May 21, 2013
For many, being confident can be a struggle. According to life coach and author Jim Fannin, the amount of people who are suffering from low self-esteem is rising at an alarming rate.
"In all my 60-plus years, I've never seen more stress, worry, despair, anguish — it's just magnified," said Fannin, author of the book, "The Pebble in the Shoe, 5 Steps to a Simple and Confident Life."
Fannin said confidence dissolves when we worry too much about the future, dwell on the past, or judge ourselves and others.
"After listening to one of my clients and being around him, I told him if, 'I talked to you the way you talk to you, you'd fire me already!'" he said. "People today are judging themselves, judging other people, comparing themselves to neighbors, friends, co-workers, team members. It won't lead to a confident life."
Here are Fannin's tips to increase confidence:
Be the palm tree.
"This is the concept of absorbing the negative energy, and being flexible and moving and once the storm blows by, saying, 'Hey sunshine. How are you doing?' There's a reason there are no oak trees on the beach. I think we are being oak trees in life — not bending and not absorbing. And in the workplace — if something doesn't go right, you become the oak tree. You need to be the palm tree and be flexible."
Turn on your light switch.
"Just like the light switch on the wall, your head moves up and down, and people who hold past tense and negative thoughts have their head in down positions. With your head up, you come up with solutions. It brings confidence. So your mom was right when she said, 'Keep your chin up.'"
Reboot your mind.
"If you have a computer, and you have too many programs open and it starts to move slow or even freezes, you reboot and it brings a clear simple screen. The brain works like a processor so if something is not going in your favor, you have some news and it starts to get you thinking in a negative way, turn your brain off. Shut your eyes and shut off your brain. Think about nothing, and hold it for a few seconds. That will reboot your brain. I've had a baseball pitcher reboot during the World Series on the mound, so you can reboot at any time.
Remember your mentor.
"Have an image — and this could be a mentor, a deity, a parent, an uncle that has guided you or a grandparent — and any time you need some confidence or something to hang your hat on, picture them in your mind. I had a mentor and I always carried that mentor image that inspired me. And my mother and father — 'What would my mother say?' and 'What would my father do?' I think all of us had that but we forget it. We need to be reminded."
Look ahead, and not behind.
"We evaluate the residue after a performance and then we should move on. Just the word 'next' takes you out of the past and it propels you to your next step which is going to where you want to go. And there are a lot of people who go to bed thinking about what they don't want. The last 30 minutes before you go to sleep, whatever you think, feel, whatever sensations you have, it's replayed 15-20 times during the night — even if it's bad for you. So you better think about what you think about before you go to sleep. Don't go to bed mad or disappointed."
Copyright © 2015 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC