The Secret About Focus Is Meaning

Secret (70/365) © by andrewrennie

Yesterday I stumbled upon a website with a collection of motivational speeches; I listened to a few of them and I was reminded about something I wrote in my book trying to put forward my theory of action. To take action you need to keep a positive focus, you need to know what it is you want.

I distinguish between insight and understanding. Insight is the kind of knowledge you have when you know about something and is able to recognise it, but you will not be able to teach it or communicate it in your own words. To be able to communicate in your own words things have to be meaningful; you have to really understand them.

To take action you need to focus, and to focus you need meaning; focusing has to make sense to you. In the short run you can change to a positive focus by thinking about the random positive things that pops into your mind; but if you want to stay positive on the long run you need things to make sense.

The first real job I had was at a company producing weighing cells; my title was information assistant; I was responsible to the sales manager who did not know much about the job I had to do. One day a disagreement ended up in an argument and he send me down to the stockroom to count all the weighing cells on stock. I did not understand why I had to do this meaningless work that would take days; but it was his way of punishing me for disagreeing. As a result I started being very unhappy about my job and one month later I quit the job.

My point is that if you do things that do not make sense to you then you will stop doing them or become very unhappy about them. Thus, if you have a goal then ask yourself why you want to reach that goal and then things will start making sense.

What do you want? What is your dream?

Why do you want that? Does it make sense?

Focus on your goal.

Make a plan for action

How to Improve Self-Confidence: Positive Language

Yellowed pages from a dictionary © by Horia Varlan

I do not want to screw up! I hope it is not going to rain today. Why do I always stand in the slow line? I do not want cold coffee today etc. I know I have said it many times and I will continue repeating because it is very important: You need to have a positive focus; you have to focus on what you want, not what you do not want; you have to focus on what can do, not on what you cannot do.

I want …

I can …

You can get a positive focus by using your language. E.g. start all sentences with a positive word like: I want, I can or start with adjectives like: Great, fantastic, nice, cool, lovely etc. Example: Great cup of coffee you made today; fantastic job I did on the computer. If you are about to say something negative like – f… it is going to rain today! Then rephrase and say – I want to see the sun today!

In the negative case you would focus on every minute it rains but in the positive case you would focus on the sunny periods of the day. That will make you more happy and energetic.

Use the language

We use the language to construct the reality we live in. Niels Bohr said that we will always have a need to describe our findings and we can only do that within the limitations of our language. He also said that the truth depends on the eyes that see. Thus, you have the opportunity to choose your reality and present it with you language. You have to communicate your confidence and success in language and action.

Now, use your language to cause action; use it to make life go in the direction you want it to go; use it to strengthen your self-confidence and to make people acknowledge your actions and your success. Fantasy outshines reality and that is why you should take the opportunity to communicate your reality about yourself before other people make up another reality.

Let me give you an example: If you say to people that you are very bad at playing cards then how do you think the chances are that anyone will invite you to play? If you say that you love playing cards and that you would like to get better at it, then people are more likely to invite you.

How to Improve Self-Confidence: Confront Your Fears

Dangerous Risk Adrenaline Suicide by Fear of Falling © by

Nothing is more stimulating for your self-confidence than accomplishing something you dread. E.g. go parachuting; confronting a tiger; getting stuck in quicksand or jumping a cleft. Well, actually it does not have to be that extreme, but the feeling of accomplishing something really dreadful is unbelievable and you will feel invincible.

The feeling can be intoxicating and you want more. Fear is a fantastic feeling and it is an important part of our natural defence. Fear releases adrenaline and activates your fight-or-flight response. Adrenaline creates instant action and motion; thus, fear is energy; fear is motivation to action. Enjoy it, because the feeling of overcoming fear is fantastic.

Some people seem to go fearless through life getting all what they want. But know that every day of their life they face fears! The difference is that they have found a way to deal with fear. The problem is not fear itself, the problem is that you doubt whether you will win the fight. Instead you choose flight and that choice will only increase your doubt and the fear becomes worse; you will end up in constant fear and anxiety.

You need to trust yourself and your abilities to fight whatever you have to confront. Trust that you can escape the tiger; trust that the parachute will bring you safe to the ground; trust that you can do whatever it takes to take action and move on in life. If you always choose to flee then you will never get what you want. Life is difficult for all of us, but you need to face it or it will become even more difficult.

Start confronting fears; do not listen to doubt; bite your teeth and leap into fight. Maybe you get a few scratches in the fight but you will win if you believe in yourself and trust that you can do it.

Fighting fear is never fun while fighting; the feeling of invincibility comes after the fight. That is the feeling that will prepare you for the next fight. If you have some fights waiting that seem overwhelming then take some other fights and accumulate strength for the really big fight. None of your fears are impossible to overcome, you just have to believe and find the strength to leap into the fight instead of flight.

How to Improve Self-Confidence: Achieve Mastery

Biposto Domusdea Tamaro 14.6.09 © by Vosti Claudio

How is it possible for a person with low self-confidence to achieve mastery? I can see the contradiction because lack of self-confidence is the belief that you do not have the abilities to achieve mastery. Well, first of all you have to understand that we all have the ability to achieve mastery and that also includes you.

The secret keyword to your success is: Belief. You have to believe that you can do things well and that you can achieve mastery in some specific area. You are unique and that means that you have something you can do better than anyone else. Let us take a look at what mastery actually means.

Mastery is the combination of skill and knowledge in a specific area. E.g. knowing how to cook an egg does not make you a master and neither does the skill alone. If you cook an egg without knowledge you would probably get very different results every time. When you combine skill and knowledge you become a master in cooking eggs because you can do it with the same expected result every time you do it. You will be able to do it with a minimum of effort and if people ask you about how to do it you would know about the exact temperature, timing, water saving methods, tools etc. Maybe you would recognise the different eggs just by looking at them.

Thus, to achieve mastery you need both skill and knowledge. Most often you miss one of the two. You get skills by taking action; you have to leap into doing what you want to do. To get knowledge you need to both study and experiment and mind that experimenting means 90 % failing but you will succeed eventually – trust me! Every time you fail you also learn something new and for every new thing you learn you get closer to mastery. Believe it or not, but the path to mastery is full of failures.

Three quick tips to achieve mastery:

  1. Take action. Do what you want to do and experiment a lot to gain new knowledge.
  2. Study your field. Search for information and knowledge by reading, talking and experimenting.
  3. Be positive. Keep a positive attitude and say: – I am good at this; I can do it!

How to Improve Self-Confidence: Accomplish Something

Playing table football © by Ben Sutherland

Many years ago there was a game of table football at the taekwondo club where I have practiced taekwondo for almost 20 years. I thought it was great fun but the first six months the table was there I did not play; I wanted to, but I did not do it. I did not do it because I thought the others were so good at it that they did not want to play with me; I thought I would be very bad at playing table football.

But it was just my mind messing around because it turned out that I was quite good at it after playing for a while. I learned that if there is something I really want to do then I should just do it instead of thinking about it. If I think too much about it then my mind will over analyse the situation and conclude that I am not that interested anyway; that is so sad!

When I was younger I often said no when I was offered something; I do not know why I said no because I usually wanted it and even if I was asked again I would turn down the offer again. I was afraid that I could not live up to other people’s expectations. What I learned later – much later – was that most of the expectations were figments of my brain. The only thing people expected were my participation and because I was afraid I missed all the fun and ended up feeling excluded.

Sitting around thinking only makes things worse; over analysing will create fear and you will miss all the action; you will also miss the opportunity to accomplish something. Accomplishment is very important for your self-confidence because you need the feeling of having done something you can feel proud of. You need people to see what you have done to receive acknowledgement and acceptance.

Get up; stop thinking and do something! Let me give you a couple ways to act instead of thinking:

  1. Be present. Stop thinking about what happened in the past and stop worrying about what might happen in the future, because usually your brain will focus on all the bad things that could happen and totally leave out all the good thing that are more likely to happen.
  2. Take an easy-going attitude. Relax and do not take things to serious; just be yourself and act on the inclination to do something. Remember how it was to be a child and just do things because you felt like it, unable to worry about possible consequences.
  3. Have Fun. Imagine that you are in a theme park; what you are about to do is going to be so much fun!