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Change Your Perspective: Building Self-Confidence Every Day

By Kathleen Schulweis

This article is designed to help you build your self-confidence with appreciative inquiry and a bit of behavior modification. We have over 70,000 thoughts a day. If we don't manage them, they will run wild. In addition, research has shown that we focus on what we look for so it is important for our self-confidence to focus on positive images.

What picture are you choosing to project on the screen in your head? Is it an image of happiness or sorrow? Does it make you feel good or bad, confident or doubtful?

The idea of choosing your thoughts may come as a surprise to you. The choice is ours: we can choose thoughts that make us feel good, or thoughts that scare the daylights out of us. How we feed our minds is just as important as the way we nourish our bodies, and we can select our thoughts the same way we would choose from a menu. Would you order something if you knew it wasn't going to make you feel good?

But we have to consider our feelings in the process of choosing our thoughts. Our mission here is not to put an artificial happy face on everything! Feelings, good or bad, provide us with valuable information about our needs and desires. As such, they need to be acknowledged, for they are the signal that tells us whether or not we are in alignment with our selves and our values. Remember the childhood game of hot and cold? The closer we are to being on track with the truth of who we are, the better we feel. The further away we get, the worse we feel. How we react in response to our feelings is governed by our thoughts, and that is what we want to focus on today.

It is within your power to choose the way you think about something, no matter what your circumstances are, you can begin to make better choices: And in day-to-day life that means choices that reflect your values and support your dreams. With practice you'll develop a skill that will become second nature to you. Then the sky's the limit!

The following exercise is designed to help you discover facts about yourself that will nourish your sense of wellbeing.

Ongoing. Every evening for 30 days, do the following assignment:

Pick a quiet moment and review your day. Write down the hopeful and loving things you accomplished today, even just one thing you did today that was positive and good. One thing is enough. Focus on that one thing, express gratitude for that one thing. Notice if you drift into judgment and laugh at yourself. Go back to the one thing you did that was positive and good. You may find this hard to do. Messages such as 'but tomorrow I need to do more…' are normal but not helpful.

You are taking responsibility for your feelings and your focus. You are in charge now. You are practicing Appreciative Inquiry, a well-researching and amazingly helpful way to increase productivity and satisfaction.

Congratulations! Let me know how you're progressing. If you lose track, start over and remember… you see what you focus on.