me cheating, I just went to pieces, I couldn’t concentrate on anything, Honest, this is the first time I’ve ever cheated at the university. I desperately wanted an A, so i worked up a little pony to use,”
He was terribly upset, But now that he was talking, he wouldn’t stop, “1 suppose you’ll have to recommend me for dismissal. The university rule says any student found cheating in any manner is subject to permanent dismissal.”
Here Paul started bringing up the shame this incident would bring to his family, how it would wreck his life, and all sorts of repercussions, Finally I said, “Hold it, now; Slow down, Let me explain something, i didn’t see you cheat, Until you walked in and told me, 1 hadn’t the faintest idea that was the trouble, I am sorry, Paul, that you did,”
Then i continued, “Paul, tell me, just what do you want to gain from your university experience?”
He was a little calmer now, and after a short pause he said, “Well, Doctor, I think my overall aim is to learn how to live, but i guess I’m failing pretty badly,”
“We learn in different ways,” I said. “I think you can learn a real success lesson from this experience.
‘When you used your pony in there, your conscience bothered you terribly. This gave you a guilt complex that in turn broke your confidence. As you expressed it, you went to pieces.
“Most of the time, Paul, this matter of right and wrong is approached from a moral or religious standpoint. Now, understand, I’m not here to preach to you, give you a sermon about right and wrong. But let’s look at the practical side. When you do anything that goes contrary to your conscience, you feel guilty. and this guilty feeling jams your thought processes. You can’t think straight because your mind is asking ‘Will I get caught? Will I get caught?’
“Paul,” I continued, “you wanted an A so badly you did something you knew was wrong. There are many times in life when you’ll want to make an A so badly you’ll be tempted to do something that is contrary to your conscience. For example,
someday you may want to make a sale so badly you’ll think of deliberately misleading the customer to buy. And you may succeed. But here’s what will happen. Your guilty feeling will grab hold of you and the next time you see your customer, you’ll be self conscious, ill at ease. You’ll be wondering ‘Has he discovered that I put something over?’ Your presentation will be ineffective
because you can’t concentrate. Chances are you’ll never make the second, third, fourth, and the many repeat sales. In the long run, making that sale using tactics that hurt your conscience will cost you a lot of income.”
I went on and pointed out to Paul how an occasional business or professional man loses his grip because of an intense fear that his wife will learn about a secret love affair he is having with another woman. “Will she find out? Will she find out?” eats away the man’s confidence until he can’t do a good job at work or in the home.
‘I reminded Paul that many criminals are captured not because any clues point to them but because they act guilty and self-conscious. Their guilt feeling puts them on the suspect list.
There is within each of us·a desire to be right, think right, and act right. When we go against that desire, we put a cancer in our conscience. This cancer grows and grows by eating away at our confidence. Avoid doing anything that will cause you to ask yourself, ‘Will i get caught? will they find out? Will i get away with it?”
Don’t try to make an A if it means violating your confidence.
Paul, I’m pleased to say, got the point. He learned the practical value of doing what’s right. I then proposed he sit down and retake the examination. In answer to his question “But what about my dismissal?” I said, “I know what the regulations say about cheating. But, you know, if we dismissed all students who have cheated in any way, half the professors would have to leave. And if we dismissed all students who thought about cheating, the university would have to shut down.
“So I’m forgetting this whole incident if you’ll do me a favor.”
“Gladly,” he said.
I walked over to my bookshelf, took down my personal copy of Fifty Years with the Golden Rule, and said, “Paul, read this book and return it. See how, in J. C. Penney’s own words, just doing what’s right made him one of America’s richest men.”
Doing what’s right keeps your conscience satisfied. And this builds self-confidence. When we do what is known to be wrong, two negative things happen. First, we feel guilt and this guilt eats away confidence. Second, other people sooner or later find out and lose confidence in us.
Do what’s right and keep your confidence. That’s thinking yourself to success.
Here is a psychological principle that is worth reading over twenty-five times. Read it until it absolutely saturates you: To think Confidently, act confidently.
The great psychologist Dr. George W Crane said in his famous book Applied Psychology, “Remember, motions are the precursors of emotions. You can’t control the latter directly but only through your choice of motions or actions …. To avoid
this all too common tragedy (marital difficulties and misunderstandings) become aware of the true psychological facts. Go through the proper motions each day and you’ll soon begin to feel the corresponding emotions! Just be sure you and your mate go through those motions of dates and kisses, the phrasing of sincere daily compliments, plus the many other little courtesies, and you need not worry about the emotion of love. You can’t act devoted for very long without feeling devoted.”
Psychologists tell us we can change our attitudes by changing our physical actions. For example, you actually feel more like smiling if you make yourself smile. You feel more superior when you make yourself stand tall than when you slouch. On the negative side, frown a really bitter frown and see if you don’t feel more like frowning.
It is easy to prove that managed motions can change emotions. People who are shy in introducing themselves can replace this timidity with confidence just by taking three simple ‘actions simultaneously: First, reach for the other person’s hand and clasp it warmly. Second, look directly at the other person. And third, say, ‘T m very glad to know you.”
These three simple actions automatically ,and instantaneously banish shyness. Confident action produces confident thinking.
So, to think confidently, act confidently. Act the way you want to feel. Below are five confidence-building exercises, Read these guides carefully. Then make a conscious effort to practice them and build your confidence.
1.Be a front seater. Ever notice in meetings-in church, classrooms, and other kinds of assemblies-how the back seats fill up first? Most folks scramble to sit in the back rows so they won’t be “too conspicuous.” And the reason they are afraid to be conspicuous is that they lack confidence.
Sitting up front builds confidence. Practice it. From ‘now on make it a rule to sit as close to the front as you can. Sure, you may be a little more conspicuous in the front, but remember, there is nothing inconspicuous about success.
2.Practice making eye contact. How a person uses his eyes tells us a lot about him. Instinctively, you ask yourself questions about the fellow who doesn’t look you in the eye. “What’s he trying to hide? What’s he afraid of? Is he trying to put something over on me? Is he holding something back?”
Usually, failure to make eye contact says one of two things. It may say, “I feel weak ‘beside you. I feel inferior to you. I’m afraid of you.” Or avoiding another person’s eyes may say, “I feel guilty. I’ve done something or I’ve thought something that I don’t want you to know. I’m afraid if I let my eyes connect with yours, you’ll see through me.”
You say nothing good about yourself when you avoid making eye contact. You say, ‘I’m afraid. I lack confidence.” Conquer this fear by making yourself look the other person in the eyes.
Looking the other person in the eye tells him, “I’m honest and aboveboard. I believe in what I’m telling you. I’m not afraid. I’m confident.”
Make your eyes work for you. Aim them right at the other person’s eyes. It not only gives you confidence, it wins you confidence, too.
3.Walk 25 percent faster. When I was a youngster, just going to the county seat was a big treat. After all the errands were accomplished and we were back in the cal; my mother would often say, “Davey, let’s just sit here a while and watch the people walk by.”
Mother was an excellent game player. She’d say, “See that fellow; What do you suppose is troubling him?” Or “What do you think that lady there is going to do)” or “Look at that person. He just seems to be in a fog.”
Watching people walk and move about became real fun. It was a lot cheaper than the movies (which was one of the reasons, I learned later, that Mother developed the game), and it was a lot more instructive.
I still am a walk watcher. In corridors, lobbies, on sidewalks I still occasionally find myself studying human behavior simply by watching people move about.
Psychologists link slovenly posture and sluggish walking to unpleasant attitudes towards oneself, work, and the people around us. But psychologists also tell us you can actually change your attitudes by changing your posture and speed of movement. Watch, and you discover that body action is the result of mind action. The extremely beaten people, the real down-and-outers, just shuffle and stumble along. They have zero self-confidence.
Average people have the “average” walk. Their pace is “average.” They have the look of “I really don’t have very much pride in myself.”
Then there’s a third group. Persons in this group show superconfidence. They walk faster than the average. There seems to be a slight sprint in the way they walk. Their walk tells the world, ‘Tve got someplace important to go, something important to do. What’s more, I will succeed at what I will do fifteen minutes from now.”
Use the walk-25-percent-faster technique to help build selfconfidence. Throw your shoulders back, lift up your head, move ahead just a little faster, and feel self-confidence grow.
Just try and see.
4.Practice speaking up. In working with many kinds of groups of all sizes, I’ve watched many persons with keen perception and much native ability freeze and fail to participate in discussions. It isn’t that these folks don’t want to get in and wade with the rest. Rather, it’s a simple lack of confidence.
The conference clam thinks to himself, “My opinion is probably worthless. If I say something, I’ll probably look foolish. I’ll just say nothing. Besides, the others in the group probably know more than 1. I don’t want the others to know how ignorant I am.”
Each time the conference clam fails to speak, he feels even more inadequate, more inferior. Often he makes a faint promise to himself (that down deep he knows he won’t keep) to speak “next time.”
This is very important: each time our clam fails to speak, he takes one more dose of confidence poison. He becomes less and less confident of himself
But on the positive side, the more you speak up, the more you add to your confidence, and the easier it is to speak up the next time. Speak up. It’s a confidence-building vitamin.
Put this confidence builder to use. Make it a rule to speak up at every open meeting you attend. Speak up, say something voluntarily at every business conference, committee meeting, community forum you attend. Make no exception. Comment,
make a suggestion, ask a question. And don’t be the last to speak. Try to be the icebreaker, the first one in with a comment.
And never worry about looking foolish. You won’t. For each person who doesn’t agree with you, odds are another person will. Quit asking yourself, “I wonder if I dare speak?”
Instead, concentrate on getting the discussion leader’s attention so you call speak.
For special training and experience in speaking, consider joining your local toastmaster’s club. Thousands of conscientious people have developed confidence through a planned program to feel at ease talking with people and to people.
5.Smile big. Most folks have heard at one time or another that a smile will give them a real boost. They’ve been told that a smile is excellent medicine for confidence deficiency. But lots of people still don’t really believe this because they’ve never tried smiling when they feel fear.
Make this little test. Try to feel defeated and smile big at the same time. You can’t. A big smile gives you confidence. A big smile beats fear; rolls away worry, defeats despondency.
And a real smile does more than cure just your ill feeling. A real smile melts away the opposition of others-and instantly, too. Another person simply can’t be angry with you if you give him a big, sincere smile. Just the other day, a little incident happened to me that illustrates this. I was parked at an intersection waiting for the light to change when BAM! The driver behind me had let his foot slip the brake and put my rear bumper to a test. I looked back through my mirror and saw him getting out. I got out, too, and, forgetting the rule book, started preparing myself for verbal combat. I confess I was ready verbally to bite him to pieces.
But fortunately, before I got the chance, he walked up to me, smiled, and said in the most earnest voice, “Friend, I really didn’t mean to do that.” That smile, matched with his sincere comment, melted me. I mumbled something about “That’s O.K.
Happens all the time.” Almost in less time than it takes to wink an eye, my opposition turned into friendship.
Smile big and you feel like “happy days are here again.” But smile big. A half-developed smile is not fully guaranteed. Smile until your teeth show. That large-size smile is fully guaranteed.
I’ve heard many times, ”Yes, but when I fear something, or when I’m angry, I don’t feel like smiling.”
Of course you don’t. No one does. The trick is to tell yourself forcefully, ‘Tm going to smile.”
Harness the power of smiling.
PUT THESE FIVE PROCEDURES TO WORK FOR YOU
- Action cures fear. Isolate your fear and then take constructive action. Inaction-doing nothing about a situation strengthens fear and destroys confidence.
- Make a supreme effort to put only positive thoughts in your memory bank. Don’t let negative, self-deprecatory thoughts grow into mental monsters. Simply refuse to recall unpleasant events or situations.
- Put people in proper perspective. Remember, people are more alike, much more alike, than they are different. Get a balanced view of the other fellow. He is just another human being. And develop an understanding attitude. Many people will bark, but it’s a rare one who bites.
- Practice doing what your conscience tells you is right. This prevents a poisonous guilt complex from developing. Doing what’s right is a very practical rule for success.
- Make everything about you say, “I’m confident, really confident.” Practice these little techniques in your day-to-day activities:
Be a front seater.
Make eye contact.
Walk 25 percent faster.
-David J. Schwartz
This are some recommendation of books from side( but or not to buy it’s your choice, just check it out once)
How to win friends & influence people : https://amzn.to/2Z1bgU0
How to win friends & influence people (hindi) : https://amzn.to/2ZhrU12
How to stop worrying and start living : https://amzn.to/2ZdVyQG
Rich dad Poor dad : https://amzn.to/2ZdjALJ
How to start a conversation & make friends : https://amzn.to/2KSY7mf
Magic of thinking Big :https://amzn.to/2QdkzMT