Self-Confidence Secrets: Measure Your Successes
Would you like to be confident in the things you do? Most people would. The problem is that many people aren't sure how. They think it is some mystical trait that some people seem to have and others don't. Actually, being confident in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals is a skill that can be learned.
Let's say you've decided to move forward in your efforts to achieve your goals and have taken action. Congratulations for reaching this point! Along the way you will certainly experience many victories. Yet there will also be challenges. To keep yourself going, you are going to need lots of support from one very important person: Yourself! This support comes in the form of setting achievable goals, supportive self-talk, self-monitoring to acknowledge success, and plenty of rewards along the way.
Today's theme is the crucial importance of acknowledging success. To balance the scale of triumphs and challenges, the skill needed is learning to recognize and feel good about all the little steps you take each day, and the efforts you put forth toward achieving your goal. Building on every little victory acts like fuel to your confidence. Achieving any new goal isn't easy. It takes decision, hard work, effort and dedication. But that is what this life is about . . . setting new goals for ourselves and accomplishing those goals. Learning to feel good along the path to something new is what makes life a grand adventure.
"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.
If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."
~ Albert Schweitzer ~
WHY ACKNOWLEDGE SUCCESS?
For many, the journey towards reaching the overall goal is often a long road. It's frequently so full of experiences and opportunities (okay - challenges) that we often don't notice the gradual change that is occurring. We don't recognize the progress we have made. This error of self-acknowledgment can be devastating and stop us dead in our tracks.
One sure fire way of putting out your own fire is to dismiss your success. Let's imagine you've been binging on food for quite a few days. Through much effort and determination you manage to stay binge-free for three days. Following these three days, you binge again. What are you most likely to do with this situation:
* Do you count those three days as success?
* Do you dismiss those three days as proof that since they didn't last, you are not good enough to have what you want - now falling into helplessness or hopelessness?
* Do you use those three days (and subsequent relapse) as an occasion to self-condemn and shame yourself?
* Do those three days count for anything wonderful in your book?
WHEN TO ACKNOWLEDGE SUCCESS
One day, I decided I wanted to increase the amount of water I was drinking each day. I thought this goal through and decided that the best way to achieve success would be to drink one bottle of water each morning as I was getting ready for my day. After a few weeks had gone by, I pondered my goal. I realized that almost every morning I had drank one full bottle of water. Had achieved success with my goal? How long must a goal be achieved before I could call myself successful?
Contemplating, I became aware of my own particularly nasty habit. I set goals for myself. With enough time, my goals became habits. But I had no mental criteria established for when I could call myself successful. There was no endpoint of, "How do I know I've achieved my goal." And since there was no endpoint, there was no feeling good at the end of my goal. I was running my own life story of not being good enough for myself, and having to earn my own love but never succeeding. I sat there amazed at my own self-realization. I asked, "How long must I maintain a behavior before I can call myself successful?" The answer came immediately: "The very first time the behavior is achieved, you are successful." Wow! This about blew me away. I successfully achieved my goal the first day I followed through with my intention. No wonder I never felt enough. I was completely failing to recognize, acknowledge, or celebrate my strengths, efforts, and my achievements.
Many of the people I work with also have no internal criteria established for knowing when they are successful. Oh, sure, they may say when they lose 40 pounds, then they will be successful. Or when they stop binging, then they will be happy. But what happens when they lose those forty pounds or stop binging for several days? Success is never measured, never celebrated, never acknowledged. Eventually a few pounds creep back on or a relapse in binge behavior occurs. Wouldn't you know it? This gets acknowledged! Lots of negative self talk, huge emotion, beastly feelings of self-reproach. Now there is evidence that success can not be achieved. Without being conscious of it, the criteria was that if the weight was maintained forever, or a binge never occurred again, then success would be achieved. The problem with this strategy? Success can't be measured until forever occurs. Meaning success never occurs.
"Success is never final.
Failure is never fatal.
Courage is what counts."
~ Sir Winston Churchill ~
Close your eyes and relax. Think of a success you had today. Maybe it was feeling good, or deciding to drive past the fast food restaurant, or choosing to sit still while envisioning your goal, or laughing instead of feeling heavy. Maybe you overcame an urge, and even though later you didn't overcome the urge, that first "overcoming" was a success. You cannot change the fact of it or deny that it was a success.
Remember your goals. Recall your successes of the day. Remember your efforts. Get in touch with your very being. Feel your physical body. Breathe in ... breathe out. Acknowledge your successes over and over again in your mind. Say to yourself, "I was truly successful. There is no denying that." Imagine the lightness of your joy is spreading all around, filling your body. It is filling your chest, spreading to your abdominal cavity reaching towards your thighs, legs, and feet. Think of a similar spread to your shoulders, arms, hand, head, neck and face. Now your whole body is filled with radiant blissful lightness. You are calm and centered and feeling really good. Nourish your goal by looking for more successes. Bring your goal life and light through praise and intention and enthusiasm. Strengthen your goal by feeding it love. Breathe in . . . breathe out.
1. Expect the best from yourself?
2. Understand your needs and use this information to create an environment that builds your motivation?
3. Establish standards of excellence that are attainable for yourself?
4. Create an environment where failure isn't fatal?
5. Encourage yourself or nag yourself?
6. Recognize and applaud your efforts?
7. Use a mixture of positive and negative reinforcement (acknowledge without judgement, but with honesty, your failures)?
Dr. Annette Colby, RD
Nutrition Therapist & Master Energy Healer
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