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The Most Dangerous Self-Confidence Myth and How to Avoid It

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A while back I ran a short survey asking people from all generations and walks of life what they thought was the biggest problem most humans face on a daily basis. Not to my surprise, the answer was “self-confidence.”

Many of us are aware that the one thing really holding us back from literally taking action and making our dreams come true is our lack of self-confidence. But where does confidence really come from? Why do some have more than others?

Self-confidence is a belief and an emotion. It is the summation of thought patterns we develop over time in our brains. These thoughts patterns then produce feelings, which produce actions (or lack of taking action), which then produce a specific result.

Most people relate self-confidence to a positive belief and emotion

In society we look up to people who are confident. There is something about confident people that magnetically draws us towards them. We identify confident as those who are not afraid to take risks, and more importantly, we see them as those who take massive action in their lives to create the exact life they want; a life that others dream of.

Most of us want to improve our self-confidence, but so many of us are trying to do it the wrong way. Could it be that we were taught and told the wrong things about self-confidence?

The most common self-confidence myth is,“I need to build up my confidence first, then I’ll take the action.” One of the biggest mistakes I have heard confidence coaches made when they were younger and before they became coaches, they said they were waiting to feel confident before they did something. Biggest. Mistake. Ever.

I’m guilty, because I too, used to think this way.

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao Tzu

How I was able to build my self-confidence

When I was younger I knew I enjoyed teaching, performing and speaking in front of big groups. Although I would practice speaking alone and would pretend to play “professor” with my imaginary students, I didn’t feel confident enough to go out into the real world and try it.

It wasn’t until I forced myself to take the action of speaking in front of big groups as officer of student organizations in high school, that I was able to finally start chipping away at my fear. The first few times I did, it was nerve-wracking. Each time, right before I had to go up to speak there would be hundreds of thoughts that would cross through my mind such as, “what if everyone thinks I’m weird?”…”what if no one wants to listen to what I have to say?”, and the worst, “what if I embarrass myself and look like a complete fool?”

In those moments, I would regret putting myself in that position to begin with. When I would go up to speak I couldn’t even look at the audience. The whole time I would lower my eyes and stare at the page I was reading off of. I would feel my ears turn really hot and feel my heart beat faster and faster. This continued to happen every time.  

However, each time after I was done speaking I would feel a sense of calm wash over me and I would take a huge sigh of relief because it was over. The good news was it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had predicted. All the fears and “what ifs” I had built up in my mind before speaking never really occurred. People actually treated me the same, or even better, in some instances, because they liked what I had to say.

Building self-confidence propelled me forward

After repeating the action of speaking over and over again, I was able to quickly develop confidence in this area much faster than I thought. I could now look people in the eyes when I spoke and my pulse would actually stay regular.

Pretty soon, I obtained leadership roles in college, graduate school and work-related organizations, including becoming student class president of my medical school. By facing my fears and taking the action first, I was able to build solid confidence in this area.

“Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.” – Napoleon Hill

To avoid acting upon this myth from now on take the action and just do it when you’re not ready. Do it when it feels uncomfortable. Force yourself to do it if you know the action will be good for you in the long run. Rinse and repeat.

The confidence you seek will come as a result of doing this over and over again. To your surprise, it won’t be long before the action that you once feared becomes second nature to you and you’ll wonder why you ever held back in the first place.

What action are you going to do today that you’ve been putting off? Leave your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Hello, I'm Dr. Wasi Saleem, M.D. and I’m a Professional Confidence Coach and Medical Doctor. I’ve helped several people just like you, improve their self-confidence issues, enabling them to dominate all areas of their life. I can help you too. You can download my free cheat sheet: “5 Steps To Develop Extremely High Self-Confidence” (Quickly!). Have questions or want a free mini coaching session with me? Email me at Wasi@DrWasiSaleem.com.

Life

These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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Life

5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life

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Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end. 

Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life. 

1. Change Your Self-Concept

Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities. 

2. Sign Up For An Online Course

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need. 

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

3. Learn From a Mentor

No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process. 

4. Start A Side Hustle

The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills. 

5. Nourish Your Body

As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.

Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:

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Life

How to Turn Inward and Detox Your Mind

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When we are overwhelmed by confusion, our psyche tries to establish certainty to alleviate our discomfort. This is usually accomplished by mentally imagining and acting out a plot. Unfortunately, much of the time, we mentally visualize pessimistic (or worst-case scenario) scenarios to provide certainty. (more…)

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