External or internal negative talk erodes confidence

What is it that can make us feel not so confident?  According to our students it can be many things including name calling.  Think about if you are called ‘shorty’ you become aware of being shorter than others and it may begin to bother you.  Someone makes fun of your nose saying it is so big – and that begins to bother you.  The list goes on and on.   Name calling – tall, short, skinny, fat, big ears, glasses, hearing aids….any one can find anything to make fun of.  It is that kind of external conversation that can deflate the confidence of an individual.

When students are asked if they would ever call their friend a name or would they point out something physical about them?  The answer is always “Of course not, that would be mean, not a good friend and so on”.  

How many of us though will look in the mirror and find something about ourselves that we do not like?  It may be something physical, as in what we look like, or it may be something about our personality.  We look in the mirror and discredit ourselves or our ability to accomplish a goal or an activity.  It is easy then to give up and stop liking ourselves, because we are doing to ourselves the very thing that we said we would never do to a friend.  Our confidence will take a nose dive and we are doing this to ourselves.

The next time you catch yourself being negative, putting yourself down or telling yourself that you can’t or don’t know how to do something – ask yourself, Given this situation with a friend, would I talk to them that way or would I encourage them to keep moving forward, to appreciate who they are or stop making fun of your physical attributes.  Find that answer and then practice that same kind of positive & upbuilding talk to yourself so that your confidence can grow or remain at a high level.

Focus: this is our moment

All of us has had someone tell us that we need to focus.  It may have even been ourselves that we had a little self talk “Focus, Focus, Focus”.  So what is focus other than looking and listening with intensity.  This is what we teach our young children and for all of us it is really blocking out all of the distractions that keep us from focusing.

How do we direct our mind so that we can focus on our work, assignment or other things?  We must remember that the only thing that we have is this moment.  If we are washing the dishes then we need to be washing the dishes.  If we are talking to our child, then we need to be totally there with them.  This is the only moment that we have.  

All of the moments we had – are in the past and we cannot get them back.  There are no future moments that we are guaranteed – so NOW is all we have.  Still all of us have things that will be a distraction to us, so practicing being in this moment will take time.  

This week in our classes we will be talking about what distracts us and how we can keep ourselves focused.