“Most people live in a restricted circle of potential”. (William James)
Sadly, the vast majority of people never fulfil their potential. It is not from lacking intelligence, opportunity, or resources, rather it is the lack of positive self-belief. When you have a strong self-belief, it is often outwardly portrayed as confidence. When you hold and outwardly display this, you can do almost anything.
Confidence is not fixed, it comes from what we think and do. It does not depend on our actual ability; it is the belief in the ability to achieve. It does not matter if these held beliefs are true or false. However, such beliefs shape our actions.
The positive aspect is no one lacks confidence in everything. It only applies to certain activities in their life. A major cause for such feelings is the desire for perfection. No matter what you do it will never be good enough. Harshly self-judging yourself by constantly telling yourself you are incompetent, inadequate and other such self-deprecating statements. Having such thoughts will surely erode and ultimately destroy your self-confidence.
The greater your preoccupation with fear the more likely it will undermine your confidence. This can be the fear of making mistakes, embarrassment, or a fool of yourself. Unsurprisingly, if you are doing something that you are unfamiliar with you cannot expect to be confident. Faking it until you make is an often-cited mantra from the self-development gurus is a very high-risk strategy. Failure could carry severe mental and emotional consequences.
The good news is that our beliefs are not fixed. Discoveries and research in the new science of “neuroplasticity” are overturning centuries of assumptions about the brain. With consistent effort in using mental training techniques, you can alter the brain to raise the intensity of positive emotions. In neuroscience, there is a well-used phrase than when neural circuits fire together, they wire together. It makes them easier to trigger.
Mental training exploits the brain’s neuroplasticity to produce changes. We continue to do this throughout or life so you can alter your thoughts and behaviour at any age.
The confidence program builds on the Happiness program. It enhances the skills and learnings that you will be familiar with from working through the Happiness program. It will address the causes and not the effects of lacking confidence. What you did in the past is no precursor to your future.
You may be reading this because you are not as happy as you yearn to be. Too many people’s problem with happiness is that they confuse it with success and acquisitions.
Many medical professionals assume that paralysed people are unhappy cut off without communication to the world. At the Wyss Centre in Geneva, research suggests otherwise. Their recent findings indicate that the brain default state is to be happy. They don’t know why this is. Over the years, numerous clients have said that after they have resolved their emotional or mental problems that they will be happy. My answer has not changed. “No you won’t, you have to begin practising being happy in the present”. Being happy is not a destination, it is not something you must find like a lost purse or wallet.
Striving to be happy is serious and worthy aim. With consistent practise it is possible to be happier and for it to last. Research suggests the first step to becoming happier is acknowledging that the inner feeling to be happy is not just a dream. Extensive research by the American National Institute of Mental Health confirmed these findings.
When you are happy, you will have lower stress levels and as a result enjoy better health and wellbeing. It will strengthen your emotional landscape. It will help you to become more mentally robust. The challenges we face in our everyday lives can be less daunting. A Professor Seligman at University Pennsylvania taught a group of the most severely depressed people a one happiness enhancing strategy. Within fifteen days, their depression changed from severely to mildly depressed.
It is relatively easy to become happier for a short time. However, your happiness is likely to depend upon your external circumstances. When these circumstances change so too does your happiness level.
The Happiness program enables you to enjoy long-term increases in your happiness levels. The skills and new learnings that you acquire is one of the keys to greater lasting inner confidence and self-esteem. Happiness is contentment without attachments.