Archive for the ‘Building Self-Confidence’ Category

Developing inner strength in today’s children

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019
[From left] Kumon instructors Azfar Nur Faruqi Sanusi, Jayalashimi V. Gopalan Nair and Julia Mah Bean Yuen.

[From left] Kumon instructors Azfar Nur Faruqi Sanusi, Jayalashimi V. Gopalan Nair and Julia Mah Bean Yuen.

AS a new generation emerges in society, there will be differences that starkly distinguish it from the ones before, marked and influenced by events and conditions of the time.

The current Generation Z, who were born 2005 onwards, are distinct in their aspirations and expectations even from its immediate previous Generation Y.

With today’s highly connected world, the Gen Z — as they are called — developed shorter attention spans, are more visually driven, have higher expectations yet lower thresholds in the face of hardships. They are attributed with being demanding, uncommitted to the common workplace and opinionated.

On the flip-side, Gen Z are also creative, open-minded and accepting as compared to previous generations. They are more socially responsible but due to their comfortable upbringing being raised during good times with heavy exposure to social media, most may find it difficult to handle stress and disappointments than preceding generations.

It can help him become curious, proactive, positive and confident in his abilities and interactions.

Kumon instructors Julia Mah Bean Yuen, Jayalashimi V. Gopalan Nair and Azfar Nur Faruqi Sanusi all have seen how their charges develop the children’s own mental toughness over time at their centres.

Mah who has been running her centre for the past 18 years said that Kumon builds confidence in her students as they are able to tackle problems presented on worksheets without much guidance.

Mah said Kumon builds confidence in her students.

“Kumon worksheets are a challenge to the students,” she explained. “When they overcome that challenge, they feel satisfaction, joy and empowerment. Self-esteem, confidence and perseverance is then inculcated.

“It nurtures a student to an advanced level in their subjects, be it Maths or English, which means that they can score in school, they can help other students in school in their subjects.”

Jayalashimi, who has been an instructor for 17 years, said: “I would say self-learning is the main objective for Kumon as it helps students become independent and to self-learn.”

Jayalashimi said self-learning is the main objective for Kumon.

She felt that once students are able to self-learn and attempt their worksheet independently, they have already begun developing their confidence level, self-esteem, discipline and commitment. She said that on an average, a new Kumon student takes about eight months to a year to surpass what he learns in school.

Azfar, a four-year Kumon instructor, concurred: “Some children come in at a low level in ability and self-esteem, perhaps due to roadblocks they experienced at school and they may be left behind.

Azfar said solving Kumon worksheet gives students a sense of self-empowerment.

“As the Mathmatics and English problems in the worksheets are appropriate for the students’ individual levels, when they realise they can solve those problems, they feel more confident. It gives them a sense of self-empowerment and helps them handle their emotions when faced with adversity,” Azfar added.

Jayalashimi pointed out that the Kumon worksheets are designed in precision with content that is highly structured.

“From 1954 till today, the worksheets have been evolving according to the development of education policies and programmes from all over the world,” she said.

“So the worksheets today are addressing the students of this generation.”

Kumon is the world’s leading after-school enrichment programme with more than four million students from 50 countries worldwide.

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14 Methods To Dramatically Increase Your Self-Confidence.

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Few things are more detrimental than low levels of self-confidence. When you aren’t confident in yourself, you don’t take risks, don’t enjoy life and usually end up stuck in places you don’t want to be. Low self-confidence often lies beneath the surface, sabotaging you in ways you aren’t aware of.

On the flip side, high levels of self-confidence can produce exponential results in your life. When you believe in yourself and your abilities, you take smart risks, achieve important goals and develop meaningful relationships with those around you.

Of course, this raises the question: how can you increase your levels of self-confidence?

In this post we’re going to lay out 14 simple ways you can dramatically increase your self-confidence. By implementing these methods, you’ll see a significant boost in the way you see and carry yourself.

Take Care Of Your Appearance

Obviously, yet perhaps most importantly, it’s essential to take care of your appearance. Shower and shave on a regular basis without being obsessed; take time everyday to make yourself presentable to the world.

These simple, small actions can have a dramatic effect on your levels of self-confidence. Neglecting your personal appearance also has an exponentially negative effect on your self-confidence. Always looking like you just rolled out of bed after working the graveyard shift will make you feel like you just rolled out of bed and kill your productivity.

Take Care Of How You Dress

Similar to the above point, dressing nicely improves how you feel about yourself. We don’t necessarily believe in the mantra of dressing for success, but there certainly is value in dressing with care.

This doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands of dollars on an outfit, it simply means that you wear things that make you feel good about yourself and ready to tackle your goals. As Jerry Seinfeld said, wearing sweatpants everyday is a sign that you’ve given up on life. Don’t give up on life.

Make Time For Exercise

Those who exercise regularly experience greater levels of energy during the day which leads to increased self-confidence and productivity. Exercise has incredible benefits, such as boosting your mood, decreasing levels of depression and helping you maintain your weight.

If you want to feel better about yourself, you should make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise 3 times per week. You don’t need to run a marathon, you just need to get your heart rate elevated and your muscles moving. As you find yourself getting into shape, you’ll also see a rise in your self-confidence.

Pinpoint Your Gifts, Strengths and Talents

Those who lack self-confidence tend to focus on and obsess over their weaknesses and failings. One way to improve the way you feel about yourself is to spend some time identifying the ways God has gifted you.

  • What are you good at?
  • What have you done that has resulted in success?
  • What subjects did you succeed in at school?
  • What have people told you that you’re good at?

These things don’t need to be profound. Maybe you’re good at organization or with numbers and spreadsheets. Maybe you have a big capacity to help those in need or the ability to plan effectively for the future. These are all gifts and you should spend time focusing on these rather than your weaknesses.

Be Thankful For Who You Are

Once you’ve identified your gifts and abilities, be thankful for who you are. Too many people lament who they’re not, wishing they could be someone else. They wish they had a better personality or were funnier or had more business skills.

Instead, spend time being grateful for exactly who you are. You have many admirable qualities and you should spend time focusing on these rather than who you wish you were.

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

Comparing yourself to someone else is a sure-fire way to tank your self confidence. Whether you’re comparing your appearance or your circumstances or your personality, the result will inevitably be unhappiness and a lack of joy.

Social media doesn’t help us in this regard. Everyday we’re confronted with pictures and status updates of people’s lives. We can tend to feel like they have it better than we do or that other people are simply better than us.

One way to improve your self-confidence is to simply spend less time on social media. Theodore Roosevelt nailed it when he said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It truly is. Stop comparing yourself to others and you’ll see a significant increase in your self- confidence.

Develop the Habit of Gratitude

Many of the most high achieving people in the world have developed the habit of gratitude. When you practice gratitude it takes your mind off of things that tend to sap your self-confidence and puts your focus on all the good things in your life. Practicing gratitude on a daily basis will quickly begin to boost your self-confidence.

Take a few moments at the beginning or end of each day to write out three things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal. Date each entry so that as time passes you can go back and see all the wonderful things that have happened to you. These points of gratitude don’t need to necessarily be profound. In fact, being grateful for small blessings is one of the cornerstones of joy.

Shape Your Self-Image

Simply put, your self-image is the way you see yourself. It encompasses all thoughts you have about who you are.

A positive self-image increases your self-confidence while a negative self-image dramatically decrease is it. Thankfully, your self-image is not set in stone. You can shape it by regularly working to shape the way you think about yourself.

A simple way to develop a positive self-image is to spend more time focusing on your strengths than on your failures. Also, as noted above, spending time being grateful for what you’ve been given will also foster a positive self-image.

Work Toward Positive Thinking

When we say positive thinking, we don’t mean repeating silly mantras to yourself like, “I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful.”

We simply mean maintaining a positive outlook on life and working toward having more positive thoughts. Replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts can significantly increase your self-confidence and allow you to achieve goals you previously thought impossible.

As soon as you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, immediately replace those with positive self-talk. For example, if you’re running and you feel like you simply can’t go any further, tell yourself, “I can do this! Just one more mile!” These simple positive thoughts can give you a boost of energy and self-confidence.

Act Positively

In addition to thinking positively, actually taking positive actions can be hugely helpful. As the saying goes, you are how you act. If you begin acting positively, you’ll soon find yourself thinking positively and feeling positively. Talk with people in a positive way and act energetic. Act the way you want to be.

Our minds and hearts follow our bodies. Soon you’ll find yourself thinking and feeling the same way.

Be Generous and Kind

This may sound trite and even a bit silly, but acts of kindness have a powerful effect on your self-confidence. If you’re regularly selfish and unkind, you’ll find your self-image beginning to plummet. As noted above, your feelings often follow your actions. If you are regularly generous and kind, you’ll begin to feel like a kind and generous person.

Now, to be clear, you should be kind and generous because it’s the right thing to do. However, a side benefit is that it will also increase your self-confidence.

Prepare Well and Then Trust Your Preparations

If you have an important event coming up, take the necessary time to prepare thoroughly. If you have a test, set aside the hours you need to study. Once you’ve prepared thoroughly, trust your preparations. You did what you needed to do and you can’t do anything more. Adequate preparation significantly increases self-confidence.

For example, if you have an important meeting, read the agenda, think of appropriate questions and then go to the meeting. You’ll feel confident knowing that you’ve done what you need to do.

by Mike Ward.

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Managing Anger

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

We manage anger when we learn to defuse it before it becomes destructive.

Below, we’ve outlined 12 strategies that you can use to control anger when you experience it. These reflect an abridged version of 17 strategies that Drs Redford Williams and Virginia Williams described in their best-selling book, “Anger Kills.”

1. Acknowledge That you Have a problem:

If you find it difficult to manage your anger, the first thing you need to do is to be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you have a problem.

You can then make a plan to deal with it.

2. Keep a Hostility Log:

Do you know what causes your anger? Chances are, you don’t understand why you react angrily to some people or events.

Download our hostility log worksheet to monitor the triggers and the frequency of your anger. When you know what makes you angry, you can develop strategies to channel it effectively.

3. Use Your Support Network:

Let the important people in your life know about the changes that you’re trying to make. They can motivate and support you if you lapse into old behaviors.

These should be give-and-take relationships. Put some time aside every day to invest in these relationships, especially with close friends and family. You need to be there for them, just as they’re willing to be there for you.

You can alleviate stress when you spend time with people you care about. This also helps you control your anger.

4. Interrupt the Anger Cycle:

When you start to feel angry, try the following techniques:

  • Yell “Stop!” loudly in your thoughts. This can interrupt the anger cycle.
  • Use physical relaxation techniques like deep breathing or centering .
  • Count to 20 before you respond.
  • Manage your negative thoughts with imagery and positive thinking .
  • Close your office door or find a quiet space, and meditate for five minutes.
  • Distract yourself from your anger – visit your favorite website, play a song that you like, daydream about a hobby that you enjoy, or take a walk.

Another approach is to consider the facts of the situation, so that you can talk yourself out of being angry.

To use this strategy, look at what you can observe about the person or situation, not what you’re inferring about someone’s motivations or intentions. Does this situation deserve your attention? And is your anger justified here?

When you look only at the facts, you’ll likely determine that it’s unproductive to respond with anger.

5. Use Empathy:

If another person is the source of your anger, use empathy to see the situation from his or her perspective.

Be objective here. Everyone makes mistakes, and it is through mistakes that people learn how to improve.

By the Mind Tools Editorial Team
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Boosting Your Self-Esteem-Improving the Way You Feel About Yourself

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.– Nathaniel Branden, Leading self-esteem researcher and theorist

Improving self-esteem is a very personal journey. It’s a key part of feeling happy within ourselves, and of feeling that we’re succeeding in the things that matter to us.

Positive self-esteem helps you to be yourself, handle adversity, and believe that you’ll win through, despite setbacks. It’s an inner force that sustains you, and gives you the courage you need to be the person you want to be.

Low self-esteem, on the other hand, does the opposite. It’s connected to self-doubt, and to a general feeling that you’re not quite good enough to meet life’s challenges. If you have low self-esteem, you may believe that you aren’t capable of achieving your dreams, and you may even believe that you shouldn’t dream at all. In fact, low self-esteem is used to diagnose many mental disorders, and it can be associated with to a variety of negative emotions, including anxiety, sadness, hostility, shame, embarrassment, loneliness and lack of spontaneity.

To evaluate your own levels of self-esteem, complete the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES). This is a 10-item scale developed by Dr. Morris Rosenberg. Even though it was developed in 1965, it’s still a popular form of measurement used in self-esteem research.

What is Self -Esteem?

You’re probably familiar with the idea of self-esteem. It’s most often associated with self-confidence , but self-esteem is more than just confidence – it goes deeper. In fact, some people argue that you can have self-confidence and still have low self-esteem – most notably if you approach life with a “fake it ‘til you make it” attitude (in other words, “pretend” until you succeed).

Healthy self-esteem doesn’t involve faking anything. And although there’s significant debate over the definition of self-esteem, a leading theory is that it’s a combination of two factors: …

by The Mind Tools Editorial Team.

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What is Self-Confidence?

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Two main things contribute to self-confidence: self-efficacy and self-esteem.

We gain a sense of self-efficacy when we see ourselves (and others similar to ourselves) mastering skills and achieving goals that matter in those skill areas. This is the confidence that, if we learn and work hard in a particular area, we’ll succeed; and it’s this type of confidence that leads people to accept difficult challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks.

This overlaps with the idea of self-esteem , which is a more general sense that we can cope with what’s going on in our lives, and that we have a right to be happy. Partly, this comes from a feeling that the people around us approve of us, which we may or may not be able to control. However, it also comes from the sense that we are behaving virtuously, that we’re competent at what we do, and that we can compete successfully when we put our minds to it.

Some people believe that self-confidence can be built with affirmations and positive thinking . At Mind Tools, we believe that there’s some truth in this, but that it’s just as important to build self-confidence by setting and achieving goals – thereby building competence. Without this underlying competence, you don’t have self-confidence: you have shallow over-confidence, with all of the issues, upset and failure that this brings.

Building Self – Confidence:

So how do you build this sense of balanced self-confidence, founded on a firm appreciation of reality?

The bad news is that there’s no quick fix, or five-minute solution.

The good news is that becoming more confident is readily achievable, just as long as you have the focus and determination to carry things through. And what’s even better is that the things you’ll do to build your self-confidence will also build success – after all, your confidence will come from real, solid achievement. No-one can take this away from you!

So here are our three steps to self-confidence, for which we’ll use the metaphor of a journey: preparing for your journey; setting out; and accelerating towards success.

Step 1: Preparing for Your Journey:

The first step involves getting yourself ready for your journey to self-confidence. You need to take stock of where you are, think about where you want to go, get yourself in the right mindset for your journey, and commit yourself to starting it and staying with it.

In preparing for your journey, do these five things:

Look at What You’ve Already Achieved:

Think about your life so far, and list the ten best things you’ve achieved in an “Achievement Log.” Perhaps you came top in an important test or exam, played a key role in an important team, produced the best sales figures in a period, did something that made a key difference in someone else’s life, or delivered a project that meant a lot for your business.

Put these into a smartly formatted document, which you can look at often. And then spend a few minutes each week enjoying the success you’ve already had!

Think About Your Strengths:

Next, use a technique like SWOT Analysis to take a look at who and where you are. Looking at your Achievement Log, and reflecting on your recent life, think about what your friends would consider to be your strengths and weaknesses. From these, think about the opportunities and threats you face.

Make sure that you enjoy a few minutes reflecting on your strengths!

Think About What’s Important to You, and Where you Want to Go:

Next, think about the things that are really important to you, and what you want to achieve with your life.

Setting and achieving goals is a key part of this, and real confidence comes from this. Goal setting is the process you use to set yourself targets, and measure your successful hitting of those targets. See our article on goal setting to find out how to use this important technique, or use our Life Plan Workbook to think through your own goals in detail (see the “Tip” below).

Inform your goal setting with your SWOT Analysis. Set goals that exploit your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, realize your opportunities, and control the threats you face.

And having set the major goals in your life, identify the first step in each. Make sure it’s a very small step, perhaps taking no more than an hour to complete!

Start Managing Your Mind:

At this stage, you need to start managing your mind. Learn to pick up and defeat the negative self-talk which can destroy your confidence. See our article on rational positive thinking to find out how to do this.

Further useful reading includes our article on imagery – this teaches you how to use and create strong mental images of what you’ll feel and experience as you achieve your major goals – there’s something about doing this that makes even major goals seem achievable!

And Then Commit Yourself to Success!:

The final part of preparing for the journey is to make a clear and unequivocal promise to yourself that you are absolutely committed to your journey, and that you will do all in your power to achieve it.

by The Mind Tools Editorial team.

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Building Self-Confidence – Preparing Yourself for Success!

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

From the quietly confident doctor whose advice we rely on, to the charismatic confidence of an inspiring speaker, self-confident people have qualities that everyone admires.

Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it. Sadly, this can be a vicious circle: people who lack self-confidence can find it difficult to become successful.

After all, most people are reluctant to back a project that’s being pitched by someone who was nervous, fumbling, and overly apologetic.

On the other hand, you might be persuaded by someone who speaks clearly, who holds his or her head high, who answers questions assuredly, and who readily admits when he or she does not know something.

Confident people inspire confidence in others: their audience, their peers, their bosses, their customers, and their friends. And gaining the confidence of others is one of the key ways in which a self-confident person finds success.

The good news is that self-confidence really can be learned and built on. And, whether you’re working on your own confidence or building the confidence of people around you, it’s well-worth the effort!

How Confident do you Seem to Others?

Your level of self-confidence can show in many ways: your behavior, your body language, how you speak, what you say, and so on. Look at the following comparisons of common confident behavior with behavior associated with low self-confidence. Which thoughts or actions do you recognize in yourself and people around you?

Confident Behavior Behavior Associated With low Self-Confidence
Doing what you believe to be right, even if others mock or criticize you for it. Governing your behavior based on what other people think.
Being willing to take risks and go the extra mile to achieve better things. Staying in your comfort zone, fearing failure, and so avoid taking risks.
Admitting your mistakes, and learning from them. Working hard to cover up mistakes and hoping that you can fix the problem before anyone notices.
Waiting for others to congratulate you on your accomplishments. Extolling your own virtues as often as possible to as many people as possible.
Accepting compliments graciously. “Thanks, I really worked hard on that prospectus. I’m pleased you recognize my efforts.” Dismissing compliments offhandedly. “Oh that prospectus was nothing really, anyone could have done it.”

As you can see from these examples, low self-confidence can be self-destructive, and it often manifests itself as negativity. Confident people are generally more positive – they believe in themselves and their abilities, and they also believe in living life to the full.

by the Mind Tools Editorial Team.

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