How to Initiate a Virtuous Cycle
Part 1 of 2
It's no secret that self-confidence is very important to achieving
success in any area of life. The thing about self-confidence
is that it is very sensitive to our personal experience
and is inherently instable. In other words, your self-confidence
has a "snowball affect." And it can snowball in a positive
direction or it can snowball in a negative direction. Here's
how it works:
How the "Negative Snowball" works
- If you start out with low self-confidence (see below
to learn more about how this happens), you're less likely
to take on challenges or try new things.
- On the rare occasion that you try to accomplish something,
your low self-confidence can sabotage your efforts and you're
much less likely to succeed.
- Your lack of accomplishment and your failures reinforce
your low self-confidence.
- Then it's back to step 1 and the cycle repeats; limiting
your ability to live a better life.
How the "Positive Snowball" works
- If you have self-confidence, you're more likely to attempt
just about anything, so you try more things.
- And when you attempt something with confidence in your
abilities, you're very likely to succeed.
- As a result, your success increases your self-confidence.
- Return to step 1 and repeat, and repeat, and repeat until
you reach your full potential!
Wearing a Groove in Your Brain
At the risk of over-simplifying a phenomenally complex process,
what's happening in your brain is that these snowball cycles
"wear a groove" through the vast array of neurons and synapses.
So, neurologically you are physically carving a path of least
resistance through your brain. With enough reinforcement,
you develop a reflex to certain kinds of stimuli. For example,
if a smoker tries to quit smoking and fails - and he allows
a negative snowball cycle to take place - he'll lose confidence
in his ability to quit. And he'll eventually develop a negative
reflex to the idea of quitting. Once that happens, if anyone
suggests that he quit or someone offers a new way to try to
quit, his brain will automatically reject the possibility.
In his brain, the mere suggestion of quitting will trigger
an impulse that will follow that well-worn path of least resistance;
the path that equates "trying to quit" with "failure."
But this works the other way, too. A positive snowball cycle
will wear a groove that creates a positive reflex.
We've all known people like this. They're the ones who are
eager to try anything and seem to succeed at everything. And
in the rare occasions when they fail, they are undeterred.
The positive reflex they've created in their brain allows
them to learn from their mistakes and equate "failure" with
"I'll do even better next time!"
How Does the Low Self-Confidence Cycle Start?
Unfortunately, virtually everyone has been programmed from
childhood with negatives that make us believe we can't do
things that we are innately capable of doing. A lot of it
is self-imposed programming. If we fail to do something perfectly
the first time we try it, it is only human nature to begin
to believe that we can't do it.
We also receive negative programming from others that can
greatly impact our self-confidence. We are told repeatedly
as a child "You can't do this" or "You'll never be able to
do that." If we accept this programming - which, again, is
only human nature - our self-confidence is weakened accordingly.
Take a moment now to think back on your own life. Think about
the things that you've been led to believe you cannot attain
but that you know intellectually are entirely possible.
It could be anything; a certain level of income; academic
achievement; great athletic performance; success at love,
etc. If you're like most people, it won't take long to come
up with a sizable list.
Fortunately, when some people are told they can't do something,
they refuse to accept that programming and go on to prove
that they indeed can. For example:
Beethoven's teacher said he was hopeless as a composer.
Thomas Edison's teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything
Leo Tolstoy, the author of War & Peace, was told he couldn't
learn Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4, didn't
read until he was 7. His teacher called him mentally slow.
One of the early teachers of the great opera singer Enrico
Caruso said he had no voice at all & could not sing.
There are many other examples, but the point is that each
and every one of us has given up on at least one thing
because we lacked the confidence to try! And the world has
undoubtedly been robbed of the great contributions of countless
gifted people because of such negativity.
In Part 2 of this report,
you'll learn that your self-confidence can be "reprogrammed."
You'll learn about the different techniques that have been
proven to be very effective and I'll focus on one technique
that you can start to use immediately that will instantly
begin to help you improve your confidence and self-esteem.
Copyright © 2005 Jeff Griswold, Effective Learning Systems,
Jeff Griswold is the President of Effective Learning Systems,
the leading creator of self-help audio CDs and tapes. To request
a free copy of "The Greatest Thing You'll Ever Learn," a 24-page
report showing you how to harness the unlimited power within
yourself, go to: http://www.efflearn.com/best-thing.php
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