Monday, April 21, 2014

developing authenticity & confidence

it’s completely natural to not be 100% in love with everything in your life. We should not feel like we have to fake happiness around others or put on the illusion that we are happy all the time. So don’t fool yourself into thinking that needs to be the case. Life is more about balance and staying grounded when things seem chaotic. Often times, by acknowledging life’s imperfections, we can manage them better than if we try to bury ourselves in delusions and false ideals.

A popular piece of advice in psychology is to “fake it ’till you make it.” In other words, if we fake happiness (such as creating a “fake smile”) then eventually it actually becomes real and genuine happiness. This is true, but only to some degree. I've made posts about the importance of acting in new ways to create new thoughts and feelings. There is also research on how faking certain body postures can improve our confidence and mood, such as through exercises known as power posing. However, some research also shows the possible costs of fake happiness and the philosophy of “fake it ’till you make it.”

How do you know if you're just playing yourself or if you are actually developing authentic confidence?
can you honestly evaluate the way you conduct yourself? is a list of questions to consider when evaluating

1. Do you make excuses?
People who make up a lot of excuses are usually really good at it. There are always dramatic details and exaggerated descriptions of things that really don't matter. Authentic & confident people take ownership of their thoughts and actions. They don’t blame the traffic for being tardy at work; they were late. They don’t excuse their short-comings with excuses like “I don’t have the time” or “I’m just not good enough”; they make the time and they keep on improving until they are good enough.

2.Do you avoid doing the scary thing?
Authentic & confident people don’t let fear dominate their lives. They know that the things they are afraid of doing are often the very same things that they need to do in order to evolve into the person they are meant to be.

3. Do you live in a bubble of comfort?
Authentic & confident people avoid the comfort zone, because they know this is a place where dreams die. They actively pursue a feeling of discomfort, because they know stretching themselves is mandatory for their success.

4. Do you put things off?
Authentic & confident people know that a good plan executed today is better than a great plan executed someday. They don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right circumstances”, because they know these reactions are based on a fear of change. They take action here, now, today – because that’s where progress happens.

5. Do you obsess over the opinions of others?
Authentic & confident people don’t get caught up in negative feedback. While they do care about the well-being of others and aim to make a positive impact in the world, they don’t get caught up in negative opinions that they can’t do anything about. They know that their true friends will accept them as they are, and they don’t concern themselves with the rest.

6. Do you judge people?
Authentic & confident people have no tolerance for unnecessary, self-inflicted drama. They don’t feel the need to insult friends behind their backs, participate in gossip about fellow co-workers or lash out at folks with different opinions. They are so comfortable in who they are that they feel no need to look down on other people.

7. Do you let lack of resources stop you?
Highly confident people can make use of whatever resources they have, no matter how big or small. They know that all things are possible with creativity and a refusal to quit. They don’t agonize over setbacks, but rather focus on finding a solution.

8. Do you make comparisons?
Authentic & confident people know that they are not competing with any other person. They compete with no other individual except the person they were yesterday. They know that every person is living a story so unique that drawing comparisons would be an absurd and simplistic exercise in futility.

9. Do you find joy in people-pleasing?
Authentic & confident people have no interest in pleasing every person they meet. They are aware that not all people get along, and that’s just how life works. They focus on the quality of their relationships, instead of the quantity of them.

10. Do you need constant reassurance?
Authentic & confident people aren’t in need of hand-holding. They know that life isn’t fair and things won’t always go their way. While they can’t control every event in their life, they focus on their power to react in a positive way that moves them forward.

11. Do you avoid life’s inconvenient truths?
Authentic & confident people confront life’s issues at the root before the disease can spread any farther. They know that problems left unaddressed have a way of multiplying as the days, weeks and months go by. They would rather have an uncomfortable conversation with their partner today than sweep an inconvenient truth under the rug, putting trust at risk.

12. Do you quit because of minor set-backs?
Authentic & confident people get back up every time they fall down. They know that failure is an unavoidable part of the growth process. They are like a detective, searching for clues that reveal why this approach didn’t work. After modifying their plan, they try again (but better this time).

13. Do you require anyone’s permission to act?
Authentic & confident people take action without hesitation. Every day, they remind themselves, “If not me, who?”

14. Do you limit yourself to a small toolbox?
Authentic & confident people don’t limit themselves to Plan A. They make use of any and all weapons that are at their disposal, relentlessly testing the effectiveness of every approach, until they identify the strategies that offer the most results for the least cost in time and effort. They're able to recognize that they aren't an expert at everything and are able to ask for help when it is needed.

15. Do you fact check or blindly accept what they read on the Internet as “truth” without thinking about it?
Authentic & confident people don’t accept articles on the Internet as truth just because some author “said so”. They look at every how-to article from the lens of their unique perspective. They maintain a healthy skepticism, making use of any material that is relevant to their lives, and forgetting about the rest. While articles like this are a fun and interesting thought-exercise, highly confident people know that they are the only person with the power to decide what “confidence” means.

adapted from:

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