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Confidence Problems? Learn How to Be Satisfied with Yourself

Confidence Problems? Learn How to Be Satisfied with Yourself

The standards forced upon both men and women are unrealistic and unreachable. Our constant efforts to achieve those standards very often lead to anxiety and frustrations. When built up, these two powerful enemies of our confidence, joined by criticism, will eventually destroy what little confidence we have.

You shouldn’t allow for unjustly factors to shatter your belief in yourself and turn you into a faceless piece of machinery – you’re not that. The fact that you don’t seem to fit into those standards only means that you should look for a different type of metric system that fits your qualities. But, first thing’s first – let’s start from the beginning.

Talk Nerdy to Me

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    Psychologists don’t really agree on one single theory about confidence and what it really is, but they do meet halfway when it comes to certain terms. We should start by clearly distinguishing between the two terms – self-esteem and confidence; the more you appreciate yourself, the more will your levels of self-esteem grow and you’ll become confident.

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    That being said, you should further be aware of the fact that there’s not only one kind of self-esteem. They vary from how you feel about yourself as a member of your family, of your business team, in a relationship, as a member of society, etc.

    The kinds of self-esteem should be on an importance scale, so to speak, because not every area of your life is a priority, right? Therefore, if you’re perhaps preparing a meal and it seems to taste awful, even after you’ve spent hours on it, you will be very frustrated if you’re a professional chef. On the other hand, if you’re an amateur, you might even have a few laughs over your burnt dinner.

    A person’s self-esteem varies not only as a result of actions, but also because of many smaller factors, like waking up with a pimple, having a bad hair day and being complemented or not.

    Another interesting fact is that narcissism isn’t considered to be the highest level of confidence. As the melodramatic kind, these people love spotlights and a lack of attention makes them incredibly frustrated, which leads directly to self-doubt. Being a narcissist is quite unstable, and their mood depends on their environment and the feedback they receive.

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    On the contrary, people with very low self-esteem don’t respond to positive feedback and negative feedback makes them feel even worse about themselves. When someone tries to show appreciation and make them feel good about themselves, they perceive this affirmation as a form of pity.

    Obviously, moderation is the solution here. Those lucky among us who have stable self-esteem, which isn’t affected by minor turbulences, they are the confident ones.

    Determine the Cause of Your Problem

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      I’m sure you have managed to recognize yourself in at least one of the situations mentioned up until now. Introspectiveness is a powerful tool if you want to have your confidence problems resolved, so you need to begin by finding the source of your instability.

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      Take some time off and spend it with yourself in order to find out which part of your life makes you feel generally miserable. Perhaps you neglected your friends and now you feel selfish and self-centered, or you might have missed your kid’s last few games or recitals, which makes you feel like you failed as a parent. You might have managed to miss a deadline or two in your office and that makes you doubt your skills.

      Try to be a better friend, spend some quality time with your family and work harder – within a reasonable timeframe, you’ll feel better about yourself.

      Embrace Your Unique Qualities

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        I’m sure you know at least one person that’s perfect; they get everything done in time without complaining one bit and they don’t even look tired – ever. Well, we can agree that people like that are born under a lucky star, but there’s one other thing you should be aware of; their abilities simply fit into today’s conventional standards more than yours.

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        Now, I’m not trying to suggest that there’s not any hard work involved; that’s not my point. My point is that it’s easier for them to fit into an average environment and resurface as brilliant, capable people; you just need to dig deeper and look harder for yours. After you embrace your qualities as such, finding the right environment to show them in will be easier.

        Do Some Work on Your Body and Mind

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          Confidence isn’t necessarily connected to general attractiveness; beautiful people tend to be more confident in some situations, but they also tend to be vain because they are used to special treatment.

          Let me draw you a little picture; imagine two people who are equally attractive – one of them confident and another filled with self-doubt. The confident one has a positive attitude, their selection of clothes is more attractive and they are communicative, and all of that just because of higher levels of self-esteem. I’m sure you can assume that the second person will avoid any attention and that will be obvious through their behavior and appearance.

          The second person isn’t a happy person, and all of that because of imaginary obstacles set by their mind. If you’re not satisfied with yourself, you should do some work on you – inside and out. Listen to your thoughts and try to recognize those negative and unrealistic ones and shut them down for good. Then, open your closet and get rid of those awful baggy clothes that make you look like a shadow. Go shopping and find flattery garments that express who you are inside.

          Anything Is Possible

          Woman Kicking Leg Up In Front of Graffiti Wall
            I know this is a used phrase that’s constantly used, but that doesn’t make it anything less true, because anything is possible. It’s never too late to go parachuting, move to Africa, learn how to knit, become a painter – as a matter of fact, you can even grow taller. What you need for any of the things I just mentioned, all you need is the right mindset because with it comes determination and the will necessary for you to complete your goals.

            The bottom line is that we all have our insecurities and that’s only natural. The difference between confident people and those who have a lack of it is in whether or not they allow those insecurities to get to them.

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            Published on November 18, 2019

            How to Think Critically: 5 Powerful Techniques

            How to Think Critically: 5 Powerful Techniques

            Critical thinking is the art of filtering through information to reach an unbiased, logical decision that guides better thought and action. It can be learned through powerful techniques listed in this article.

            Before you read further, it is important for you to know that critical thinking is a state of mind, not a tool or strategy.

            If you are bogged down in the trivial day to day matters of your professional and personal life, learning skills to develop your ability to think critically can help you rise above these issues and focus your energies where they are needed – to solve problems and accomplish objectives.

            It stands to reason that the better the learning techniques, the better critical thinking and reasoning will be. My experience in helping people grow means I know exactly what is needed to teach critical thinking (hint: it’s not just pondering over the problem).

            There are 5 powerful techniques that form the base of critical thinking:

            1. Analytical thinking
            2. Communication
            3. Creativity
            4. Open-mindedness
            5. Problem-solving

            Once you learn the techniques listed and start employing them in your daily life, you’ll quickly start to notice a change in the way you approach problems and consequently, how you resolve them too.

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            1. Analytical Thinking

            Analytical thinking is the gathering and breaking down of information into small bites that help make sense of it.

            To use it for critical thinking:

            • Be very clear on why you need the information. This is to recognize your limitations and employ foresight to overcome them.
            • Gather information from as many sources as you can: peers and experts, podcasts, relevant literature and any other place you can think of.
            • Rephrase questions multiple times to get different perspectives on data available and possibly arrive at different solutions.
            • Break down the data into factual subsets and relate each to the issue at hand.
            • Think on paper to make new connections. Write, doodle, make mind-maps or use spreadsheets. Data presented visually can help you make new connections make sense of emerging patterns.
            • Tidy up the workplace. Once data has been gathered, your workspace and your brain will both be cluttered with excess information. Neaten the physical space and clear your mind with meditation. The change in focus will help you view the information in a new light, potentially helping you reach newer, better conclusions.

            Want more information and tips on adopting this powerful technique? What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success has all the information you need.

            2. Communication

            Communication is a key technique for critical thinking as it gives you access to the thoughts of people around you.

            Data can be communicated through audio and visual means and in many cases, through careful observation of body language:

            • Ask for different points of view and seek justification for the same thing. When you invest in the matter, you will be able to explore all options to reach the best solution.
            • Listening without interrupting and only asking questions or voicing concerns once the speaker is done helps you make better connections.
            • Be 100% focused on a verbal or written discussion, you can better hear/read the opinions of the people involved.
            • Paraphrase the speaker/writer’s point of view and ask for affirmation. This enables you to pay full attention and use the input to think critically.
            • In a meeting, subtle communication cues are given by the body language of fellow attendees. An imperceptible frown, a small nod, pencil tapping etc. will all give you clues to what they are really thinking, just in case their actions are not in sync with their words!
            • Active observation, where you are watching and listening intently helps you know what to make of the information that is being passed around. It gives you clues to the general opinion about the topic under discussion and opens up new possibilities.

            The information you gather through such communication will be invaluable in thinking critically to arrive at a decision that is holistic and unbiased.

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            3. Creativity

            Critical thinking is an art, and like any art form, its lifeblood is creativity. To really learn critical thinking, you need to include elements of creativity in the process!

            • Brainstorm with your team in an all-new location or work-shadow an industry expert to step out of your comfort zone. You could be surprised by the ideas that flow at a picnic or a game of billiards!
            • Gather data and tabulate it in the form of colorful, eye-catching charts, graphs and mind maps. The simple exercise makes your mind bring data together in different ways and presents them so multiple unique conclusions can be reached, giving you the flexibility to choose the best one.
            • Play brain games such as Sudoku or chess to appreciate how different factors can be manipulated to reach a preferred outcome. These games help make connections between previously disconnected nerves, giving your brain the power to find multiple pathways to answering problems.
            • In a similar vein, you can forge new neural connections by learning a new skill, a new language or even a new recipe!

            I break down creativity in my other article What is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It. If you want to be good at critical thinking, you need to adopt creativity!

            4. Open-Mindedness

            It’s easy to say you’re open minded but is your mind really open?

            To get an idea,

            • Be brutally honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and how these will impact the matter at hand.
            • Hear an opinion that conflicts with your own without forming a response before the opinion is fully voiced.
            • Acknowledge that there may be more than one approach to solving a problem and that they may all be right in some way.
            • Consider your true feelings when you will implement any required changes.
            • Disregard your long-held beliefs and assumptions and let go of habits.
            • Imagine the decision-making factors placed on weighing scales. Are they balanced?

            Open-mindedness is a powerful technique for critical thinking. New possibilities can be uncovered, helping you resolve personal and professional matters in a manner that doesn’t frustrate you or alienate the other party.

            5. Problem-Solving

            Critical thinking is heavily dependent on problem-solving. An effective critical thinker will be a problem solver with the foresight to anticipate roadblocks and negative outcomes, and the experience and presence of mind to resolve them quickly and move on.

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            One of the most effective problem-solving methodologies is the 5 Whys Analysis. Invented by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Motors in the 1950s, it has been used successfully by the automobile giant to get to the root cause of problems.

            The idea behind this is simple: start with the end problem and keep asking why until you get to the root cause of it.

            The general idea is that asking why 5 times from the effect is enough to get to the cause, hence the name. However, the methodology does not limit the questions to 5, and why can be asked as many times as need to peel away the layers until a satisfactory answer is reached.

            To use the 5 Whys Analysis, start off by listing the problem and writing why in front of it. The next point in the list should be answer to the first why with another why in front of it. Continue answering the question asked above followed by a why until you’ve asked the question 5 times and answered it six times. 99% of the time, the last answer will be the root cause of the problem stated in the first point.

            For example, consider the a commonly given scenario where a vehicle does not start.

            1. Vehicle will not start. Why?
            2. Battery is dead. Why?
            3. The alternator is not functioning. Why?
            4. The alternator belt has broken. Why?
            5. It was old and worn out. Why?
            6. The car is not maintained according to manufacturer’s recommendation.

            By this example, it is clearly demonstrated that 5 whys were asked to reach the root cause of the problem.

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            The 5 techniques discussed here are important for effective critical thinking. When employed regularly they will become a habit and will definitely improve your critical thinking skills so you can get better at predicting and resolving issues that concern you and your environment.

            Over the years, the 5 Whys Analysis has been adopted by millions to reach the root cause of their personal and professional problems. Industry giant Six Sigma has also incorporated the 5x Why Analysis in the Analyze phase of their DMAIC methodology.[1]

            Final Thoughts

            Is critical thinking a new-fangled notion? Not at all. Its history can be traced back to Socrates who questioned commonly held beliefs. This practice was carried forward by leading scholars and thinkers from different times such as Aristotle and Plato, Colet and Moore, Descartes, Galileo and Newton.[2]

            Today’s world is dependent on critical thinking to resolve all sorts of issues. It is now indispensable for issues ranging from personal relationships to professional jobs and those involving the global community.

            The 5 techniques discussed here are important for effective critical thinking. When employed regularly, they will become a habit and will definitely improve your critical thinking skills so you can get better at predicting and resolving issues that concern you and your environment.

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            Featured photo credit: Mariya Pampova via unsplash.com

            Reference

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