49 Confidence, Get Some
I would like to thank my wonderful girlfriend for this chapter because she has inspired me to become more confident in myself and this chapter presented a great opportunity to do so. If it wasn’t for her, I would be a couch potato that would just be unmotivated to improve my own life. She really has been someone who turned my life around for the good. I would also like to thank my mother for all of the hard work she has done to help me get around while I was recovering from a surgery. She never said no when I needed help and she was always there to make my life easier in any way possible.
Keywords: Presence, Success, Motivation, Purpose, Power
I wanted to explore how useful it is to have confidence in yourself whenever someone gets faced with adversity in their life as well as diving into how confidence affects your speech and rhetoric when presenting yourself to others. After identifying how powerful it is to have self-confidence, I wanted to look into how someone who lacks self-confidence can change habits in their lifestyle to gain confidence in their own abilities to better their overall lifestyle. Self-confidence is a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement. A self-confident person knows what they excel at and what they don’t, which gives them the ability to be more confident about decisions that they make. I explored Brian Tracy’s The Power of Self-Confidence to look at how a person can make themselves unstoppable, irresistible, and unafraid of every part of their lives. I looked at a study by Horrell et al. examining how one-day cognitive-behavioral therapy for self-confidence workshops help people suffering from depression. Bénabou et al. examined how confidence can increase motivation in a person which proves confidence to be a valuable asset for individuals with a lack of willpower. They also looked at the dangers of overconfidence and how too much “positive thinking” can cause more harm than good to a person. In addition to research on confidence, I offer some personal insight on self-confidence due to the relevancy that it has to my current and everyday life. I discuss what it means to be someone who needs self-confidence and which steps are necessary to increase one’s self-confidence.
During the recent months it was the first time that I had found myself questioning the confidence that I have in myself due to a life-changing surgery that I had to undergo. Forced to stay inside on bedrest, I had discovered what it meant to feel depressed about everyday life due to the fact that my everyday life had changed dramatically due to the surgery. Very little human interaction, no outside time, lack of motivation, and a handful of other things had started to take over my life and I couldn’t stand it anymore. Tracy offers useful information on different aspects of self-confidence and the inspirational road to achieve self-confidence. The first powerful message that I took from Tracy is that:
Every man or woman who has ever accomplished anything out of the ordinary has turned out to have greater self-confidence than the ordinary person. When you develop yourself to the point where your belief in yourself is so strong that you know that you can accomplish almost anything you really want, your future will be unlimited. (x)
From the opening of Tracy’s book, I knew I would learn about the ways in which his work is beneficial for my life, if I ever want to be an even more accomplished individual. Tracy discusses how having higher self-confidence makes someone completely change their ways because now the only thing that matters is bettering yourself. This change in lifestyles is what I noticed to be the first step into gaining more self-confidence because I was forced to do things or surround myself with people that are going to be a positive influence on my life. The foundation of self-confidence is where Tracy starts his idea about the importance of how we think and talk about ourselves due to how often we speak things into existence. Tracy discusses the law of concentration, which means that “anything you dwell upon grows in your reality” (3). This made me realize how spending a long period of time thinking negatively about myself could have a long-term impact on my attitude and behavior. Tracy discussed many beneficial strategies related to self-confidence, including the challenging process it is to achieve self-confidence. Having purposeful and personal power, achieving competence and personal mastery, discovering the inner game of self-confidence, learning how to capitalize on your strengths and triumph over your adversities, and lastly having self-confidence in all of our actions is how Tracy advises everyone to achieve self-confidence.
After discussing the ways in which we can obtain self-confidence as a way of improving the overall health and well-being of a person, I now look at how the process of gaining self-confidence can help people who are dealing with depression. I examined a study done by Horrell et al. where around 400 adults with depression were tested over a 12-week period as a way to test if Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can reduce depression by focusing on exercises created to help individuals find self-confidence. The results of the study showed that finding ways to increase self-confidence is a cost-effective way for individuals to better their lifestyle. This source is relevant to the topic due to the current amount of people who are depressed in today’s world and society. Even though depression is supposed to be the leading cause of disease burden worldwide, there are many obstacles that stand in the way of receiving treatment for depression. This is why CBT is a possibility to fight depression. The numbers are showing that in the future, we are going to need more help than ever when it comes to working to help people find different ways of treatment. The fact that people are trying to implement ways in which teaching confidence will medically benefit people shows how much of an immediate impact having confidence can have on someone’s life. It is quite touching to learn about how people who were struggling to get through their everyday lives due to depression could now have some exciting activities to look forward to, improves their confidence in themselves, as well as their self-image.
Having self-confidence opens up so many doors in people’s lives that they didn’t know existed due to their lack of self-confidence. An insecure individual may not step out of their comfort zone as a way to network themselves or even just to try something new. This insecure person lacks the ability to portray themselves as someone that people may gravitate to. Instead, those who lack confidence may find themselves not making any improvements in their lives due to the tendency to do the same, comfortable things over and over again. I know this due to the personal experiences that I have delt with in my life where I used to get distracted from my main goals. Recently I was placed on bedrest where I had pretty much the same day for 2 months where I could slightly move around the house. I was able to get really comfortable with sitting on my butt all day and it even got to a point where I was denying going out to dinner just because I didn’t want to leave the house. Lacking self-confidence in the person that I now was post-surgery is what made the recovery process difficult for a period of time because I didn’t want to embarrass myself out in public. I’m a big guy and when a big guy walks into a place on crutches it tends to draw a lot of wandering eyes and I felt as if I was not presentable enough to be observed by people. I had no confidence in my own abilities because I couldn’t do any physical activity but get out of bed to crutch my way over to the bathroom. I didn’t want anyone to see me this way and I started to have a hard time looking at the person I was becoming. On top of me not being able to do anything, it didn’t help that there is a worldwide pandemic going around that prevented friends and loved ones from stopping by to say hi and check in on me. Recovery happens a lot faster and smoother when there is a surplus of outside support that makes the person feel loved by many. I was only able to experience a limited number of these interactions with people due to COVID-19 restrictions. These restrictions made it more difficult to gain my social skills back but since my self-confidence has increased, I am not worried. Finding confidence in myself is what has allowed me to retake my life back and start planning to live a life full of purpose.
By explaining different ways and strategies to gain self-confidence, I was able to show the information that I personally took and applied to my life as a way to display how powerful self-confidence is due to the improvements that it made in my life. I think that even through COVID and recovering from surgery the lack of self-confidence is really what had me feeling depressed. I specifically looked at how self-confidence can be used as a cost-effective way to help people fight depression that showed promising results. The number of people who report having depressing is expected to be on the rise and continue rising which would make CBT with self-confidence exercises an efficient and healthy way for patients to go through treatment. This data provides also gives validity to my statements about how having and gaining self-confidence really does have a positive effect on someone’s life. Now that I am starting to gain my self-confidence back, I can happily say that my quality of life has increased, and I am eager to take on whatever comes next.
Bénabou, Roland, and Jean Tirole. “Self-Confidence and Personal Motivation.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 117, no. 3, Aug. 2002, pp. 871–915. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1162/003355302760193913.
Horrell, Linda, et al. “One-Day Cognitive–Behavioural Therapy Self-Confidence Workshops for People with Depression: Randomised Controlled Trial.” British Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 204, no. 3, Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 222–33. wfu.primo.exlibrisgroup.com, doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.112.121855.
Tracy, Brian. The Power of Self-Confidence Become Unstoppable, Irresistible, and Unafraid in Every Area of Your Life. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2012.