The Secrets to Conversation Confidence

It’s here!

Today is the public release of my free video guide, The Secrets to Conversation Confidence. Check it out here.

The FREE Video Guide

I’ve put in this 30 min. slide video some of the most powerful lessons that I have to share on how to become a confident conversationalist and live life to the fullest.

And this is not self-help babble. It’s very practical advice that I’ve seen work consistently in my 5 years of experience a social confidence coach, plus it’s well documented by the scientific research. In other words, you can count on it to really help you.

In this free video presentation you will learn:

  • The 3 fatal mistakes you’re making that sabotage your conversation confidence.
  • The no. 1 secret to gaining enduring conversation confidence.
  • The truth about positive affirmations and other such gimmicks for boosting confidence.
  • And the proven formula for becoming a confident conversationalist.

The Extended Audio Guide

This also marks the launch of my audio guide, Conversation Confidence. It’s a no-nonsense guide to making authentic, confident and effortless conversation, and consists of 4.5 hours of high-quality audio content, jam packed with actionable information.

You can find out more about it on the same page with the free video. Just scroll down.

Usually, when a person seeks my coaching services, they’ve already read a lot of stuff and tried a lot of tricks or techniques to improve their confidence in interactions with other people, either people in general or particular types.

And they’ve seen minimal progress, if any.

After just a few sessions with me, the typically testify that they’ve seen for the first time in their life incredible enhancements in their confidence and they’re getting visibly closer to the social life or their dreams.

Well, the Conversation Confidence audio program describes the entire method I use as a coach to help my clients develop their confidence in conversations. I’ve spend the entire summer developing it, and the method in presents has been no less than 5 years in the making.

The Top Advice for Confidence Enhancement

Moreover, the free video guide reveals some of my best ideas on becoming a confident conversationalist. I’ve made an early launch of the video to part of my new list, and I’m already getting emails of praise in my Inbox.

So, go here and watch this video. Watch it completely, and I promise you that you’ll learn powerful ideas from it.

This being said, this is the last email you’ll receive from me via Feedburner. If you want to keep hearing for me, join my new list here, if you haven’t already done so (yes, it’s the same page).

From now on, a lot of the stuff I write will no longer appear on this blog. It will only be available via email to the people who are subscribed to my list.

Stay cool!

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Why You Struggle With Changing Habits and How to Change This

I have a question for you: how often do you find yourself in a situation where: 1) you know you should change, 2) you even want to change, and yet 3) you don’t change?

If you’re like the majority of us, I’m going to guess that your answer is: “Quite often, damn it!” Join the group, take a seat and pay attention, because the solution to your predicament is close, very close.

It’s Not about Want or Willpower

The standard view in our society is that if a person truly wants to change and to get somewhere, they won’t just try, they’ll make it happen. And if they don’t change in a reeeeally long period of time, then they either don’t want it badly enough or they lack willpower.

Like Yoda says: “Do or not do. There is no try”. Right?

Well, NO. It turns out that the little fella is full of bullshit.

Not changing in the direction you chose is not a problem of want or willpower. You are not lazy, stupid or unmotivated for finding it quite hard to quit smoking, lose that extra weight, spend less time online or change your communication style.

You’re only human, and there is no need to feel guilty. It turns out that the habitual behaviors of human beings are very much influenced by personal, social and situational factors. Thus, the real key to change is not to try harder, it is to improve your change strategy.

How to Actually Change

This being said, I invite you to watch the 53 min. video below for a powerful lesson on the topic. It’s a recent Google Talk where Joseph Grenny shares the real science of changing habits. I came across it yesterday and I found it mind-blowingly smart.

Seriously, this talk could be one of the best pieces of personal development information you’ll ever get. So if you skip it, I’ll personally kick your ass.

Image courtesy of Krikit

Avoidant Personality Disorder

Think of avoidant personality disorder as shyness taken up a notch. It’s a condition that’s present in almost 1% of the general population, and its consequences on ones social life are debilitating.

As a communication coach, I deal with individuals with avoidant personality disorder quite often. The seriousness of their situation makes them keen on finding solutions to become more outgoing. So this article is my comprehensive intro to avoidant personality disorder and its treatment.

What It Is and What It’s Not

According to the forth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), avoidant personality disorder (AvPD) is a psychological condition characterized by a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation.

It’s important to note that avoidant personality disorder is not a mental disorder. Also, be aware that if you have AvPD, there is nothing physically wrong with your brain or the way it’s functioning.

Any chemical imbalance that may exist in your brain is not the root cause of avoidant personality disorder, but a mere symptom of it. This is why medication, although it can improve the mood, does little to actually overcome avoidant personality disorder. It addresses the symptoms, not the causes.

AvPD is considered a psychological disorder. I even use this term lightly, because it often reinforces the belief people with avoidant personality disorder have that they are somehow broken, which they are not.

Overall, I think the best mode to look at avoidant personality disorder is as a learned way of thinking, feeling and behaving that doesn’t create results, sometimes based on certain predispositions. And the best news is that anything you’ve learned, you can also unlearn.

Avoidant Personality Disorder Symptoms

You can recognize avoidant personality disorder correctly by understanding its symptoms and taking note of them. The following are the most important symptoms visible in people with AvPD:

  • Avoiding social activities and spending huge amounts of time alone;
  • Having a very small social circle and only carrying brief interactions with the people in it;
  • A major reluctance to meeting new people and a strong feeling of inadequacy when dealing with them;
  • Being generally reserved and quiet when interacting with others, due to fear of saying something improper and being shamed;
  • Being over-preoccupied with how they are seen by others, due to fear of being disliked or rejected;
  • Frequently fantasizing about having social interactions that turn out the way they want them to;
  • Not rising up to their potential in their career, due to running away from opportunities that require them to be social;
  • Seeing themselves as socially unskilled, awkward or inferior to others.

Avoidant Personality Disorder Treatment

Although ‘treatment’ is the conventional word, it may not be the best one. Remember we’re not talking about killing a virus; we’re talking about learning a new way of thinking, feeling and behaving.

I’ll start off with what you probably want to know most: yes, avoidant personality disorder can be ‘treated’. It does take time and perseverance, and it does require using the proper methods, but it is doable and there are hundreds of documented cases that point this out.

Successfully getting rid of AvPD typically involves a three folded process:

1) Challenging and changing dysfunctional thinking. People with avoidant personality disorder tend to have a lot of limiting beliefs, plus an unrealistic view of social standards and of themselves. These need to be corrected by consciously changing the way they think.

2) Gradual exposure. People with avoidant personality disorder need to gradually face those exact situations they’re afraid of and they typically avoid. Systemic exposure, combined with combating unrealistic thinking will set their mind and emotions on the right path.

3) Improving people skills. Since individuals with AvPD avoid social situations as much as they can, their people skills have often atrophied or they’ve never truly developed at all. Thus, training key people skills and learning how to start a conversation, how to keep it going or how to connect with people is crucial.

The methods of intervention that have been proven to work best for overcoming avoidant personality disorder are cognitive-behavioral therapy and coaching. There is a raft of research that confirms the success of these methods. No other methods even come close to the elegance and effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral methods.

If you have avoidant personality disorder, the first essential step is to recognize it without making a big deal out of it.

The second step is to realize that there is hope for you and to fully commit to overcoming this condition. This can be tricky particularly because people with avoidant personality disorder will sometimes tend to avoid the very things that will lead to overcoming their condition.

Using cognitive-behavioral principles and techniques on your own, you will see progress. However, given the seriousness of the condition, initially working one-on-one with a competent coach or a therapist is a good idea.

You will make much faster progress, you’ll successfully get passed those first hurdles and get the wheels spinning in the right direction.

One more thing: If you want to learn more about building social confidence and overcoming your insecurities, then check out this presentation I created, in which I share some of my top advice on this topic. I’m sure you’ll find it very useful.

A rich and fulfilling social life doesn’t have to exist only in your daydreams. Pick the best tools to use, put them into practice and keep moving forward despite the struggles, and you will make it real.

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Toxic Relationships and Navigating Them

One of my tenets is this: life is too short to waste it dealing with poisonous people and having toxic relationships.

If you believe you may have one or more toxic relationships in your life, then one of the key people skills for you to master is recognizing and managing such relationships.

In my work as a communication coach, I often help my clients navigate through and beyond toxic relationships. I can tell you than acquiring the proper skills and attitudes to do this is not an easy process, but if you share the above tenet with me, you’ll definitely find in worth your while.

Toxic Relationships Signs

Toxic relationships can be present in any area of your life. You may have a toxic relationship with your spouse, your GF/BF, your parents, your boss, a friend, a colleague or a business partner.

Before anything else, you need to be able to look the monster in the eye and name it. In other words, you need to recognize toxic relationships and acknowledge them if they exist in your life. The following are in my view the top five signs of a toxic relationship:

1. Lack of balance. One person gives, the other receives. One person invests, makes sacrifices and compromises for the sake of the relationship, the other person takes, expects and demands compromises.

2. Heavy criticism. Any relationship where at least one partner spends significantly more time criticizing, accusing and putting down the other partner than praising and supporting him or her is a toxic relationship.

3. Emotional manipulation. If in a relationship you often feel pressured to do certain things, if the other person frequently uses shame, guilt, fear or anger as tools to push your buttons and direct your behavior, you’re in a toxic relationship.

4. Persistent anxiety. Your mood while interacting with a person is a good sign of the dynamic that relationship has. If you frequently feel anxious or tense while interacting with a person, or even just thinking about it, the relationship is toxic.

5. Disrupting your growth. Healthy relationships help every area of your life flourish. Toxic relationships do the exact opposite. Toxic relationships in your family life make you unfocused and unproductive at work; toxic relationships in your career make you distant and cranky when at home.

Measure any relationship based on these five signs and you’ll get a pretty good idea about the number of toxic relationships in your life. Once you discover any, the next step is to decide if the best way to go is to try and save them, or to end them.

Ending Toxic Relationships

Now, once they fully realize they’re in a toxic relationship, many people have the instinctual reaction to try and fix it. They think it is the noble and proper thing to do. After all, we get preached to all the time on how relationships require compromises and we should fight for them.

Well, that may sound dignified, but the fact it that it’s often not the best path to take. Here’s one essential thing I came to realize as a communication coach: most of the time, you’re much better off ending toxic relationships than trying to save them.

It may be emotionally hard to do so, but trust me: in terms of costs and benefits, the best thing you can do is in all probability to end it without even thinking twice.

As a strategy for ending toxic relationships, I typically recommend biting the bullet and going all the way. Don’t try to distance yourself gradually from the other person and to play it all safe. It usually won’t work and it will cause you a whole lot of trouble.

Have a serious discussion with the other person and tell them: “Look! This relationship is not working for me. It’s causing me huge distress. I’m ending it”.

The other person will likely try to fight you on your decision and manipulate you into not ending the relationship. Keep in mind that it’s your choice, that you don’t need the other person’s consent to end the relationship, and stick to your decision.

Fixing Toxic Relationships

OK: if you truly believe that a toxic relationship in your life can be fixed and for some practical reason, trying to save it is a good idea, then by all means go ahead and try and fix it.

The essential concept you need to understand if you walk this path is that toxic relationships are co-created. Thus, saving it can only be done if both parts are willing to change. Overall, saving a toxic relationship involves three key steps:

1. An honest and straightforward expression, by both persons involved, of their needs, wants, opinions and frustrations related to their relationship. Honest, open communication is crucial in the healing process.

2. Acknowledging each others rights and responsibilities. If one person refuses to admit the other person’s needs and wants (often different from theirs) and to take them into consideration, there is no saving for the relationship.

3. Working towards a win-win solution. Once both sides of the story have been expressed, heard and accepted, the two parts need to collaborate to find the mutually advantageous solutions, and to rebuild their relationship based on them.

Effectively handling toxic relationships is not a matter of using a few simple tricks and tricks. It’s a matter of gaining confidence and developing key people skills for building healthy relationships. It’s an inside-out journey that begins with you and ends with your relationships.

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How to Make People Like You

Let’s face it: we’re all social animals and we want to be liked by others. That’s perfectly fine, as long as you don’t become desperate for people’s approval and feel shitty when someone doesn’t like you. It’s cool to want to know how to make people like you.

One of the central benefits of having good people skills is that you can increase your likeability factor. And the more likeable you can be my friend, the more options you have in your social life and beyond.

I’ve always been amazed by the ability to sweep people off their feet with your very presence. It’s one of the things that got me into improving my people skills more than a decade ago, and later into helping others do the same through communication coaching.

During this time, I’ve learned a thing or two on how to make people like you.

How Not To Make People Like You

girlThere is one way to make people like you that’s very popular and I’m adamantly against. That is being really nice with people and doing nice things for them all the time. Sure, you can get some people’s approval be being a nice guy or a nice girl. However, there are huge downsides to this strategy.

First of all, as many nice people exemplify, having a nice behavior towards others all the time often projects neediness and insecurity. That doesn’t make someone like you, it makes them either avoid you (if you’re lucky) or use you (if you’re unlucky).

Second of all, in order to keep people’s appreciation with this strategy, you have to keep doing nice things for them. Eventually, all the effort you put into pleasing the people in your life by being nice turns into a huge pain in the ass for you.

Want to know how to make people like you in the best way possible? Make them like you for who you are, not for what you do for them. This idea is a huge mental shift for many and it puts the focus on developing edgy people skills and a charismatic personality, not on being nice all the time.

Be a Positive Presence

It is a psychological fact that emotions are contagious, both positive and negative ones. When you can make people feel good, in a way they reward you for this by liking you.

Interestingly enough, the most effective way to make others feel good is not by giving them cheesy compliments or shallow encouragements, but by being positive yourself. Therefore, learning how to make people like you goes hand in hand with learning how to manage your emotional state.

A very helpful exercise for getting yourself in a positive state is simply faking it. You see, in your psychology, everything is connected: your thoughts, your emotions and your body. Walk, move and talk like a person feeling good and you’ll elicit that very state. You’ll feel positive because you act positive, and you’ll transmit it to others.

Share Yourself

There is some fascinating research emerging lately in the field of social psychology that points out one of the simplest and most powerful answers to how to make people like you is to open up and share yourself.

Not only that we tend to feel more comfortable with people who share themselves, but we also like them more. Thus, it’s not surprising that timid people are often not very likeable. They don’t put themselves out there.

Listening is a very important people skill to have, but so is opening up. Talk about yourself; put yourself out there in an authentic manner, even if you may find it hard at first. You’ll notice how people will grab on to what they know about you and like you more.

If you have a hard time sharing yourself, it’s probably because you lack social confidence. In this case, all I can say is watch this presentation, because you’ll learn from me in it how to overcome this problem, permanently.

Add Value in Every Conversation

There is a much better mode to add value in people’s lives than being very nice. It’s through the style you make conversation. Want you want is for people to end a conversation with you better off than they were when they started it.

There are many ways to do this. You can be the wise person who inspires others and talks about interesting things, you can be the funny person who gives a humorous spin to everything and gets people laughing.

Find the ways of adding value in conversation that fit well with your personality and develop those. Ultimately, people want to interact the most with those who can offer value, and by being a funny, witty, exciting or wise person you have an endless stream of value you can provide effortlessly.

Knowing how to make people like you permits you to develop very sharp people skills. When you can push people’s buttons through your personality, you open the doors towards a lifestyle of abundance that most people only dream of.

Image courtesy of Kam

Are You Missing Half the Ingredients to Happiness?

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that in the end, all of the things we aim for are ways to increase our happiness and that happiness is our ultimate goal as living, breathing human beings.

It does take a bit of a genius though to achieve a high and sustainable level of happiness. Coaching others, I’ve realized that many people seriously lack in happiness because they have a bad understanding of what happiness is and what actually makes us humans in general happy. So, I’m gonna tell you.

The Two Sides of Happiness

One of probably the best things psychologists have done lately is to deconstruct happiness. Their conclusion, which I support wholeheartedly, is that although happiness has many sides to it, there are two basic ingredients that compose it.

The first ingredient is pleasure. It’s the basic, positive emotional state you get when you do certain kind of activities. We sometimes call these activities our passions. Examples of passions include: reading, writing, dancing, painting, organizing, evaluating, solving problems, talking, listening and so on.

The second ingredient is fulfillment. This is the more complex positive emotion you get when you look back at the things you have done and you find that those things are meaningful to you, because they’re aligned with your values.

Some people – such as myself – find fulfillment in helping others develop, some in making others feel happy, some in building a thing and some in creating a piece of art or poetry. Generally, we feel fulfilled when we have a contribution to something larger than ourselves.

Here Comes the Problem

In my experience the number one way people sabotage their happiness is this: going for one of the two ingredients above, while ignoring the other. Thus, two types of people are shaped, for which I have coined up names:

1. The party person. This is the person who knows how to have fun but not how to get fulfillment. Party persons do the things they’re passionate about; they typically have a lot of hobbies and they party a lot (therefore the name). However, they often end up reflecting upon their lives and feeling unfulfilled because something is missing.

2. The spiritual person. This is the person who is aware (mostly intuitively) of the importance of contribution and a higher purpose. Spiritual persons seek a higher plain of living and they stick to their key values. However, in their strict spiritual journey, they often work themselves like a mule and they forget to have some fun.

Of course, there is also a third type of people who don’t go after pleasure or fulfillment and they pretty much gave up on life, but I don’t even want to talk about them.

The Complete Life

By this point you probably already know where I’m going: you can only have a truly happy life if you:

  • Acknowledge both sides of happiness, pleasure and fulfillment, and
  • You seek to balance them out in your life.

Me, I love public speaking. When I’m doing a speech and I’m in front all those people dissecting a topic I’m knowledgeable about (such as people skills), I feel very good. At the same time, after a speech, I have this perception of having helped those people in the audience open new doors in their lives and I also feel fulfilled.

It is the mix of pleasure and fulfillment that’s key. I believe that what you want to do is combine activities that give you pleasure with activities that give you fulfillment every day. Better yet, find activities that give you both and spend as much time as possible doing those kinds of activities.

Get out there and wisely make the best of it. If life is worth living, life is worth living right.

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How to Overcome Shyness

Almost fifty percent of people describe themselves as shy. If it didn’t have such dire consequences on ones life, shyness would almost be a fashionable thing. However, it does have bad effects and this is why knowing how to overcome shyness is important.

Finding the Needle in the Haystack

Do a search on the web for ‘how to overcome shyness’ and you’ll discover thousands of articles and ten times more tips on this topic. Try to put them into practice and sadly, you’ll also discover that much of the advice on how to overcome shyness is vague, impractical or just plain wrong.

Doing social confidence coaching with people with shyness, I’ve realized that there’re only a handful of ideas and techniques which provide consistent and powerful results in overcoming shyness. I want to share the most effective ones with you.

Overcoming Shyness Starts with Stretching

No, not physical stretching, but emotional. Here’s the thing: it is common for us human beings to stick to doing what is easy and comfortable for us. Thus, many shy people, because they don’t feel comfortable around other people, will tend to isolate themselves.

They will spend many hours alone, watching TV, playing computer games and secretly fantasizing about a better social life. This only works against them because it reinforces their shyness and makes the people skills they may have atrophy.

Learning how to overcome shyness starts with doing the opposite: gradually getting more out of the house, exposing yourself more to social situations and interacting more with people. Since this may feel uncomfortable at first, it’s a form of emotional stretching.

Stretching yourself and interacting more with people works great because it gets you used to social situations and the social anxiety starts to drop. Also, your people skills steadily improve and that’s how to gain confidence.

Get Some Accurate Feedback

Working with shy people or people with an inferiority complex, I often notice that they have a hugely distorted image of themselves and how they come across to others. They usually think they are weird and that other people realize this in the very first seconds of talking with them.

If you are somewhat shy, getting some accurate feedback about your social persona from other people will be highly valuable for you in overcoming shyness. It will help you get your feet on the ground by realizing you’re an OK person.

What you basically do is ask a number of people who know you and trust about the way they see you. You can ask them a few questions about the qualities and the flaws they see in you, about the first impression you create and so on.

You can ask them all of this in a relaxed conversation, or you can request them to give you feedback using an anonymous feedback form. Feel free to test various methods.

Cut Down Mind-Reading

Mind-reading is the process of trying to figure out what a person thinks or how they feel by reading subtle cues in their behavior, words, voice tone or body language.

However, since these signals are hard to interpret accurately and shy people often exaggerate in their interpretations, this process is a lot like trying to read other peoples’ minds and it provides grossly inaccurate results.

If you want to overcome shyness, you’ve got to realize that you can’t read other peoples’ minds and that whatever interpretations you’re making of each small gesture are probably wrong. As you do so, you can move on to consciously reducing your mind-reading and thus overcoming your shyness.

Learn To Let Go Of Perfectionism

The final part of the answer to the question “How to overcome shyness?” has to do with changing your self-imposed standards.

Make sure to check out my free conversation confidence guide for more details on solving this issues, as well as as how to transform into an authentic and  confident person in social settings. Get it here.

Shy people tend to be insanely perfectionist. They ask of themselves to come across as ideal and they have a low tolerance for people not liking them or not approving of them. If you want to enjoy social interactions more, abandoning such absurd standards is a must.

Now, notice that I didn’t say “let go of perfectionism”, I said “learn to let go”. This is because it’s a process. It will call for identifying your perfectionist social expectations as they manifest in your habitual thinking, then addressing them by changing your thinking in a conscious manner.

By the way, I have a free social confidence guide for you that will teach you how to do this and overcome shyness.

A Systemic Approach

Overall, overcoming shyness effectively takes not only the right pieces of advice and techniques, but also applying them in a systemic style. This implies:

  • Setting gradual personal development goals for yourself;
  • Working on them daily and rewarding yourself;
  • Persisting and getting back on track if you quit;
  • Mixing the internal cognitive change with the external behavioral change.

As you do so, you will see gradual progress and the occasional leaps forward. You will rewrite your map of the world and your social habits. As a result, you will experience more social freedom and a richer social life. That’s how to overcome shyness the successful way.

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How to Gain Confidence

It’s mind blowing how many times I will coach a client and we’ll reach the conclusion that whatever they’re not getting in their life is the result of a confidence issue. When you know how to gain confidence, you can open up a lot of possibilities in your life.

On the other hand, who truly knows how to gain confidence effectively? There are hundreds of articles, books and trainings on gaining confidence, but do you see many people making substantial progress in this area?

The Deceiving World of Gaining Confidence

When it comes to the advice on how to gain confidence, I think the 80/20 rule applies very well: about 80% of the advice you’ll find out there creates 20% of the results and 20% of the advice creates 80% of the results.

To put in another way, there is a lot of self-help junk out there which does little to improve self-confidence, yet it spreads like the plague. For this reason, my aim with this article is to focus on and bring out those methods for gaining confidence that provide the best results.

These are confidence gaining methods that:

  • I’ve applied personally with consistent success;
  • I’ve seen my social confidence coaching clients apply successfully as well;
  • Are in line with what is now known in the filed of psychology about human emotions and human learning.

Developing Yourself

Your mind is always trying to gauge your level of skill in specific areas in order to generate the optimal level of self-assurance. This is why the first thing I think you want to consider in how to gain confidence is constantly developing yourself.

If you want to be confident as a speaker, develop your speaking skills. If you want to be confident as a bowling player, develop your bowling skills. The people who invest time and energy in a systematic way in their personal development are also the people who gradually gain more confidence.

There is a catch though: even if this is the first important step, it can be insufficient. Often, our self-image doesn’t keep up with our skill level and our personality. This is why, for example, highly competent and successful people can still have an inferiority complex.

So you may find yourself needing to address your self-image issues directly. I see this phenomenon all the time with my coaching clients seeking to gain confidence and improve people skills, and it is a sign it’s time to do some belief-change work.

Test Your Beliefs

Here’s a common occurrence: let’s say you lack the self-assurance to express some of your opinions because you believe others will find them weird and they’ll judge you for them. So you keep those opinions to yourself, which only reinforces the belief that it’s bad to express them.

A lack of self-confidence often becomes self-sustaining because we never test out the beliefs which support it. If you were to give yourself a push and actually express those opinions, you may find out most people actually find them intriguing, not weird.

This is what I call testing your beliefs in reality. Just because you believe with certainty that something will happen doesn’t mean there is solid, real-life evidence that you are right. Most of us believe strongly in many silly things.

The effective way you can find out if your beliefs are grounded in reality or not is to test them out. Get out there, face your fears and you may be surprised what really happens.

If you want to overcome your limiting beliefs, you simply must watch my video presentation on conversation confidence. It will show you exactly how to crush your insecurities, using a scientifically proven method. Go here to check it out.

Move From Irrational To Rational Thinking

These is the cherry on the cake, and the thickest layer at the same time. I’ve been noticing for some years now a huge correlation between self-confidence issues and irrational thinking. And I don’t mean negative thinking, I mean irrational thinking.

The people who struggle with confidence in some areas interpret some things or they see part of themselves in an unrealistic manner. Those who are scared shitless most of the time have such a way of dramatizing and misinterpreting things I don’t even want to talk about it.

From my perspective, a large part of the answer to the perpetual question “How to gain confidence?” is this: change the way you habitually think.

This is not one single action, it’s a gradual process: it means identifying your irrational thinking, combating it, finding and applying more realistic ways of interpreting events. You can find the guide for this in my free conversation confidence presentation.

As you do so, you’re slowly changing your cognitive schemas and you will naturally improve your confidence from that.

As a coach, I take pride in providing real results for my clients, gaining confidence included. I do so by encouraging them to aim high in their growth but be highly skeptical when choosing the methods they use. That’s how to gain confidence effectively.

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How to Develop Accelerated Emotional Healing

One of my favorite comic book characters is Wolverine from X-Men. I find that accelerated healing power of his to be super-awesome.

Now in real life, unless you’re a Navy SEAL or something, you won’t have much use for accelerated physical healing. However, I find that most people find tremendous value in accelerated emotional healing.

What Is Accelerated Emotional Healing?

Quite simply, it is the ability to bounce back quickly when something bad happens: your partner breaks up with you, your boss fires you, a loved one passes away, they cancel the next season of Dr. House and so on.

Some people try to not feel any pain altogether when bad things happen, which often doesn’t work. A much better approach is to focus on bouncing back from pain quickly instead of not feeling it at all. The people who are able to do this are usually the people who are the happiest with life.

4 Steps to Accelerated Emotional Healing

In my communication coaching, I often touch on the subject of emotional healing. I believe there are four steps that work best in making it happen fast.

1. Accept Life as a Rollercoaster

Some of us get trapped in this illusion that we can somehow reach a point where our life is smooth and nothing bad happens anymore. Real life doesn’t work that way; it’s a rollercoaster with ups and down.

Accept life as a rollercoaster and keep it in mind like this. As a result, bad things won’t take you by surprise and you will find it easier to get through them and get over them. Don’t become paranoid expecting terrible things to happen everyday, but don’t delude yourself that life can ever be completely smooth either.

2. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

Have you ever noticed this pattern unraveling? A person gets into a relationship; they’re very excited about it, they start spending more and more time with their partner and less and less time with their friends, until they eventually have no more fiends and the relationships consumes all their free time.

Then when the relationship ends (as it often does), the person has absolutely no social support system. They feel lonely, they get depressed, they take about two years to fully get over it. This is what happens when you invest all in one relationship, both in your personal and your professional life. For this reason, I encourage you to keep your people skills sharp and your social circle strong.

3. Don’t Repress the Pain

Often, people try to drown their pain using distractions. Drinking, eating, partying, having sex all can be used for this purpose. Unfortunately, as more and more psychological research now points out, distractions only make the pain submerge for a while and when it comes back, it comes back even stronger.

You don’t want to wallow in self pity, but you don’t want to repress you pain either. Pain is a natural part of the healing process. Sometimes you just need to accept it and up to a certain point, let it be.

4. Practice Realistic Thinking

If the hurt a bad event creates has a very high intensity and lasts unreasonably long, it’s frequently due to unrealistic thinking. In the heat of the moment, you start thinking to yourself that “this is intolerable” or “life will suck from now on” and so you feed the pain instead of letting it drip away.

Of course, this is nothing more than dramatizing and unrealistic thinking. If you want to heal quickly, an essential thing to do is to take conscious control of your thinking and correct it when it distorts the facts.

Accelerated emotional healing is a truly amazing super-power. When you have mastered it you can embrace life as it is, with the good and the bad, and you can always make the best of it.

Image courtesy of Monja