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One Thing Your Teachers Did Very Wrong

One Thing Your Teachers Did Very Wrong

The Teacher’s Great Deception

Let me ask you a simple question: What are your strengths? Let’s think for a minute before reading further.

You probably started your thinking process by listing the things you are good at. This is exactly what your teachers did very wrong, and it has had serious consequences in your life.

It was hard for me to believe that when I counted all the time I spent in the education system, the total number was 17 years. I’ve spent 17 years being graded thousands of times for everything I did. It’s just a long list of subject names along with A, B, C and others (or actually, in Poland, where I live, I could get 5 for being really good and 1 for being really bad at something).

Great Discovery

Let’s stop for a moment and think about it. For many, many years, you and I were receiving grades from our teachers that were supposed to reflect the quality of our work in every possible aspect. But here is the point:

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A strength is not just something you’re good at; it is something that makes you feel strong!

And how many people on the whole planet know what makes you feel strong?
Think for a minute.

That’s right. Exactly one.
It is you.

In my case I could get through 17 years of learning, receive thousands of grades, yet among the teachers, there was rarely anybody asking “what do you feel when you are doing this?” And I was the only one on the whole planet who could answer that question.

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This is why I could get the same grades in two subjects, but one was making me feel strong and the other was draining my energy. This is why I could spend hours studying the first one and researching additional information, while I was learning the other just to pass the exam and nothing more.

Try listing things that make you feel strong. It could be the same things your teachers told you you’re good at, but not necessarily. You helped the old lady while others didn’t care, and she smiled in return, so you felt strong. You woke up at 4:00 in the morning to see the sunset in the mountains while others didn’t care, so you felt strong. You were solving a difficult logical problem and 3 hours passed like 15 minutes, so you felt strong. Take a few minutes to make your list; it can really open your eyes.

Your strength

    Great Difference

    When you meet people, you can immediately tell if what they are doing is making them feel strong or not. They don’t even have to speak–it’s just one look in their eyes, and you are immediately aware. The same applies to you!

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    If you are fueled by passion and by doing something that makes you feel strong, you can work harder than anyone else. People can see it in 5 seconds, before you even open your mouth. This is why we love passionate people; their energy level speaks for itself.

    Do you know what Michael Jordan heard in 10th grade when he was trying to join the varsity team in basketball? That’s right, he was deemed “too short.” It is hard to believe and today it sounds funny, but this is exactly what your teachers did wrong–they can tell only what is external and rarely anything about the internal volcano that is inside you.

    Great Responsibility

    With that knowledge comes great responsibility.

    The worst thing about this pattern learned through education is that it continues in business world, and then your boss is the person giving you grades and, be honest, rarely asking about your feelings.

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    There is only one person in the world that knows how you feel when you do things. It is you who needs to take responsibility over your own strengths because only you can feel it. Do not wait until your boss guesses it, or until your partner recognize it–you have to find it yourself and be able to communicate it effectively.

    There is a secret inside you. Whenever you feel strong, stop for just one minute and contemplate about it. What is it that made you feel this way? Remember that others can only see the quality of your work, not your emotions.

    It is easy to judge other people according to the results of their work; however, their (and yours!) inner life quite often precedes the results. Let’s look at Jesus and the way he has chosen the twelve. Were they any known, great leaders? Spectacular speakers? He could see their potential before even they could see it.

    So, let me ask once again: what are your strengths?

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    Piotr Nabielec

    Author, CEO, Consultant

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    Last Updated on January 16, 2020

    12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

    12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

    The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

    However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

    “Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

    Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

    1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

    When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

    Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

    2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

    That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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    Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

    3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

    If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

    For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

    People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

    This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

    4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

    Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

    Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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    Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

    Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

    5. Crack a smile.

    If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

    Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

    6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

    Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

    And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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    7. Groom yourself.

    This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

    A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

    8. Dress nicely.

    Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

    While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

    9. Do activities you enjoy.

    Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

    You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

    10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

    Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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    Why?

    Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

    Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

    Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

    11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

    Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

    Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

    12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

    Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

    The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

    Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

    Reference

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