Archives for December 2008

How can they know how I feel unless they have been there?

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I decided to become a confidence coach because I know first-hand how it feels to lack confidence and self esteem. I also know how wonderful it is to overcome the negative feelings I had about myself for so many years, and I love to make a positive difference in people’s lives, just by giving them right tools and strategies.

What I also know is that if I had been able to talk to someone who was in the same situation I was all those years ago, then I may not have suffered for so long.

When I was 18 years old I worked as a bank teller and was held up at gunpoint. A gun was pointed at my head and I was told to put the money in the bag. He then threatened us to stay inside until well after he’d left, which of course we did.

My employer arranged counseling which turned out to be a complete waste of time. The counselors didn’t seem to be trained in working with people who had been held up at gunpoint like we had, and I doubt any of them had lived through the same experience.

Around two years later I attended a court case relating to the holdup where myself and my colleagues were reunited (we hadn’t seen each other since the hold up). We all sat down and talked about our experiences over the last two years and how we were coping (I had suffered with nightmares and mood swings, amongst other things).

Spending a day with these people was the best therapy I’d had! It was so comforting to know I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling, and that what I had experienced wasn’t unusual – I wasn’t alone, even though over the last two years I felt I was.

Talking to people who have “been there and done that” is great, because you know for a fact that they have some idea of how you are feeling and of your daily experiences. It’s comforting to know you are not alone.

The Self Confidence 101 forum is a new community I hope will help people who suffer from low confidence and self esteem. Sharing your thoughts, supporting each other or even telling people your success stories will help and inspire others.

You can visit the SC101 forum at http://selfconfidence101.com/forum/

The new year might be a good time to make the decision to start talking about your experiences…!

Communication is the key to a wonderful relationship

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I am yet to come across a "perfect" relationship, and in many cases, the imperfection is caused by communication – or a lack of it.

Unfortunately, especially when you’ve been with someone for a while, couples seem to take each other for granted and don’t realise that if they just sat down and had a good talk once in a while, then their relationship would be a whole lot better.

I discovered this with my husband recently. We both learned a few things about each other the other day that surprised us, to say the least. This all came about when we had a huge talk after the children had gone to bed.

During this talk we realised that most of our time and efforts are spent on the children or work. These days we rarely take time out for ourselves. We then decided that once a month we will go on a "date" – just the two of us!

We also talked about going away for the night on occasion (maybe once every two or three months) and just taking time out to be a couple again, instead of parents.

All too often we fall into the trap of spending our energy on everyone and everything around us, so there’s very little (if any) left for each other.

In 2009 we are committed to making our marriage the best it has ever been, so I think our year is going to be wonderful!

Have you found yourself in the situation where you’ve kind of lost touch with your partner? Why not add it to your resolutions for 2009 to make your relationship greater than ever?

Check out the Relationships section in the new Self Confidence 101 forum at http://selfconfidence101.com/forum/ where we can share ideas/strategies for making our relationships great!

Santa was good to me!

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It’s the day after Christmas here in Australia and we’re expecting another hot and steamy day!

I received plenty of good pressies that were not only exactly what I wanted, but they were practical too – perfect. Thanks Santa! 😉

My husband and two friends have an annual tradition where they sit around all day and watch the cricket test match. Boring!!

Luckily for me, one of them is married to a lovely lady I can chat to today, and of course I have the “I have to leave” excuse when our daughter gets tired at around lunch time.

Yesterday was a lovely day where our family came together in the one place (for the first time in months!) for a celebration. My only living grandparent (my grandfather) was there, as were my parents, my siblings, their partners and their children.

While it’s unfortunate that we do not get together more often, it is good that we use Christmas as an excuse to catch up, which I suppose is better than nothing.

I hope your day was just as enjoyable!

Merry Christmas!

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 I wish you all the very best for a wonderful, safe and Merry Christmas and New Year!

I will be celebrating Christmas day with my family and then doing a bit of relaxation (probably by the pool!), and if you’re traveling , please take care and I look forward to hearing of your successes in the new year.

2009 is going to be the best year EVER, I just know it!

What do I do if I am stuck in a job I hate?

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It takes a lot of confidence to make a career change, although if you are stuck in a job you hate, you have even more incentive to do something about it!

The following tips will help to make a career transition work for you:

1. Don’t put it off. If you really need to make a change, start taking steps towards making that change now rather than later. Putting it off will only prolong the pain.

2. Decide on exactly what you want to do – what are you passionate about? Be aware of the pros and cons of making the career change and what you hope to lose or gain by doing so.

3. Consider the long term benefits and drawbacks of making this change, rather than the short term benefits.

4. If possible, “try before you buy” so to speak. See if you can volunteer part time, talk to people already in that industry or if you’re considering starting your own business, maybe work on it part time until the income received exceeds your main income. Or if you need to do some study prior to starting your new career, consider studying part time. Be careful to maintain a work/life balance, no matter what you do!

5. Remember hurdles are learning experiences, and learn from them!

6. Only share your plans with people you know will support you. Unfortunately well-meaning people will bring you down even though they are trying to protect your interests.

So many people spend years whining about how much they hate their jobs, and so many do little or nothing about it.

This is the only life you have, and only you can make it better than it is now.

Are you considering a career change? What have you done about it?

Self Confidence Tips

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Ten Steps to Help You Improve Your Self Confidence

As I said above, improving your confidence or self esteem won’t happen overnight, although you will find taking little steps every day will make this seem so much more achievable.

The steps listed below are of course very broad, but they will very likely get you thinking about what you might need to work on though courses, books or other resources. 

1.  Work on your conversational skills

Have you ever been stuck for words?  Improving your conversational skills can really help you feel more comfortable and confident in any social situation which will lead to larger confidence overall.  Make sure you practice maintaining eye contact and really become a good listener, asking relevant questions of the person you are talking to – this shows them you really are listening!

2.  Set goals

This is a big one for me.  If you set specific goals, building confidence will be much easier (maybe because it gives you something positive to focus on?).  Whether you want to be confident enough to become president of some company or simply give a presentation at a seminar, you can then create an action plan for achieving this goal.  

3.  Get involved

Involving yourself in organisations, projects, committees, or clubs improves your skills in many areas which can improve your confidence.  Think about joining an organisation, club or committee and see how you go!  

4.  Positive affirmations and visualisations

This actually sits well with goal setting.  Visualising yourself as having achieved your goal and really feeling the feelings involved if you were to achieve that goal is such a powerful way to attract what you want.  I suppose you are "tricking" your mind into believing the goal has been achieved and you subconsciously start to act more like the person who has achieved that goal.  Negative self talk is now a thing of the past and only positive things are allowed to come out of your mouth – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all from now on! 

5.  Seek professional help

If you are suffering from or on the verge of depression, then you should definitely seek the advice of a professional counselor or psychiatrist.  Otherwise, there are motivational speakers who make their living from helping people make the most of their lives, which often involves helping their listeners build confidence.  It’s funny that I’ve noticed that many motivational speakers don’t like to be called "motivational speakers".  I’ve come across "peak performance coaches", "mentors" and "inspirational speakers" but no motivational speakers!  If you are unable to attend a seminar given by a "motivational speaker", then many offer DVDs and CDs of their motivational performances.  If your finances aren’t that great, then you can sometimes get a great deal from eBay.

I’ve also found that self-help books can provide you with helpful strategies for building confidence.  Life coaches provide one-on-one help to assist customers in reaching their potential (many do this face to face, or like me, they will offer coaching via email or telephone). 

Remember, depression and other illnesses can decimate your self-confidence, and simply thinking positive thoughts or attending a motivational talk aren’t enough to help you feel better, so please ensure you get the help you need.

6.  Take small steps

If your confidence or self esteem is lacking, then chances are you’re not going to be able to get out there and completely change your life in one day.  Even attempting to do this may put you right back where you started.  That is why I suggest you take small steps to start.  As your confidence improves, you will find that slightly bigger steps work for you.  If it’s career progression you want, ask your boss for more responsibilities at work.  Take on maybe one task at a time, building from there as your confidence improves.

7.  Fake it until you make it!

Believe it or not, you can gain confidence by acting like a confident person.  Nobody needs to know that you’re cringing underneath your confident façade.  Eventually you’ll no longer need to pretend as it will become second nature.  The success you experience from acting confident and the confident habits you’ve developed will lead to true confidence.

8.  Look for confident role models

Look around you to co-workers, friends, family members to find inspiration.  Finding confident role models can help you become more confident yourself.  This is probably because it gives you the feeling of "If he can do it, then so can I!".  Take note of what they do and how they act.  Use your new conversational skills and ask them how they got to where they are, and how their confidence played a role. 

9.  Try new things

New experiences can give you confidence by helping you grow as a person. Starting a new hobby or taking a class is likely to help you develop lasting skills to help you improve your confidence.

10.  Be happy with yourself

Remember you cannot control what you can’t change, so why get hung up about it?  Having an essentially positive attitude toward yourself is key to gaining confidence.  You must be happy with the person you are, from your personality to your appearance, before you can truly be confident.  I’ll give you an example.  While I would change some of my physical features if I could do it by just snapping my fingers (who wouldn’t?), I’m ok with them as they are.  Nobody is perfect and what you see in yourself is very likely not what others see in you.  On the other hand, there are some aspects of my personality I would like to work on, such as my listening skills and my public speaking skills and this is exactly what I intend to do, as this I can control! 

Improving your confidence and self esteem doesn’t have to be hard but it does require hard work and dedication, taking things one step at a time. 

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Dating tips – How to have self confidence while dating

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Being single can be hard, but it can also be fun, as I know first hand!

After being with the same person for 9 years, suddenly finding myself single was definitely an eye-opener, but I made the decision early on to just get out there and enjoy it!

If you’re lacking in confidence, it can be a little daunting to go on a first date, because you’re wondering if they will like you, you hope you don’t do something wrong, or you just feel self conscious about every word you say and every move you make.

The tips and thoughts below should help you out if you’re lacking confidence while dating:

1. Dress appropriately – it is usually better to be slightly over dressed than under dressed. Also, if you know you’re looking good, then your confidence naturally increases!

2. Smile lots and make regular eye contact (take care not to stare!)

3. Remember, if it’s your first date, then they are probably as nervous as you.

4. If things don’t work out, the sky will NOT fall in – even if you really like him/her!!

5. Dating is for getting to know each other – not so you can make a lifelong commitment to each other. Remember that!

6. If they don’t like you for who you are, then they’re not meant to be (I found this tip to be very helpful!)

7. Be yourself (see number 6).

8. If you asked him/her out on the date, then you should pay (my personal opinion!) if it’s a first date. If they offer then politely decline, however if they push it, then give in gracefully and allow them to pay half (or less).

9. Be sure to ask them about themselves (don’t interrogate them) and try not to talk too much about yourself. People get turned off by people who seem self-absorbed. Show a genuine interest in what they are saying.

10. Life is there to enjoy, so enjoy your date and stop worrying about what other people think of you!

The main point here is to remember that it is just a date. If things don’t go as planned, then they didn’t go as planned. Worrying about things after the fact really is a waste of time and effort and if you can learn from your experience, then it was worth it!

For more ideas and tips, or to share your stories, visit the Self Confidence 101 Forum at http://selfconfidence101.com/forum/

Self Confidence Tip – Identify your inner strengths

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When you lack confidence or self esteem it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you will never be able to do this, or you will never achieve that.

These thoughts hold you back from achieving great things, and it’s all because you believe what those thoughts are saying.

Many people who lack confidence and self esteem have also had other people around them saying the same negative things, and over time they come to believe those words and that is the way they live their lives.

Well, today is the day you make the decision to block out those negative words and replace them with positive, empowering thoughts.

Those people you admire from afar are no better than you – they’ve just made different choices and acted differently to you to get to where they want to be. What’s stopping you doing the same?

Stop now and identify your inner strengths.

What are you good at? What have you achieved in the past and what qualities and inner strengths did you draw from to make that achievement?

How did that achievement make you feel?

What do you want to achieve next (regardless of whether you think you can do it)?

What is the first step towards making that achievement? What’s stopping you????? Get started NOW!

Do you find confident people attractive?

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After reviewing what the people of the world are searching for on the internet I found that a few people wonder whether others find confident people attractive. Good question! So here is a poll so I can find the answer!

Do you find confident people attractive or unattractive?

View Results

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Self Confidence Survey

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I am currently working on some content for this website, as well as some products and services, but I really need to make sure I am offering what people want.

If you’re lacking in confidence, then please help me out by taking the Confidence and Self Esteem survey.

Click here to take survey

Thanks so much for your help! In turn I will help you to finally build the confidence or self esteem you lack, so you can finally live the life you have always dreamed of!