“Where I am in my life is a result of who I was, but where I go depends entirely on who I choose to be from this moment forward.”
Today’s episode was inspired by a message I received from a listener. They told me that they’d made some bad choices in the past, don’t trust themselves anymore, and don’t know how to deal with these feelings.
The reality is, even very confident people struggle with self-confidence at times, or in certain areas of their life. So, how do we go about increasing our self-confidence?
With that thought in mind, today’s episode dives into this topic from a number of different angles. You’ll learn what self-confidence is, where it comes from, how to develop and increase it, and how to get it back if you lose it.
- Why self-confidence is not black or white–but it is an attitude and a mindset about your worth and your abilities.
- Why everyone is a work in progress–and how sensitivity to criticism, fear of failure, and lack of support can hurt your self-confidence.
- Why no one’s born with self-confidence–and where it really comes from.
- How commitment, mental conditioning, progress, and results bolster our self-confidence.
- How I regained my self-confidence after the techniques I’d used to build my business and achieve success stopped working in 2008.
- Three steps you can take right now to start developing and increasing your self-confidence.
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Rise by CURED Nutrition is a natural supplement made from CBD, Lions Mane and Ginseng (among others) that helps boost energy, performance and cognitive function. There’s no caffeine, no jitters and most importantly, no crash. Visit CuredNutrition.com/Hal and receive 20% off of your entire order. They have tons of other products as well, hopefully you’ll find something that works for you. :^)
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Hal Elrod: Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and as always, thank you so much for tuning in. Thanks for listening. I really, really appreciate you being here. And you're here to learn about self-confidence, right? That's what we're going to talk about, how to increase your self-confidence. I feel like it's a topic that is something relevant for every single one of us because even if you're confident in general or confident in certain areas of your life, for everyone, myself included, that's always an area I feel like that we can grow in and we can improve in, and there are a lot of nuances to it. Today, we're going to dive into that topic from different angles and go pretty deep. We're going to talk about what self-confidence is and where it comes from and how we can continue to develop it and increase it and broaden it, how we can get it back if we lose it.
And this is based actually on a listener that wrote in and asked if I could do a podcast about self-confidence. They said that they made some bad choices in the past and they can't trust themselves anymore. Again, I feel like it's something that we're all a work in progress, right? This isn't me, the guru, telling you how to do things, that there's only one right way. This is really us on a journey called life and we are exploring and we are sharing and we are learning and growing together. And there are areas of my life that I have bulletproof confidence in and there are areas in my life that I do not have such strong confidence in. So, I'll tell you all of that today. We'll break it down.
Before we dive into the episode, I want to take a couple of minutes to thank our sponsors that bring the show to you every single week. And the first is CURED Nutrition. Now, I want to talk specifically about sleep. When it comes to health and wellness, we can all rant and rave over the latest fads, and many of us do. But the truth is ensuring something as simple as a good night of sleep would do more for our wellness than all of those fads combined. Now, in addition to eliminating artificial blue light after the sun sets and timing my last meal several hours before heading to bed so I can digest my food, I started including CBN Oil from CURED Nutrition in my bedtime routine. Now, I mentioned this last week for the first time because I just started taking it and I started it 2 hours before bed. Then I moved to 90 minutes, then an hour. Now, I'm trying 30 minutes. I'm trying to find that sweet spot. It seems to work so far so good any time that I take it before I fall asleep.
And here's the thing, I could not feel more satisfied with the result. Not only am I getting the most restful sleep I have ever experienced, including when I slept in a hotel room as I mentioned last week, but I am also waking up refreshed with zero grogginess. Now, how often can you say that with the various sleep aids that are on the market? So, if you're interested, if you want to improve your sleep, try this out, CBN. Head over to CUREDNutrition.com/Hal and as a listener to the podcast, you will automatically get 20% off everything on the site and there's a lot of great products there. So, I take their Rise product in the morning for focus and then I take the CBN oil at night for sleep. Highly recommend it. Again, CUREDNutrition.com/Hal.
And then last but not least, our long-time sponsor that has brought you the show for the last few years, Organifi. And Organifi makes the highest quality whole food organic supplements all in powder form that you can put into a smoothie or a glass of water or tea or coffee or juice or almond milk. You name it, right? Whatever your flavor is. I put their vanilla protein powder organic plant-based in my smoothie every single day. I'm a huge fan. When I'm sick, I take their Immunity product, I tear open a packet, throw in some water or some juice. Again, I really have combined CURED Nutrition with Organifi and using the best supplements that work for me to kind of customize my own little health boost regimen if you will. Head over to Organifi.com/Hal and just like CURED Nutrition, as a listener to the podcast, you will get an additional 20% off. I hope you find something with either of those companies that really enhances your life the way that their products have enhanced mine.
All right. Without further ado, let's talk about it today, how to increase your self-confidence.
Hal Elrod: Hey, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community. Thank you for being here once again, another week, another episode. Today, we're going to talk about how to increase self-confidence. And this came from a listener who wrote in and simply said, “Hal, could you do a podcast about self-confidence? I made bad choices in the past, and I can't trust in me anymore and don't know how to deal with it. Thanks a lot.” And I was actually recording a different or I was planning a different episode today on purpose and how simple our purpose really is in life. And I decided to shift that for next week and focus on self-confidence today. So, today we're going to explore four questions. What is self-confidence? Where does it come from? How can we develop and increase it? And how can we get it back if we lose it? You ever lost self-confidence before? You ever had it and lost it? That's something that I've experienced myself. But let's dive right in here and let's start with the question, what is self-confidence?
So, self-confidence is it's an attitude. You could say it's a mindset or an attitude about your worth and your abilities. So, it means that you accept and trust yourself and you have a sense of control in your life. Someone that lacks confidence has no feeling of control because they don't trust themselves and often don't trust other people. But confidence is knowing your strengths and weaknesses well, right? You're self-aware. You know that you're not perfect but you're forgiving. You're at peace with the areas of your life where you might call a weakness. It's an area of growth, etcetera. You're okay with that, right? And you're focused on your strengths. You have a positive view of yourself and as a result, you set realistic expectations and goals. You communicate assertively. You can have a criticism. That's a big deal. Someone that gets really thrown off track by another person criticizing them, typically, they lack that self-confidence, the confidence in themselves to know, "Hey, you're allowed your opinion but that doesn't change. I know who I am. I know who I am. And what you say about me, that's your opinion. And I don't have to take that on.”
Now, on the other hand, low self-confidence might make you feel full of self-doubt. Self-doubt and a lack of self-confidence kind of go hand-in-hand. It also can show up where you're passive or you're submissive or, as I said a minute ago, you have trouble/difficulty trusting other people and people that lack self-confidence, you may feel inferior. I felt that way. In fact, I was talking to somebody the other day. This is actually a funny story. I don't know if you know Brendon Burchard. Do you know who Brendon Burchard is? He was in the Miracle Morning Movie. He's, I'd say, a colleague. He is an author. He's a speaker. He's someone that I learned a lot from. When I was coming up, I used to go to his events. I read his books and I was a big fan. And then I was at this event, I spoke at Genius Network. This was a few years back, probably five years ago or something. I think it was before I got cancer, I think. Maybe after. I don't know. But anyway, I was at the event and I spoke, and this a guy named Dean Graziosi. I don't know if you know who Dean is, but Dean works with Tony Robbins a lot. Very well-known. Also, an author and a speaker and a marketer. You see a lot of infomercials.
And I've been a fan of Dean's as well. You know, I've watched his videos and kind of learned from him. When you watch somebody's videos or you go to their event, you see them on stage, you tend to, at least I do, I put them on a pedestal a little bit. So, Dean comes out after my speech goes, “Hal, that was brilliant.” It was a speech about - it was called Beyond the Bestseller, and it was about how to write a book that creates a movement, changes the world. And he came up to me and he said, “Hal, I'd love to pick your brain, man. That was some really brilliant stuff on books. I hadn't heard that before. I'd love to ask you some questions. You want to come over? I'm with some friends over here hanging out. You want to come hang out with me?” And I said, “Sure. Yeah, I'd love to. I'm honored, Dean. I'm a fan.” Right, cool. And we walk around the corner and in this little like, we're at this in Arizona, this beautiful resort, and we walk around the corner and kind of like hidden away is this table with an umbrella and chairs and sitting around it is Brendon Burchard who, again, I'm a fan of. I was kind of starstruck. This is before he's in the Miracle Morning Movie.
And then JJ Virgin who wrote the Virgin Diet. Also, I’ve seen her on stage, right? Dave Asprey, who was also in the Miracle Morning Movie, Dave was. But again, founder of Bulletproof Coffee. So, anyway, the point is I'm a little star-struck, and here's what happened. The feeling of being inferior, that's what brought this up. You know, I went back to being like I was in high school and maybe you can relate. I don't know what your high school experience was like. I was picked on a lot. You know, I wasn't the most popular kid. I didn't play sports. I think a lot of us had a tough high school experience, right, just trying to fit in. And I always felt inferior. I felt inferior to the seniors when I was a freshman or a sophomore or a junior. I felt inferior to the senior class, felt inferior to the popular kids. I felt inferior to the smart kids. I felt inferior. And that has stuck with me. And so, as I sat down at that table with these folks that I had learned from and gone to their events and read their books, I felt inferior. And the funny part of the story is they ordered a really expensive bottle of wine.
And, guys, by the way, this is like five years ago or something. So, I'm what? I was 37 years old, something like that at the time. So, I'm not a kid anymore. I'm not a 15-year-old sophomore in high school. But I sit down and I'm feeling like, "Oh, my gosh, I'm at this table with all these cool people and I'm not as cool as them. I'm inferior and I'm insecure.” And so, they ordered this really expensive bottle of wine and they said, “Everybody, want a glass of wine?” And I wanted to fit in. Let me let you in on a little secret. I do not drink wine. I do not like wine. In fact, my wife loves wine. So, I've tried to like it. I've tried to join her on that but when I drink a glass of wine, I usually make that face like somebody taking a shot of tequila like, bleh, just pucker, it’s sour face, whatever. So, I'm like, “But I want to fit in and be cool.” I’m like, "Sure. Yeah, of course. Yeah. I'll take a glass of wine.” So, they hand out all the glasses and they pour this really expensive bottle of wine. It was like a $500 bottle or something like that. I think that's expensive. I don't know. I don't drink wine.
And so, they're all drinking it. And so, here's the funny part is like I wait, I don't even know how to hold the glass and I don't want to look like a total doofus. Right? So, I wait until everybody grabs their glass and I study the technique. I'm like, "Okay. How do they hold the glass? Do you hold it by the stem? Do you hold it on the bottom? Do you cup it with your hand?” And so, I'm like, "Okay. That's how they hold it. Okay. That's right. So, I'm collecting data here. That's how they hold it. Okay. That's how they sip it. Do they swirl it like I've seen on TV?” And so, anyway, so I end up getting this glass of wine, I end up drinking it and that was it. So, that's essentially the story. And I ended up we got Brendon to be in the movie. Dave Asprey’s in the movie. So, I don't know if it was all because of that meeting but that was a step in the right direction. But the point is that when we lack self-confidence, we may feel inferior. And I want to be clear on something upfront. Self-confidence is not a black or white issue, right? Meaning can you achieve supreme self-confidence where you are impeccably confident? Possibly.
I would imagine there are folks that are completely confident in themselves, in everything that they do. I would say that, for me, it's circumstantial, right? It's contextual. If I am doing something that I'm good at or that I feel competent at, like when I go give a speech, I'm confident because I've done it. And we're going to get into all of this and break all this down of like in those four questions. We're going to answer all of them. How do you develop self-confidence? One of the biggest ways is results, right? You've done something over and over and over again. And so, when I go speak, that's like the number one fear in the world. Most people getting on stage in front of 500 people or I've been in front of I think my biggest audience was like 10,000 people in a stadium. And most people would be nervous. I get a little nervous but I have self-confidence in that context because I've done it. But then other areas, right, from doing something that I'm not self-confident in like drinking wine or hanging out with these folks that I feel inferior to, then my self-confidence can wane.
So, my point here is that I'm a work in progress. You're a work in progress. Most people and most very successful people I've interviewed and I've rubbed shoulders with, I've spoken with, I've had deep conversations with people that from the outside look like they have impeccable self-confidence but they doubt themselves all the time. You probably heard that before, like some of the world's most successful people, like actors, actresses, they still struggle with their self-confidence. They're wondering, "Am I still going to be well-received by my audience, by my fans? Do I still have what it takes?” People as they age, for example, or if you're a supermodel and you're aging you might go, "Oh, my gosh, am I aging out of my supermodel status, my abilities that I had when I was younger?” So, self-confidence is a very fluid concept. And today's episode, it's about increasing. It's about how do you increase, how do you optimize your self-confidence. So, back to talking about if you have low self-confidence, you may feel inferior, you may feel unloved, you may be more sensitive to criticism. These are all kinds of symptoms of having low self-confidence.
But like I said, feeling confident in yourself might depend on the situation. Like, when you're hanging out with your family, you probably don't struggle with self-confidence, right? So, you can feel very confident in some areas, such as academics, but lack confidence in others, like relationships. And having high or low self-confidence, it's rarely related to your actual abilities. This is probably one of the most important aspects to understand is it's rarely related to your actual abilities. It's mostly based on your perceptions. Perceptions are the way that you think about yourself, and these thoughts aren't necessarily accurate. Low self-confidence might stem from different experiences, such as growing up in an unsupportive or critical environment. It could stem from being separated from your friends or your family for the first time, right? You lack self-confidence when you leave the nest, so to speak. Low self-confidence can stem from judging yourself too harshly. That's a perception. You're judging yourself harshly. And that judgment, that's a perception that can hinder your self-confidence.
It can also be just being afraid of failure. That's a very inherent fear, right? Or I should say it's at least a conditioned fear in our society. Society usually doesn't reward failure. And so, typically, we have that. That's a deep-seated fear. But the idea is that people with low self-confidence often have errors in their thinking. They're not thinking accurately. Henry Ford said it best. The Henry Ford quote still stands up to this day. Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right either way. So, self-confidence, your perception makes arguably the biggest difference. It's what determines your self-confidence. Your perception determines your self-confidence. All right. So, that's kind of just a simple overview of what is self-confidence.
Where does self-confidence come from? That's the second question that we want to ask. And it's important to start, I think, with we're not born with it. And that's good news because it means that we can develop it. You're not either born confident or born not confident. Now, there may be the study of epigenetics is that our DNA from our parents can be passed down in certain traits like confidence or kindness or creativity. These can be passed down. And that's why if you're a parent, you might notice that your kids are a lot like you, and most likely they are like you in some ways, and they are like the other parent, your spouse, or whoever you have the child with. They're a little bit like you, a little like them, and then they're their own person, a little bit of everything, right? So, while I say that we're not born with it, yes, there is some science that shows that there may be traits that we are born with. So, I think it's a debate there but the important component is we can develop it. Even if you had no self-confidence your entire life or if you had it and you lost it, you can develop it.
So, where does it come from? Number one, other people. So, for those of us who were fortunate to have others that believed in us, such as a parent or a mentor or a friend, we may have confidence because someone told us we could do anything. And when we were young, if that happened when we were young, we didn't know any better, then whatever they said became our truth, right? “Really? Really, Mom? Really, Dad? I can do it. Really? Okay. But wait, I failed.” “It's okay. Failure is part of learning. You can grow. You can get better. You just get back on the horse.” “Okay, Dad. Okay, Mom.” So, we borrow confidence from other people, and sometimes you can borrow the belief that others have in you until your belief catches up. I feel like, for me, I really developed confidence not until I was 19 years old and I went into my Cutco sales training, which I know I reference that a lot because that was a pivotal moment in my life.
But my mentor, Jesse Levine, he believed in me in ways that I didn't believe myself because I look back, I go, “I'm not special. I've never done anything remarkable. I didn't get good grades. I wasn't an athlete. I don't have any willpower. I don't have any discipline. I'm not consistent.” Like, I didn't have really any reference points to have any kind of self-confidence. But Jesse kept saying, “Hal, you can do this. You can do this. I believe in you. You can do this,” in a million different ways. He just kept saying it and breathing that belief in me. And so, for me, I'm like, "Well, Jesse thinks I can do it and I really admire Jesse. I really respect him.” So, I really drew confidence by borrowing the belief that Jesse had in me until my belief caught up. So, that's one place that self-confidence comes from. It comes from other people. Now, is that where you want to source your confidence? I would argue no. You want to develop self-confidence.
You can call that other confidence, right? So, there's self-confidence that you derive within internally and then there's other confidence which is you're borrowing it, right? But that is often where it comes from, especially when we're young. And if you have the opposite, that's where low self-confidence comes from. If you have a parent that says, "You suck. You're not good at anything. You don't do anything right,” my heart just goes out to those people. If you're one of those people like my heart goes out if that was your experience growing up because you're starting with an uphill battle.
Second place self-confidence comes from is practice and improvement. Just spending time working on something. For example, if you grab a basketball and you go to the court and you start shooting and at first, you have no self-confidence because you never shot a basketball but you keep shooting and you start making a basket and then you make two out of three and you get better. You get better and better and better. So, practice, which leads to improvement, those go hand-in-hand helps you to develop confidence where confidence comes from. So, for example, when I've been writing books, particularly Miracle Morning, I struggle with my confidence and then I procrastinated. That's one of the challenges. Low self-confidence, the problems, a, you procrastinate because you don't have confidence that you can do the thing, you can achieve the thing, that you can overcome the thing or you never even try because, again, you lack that confidence.
So, lacking self-confidence can be one of the most detrimental attributes to lack in terms of achieving what you want in life and even just feeling good about yourself. Like I said, low self-confidence and low self-esteem, they go hand-in-hand, not feeling worthy. That's all wrapped up in low self-confidence. But another author friend, he gave me the most simple advice. I said, “Man, I'm really struggling with writer's block, you know? I don't feel like I know what to write next. And I feel like how am I going to convince people to wake up early? Like, I'm just doubting. I'm thinking I might not even write this book.” And he said, “Hal, just spend time with it. Just spend time with it.” “What do you mean?” He said, “Open up your computer and read what you wrote and just spend time with it.” He said, "You'll be amazed at how when you're reading what you wrote, ideas will pop into your head. You can make it better. You can add more.” He said, “Or spend time with it not even reading what you wrote.” But he gave me a strategy where he said, “Just open up your computer. Open up the document that you're writing your book in. Turn the brightness down to black so you can't see anything. And then just open yourself up to whatever's coming and just start writing. Just start free writing.”
And he said, “You can start by writing, ‘I don't know what I'm going to write today. I'm actually afraid that I don't have anything worthwhile to say. But you know what? I bet that if I sit here long enough, I'll think of something. And it's not about getting everything right.’” So, you literally just this is called stream of consciousness, right? You just write whatever is coming to you. And he said, “Just set your timer for 30 minutes and do that. And in a short period of time, just focus for 30 minutes and just write whatever comes out without being able to see the screen so you can't go back and edit it.” So, the point being, spend time with it. And to this day I'm working on the Miracle Morning updated an expanded edition. We're doing a whole new version, a whole new edition for the ten-year anniversary coming up in December 2022. And I still suffer from writer's block and self-doubt and self-confidence issues, right? Like, "Oh, I don't know how am I going to make this better than the original?” And on and on and on. But I never forget what he said. Just spend time with it.
And every day that I spend time with it, I spend at least an hour writing every morning. And maybe only some days 50% of what comes out is usable, some days only 20% of what comes out is usable. But I'm making progress, right? I'm practicing, I'm writing, I'm spending time with it. So, just spend time moving forward and that helps you develop confidence. I'll give you another using that example of writing. Even if I get just 20% of usable content, even if it's like a sentence where I'm like, “Oh, that's brilliant,” or a concept, I'm like, “Oh, I'm going to expand on that.” The fact that I spent time with it rather than not even opening my computer and that's what happens when we lack self-confidence. We don't even open the computer. We don't even pick up the phone. We don't even take the first step because we don't have the confidence to do so. So, when you just spend time with it, practice and improvement. Practice and improvement, that's where self-confidence comes from.
All right. The third place, progress and results. Progress and results. This is where confidence is cemented within us. Effort produces confidence. I talk about that in the Miracle Equation book, that when you put forth extraordinary effort, you start to develop confidence in yourself because you feel worthy of success, because you're putting forth the effort. You go, “Wow. I deserve this.” That goes hand-in-hand with spending time with it. I'm spending time. I'm working on it. I'm not perfect, but I'm getting better. I'm making progress. I'm inching forward. And progress produces confidence. Everything that we do in an effort to move toward a predetermined outcome of achieving a result or getting better at something. Everything that we do in that regard helps us to develop confidence that we can do that thing. A kid who catches his or her first baseball, now has a level of confidence that they can catch a baseball that they didn't have until they spent that time they made progress and they got a result. So, set realistic and achievable goals that you can move towards, that you can make progress on.
Again, going back to the miracle equation, I wrote in that book that one of the secrets of success is to be committed to your process. That's the daily actions that you need to take without being emotionally attached to your results. That's where self-confidence comes from. You go, “You know what? I'm going to go to the gym every day and I'm going to work out for 30 minutes. And if I don't hit my goals right away, if I don't lose the weight, if it doesn't come off as fast as I'm hoping, if I don't build the muscles as quickly as I had anticipated, I'm not emotionally attached to my results. I'm focused on the process that will create progress.” The process that will create progress. And again, progress produces confidence and results are what? Cement your confidence. You go, “I've done this before. I can do it again.” And this is all a progression, right? You've got to spend time with it and practice to see progress that will ultimately lead to results. And on that topic, do not expect perfection, right? It's impossible that you're going to be perfect in every area of your life. So, don't beat yourself up if you're not perfect. Reward yourself for making progress.
The fourth-place that confidence comes from, mental conditioning. Whatever you tell yourself and you believe becomes your reality. Again, I'll say this. That famous quote from Henry Ford sums it up, “Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right either way.” And he goes back to what we talked about, which is having high or low self-confidence is rarely related to your actual abilities. It's based on your perceptions. It's based on your perceptions. It's the mental conditioning. You've got to be intentional about the beliefs that you are creating, that you are nurturing, and that you are embedding within you. And for me, the most effective way to do that has always been written affirmations. In fact, the first affirmation that I ever read, I just remembered this, was called the self-confidence affirmation. It came from the book, Think and Grow Rich. You can download it if you go on, what is the site, TMM as in The Miracle Morning, TMMBook.com, that is one of the bonuses that you can download is the self-confidence affirmation.
I think I edited it like I made it my own. I mean, it's not my own. It's from Napoleon Hill, but I edited it like to modernize the language. And then that's what I put out for you. So, it's like a hybrid of Napoleon Hill and then my edits. But anyway, it's called The Self-confidence Affirmation. And when I was reading that was in 2007, 2008 when the economy had crashed, right? You know the story. And I'd lost everything. And my self-confidence was at the lowest it had been in, you know, I don't remember. I mean, since I was in high school probably and I was 22, 28 at the time. So, that's an example, too. We're going to talk the fourth question that we're going to explore today is how can we get it back if we lose it? Well, I have lost it. I had developed really supreme self-confidence during my Cutco days because every day I practiced or I made phone calls. I did appointments every day. I made progress towards predetermined goals and I got results. I failed a lot. There was a lot of no sales and a lot of weeks where I didn’t hit my goals but I was committed to continue focusing on the process without being emotionally attached to the results.
And in doing so, I got results over an extended period of time, day by day. There was bad days, good days, average days, but over an extended period of time, I continued with what we're talking about today, and I developed confidence in myself as one of the top Cutco reps. Well, then I retired from Cutco and I became a coach and I started writing a book, Taking Life Head On, my first book. I launched a speaking career. And that was very slow going but my main income source, my main business was coaching entrepreneurs and salespeople. And so, I developed confidence. At first, I had no confidence in that because I haven’t done it. Then I started practicing it by doing coaching calls. I saw progress. I built my business, I got results, I had confidence. And then the economy crashed. I lost over half of my clients, lost over half of my income, tried to get more clients using the techniques that I had originally used to build my business and they did not work anymore. They did not work anymore. And so, what happened? I lost my self-confidence. Or I should say it was blocked.
I don't know that you can lose self-confidence, but it was blocked. I was blocking it by focusing on my failures. I want you to think about that for a second. I want you to turn that on you. How do you block confidence? What do you focus on? What do you tell yourself that blocks the confidence that is available to you? If you tell yourself, “I'm not worthy. I'm not good enough. I tried and I failed,” if you look at the listener that wrote in, they said, “I made bad choices in the past and I can't trust in me anymore.” That's not true. That's a perception that creates low self-confidence. That's not true. And by the way, I'm not trying to judge. We all do that. But it's important to be aware of when you're lacking confidence, you're actually blocking it by whatever perception you're reinforcing. Telling yourself you can't. You're right. So, you can't. You can't because you believe what you tell yourself repeatedly over and over and over and over again.
So, when it comes to mental conditioning, you have to be intentional about the beliefs that you use. And for me, it’s written affirmations. And again, the first written affirmation I ever used was from Think and Grow Rich called the Self-Confidence Affirmation, which you can get at TMMBook.com. However, you can also create your own affirmations, of course. It’s a great place to start because it’s an affirmation that has stood the test of time. I think it was published in 1937. So, it’s been around a long, long time. That’s a great place to start.
And then you can do what I did, which is I edited it. And even beyond what I put online for you, I have since edited it to make it very personal for me where in my Self-Confidence Affirmation, I address the blockages, I address the obstacles to my self-confidence, the self-created obstacles that I tell myself that I’m not worthy or that I’m inferior or that I fail in the past, I’m going to fail again. Being aware of the obstacles is almost important as being aware of the path forward.
I’m going to say that again, being aware of the obstacles is almost as important. If not, I mean, you could argue it’s as important. In fact, let’s say it’s as important as being aware of the path forward. What do I mean by that? Well, let’s say you know the path. Okay, I know the path. I’m going to go from here to there that I have a vision of this clear path from point A where I am now to point B, where I want to be in the future. However, if you’re not aware of the obstacles, then when they arise, you’re likely to be thrown off track. They are likely to negatively impact your self-confidence.
In the Miracle Morning, I think it was the chapter, The 95% Reality Check, I talked about the causes of mediocrity, which are the obstacles to everything that we want. It’s the things that cause us to settle for less. That’s how I define mediocrity. It’s not a judgment. It’s something we all deal with when we settle for less than we are capable of. That’s how I define mediocrity. It’s our own individual settling for less than we are capable of.
It’s not how you compare to somebody else or I compare to you, or vice versa. I’m sure you can measure it that way if you want, but the way I look at it is don’t worry about anybody else. Focus on how are you showing up in comparison to how you could show up at your best. That’s how you would measure the separation between mediocrity versus what you’re capable of.
But when it comes to mental conditioning, this is actually the starting place. So, it’s the fourth place that I’m talking about where self-confidence comes from, but in terms of developing it, that mental conditioning is going to be one of the most important components because it comes before the results and the progress and so on and so forth. It’s how you get started.
Well, let’s get into this. So, how can we develop and increase our self-confidence? This is the third question that we’re going to answer today. First, let go of the past. You have to let go of the past. I don’t know who said this, but your past does not define your future or does not equal the future. You’ve to recognize that past negative life experiences do not dictate where you’re going. You may have heard me say this before but where you are in your life is the result of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be. That starts with letting go of the past.
I also, in the Miracle Morning, wrote about rearview mirror syndrome. This idea that you can picture yourself in a car and get a rearview mirror up above your right shoulder. Unless you’re up on the other side of the world, it’s your left shoulder. But here in America, it would be on the right. You drive on the left side of the car is on your right.
But that rearview mirror, we have a rearview mirror in our subconscious mind, metaphorically speaking, and we tend to operate out of it. So, when we’re faced with a challenge, we check the rearview and you go, how do I usually deal with this? And often, our self-confidence doesn’t improve because you look at the past, you go, oh, man, I’ve never stood up for myself before, or oh, man, I’ve never achieved anything remarkable. I guess that’s who I am.
We mistakenly perpetuate our identity based on the limitations of our past instead of consciously choosing to rewrite our identity based on the possibilities for the future. Not to mention, we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses or what I like to call areas of improvement. Like untapped strengths, you could say. It depends, it’s like a glass-is-half-full approach of looking at weaknesses. But we have both. And that’s another part of it is that you’ve got to let go of the mistakes. Yes, learn from them, but don’t adopt them as who you are. That I am my mistakes, I am my failures. I’m no better than that. No, you’re limitless.
And so, the first way to develop and increase our self-confidence, again, it’s removing obstacles. And the first obstacles are the mistakes of our past or the failures of our past or the beliefs, the limiting beliefs of our past. So, the first thing that we have to do is we have to let go of the past. And one really simple way to do that, in terms of mental conditioning, is to create affirmations that literally say, use the cliché quotes that I just rattled off from– I don’t know who said them, but my past does not equal the future.
Where I go– you can take my quote here, this one is not cliché, this one’s okay. Where I am in my life is a result of who I was, but where I go depends entirely on who I choose to be from this moment forward. That’s empowering to go, yeah, I’m not my past. I am limitless. I can choose to be, to do anything now to change the trajectory of my future.
But you have to be conscious of that. Again, if you’re not conscious of the obstacles, especially when they’re stored in our subconscious, then they’re going to derail you. It’s almost a certainty. You’ve got to be aware of the obstacles, you’ve got to anticipate them, and you’ve got to address them so that you can either overcome them, transcend them, ideally transcend them, which is where you just leave the obstacles behind. You just decide, this is not who I am anymore. I am transcending the limitations of my past, the obstacles that could prevent me from having the self-confidence to do anything that I want.
And as you move forward, here’s the thing, you’re almost inevitably going to make more mistakes. But when you make a mistake or you have a setback, you’ve got to treat yourself with kindness and compassion. I often will think about when I’m beating myself up mentally or emotionally, have you ever done that before? Of course. I will often think, what would I say to my son or my daughter if this were them? I would definitely not talk to him as harshly as I’m talking to myself.
The voice in my head, if you listen to that voice in your head sometimes, if you don’t take control of it, it can beat you up, it can discourage you, it can rob you of your self-confidence. It can be your biggest obstacle. In fact, it is the biggest obstacle because that is the perception. That’s where perception comes from. It’s what you tell yourself.
So, I often ask myself, what would I tell my son or daughter? It would be empowering language. It would be, hey, look, I know you made a mistake, but it’s okay. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. Let’s move forward. You can let this go, let the past go, and let’s focus on the future. You can’t change the past, but you can change everything else.
And so, I often think of how would I talk to somebody else. So, treat yourself with kindness and compassion when you make a mistake, when you have a setback. Don’t dwell on failure. And if you’re feeling intense emotions, by the way, when we get emotional and we act out of emotion, we’re usually not logical, especially if it’s a harmful, detrimental, painful, disempowering, emotional state, like fear or regret or anxiety.
So, if you’re feeling those intense emotions, slow down, breathe, take a breath, take a few breaths, take 10 breaths, whatever you got to do. Slow down and think logically about the situation. Slow down and think logically about the situation, and a good way to do that is to take the focus off of yourself and imagine the advice you would give to someone else who you love that’s in your situation.
If you don’t have kids, think about your best friend or your spouse or a family member. When you catch yourself feeling intense, detrimental emotions, slow down, take a deep breath, and imagine what you would tell someone you loved if you’re thinking logically about the situation, and do that. Take your advice from that perspective. That’s the first thing. To develop self-confidence, develop and increase your self-confidence, start by removing the obstacles which is letting go of the past, which is letting go of that voice in your head that is beating yourself up.
Second way to develop and increase our self-confidence is you have to make a conscious commitment to develop self-confidence. And I guess in some ways, this could be the first step. But here’s the thing, it’s like anything. You can’t listen to a podcast or read a book and expect your life to change. That is passive. I would say passive transformation, but I don’t even know if I can call it transformation because you’re not necessarily transforming. It’s passive learning. You’re learning something.
But if you don’t implement what you learn, if you don’t live what you learn, nothing changes. So, you have to make a conscious commitment, an unwavering commitment that you’re going develop self-confidence. In other words, you have to make it a priority and you have to take action on it. Essentially, you have to follow through with what we’re talking about today. You have to get clear on spending time practicing and improving, taking action to make progress and results, so on and so forth.
In terms of that mental conditioning, here’s your first step for the conscious commitment is create a self-confidence affirmation, or at the very least, go to TMMBook.com and download the Self-Confidence Affirmation, or if you have the book, Think and Go Rich, you can find it in there, either way. But you have to make a conscious commitment, you have to be proactive to improve your self-confidence. And everything we’ve talked about today is all culminating into this, into this commitment.
And then the third is to take consistent action to produce results. That’s where, like I said, confidence is cemented within us when we take action daily to make progress and produce results. So, I know that sounds like that’s elementary, right? That’s not new. You’re like, take action. That’s what everybody says, produce results, but that’s how it happens, that’s where confidence is cemented.
You can visualize making baskets or, I don’t know, I’m thinking of the basketball analogy because I like basketball, but you can visualize yourself doing the thing. You can visualize yourself giving speeches in front of thousands of people. I’m using all my own examples. Let me get off of myself. What’s an example that you might imagine? Whatever you’re trying to accomplish in your life, you can visualize it. That’s a starting place. That’s the mental conditioning piece. But it’s not until you get on stage. Pick up that phone. Go for that run. Have that difficult conversation. That’s where confidence is created.
You have to do the things you’re afraid of. That’s part of this taking action to produce results. You have to do the things you’re afraid of, and in the midst of action, that’s where your fear fades and it’s replaced by confidence. I’ll say that again. In the midst of action, that’s where your fear fades and confidence takes its place.
And by the way, as a side note, individual counseling can also help increase your self-confidence. If you need more help or coaching, getting help from somebody else, it goes back to where the self-confidence comes from. The first place I talked about is other people and that we can sometimes borrow the confidence of others until our confidence catches up.
When I met my mentor in Cutco, Jesse, I borrowed his confidence, and that’s what actually got me to take action. And then I started to see progress and see results, and then the confidence that I borrowed from Jesse to get started, it’s like, imagine the analogy, like you ran out of gas. Well, you don’t have any gas. So, it’s hard to generate gas from thin air. Like, it’s hard to generate confidence from thin air. But if you can borrow a gallon of gas from somebody, just enough, just enough to get you to the gas station, and then you can fill up your own tank.
In the same way, if we can borrow confidence from somebody else, like a therapist or a counselor or a coach or today, from me, in this podcast, I mean, I would imagine it seems like you’re borrowing confidence from the confidence that I’m sharing, but we can borrow from the people. So, I just wanted to mention that as something that if you feel stuck, if you feel like you need help, please seek help. Please seek help.
There’s an app, by the way. I don’t have any experience with this, so I cannot give you firsthand experience, but I’ve heard from people. Actually, I’ve heard some people love it, some people not so much. It’s got good reviews, though. I believe it’s called BetterMe. Hold on, I have it on my phone. I have not done a session yet, but let me just double-check so I can give you the right– I don’t know where it is. Anyway, BetterMe, I believe, is the name of the app. I’m sure if you go to the App Store, you can type therapy, but it’s a really inexpensive way to find a counselor or therapist for a very specific issue so something to look into.
And then last but not least, and this is a real short conclusion. How can we get our self-confidence back if we lose it? First, recognize that you can’t lose self-confidence. You think you lost it, you can simply allow something to block it. It’s a minor distinction, but it’s a significant one. When I have lost my self-confidence, which has happened multiple times in different contexts throughout the years, throughout the decades, it was that I was now blocking it with the new story I was telling myself that I’m a failure now because I failed. I can’t do this because I failed. I’m not capable of accomplishing this goal because I never have. I’m blocking the confidence that’s available to me. Think about that. Confidence is available to you. That’s really good news. It is available to you at all times.
If you follow what we talked about today, let go of the past, make a conscious commitment to develop your self-confidence, create an affirmation, or go get the Self-Confidence Affirmation to hone your mental conditioning. And when you say things that make you feel unconfident, use Robin Sharma’s technique Opposition Thinking, which is immediately replace that negative, disempowering thought with a confidence-inspiring thought, whatever the opposite thought would be. I can’t do this. No, I can do this. In the past, I’ve shown I don’t follow through. No, I will follow through.
Literally, you have to take control because remember, confidence is not based on your abilities as much as it is your perceptions. That’s where it’s rooted. It’s rooted in your perceptions. And you have the ability to take control of your perception based on what you focus on, based on what you tell yourself.
So, the first thing, recognize you can’t lose self-confidence. You simply are allowing something to block it. And then, second, get back to the basics. That’s it. Follow the steps we talked about today. And don’t reinvent the wheel. All you’re doing is if you feel like you’ve lost your self-confidence or you’re blocking it, you just got to go back through this podcast, back through these steps, and then you go, oh, yeah, I can get my confidence back. I can get rid of these blockages, and it can emerge within me, and I can become confident again.
So, today, we talked about what is self-confidence? Where does it come from? How can we develop and increase it? And how can we get it back if we lose it? Know how important this is. It should be a priority for you.
All right, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, I love you. I appreciate you. I am getting ready to go camping tomorrow with my family. I’m excited for nights out in the woods. Going to be a fun time. Hope you are doing something with people that you love that makes you feel good, makes you feel happy because you deserve it. You deserve it. I love you so much and I will talk to you next week.