The Acquisition of Self-Confidence

“I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”

William Ernest Henry

Self-Confidence

We each play a pivotal role in the development and outcome of our lives. Our thoughts, words, actions, and habits are all cardinal pieces to our puzzle of success; however we choose to define that term. A quote, that has been arguably associated with many of history’s greats for world and societal change- ranging from Loa Tzu to Margaret Thatcher, states “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.” This quote resonated with me profoundly because it reaffirmed my core belief, which is we are a product of our thoughts, and our thoughts alone. Our self-confidence or self-deprecation determine our self-view and, as a result, gradually oozes out of our pores into the spaces of our external society. Thus, providing society with a blueprint of how we wish to be perceived and treated. Therefore, if we have the power to possess such an impactful part in our experience of reality, then we are truly the masters of our lives. Our core beliefs about ourselves, our abilities, and our worth, dictate our destiny.

I believe that one of the greatest boxers to ever grace the ring, Muhammad Ali, is a prime example of how our world can change through the process of our thoughts and words. Ali in his career peak stated, “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.” Ali exemplified the power of belief, regardless of his outside circumstances he refused to adhere to what his eyes saw, and committed himself to the picture of success and power that was imprinted along the internal walls of his mind.

Belief in self and self-confidence are interchangeable descriptions that have the capacity to transform the life of its possessor. Dr. Ivan Joseph, former Head Coach of the Ryerson Rams men’s soccer team – who is associated with helping the Rams to post their highest team results in their history, defines self-confidence as the “ability to believe in yourself to accomplish any task, no matter the odds, difficulty, or adversity.” Dr. Joesph also provides three beneficial tips towards building one’s confidence in self and abilities, they are summarized below:

  1. Repetition: Remember practice makes perfect. A situation or ability can not be novel, there has to be a level of comfort associated with a task or skill in order for true mastery to take place. (See: Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule).
  2. Execute Positive Self-Talk: Thoughts influence actions. You have to be your biggest advocate, affirm yourself through your words. Tell yourself how great you are. Tell yourself how success you will be. Tell yourself how powerful you are. Write a letter to yourself declaring your greatness, and remind yourself of all or your past accomplishments. Highlight your value, what has worked for you in the past, and your overall awesomeness. Lastly, remove yourself for negative spaces.
  3. Interpret criticism through a filter. Self-confident people interpret criticism the way they choose to. Accept the advice that seems solid, constructive, and applicable, and throw away the useless “materials”.

Check out the entire video of Dr. Ivan Joesph’s TED Talk below.

Self- confidence is the difference between success and failure, happiness and despair, and living a full life or surviving off of the scraps that are thrown your way. In life, You are the only one that can make you happy, YOU are the only one that can pave the way for your dreams and aspirations to take place, and YOU are the only one that can hold yourself back. Life is a journey meant to be enjoyed and cherished, strategically outline your path to your destiny, and watch it unfold.

Sincerely,

A. Nicholson

30 is NOT the new 20: An Introspective Take on the Defining Decade

Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do, your deciding your life right now.”

– Meg Jay, PhD

20

               Stagnation is not a sign of progression, but a depiction of procrastination. Any information that supports a delay in development and self-growth is not advice of benefit, but of destruction. As a God-created being of the universe it is our right to move forward in life towards the acquisition of new opportunities, experiences, and relationships. The concept of having a decade – a ten year period of life- to partake in aimless and meaningless behavior is absolutely absurd and out of the question. The phrase “30 is the new 20,” stands out to me as a detrimental falsehood, that in the era of the new millennium is sometimes treated as truth. In a recent TED Talk, executed by psychologist Dr. Meg Jay, she talks about the definitive factors of an individual’s 20’s. I support this idea one hundred percent. As a twenty something, I have earned a degree of higher education, worked in various internships in different areas of the United States, and through self-reflection and thought gained a better grasp of who I am as a person both personally and professionally. As an introspective individual, I have experienced the benefits of “putting in work” early (through self-development, reading, meditation, educational outlets….etc.) with the expectation of acquiring my desired outcomes (manifested as the achievement of my goals and aspirations) at a sooner date.

Dr. Jay covers crucial points supporting her theory of 20’s being a foundational decade in one’s life, stating “Claiming your 20’s is the simplest most transformative thing for work, happiness, and love.” In today’s society, twentysomethings make up 15 percent of the US population, that’s approximately 50 million people, in my opinion that would be entirely too many people to just be walking around unfocused, un-bothered, and unguided. According to Dr. Jay’s research, the 20’s are a critical period of adult-development, especially from a scientific standpoint. In her research, Dr. Jay discovered that the human brain caps off its second and last growth spurt, before rewiring itself for adulthood, in this particular decade of life. Therefore, our twenties may be our last chance of fine-tuning ourselves before our personalities, habits, and life-perspectives are pretty much set in stone – to divert a minuscule inch, an article in the NY Mag’s Science of Us, entitled “How Much Can You Really Change After You Turn 30,” also supports this claim while offering an alternative perspective. The article by Melissa Dahl, states that while basic personality traits and behaviors are established by age 30, it is still possible to act against pre-established nature through how one proactively decides to express those traits or behaviors. For example, an individual who is usually shy and reserved in public settings, can (with practice) CHOOSE to act in the opposite manner – however this isolated act can hold negative physiological effects.

Our twenties are a decade of infinite possibilities, if we choose to see them in this way. There are three things that Dr. Jay suggests in order to move forward in claiming the definitive decade, and they are as follow: Get identity capital, add value to your life through investing in your future-self; Reach out to weak ties, don’t just associate with people your age – get out and seek mentors- the next job or opportunity may be in that connection; and start selecting your family (future spouse, long-lasting friendship) now – if you are in a relationship (friendship or romantic) that is not working, GET OUT. Dr. Jay emphasizes the importance of being intentional with love, she states “Consciously choose who and what you want, rather than making it work with whoever happens to be choosing you.”

As a twentysomething now is the time to walk boldly in the direction of goals and aspirations. The time to start reading is now. The time to learn how to self-advocate and negotiate contracts and salary quantity is now. The time to explore is….yep you guessed, now. I wish you all the best in your pursuits, and I will see you at the top!

Sincerely,

A. Nicholson

 © A. Nicholson, 2013-2014. All Rights Reserved.

The Power of Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking

The power of positive thinking has the ability to shift one’s mind from a state of negativity to that of hopeful possibility. The act of speaking life into situations, visualizing, creating manifestation boards, and words of affirmation has helped me tremendously on my journey to success and complete self-value. It is remarkable how the act of making the decision to think forward has the ability to catalyze one’s success and self-development into a direction of prosperity and reward.

For the purpose of clarifying, positive thinking is not the act of pretending that all in life is grandiose and spectacular, no not at all. It is the state of actively acknowledging your mood or situation, but making the deliberate decision to see the good in it. It is the active choice of determining how you can grow from your circumstance.

Positive Thinking can also be used in a proactive manner. For example, if there is a dream job or career that you desire. If there is a dream location that you would like to travel to. If there are particular goals that you would like to accomplish in your life, whether romantically or professional; positive thinking has the potential to get you one step closer (if not to) your desired destination in life (figuratively and literally). Positive thinking is more than a practice or a hobby, it is a lifestyle. A lifestyle that requires perpetually gratitude for things that are acquired and hoped for. Gratitude is one of the secrets to living in abundance in all aspects of life, to be grateful for the things that you already have makes it easier to be grateful for the things that desire to possess, and will one day acquire. If you are in a perpetual state of thankfulness, the energy and vibrations that you emit will be on that exact frequency level. According to universal rule, you attract what you are, consequently the people that you meet will be mirror reflections of that positive energy. Also, in a state of gratitude you will attract more resources into your life because you are not acting out of a state of resistance but of openness.

It is my desire to live a life abundant in love, joy, happiness, positive and growth-inducing friendships, and wonderful life experiences rich in culture and diverse travel. I am open and I am ready. There are a plethora of resources that go into further detail regarding the topic of positive thinking and how it has the potential to change your life, for instance YouTube is a goldmine for this subject. I have provided you with a video clip of motivational speaker, Brendon Burchard, and his insight on transforming the mind to welcome positive outcomes and thoughts, below.

Progress starts with an idea, then and only then can it manifest itself into reality.

Sincerely,

A. Nicholson

 © A. Nicholson, 2013-2014. All Rights Reserved.