How To Change Your Focus To Rapidly Build Your Confidence
Do you see the good in yourself? Or do you tend to focus on your flaws and shortcomings?
Learn how to let go of negative thinking and self-criticism and how to boost your self-esteem so you can start feeling more confident and talking with people more easily. Focusing on your strengths is the key…
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Your Strengths Are The Foundation Of Your Confidence
Would you like to have better self-esteem? Be more self-assured in social situations and generally know on a deep level that people like you because you’re awesome? That sounds pretty great, huh? Well in order to get this, there is one thing that you must do. And that is to learn how to own your strengths.
Hey! Welcome to today’s episode of Shrink for the Shy Guy! Today is going to be awesome because you’re going to learn something that I do with every single client that I work with. It is an essential step in unlocking higher and higher levels of confidence and you’re going to get it all for free. Oh yes! And there’s only one thing I ask in return. And it’s a small favor and then was going to jump into how to own your strength because if you can do this, your life will totally transform. The more I started doing this, the better and better I felt, the more confident. So I’m so excited to share that with you today.
The one thing I ask in return is that if you have read my book, The Solution to Social Anxiety or listened to the audio version or got it on iTunes or wherever, if you read it or listen to it and you liked it, please go give it a review now on Amazon.com or on audible written review, star review and hopefully it’s a high one if you liked it .Because, the more reviews I get, the more I can reach people, the more I can affect people with the book. And it’s just a great way to get people to realize that they can change things in their lives. So if you read it, if you liked it, please go review it. It also protects me from the occasional odd person who will give it a one star, there is a dude in auible.com that give it a one star but didn’t say what he didn’t like about it or what was missing and there’s no way for me to respond to it so…,
And of course as you know the reviews affect whether you think some things going to help you or not. Like if you were to look at a restaurant, and there are two Mexican restaurants within a mile of you and one had a five-star rating from forty people and one had you know a three-star rating from forty people. Which one would you go to? Oh probably the five-star, right?
So if you can help me keep that rating higher or help me reach people and impact people because ultimately that’s my mission, I don’t make that much money off of the book, most of it goes towards Amazon and audible and the behemoths; it’s really a way to reach more and more people. So if you can be part of that mission, part of that movement, mass liberation help as many people as we can, to break free from this. So if you’ve been benefiting from this free podcast by all means please go to those places Amazon and Audible and give it a review.
So, let’s talk about strengths. The name of the book by the way is The Solution to Social Anxiety. There will be a link below to click on if you want to review it on the website. So, let’s get in to owning your strengths.
What do I mean by that, owning your strengths? Well you know, strengths are obvious, right? When I say “Strengths”, does that make sense to you? Like things you’re good at, things you could like about yourself, things that other people might like or admire in you. Those are your strengths, your positive qualities you can call them. And those can be in grained things that you just have like you are really warm and friendly with people for example. Or things you’ve developed or cultivated like, I am, you know, incredible with computers or I ‘m really good at solving this particular problem in my work place. Or I’m a great Engineer. Those are thing you’ve cultivated. But nonetheless, they are strengths. I’m sure you have a sense of that.
But what do I mean by owning your strengths? Well, owning your strengths means you believe them. You’ve taken them in, you honor them, you feel them, you know them to be true in your core, and you drive a sense of strength from them. Strength from your strength. Of power, of confidence, of belief in yourself, of knowing your value by really internalizing these strengths; taking them inside of you, internal to you. Versus discounting them, dismissing them, denying them, saying “they don’t exist”, saying “they’re not real”, saying “so what everyone can do X, Y and Z.” that is the opposite of owning your strength. And if you’re doing that , I’m so glad you’re listening to me right now because we’re going to help you break through that.
But think about that, does it make any sense that the more you own your strengths the more you know what you’re good at and what valuable about you and really feel it and believe it? The better you’re going to feel? The better your self-esteem? The better your confidence?
So, what are you good at? What are some of your strengths?
Now that is right, I’m just waiting. I’m waiting for you to think about it. What are some of your strengths? What are you good at? What makes you awesome? What do the people that like you, like you for? What would they say?
How are you feeling as you’re thinking of this? Are you feeling a little squeamish? Uncomfortable? Anxious? Nervous? The reason I ask is because I do this a lot with people and they get very uncomfortable acknowledging it. I used to be really uncomfortable with this stuff. “Oh God this, yeah can we stop this part of the conversation? Can we turn this off?” So are you getting that? You’re getting a little uncomfortable? Perhaps not. Perhaps you’re enjoying it. Perhaps it’s fun. Perhaps it’s exciting. And that’s okay, too, because you don’t have to feel a certain way as you do this. But I know a common challenge, is that we feel a little nervous, feel a little squeamish, and feel uncomfortable.
What’s really going’ on? Are you anxious? Are you uncomfortable?
One client I was doing this with. At first he just said, “Uggh I’m getting uncomfortable,” and I said ” okay great, let’s slow down, and what kind of uncomfortable?” He’s like, ” well my heart’s kind of beating a little faster, it almost feels like how I feel about when something bad is about to happen.” Almost like he was under a threat. Interesting, huh? Alright, so we have this process where we’re just trying to find what’s good in us and we got nervous, we got anxious, we get, –no one is around, no one is criticizing us, and we’re trying to feel better about ourselves by, and we’re just alone, listening to this, you’re just listening to my voice, and all of the sudden you can get uncomfortable.
What’s going on here?
These are the blocks this is the block to owning your strengths. Now if you don’t remove this block, then you’re never going to your own strength, and you’re never going to feel as good about yourself as you want to and need to be in order to have the confidence that’s going to bring you to the life that you want, the next level in your life, in your relationships, in your business, and your income; all that stuff comes from confidence ‘because confidence is the foundation of all success. And confidence starts with owning your strengths. So, we gotta to be able to do that. And we gotta remove this block and that’s exactly what we’re going to do in just a minute right when we get back from this break. So stay tuned and you’re going to learn what the blocks are and how to remove them. I’ll talk to you in a second.
Obstacles To Owning Your Strengths
What blocks you from owning your strengths? What stops you? Well the most common thing I hear is “well, have I just start listing off all the things that I’m great at, it starts to feel kind of arrogant, or egotistical, it just feels that I’m getting a big head.” And yeah this is one of the biggest I think misconceptions or challenges and it just, it’s so unfortunate because and this happens to a lot of parents. And my mom actually told me this one time. I remember I asked her, I was like, ” how come , you and dad didn’t seem to like praise me very much when I was a kid?” This is when I got much older and I was asking and my Mom said “Well, you know, we just, we didn’t want you to get a big head.” So that was the parenting strategy, and it was really common for that time. Might be really common now, people don’t want to, ” I don’t want to get my kid, I want to make them arrogant and tell them they’re best and turn them into some narcissist or something.” And so we kind of hold back on the praise. But that’s very different kind of excessively praising someone versus just acknowledging their strength those are two very different things.
But we often have this fear of like, if I acknowledge my strengths I’m going to really be arrogant. And nothing could be further from the truth because arrogance, the need to brag, to show others off, to be kind of a blow hard, and really impressed others with all the things that you’re great at. That is actually a compensation, which means a strategy that someone uses to make up for something that is slacking in themselves. And guess what is lacking? That’s right, confidence; owning their strengths. So someone who’s arrogant, who needs to put it in everyone’s face and convince everyone that there great is actually inside feeling very insecure. And now they have this big personality or this big show to try to compensate for it. But underneath, they just really can’t own their strength. So, in fact the more you could really deeply own your strengths, the more you can own your strengths, the more you feel confident in yourself naturally and the less you need to be arrogant about it. It’s just this deep, calm, inner knowing. And so, that’s a huge distinction to realize that owning your strength actually prevents you from being arrogant.
Secondly, a common resistance I hear in this process is , “well, look, if I just start listing all these things that I’m great about, I’m going to be deluding myself, I’m going to be misperceiving myself and living in some sort of fantasy land where I think I’m all great but really I’m not.” And man, this one, again, could be nothing further from the truth because often time we are living in a fantasy land. We are deluding ourselves. But guess what, how we are doing that? We’re seeing ourselves in the most distorted, negative, deluded life. It’s just absolutely false like there’s someone like, “hey, you’re great, let’s go hang out and be friends.” And you’re like, “uhhmm I’m a loser, no one likes me.” Right, you’re denying reality. But this weird distortion of “you’re no good” but then there’s people in your life right now who love you, who think you’re awesome. An if we were to ask them, “hey what do you think is awesome about this person?” They would list off five things. And then you hear those five things and you’re like ‘”No, that’s not right, I gotta be real, I gotta be real and honest with myself.” And deny reality. Do you see how twisted it is? The reality is you have many great things about you. There’s many things that people love about you. There’s many things you could love about yourself. And that’s just another surface level attempt to discount these strengths.
Why do we do this? What are we really afraid of? What are you really afraid of when it comes to just honoring your strength and saying, ” you know what I’m awesomeon in these ways and this why. And it’s,” this, this, this and this.” Why? Really we’re afraid of being hurt, of being embarrassed, of being ashamed of our own vulnerability. Because the more you own your strengths, the more you are going to put yourself out there in the word. If you think to yourself, ” I’m a no good, boring loser,” then you’re not going to talk to that many people, you’re not going to ask that many people out, you’re not going to apply for that many jobs. And so you’re not going to get hurt as much. Right, so goes the theory. But if you think to yourself “I’m awesome, I’m great in interviews, I’m a great communicator, people love talking to me, I’m an attractive guy”, what are you prone to do them, what are you most like going to do based upon those ideas and beliefs? That’s right, you’re going to go take action, you’re going to go out there and apply for the job, you’re going to go say “Hi” to that person, you’re going to meet those new friends, you’re going to go talk to that woman, you’re going to give the talk, you’re going to do whatever it is. And then guess what? You could be vulnerable, you could get a “No”, you could get a rejection, you could fail.
So, to protect ourselves from that, we stay in this shell, we stay this story, this BS made up story of “I’m no good, I just can’t, I’m not good enough, I’m there’ always things that are wrong with me.” And we stay in that shell. But guess what? That’s doesn’t feel very good, does it? How long have you been in the shell? Is it a little tight? Is it a little restricting? And even if we protect ourselves from being embarrassed now and then, or getting hurt, what’s the cost? I mean, geez, we could bleed our lives away, we could be in this gray no risk, no hurt but no happiness kind of gray zone for years, just sort of depressed because we’re not living our life fully, we’re not connecting, we’re not owning our strengths.
So what would happen if you just drop the shell? Put it on the side, I don’t need this anymore. It’s okay, it’s okay for me to own my strengths and to know. And ultimately it’s going to service, it’s going to help me be more in the world. Step up, interact with people, say “Hi” more, greet people more, be more warm, be more outgoing, be more friendly, be more alive, be more impactful in the world. Really matter and ultimately be able to love more because that’s what all we all want underneath, right?
So, what will happen when you set the shell aside? How can you imagine your life being totally different as you start to own your strengths more. And you’d to learn exactly how to do that, it’s a fun process. In fact, let’s take a quick break and let’s do it together in just one moment.
How To Own Your Strengths To Increase Confidence
Welcome back. So, how do we own our strength? How can we really get comfortable and knowing what’s great about ourselves and really taking that in? Well, the first thing that you want to do is you want to make a list. Want to write some of that stuff out. What are you great at? What’s great about you? What do people like about you? What would people be impressed about you about? So start making that list at least in your mind right now, and if you can create a file on your phone, or on your computer, on your tablet, good old fashion sheet of paper and a pen, remember those things? Or at least in your mind, what is at least three strengths that you can come up with? And you start to own them. And as you think about that, I want to answer a question from a listener that I had because I think it really relates to this topic. So let’s jump in to that right now.
Ask The Shrink
This question comes from a listener named Juan, who I’m going to guess is in high school as well. Interesting, we have a string of high schooler questions or perhaps college; it’s referencing class. But he said this, he said,
“Hey man, thanks so much for all the work that you do. I have a question for you. I really like this girl, but I don’t have the confidence to approach her. I had her for a class last year. We would talk occasionally and I think she likes to talk to me as well. At the end of the year, I asked her in the hallway right after the class if we could talk. She said to wait and went back to the class. Then she came back and I asked her again. She said “Talk about what?” Then she blushed, and then she left. And since then I’ve been wanting to talk to her again, I have had chances but I just don’t have the confidence, I just can’t. I would appreciate if you could help me.”
And my first response to this is like “Oh God, the Juan I know, I’ve been there, it’s so uncomfortable” and I think there’s some really interesting things here that relate exactly to strengths. Because what I hear in this whole conversation, this whole question, is loaded with I don’t own my strengths. That’s what I hear when I’m reading this, that’s the first thing I think of. If Juan doesn’t know how awesome he is, and there’s a clue in there, how do I know that Juan is awesome and he has strengths? Other than the fact that he’s a human and we all do but how do I know specifically from this question? There’s one major clue, one major giveaway. Do you know what it is? Did you catch it as well?
She was blushing. Do you think she was nervous? I think she was nervous, that’s what I hear when I read this questions. I imagined that she is nervous and this is about owning your strengths. Because I didn’t get this for the longest time. I thought when I go in and talk to a woman that I’m this kind of like lonely, loser less than her guy and I had to do this song and dance to get her approval and then maybe she’d like me because she would choose, she was the selector, she was higher value than I was and if I just got the grace of her presence then that’s the most I could ask for, because that’s the most I would deserve. And that is not in any way owning my strength, owning my power, owning what’s awesome about me and realizing.
I remember the very first moment I was talking to a woman, I had been working on this stuff for quite a while and I was talking to a woman, and I heard something in her voice, a little bit of a quiver. And I thought, “She’s nervous. Holy shit she’s nervous talking to me.” And I never experienced that before. It was a total, it like it changed everything. Because I was like, wait a minute, this whole time, I thought they would be you know, just like you’d be confident and comfortable if a little six-year old kid came out to you and said, “hey, like you know, do you want to play a game with me?” And you’re going to be like, “no I don’t want to play a game with you.” It’s like, I don’t really want to do anything with this kid, it’s not really worth my time, Like I don’t have to impress this little six-year old kid, right? That’s how I imagine women would be interacting with me. Because I didn’t know my strengths. But then when I realized this, I realized that wait a minute, there must be something awesome about me, if a woman would be nervous around me.
So Juan, there’s something awesome about you, there are many things awesome about you that make a woman nervous to talk to you. And if you could take this in, if you could really just own this and know what’s great about you, what’s awesome about you, perhaps even making a list to yourself as you’re listening to me answering Juan’s question. What are the three things that are/could be strengths of yours? Are you funny? Are you intelligent? Are you creative? Are you determined? Are you awesome with cars? Are you awesome with kids? Are you great at pool? I don’t know what it is, but what are some of your strengths? Things that are just part of your character, things that are skills you’ve developed. What makes you awesome? And if he knows that, if he knew that, walking up to her, what would he do? He would just start another conversation, “hey, how’s it going’, Jennifer? Great to see you again!” Alright because he knows he’s got value, he know he has so much to offer, and I would say get back in there. Don’t be burst aside by her fear, by her nervousness, get back in there, she wants to talk to you, do it again, give it a shot.
And let’s see here, asking one little strategy approach Juan is, she said “I asked her if we could talk after class.” That’s a little formal for my taste. What’s that mean, that makes me feel like I’m in trouble, and that’s why I understand why she said “talk about what?” It’s like , “hey do you want to talk a little bit later, you know I really got to let you know what you’re doing wrong” Right, it’s a little bit nervous , what’s going on. Don’t ask, just talk. “Hey, how’s it going’? How was your class? What did you learn? Anything interesting? What do you got going’ on this weekend? Ask her questions, just jump into it, don’t set up a time to talk to get her permission to talk to you. You can just bypass that step, know that you’re awesome enough to just jump into it.
How To Own Your StrengthsAction Step
Your action step is to take that list of three strengths. And if you didn’t come up with list of three, that’s part of your action step. Just, the first three that come to mind, they don’t have to be the right ones, they don’t have to be true in a hundred thousand percent of contexts. You know sometimes we have to use that way to discount our strengths, right? Like, you say, “I’m a really warm kind person” and your mind’s like “yeah but remember that one time, a year and a half ago, where you weren’t kind to the solicitor that came to your door to sell you magazines?” It’s like come on, just what’s true most of the time. Give yourself a break. Find those three strengths.
And then here’s the thing, you got to own them, you got to say them enough, you got to memorize them and then repeat them enough to where there’s conviction. In fact, when I work with clients, when we do this, what I’ll do is I’ll have them come up with a list. And then I say, “the next time we talk, in the beginning of the session, you’re going to share your strengths with me from memory and in a way that convinces me.” So this does two things that forces to memorize them and then it forces them to say them with enough conviction and I’ll tell people like, “yeah let’s do it again, I didn’t really feel that, it felt like it was about 20% of you coming’ through.” And we’ll do it again and again and again and I’ll get them laughing’, I’ll get them energize, and eventually they’re just saying’ it with full force and vigor. And then you would not believe what changes in their life, just from that one shift alone, owning their strength. I’ve had people exit toxic relationships they’ve been in for years after owning their strengths. I’ve had people go out and get dates within the next several days or weeks after owning their strengths. I’ve had people earned, a guy got promoted within several weeks after owning his strengths. So this stuff, and you might say “well, maybe that just happened anyway.” I don’t believe so. I believe that when we show up owing our strengths, the world notices and the world responds totally differently.
So that is your action step is to you own your strengths, repeat them again and again until it has become a part of who you are. So you know them in every situation, and then you could approach any situation with an abundance of confidence because you know on a deep level that you’re awesome. That’s why I say that at the end of every show is to remind you to do this, to know on a deep level that you have something to value, to contribute to the world.
So thanks so much for joining me in today’s episode. Let me know how it goes. Go to Shrinkfortheshyguy.com and leave me a message there on the site, you can do it email message, or audio message; I love listening to those. And gain if you happened to read or listen to The Solution to Social Anxiety, don’t forget to go to Amazon or Audible and give that a great review so we can reach more people. And I look forward to speaking with you in the next episode, until we do. May you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome. I’ll talk to you soon.
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