The Rock in the River – Staying Young – Joan Small

This video about ‘The Rock in the River’ explains the stages of life and how to discover and retain our essence as we age.

The Rock in the River

I stood in the shallows of a cool mountain stream.
The water was crystalline clear.
I stooped with cupped hand to drink from its sweetness
But paused, charmed by what I could hear –
The soft gentle babble, the river’s sweet tune
As it tumbled smooth pebbles along.
The surface was calm, but the waters beneath
With currents were rapid and strong.

While in the stream’s centre was placed a tall rock
That rose from the water quite steady.
Despite rippling currents and patterns they made
That rock didn’t budge – it was ready.
It seemed to be telling the river these words:
‘You can rush and can push – do your best,
You will not weaken me, I will stand in this space.
I can withstand and pass any test’.

I was turning away when my eye caught a glimpse
Of a leaf that was dancing along
On the surface, afloat, it was having some fun
And it seemed to be singing a song.
‘I’ll go with the flow, wherever you go,
Your path is my path. I’ll have fun.
I’ll follow the stream to the end if I must.
My choice is the currents – each one’.

It brought to my mind the flows of our lives,
How we’re born then we live, learn and die.
When we’re young like the leaf we can play, live in ‘now’,
And every adventure we’ll try.
With no thought of the future we float right along
With laughter and spirit of play.
If we’re swamped we bounce back, we can’t be kept down
Looking forward to every new day.

With maturity we’re like those pebbles that roll,
As life’s problems may tumble us on.
We’re striving for more – money, safety and ‘things’
And we’re feeling depressed – put upon –
Forgetting ourselves and the spirit of play
Lose gratitude, love, even worse –
Our health may be compromised, worry sets in
And happiness swapped for a nurse.

In the third age these pebbles may soon be worn down
And sink to the bottom to lie,
While the water flows past, the adventure has gone,
The excitement of life passes by.
In order to ‘not know’ the beingness lost
They forget who they are and just dream
Until life departs, and they’re buried in sand,
Lying there in the bed of the stream.

If we don’t want to be like those pebbles that sink,
Are tumbled and worn down with strife,
We can be like the rock, staying steady and strong
Determined to stand firm in life.
When we’re buffeted by many worries and woes
Or attempts made to roll us along.
We can choose to ‘just be’, take a breath and stand firm,
Know ourselves, take a stance and be strong.

For the number one goal of each life that we live
Is to know our own essence, just be
Who we are; love ourselves, with our failings and faults,
For the person who stands is ‘just me’.
We don’t need to follow, unless it feels good,
We can listen to others’ ideas,
But the test is to know which way we should go;
Choose our path without doubting or fears.

When we stand in our space, full of confidence, love,
And face up to life without fear.
Disagreements will vanish and love will abound.
The meaning of life will come clear.
Like the rock in the river we don’t need to push,
Or to go against life’s river-flow.
We can influence others when we learn to ‘just be’,
And wherever we go we will glow.

© Joan Small April 2013

Happy Toes and Energy to Dance

Toes for energyWhy Do Happy Toes Energize Me?

Nobody takes toes seriously!

I woke up this morning with happy toes! Some of you will know I went for a cropper last week, and at the time I thought my knees were the worst problem,  but when that pain subsided I realised it was my toes causing the most pain – the two smallest toes on my right foot.  

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You would think toes didn’t matter that much, especially the little ones, but it is surprising how pain and injury in these small bodily parts can be limiting.

This morning I awoke without toe pain – Happy Toes meant a happy and energized me.

Louise Hay, my wellness guru, says in ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ toes represent the minor details of the future. Her affirmation is ‘All details take care of themselves’.

Had I been worrying about the minor details of my Hawaii trip? Certainly, the past week has been one of re-scheduling because of the collapse of Air Australia, and we have only just received our new flight details,  so at last I can truly relax and get excited about the holiday. We are now travelling on Hawaiian Airlines, which means we are going ‘The Hawaiian Way’ – and the bonus is we get an extra night in Honolulu paid for by the travel agent.

So my toes can heal now – the details of the future are taken care of.  With happy toes I will be able to learn to dance the hula. What can be more energizing than that?

Band Aids and a Kiss

On a physical level I did very little to help heal my toes. I wrapped them in bandaids.

How comforting the good old bandaid is! It reminds me of my childhood, and also reminds me of when I lovingly applied bandaids to my children’s minor injuries. 

People talk about ‘the bandaid treatment’ but let’s not knock it. It works!  Just as the ‘kiss it better’ treatment works for small children. There is something magical about this. Is it because the child believes it will get better that the bandaid and the kiss  take away the pain?

What We Believe Becomes Real – The Energizing (or de-energizing) Power of Belief

Last night I watched a movie called ‘The Invention of Lying’, with Ricky Gervais, about a town where nobody lied about anything. Then the lead character, Mark Bellison, discovered he could lie.

Of course I am not advocating lying, but what this movie illustrates is the power of the mind and belief. When we are told something with enough autority we will believe it.

Doctors have a tremendous amount of authority and respect, and many people believe what they say. This can be a recovery or cure, but is more often a ‘sentence’ to lifelong dis-ease and dosing up on more and more drugs.

 How Does Belief Help Healing and Energy?

Most of us believe that the external body heals itself. We see new skin grow where grazes have turned to scabs: we even take it for granted that broken bones, once set in place, will knit together without medication.  Hence it was natural and normal for me to believe that my little toes would recover over time.

Time is a Great Healer

We often use the saying, ‘Time is a great healer’.  So how come many of us don’t believe that the internal organs will heal over time?

Don’t we know that the best thing we can do for the body is build up the immune system and then ‘get out of the body’s way’ so it can do what it is designed to do – heal itself. 

This means not focussing on the illness. Like Makia, in the Hawaiian Way says: ‘Energy flows where attention goes’, and ‘ focus on what you do want, not on what you don’t want.’ 

Natural and Normal

On Dr Oz this week he was talking about how to reduce bad cholesterol. He has some great blog posts on the subject of using natural means to change cholesterol levels.

Me, I don’t buy into all the attention to the numbers relating to cholesterol – to me it is focussing on what I don’t want. But I have to admit Dr Oz’s diagramatic explanation of how cholesterol is made and what its purpose is was very interesting. With the focus on cholesterol  we get the idea it is all bad, but in fact it is a natural, normal  and necessary building block for our cells.

Give it No Thought

Staying healthy is easy – just as ‘Life is meant to be easy’ – and energizing. All we have to do is follow some simple basic principles and then get out of our own way so that the automatic healing system that comes naturally to our bodies and minds can work. 

I’ve mentioned my friend Richard Grant before, with his book ‘Give it No Thought’. If you can give no thought to illness and focus on wellness – ease rather than dis-ease – you will find you are happier, healthier and more energized every day.

So this week I am looking forward to ‘all the details taking care of themselves’, having an energizing time as my toes get happier, and focussing on all the exciting energizing things coming up.

I hope you can do the same. 

Sickness Or Health
All around me every day
The world is sick. These people say
‘I’ve got the flu, my knees are sore,
My heart is weak. I’m feeling poor.

‘Unknown syndromes, doctors named them.
On the health scheme, pills, I’ve claimed them.
Two I’m taking when I rise,
Another two, the docs advise,
And ere I sleep there’s three or four.
I cannot guess how many more.

‘I wake up feeling good and bright,
Then take my pills. Oh what a fright.
I fall asleep, I’m feeling sick.
Is this the cure?  I need help quick’.

These medications make no sense.
Try good nutrition, good thoughts. Hence
The cure’s within me, body, mind.
True ‘wellness’ every day I’ll find.

© Joan Small

Let me have your comments, and tell me about how you are energizing your life with natural healing. If you can’t see the Comments link below, click on the title of this blog and it will take you to a page where you can scroll down and leave your reply.

Live with Energy

Joan

 Visit:  http://www.confidenceiskey.com/ to find out about my book, ‘Confidence Is Key’  or http://www.theenergybook.com

 

 

 

Do you know who you really are? – Being Confident and Energized Comes With Being Yourself

Do you know who you are?

In order to be energized every day and to have confidence and self assurance you need to have some inkling about who you are.  A lady I know recently revealed that she had left her seemingly happy marriage because she didn’t know who she was.

This is an uncomfortable position to be in because it means you are buffeted by the stream – always pushed this way or that because of others’ opinions.

To give you a small example of being influenced by others …

Joan Small Photos Collage

My various hairstyles

I have always coloured my hair, and worn it in different styles, short, mid length or long, and when it is long I sometimes tie it up.  My friends and others often comment on which style they prefer. Some will say, ‘I like your hair short’, others like it darker or fairer, and some prefer it long or tied back.

At times I have styled me hair to suit the person whose favourable opinion I most want at that time. However, I have now come to realise that it is impossible and downright silly to change my hair style because of what others say. I should be choosing for me – what I think suits me best, and varying the way I wear my hair depending on who I am and how I feel.

Can you see how this translates into larger things?

If we allow ourselves to put our own instincts and preferences after everybody elses; if we are always trying to please others and be how they want us to be we just lose ourselves. We end up not knowing who we really are.

Perhaps you have experienced times in your life when you felt you were not really yourself. This is what happened to me.

A Young Wife and Mother

Joan Small with Raymond and Robin

Young Wife and Mother

When children come along they bring out the best, and sometimes the worst, in us. I had grown up around a dominant father who was bossy, irritable and sometimes angry. My mother was the opposite, gentle, easily upset and sympathetic. So when I had my own children stressful situations caused me sometimes to become  irritable and angry, and at other times to dissolve into tears.

I am happy to say that most of the time I was even tempered, patient and loving. However, when these moods came upon me I felt that I was ‘not myself’. I had turned into someone else, and I didn’t understand what was happening and making me behave this way.

Awareness Allows Change

In one of my sortees into personal development I discovered that these mood shifts are because of taking on the personality of another person. In my case my mother or father. Once I became aware of this I could ‘catch myself out’ when I was going into these valances that were not the real me. As I took measures to handle stress in different and more positive ways, I became more of myself and a much easier person to live with.

Can you relate to this?

I have done a lot of personal development work over the years, and it has helped me to recognise that the real me is the best person to be. I know and like myself now, and this has helped me to gain the confidence I have in all situations.

It is also wonderfully energizing to know I am my own person and can choose for myself.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with becoming more of the real you.

Joan Small Being Yourself

Being Yourself - Click on the Link at the right ->

 Beautiful Thoughts to Help You Become More of Yourself – Click Here 

This powerpoint presentation is well worth a few moments of your time.  The suggestions are energizing and uplifting, the images absolutely beautiful and the music easy to listen to.  Pass it on to others when you have watched and listened to it, and help to make their day or their life.

 PS: If you want to ‘vote’ on which look you prefer in the above photos I will be interested in your opinion. (Not that I will allow it to over-ride my own preferences, of course.)

 Click on the title of this post and it will take you to another page where you can leave your reply. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Live with Energy
Joan
Visit:  http://www.confidenceiskey.com/ to find out about my latest book, ‘Confidence Is Key’  or http://www.theenergybook.com

Energize Yourself With ‘The Hawaiian Way’ 11.11.11

Confidence in the Future  –  ‘The Hawaiian Way’ – Dean Callaway

Kona Hawaii - The Hawaiian Way - Dean Callaway

Kona Hawaii

Today is the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year (2011). It is   ‘Remembrance Day’ in Australia and at 11 am we will be observing one minute’s silence to commemorate those who died in WWI.

Equally as important as not forgetting the past is looking to the future with confidence and anticipating the wonderful things it can bring to us.

Elvis Presley is attributed with the quote:  “For Happiness we need Someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to”, and what better day than 11.11.11 to create things in our lives to look forward to. This is a tremendously energizing thing to do.

What are you looking forward to? 

I have a few things – Christmas in Darwin with my son, his wife and three gorgeous boys, and in January a visit from another son and his family. This is the ‘someone to love’ part of Elvis’ quote; two amazing things to look forward to – and there is a third.

The Hawaiian Way, and a Hawaiian Tour – A Spiritual Journey

I talked about ‘variety’ in my previous post, and so I have created more variety and something to look forward to  for March 2012. I have booked for Dean Callaway’s 10-day ‘Hawaiian Way’ Spiritual Tour to Kona Hawaii.  The thought and visualisation of this trip is totally energizing. 

Dean is an advocate and teacher of the 7 principles of ‘The Hawaiian Way’ and is conducting sessions each week here on the Gold Coast to lead people through each of these principles.  They are IKE – Awareness; KALA – No Limits; MAKIA -Focus; MANAWA – Now is the moment of power; ALOHA – To love is to be happy; MANA- All power comes from within; and PONO – Effectiveness is the measure of truth.

These principles are a powerful way to live life, and Dean is the epitome of how they can be put into action.

King Kamehameha

King Kamehameha

I am so excited about going to Hawaii. We will not only be experiencing the many layers of Hawaiian life and spirituality by meeting the elders and having ‘talk story’, taking a trip to the City of Refuge, visiting a volcano and hieroglyph carvings, but also doing things just for fun, like snorkelling, learning to dance the hula, play the ukelele and make a flower lei.

Much of the enjoyment in something like this is the anticipation of the event, and you can bet I will be tapping into this amazing Hawaiian energy in the months leading up to the trip.

But, a word of warning about anticipation and ‘looking forward to’. It is also important not to have fixed ‘expectations’.  There is a certain way of anticipating an event, and that is with an open mind – allowing the Universe to provide ‘this, or something better’.  But Keeping in mind MANA – ‘all power comes from within’, and this helps us to generate the most amazing outcome.

The 7  Hawaiian Way Principles in Action

Using the 7 principles of The Hawaiian Way around the imagination of this forthcoming trip:

I can be in IKE – be aware that I can choose what I think,

and with KALA – put no limits on what will happen. Limits and limitations are not real.

With MAKIA – ‘energy flows where attention goes’, so I will maintain a positive focus on the Universe providing the best possible outcome for me.

MANAWA – now is the moment of power tells me that I must ensure that what I do today  will enable me to clear the way, financially and in other areas, to easily have this holiday.

ALOHA – if I am happy and count my blessings it will contribute to the good energy around the trip.

MANA – gives me confidence that I have the power within me to create the best experience,

and finally PONO tells me to do the greatest good I can now, and this will contribute to my abundance and ability to generate what I need to make this trip the best experience for me. 

View the video here

Dean’s series of 2-hour workshops on The Hawaiian Way are being conducted each Saturday between 3 and 5 pm at Mermaid Waters (Gold Coast, Australia). If you want more information about this, or the tour, email me at joan@joansmall.com 

What are you looking forward to?  Do you find it energizing? I would love to hear from you, so …

Click on‘Leave a comment’ in  the small grey print below to add your successes or share your opinions (or click on the title of this post and it will take you to another page where you can ‘leave your reply’ at the bottom of the post)

Live with Energy
Joan
Visit:  http://www.confidenceiskey.com/ to find out about my latest book, ‘Confidence Is Key’  or http://www.theenergybook.com

 

Energize Your Life with Variety – Poetry Campfire

 Variety Is The Spice Of Life – and A Great Energizer

Sometimes life can become a little mundane and ordinary – like ‘Groundhog Day’. Then it is time to look around and do something different.

campfire to energize

A Campfire with Poetry To Energize

As a girl from the outback I’ve always loved campfires. My most memorable was out on the flat Barkly Tableland on the cattle station my friends owned – with brilliant stars above, Johnny Cakes cooked on the hot coals and fireworks to let off. The cows came in close to see what was going on, and their eyes shone in the darkness. Last Friday night was a similar event. 

Robbie and Alan - married 50 dears

Robbie and Alan - married 50 years

Organised by Dave ‘The Banjo’ Farrer (author of ‘An Australian Story or Two’ books one and two), the members of our fabulous ‘Poetry in Paradise’ club and some others sat around on logs or chairs, and took turns to recite or read poetry. There was a lot of fun and laughter – we have some classic poets in the club, and of course laughter is a great energizer too.

Roger the Dodger even had a trophy – a mini one, with a pixie standing on a piece of granite.

Roger and Ted Skuse

Roger presents Ted with the trophy for best poetry presentation

He had his own criteria for the judging, and presented the pixie to someone who recited his own poetry – a newbie to the group, Ted Skuse.

It turned out Ted and I had something in common – not just the fact that we both like writing and presenting poetry, but that we lived in Australia’s Northern Territory at the same time. He was in Alice Springs and I was 500 kms north in Tennant Creek.

But back to the energy. What an energized mob it was – sitting around that campfire and sharing our special craft. Bob Dever,  the ‘Mudgeeraba Budgerigar’ even gave us his rendition of the didgeridoo.

Alan and Robbie were celebrating their 50 years of marriage too – and they still look happy.

To top it off, we had fresh hot damper with Cockey’s Joy (Golden Syrup – a bushie’s custom) and home made rock cakes baked by Dawn. The evening was balmy. I couln’t stop grinning – it took ten years off me I’m sure. ‘In my element’ describes the way I felt.

We stayed well past Dave’s bedtime. No-one wanted to go home.

Bob Dever plays the didgeridoo

Bob Dever plays the didgeridoo

So next time you are feeling a little low, bored or out of sorts, get out and do something different. You will find it an energizing experience.

If you fancy yourself as a poet, or would like to come and be part of the poetry ‘fan club’ we meet on the Gold Coast (at Southport). To find out more go to: http://tiny.cc/6xspr

I would love to receive your feedback, so please Click on ‘Leave a Comment’ below to add your successes or share your opinions.

Live with Energy
Joan
Visit:  http://www.confidenceiskey.com/ to find out about my latest book, ‘Confidence Is Key’  or http://www.theenergybook.com

Confidence is Key – The Ebook by Joan Small

 I am so excited! Today I finally finished my ebook called ‘Confidence Is Key’.  

Confidence is Key - Joan Small Ebook

Confidence is Key - Joan Small Ebook

This has been in the pipeline for nearly two years, but I am a great believer that timing is everything. I had to continue further along my own pathway before I was ready to commit what I had learnt to a book.

With the last 12 months of studying Internet Marketing, meeting a myriad of new and talented people and overcoming challenges – some of them like ‘boulders’ in the road, I now feel I can confidently position myself as an expert on the subject of how to gain confidence.

Read more about the book here.

  I would love to receive your feedback, so please Click on ‘Leave a Comment’ below to add your successes or share your opinions.

Live with Energy
Joan
Visit:  http://www.theenergybook.com/ to find out about my book, ‘The Energy Book For Life – The Guidebook To Energized Living’
Coming soon, ‘Confidence – The Key To Success in Life and Business’

 

From A Wild Life to Succeeding With Confidence – Interview with Aldwyn Altuney

Aldwyn Altuney Tells Joan Small How She Gained Confidence and Energized Her life

It was my pleasure to interview my good friend Aldwyn Altuney, an energized young lady who is fun loving, on the go, and never too busy to smile, be friendly and encourage others. 

Aldwyn is a photojournalist,  a Corporate Communications Consultant and Director of AA Xposé Media – also the founder of Animal Action Day annual event on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Bikini Parade

Recently, just for fun, Aldwyn wore her bikini to join hundreds of other bikini clad ladies who gathered on the Gold  Coast’s Glitter Strip to set a Guinness World Record for the biggest-ever bikini parade. 357 was the winning number.

This shows the level of energy and confidence Aldwyn has attained.

Not Always Confident

Aldwyn was born of European parents and felt she didn’t fit in, growing up. Despite being successful academically at school and even making the Australian Table Tennis team, she was not confident socially and during one period of her life even wanted to drop out altogether.

Wild Lifestyle

As a teenager she left home and moved in with other teens who were into alcohol, drugs and a wild lifestyle. Some were suicidal.  Aldwyn went through the gothic/punk/hippie sub cultures trying to find out where she fitted. It was a dark space. The sad family situations showed her the life she didn’t want to lead. 

A Life Changing Decision

At this point, Aldwyn made a decision that she wanted to live an empowered life and make a difference in areas that mattered to her,  such as animal action and environmental issues.

She moved on, went to University in Canberra, acquired a media degree and found the media a great way to get powerful messages out. The more she realised she could step up and make a difference  and the more she could help others to make a difference the more confidence she had to keep going and follow her path. 

Make Time For Yourself

Along the way Aldwyn has had to learn to nourish and nurture herself – go to the beach, sunbake and swim in the ocean, have a massage and so on. She feels it is important to make time for herself to re-energize and re-charge.

Personal Development

Aldwyn attributes much of her confidence to the personal development programs she has undertaken. They helped her see the limiting behaviours that were stopping her from moving forward.

Now she finds she doesn’t take it personally when other people hit her with negatives.  Awareness is one of the keys, and when negatives do come her way she can easily discern which is her stuff and which belongs to others and not take it on board. 

Aldwyn recommends personal development, and also hanging out with entrepreneurs and like-minded people. Having a great network around you and building your personal fan club is really important.

Alwyn Altuney can be contacted at www.aaxpose.com or on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.

 I would love to receive your feedback, so please Click on ‘Leave a Comment’ below to add your successes or share your opinions.

Live with Energy
Joan
Visit:  http://www.theenergybook.com/ to find out about my book, ‘The Energy Book For Life – The Guidebook To Energized Living’
Coming soon, ‘Confidence – The Key To Success in Life and Business’

Interview with Leanne Ardern – From Shy Child to Confident Energized Business Owner

Joan Small talks with Leanne Ardern on How To Gain Confidence

I met Leanne,  Managing Director of Astro Visual, at the 3-day workshop I attended with Glenn Walford on ‘Branding With Your Book’.

Fear of Rejection

 Leanne grew up as a shy child who would cower in the corner and not want to talk to people. She feared rejection because she was told she could never be any good – she was ‘just a girl’.

The Need To Change

As an adult working in a business she realised that she would have to step up and become more confident if she wanted to succeed. Her husband encouraged her and she found mentors who also helped her make the change she needed to.

Stepping Up

She went to networking events, and took the bold step of doing her first 60 second introduction – a difficult challenge for her. However, she kept putting herself out there and just having a go, until it became easier, and her confidence increased.

An Easier Road With Confidence

Leanne has found that since she gained more confidence she does not have to work so hard, she connects more easily with the right people and opportunities appear. Instead of a 16 hour day she is working a 6 hour day. 

She has realized that people don’t judge you, they want you to succeed. So just stepping up and ‘doing it’ makes a difference.

Be like Leanne and step up with confidence. You will find it will energize you, and give you more enjoyment and success in your life. To read more about Leanne go to www.astrovisual.com.au/

A New Book On The Way

I am writing my book about ‘Confidence, The Key to Success in Life and Business’  and it is nearly finished.  Watch this space.

I would love to hear from you, so please Click on ‘Leave a Comment’ below to add your successes or share your opinions.

Live with Energy
Joan
Visit:  http://www.theenergybook.com/ to find out about my book, ‘The Energy Book For Life – The Guidebook To Energized Living

7 Key Strategies For Confidence and Energy

Let Go of the Fear and Shine With Confidence

Joan Small Toastmasters Tall Tales Winner Confidence in Speaking

Toastmasters Tall Tales Winner - Confidence in Speaking

In my previous blog I gave you two strategies to help recover your confidence.

  1. Change your environment, your friends, your peers – the people you spend most of your time with, if they are undermining your confidence.
  2. Act as if you already have confidence in the area you lack it.
    These two things will help you handle your current situation. But how do you handle your past?  How do you get out of your head the memory of situations where you have been laughed at, teased, put down, and times when you have fallen short of your own or others’ expectations.

The three most harmful emotions are shame, blame and regret.

  • Shame is being ashamed of something you have done – feeling that you shouldn’t have done it. In some way you have not lived up to your own or other’s standards. You may even feel ashamed to be yourself.
  • Blame is putting the cause for something onto another person – not taking responsibility for yourself. By blaming another, we give power to that person.
  • Regret is a way of turning something back on itself by wishing it hadn’t happened. Regret is harmful because we are trying to wipe it out by going back to it in our minds. It’s a case of intending to do something good and we did bad instead. By playing it over in our minds we are trying to erase it, but it doesn’t work, it just keeps us trapped in the past.

These three things – shame, blame and regret – all from the past, will undermine confidence in the present.

In order to be truly confident we must let go of the past and the negativity from it, and be truly in the now. That way we can ‘be’ the person we are and live in the moment – the best way to be energized and the most effective way to remain confident.

Sure, we may still make mistakes, say something that doesn’t come out the way we want it to, but if our intentions are good, we are clear on who we are and we speak sincerely from the moment, then the message we project will be accepted, or at least respected.

Sure, it sounds easy, but how do we clear the mind of these negative and harmful thoughts that jump up at us when we are least expecting them?

In  my case, I read a lot of personal development books and went to courses, and even did some ‘processing’ (therapy) to help me get clear of negative thoughts and emotions and to forgive myself and others for incidents in the past. It can take a lot of time, but it doesn’t have to if the willingness is there to let go of the baggage.

Awareness that we are carrying baggage is the first step.

Awareness is an energizing and magical thing. It’s like a small ‘Aha’ moment, when we can suddenly observe and recognize something that we haven’t acknowledged before.

A simple exercise

  • Write down some of the things that are holding you back in feeling confident in certain areas.
  • With each one, observe as if you were another person, particularly taking note of your role in the incident. Be as detailed as you can about when the incident took place and where, what form it took, and particularly your own role in it.

When I did this with the relationship between my father and myself I could see that his intent was good. Years later he was shocked to find that his behaviour towards me had held me back.

It only held me back because I allowed it to – I gave my power away to him, and I continued to allow memories of the past to hold me back for years. It wasn’t until I had a good look at the situation that I realized I was using my insecurities to punish him and myself.  I was making excuses for my failure, and giving my power away.

Moving on from the past

After I did my teacher training, many years ago, I became  confident in front of my classes of small children, and even in running the junior school assembly. With encouragement from one of the other teachers I took my turn playing the piano for the assembly too. I knew that the children were not critical, and as long as I kept them entertained they would respect me, and give me their attention.

However, expressing my opinion at teacher staff meetings was a different thing. I experienced all the symptoms of extreme nervousness:  heart palpitations, shortness of breath, inability to think clearly and express my thoughts in words. This came from my past experience, the shame, blame and regret I was holding onto.

A Speaking Club

When a Toastmistress Club was formed  in my small town, I became one of the founding members. By facing my fears, standing up in front of adults and expressing my opinions and ideas, I became more confident in speaking up at staff meetings.

What I implemented to develop confidence were the following:

  1. I changed my environment, my  friends and my peers
  2. I became aware of what was holding me back
  3. I took steps to clear my mind of the shame, blame and regret that were limiting me
  4. I began to Act as If  – and joined a group that would allow me to practice doing this. 
  5. I faced the fear of speaking up, to
  6. I became proud to be myself and responded in the moment, without allowing the past to affect me.
  7. I acquired a Fan Club

I will speak more about #7 in my next post.

I still belong to International Toastmasters, and this wonderful organisation has enabled me to go from strength to strength in speaking. I actually enjoy and am energized by standing up in front of a group of people when I have a message to deliver, and I have even learned to speak in an entertaining and sometimes humourous manner.

In my next post I will reveal more  strategies to gain confidence and energy.

What strategies have you used to gain more confidence. Click on ‘Leave a Comment’ below to add your successes or share your opinions.

Live with Energy
Joan
Visit:  http://www.theenergybook.com/ to find out about my book, ‘The Energy Book For Life – The Guidebook To Energized Living’

How to Energize Yourself With Confidence

Living With Confidence Can Energize You

How To Have Confidence and be energized

How To Have Confidence and be Energized

But how do you gain that confidence in all areas?

In my previous post I mentioned seven areas that my survey participants said they lacked confidence in.

They were:
1. In Social Situations
2. Speaking in front of an audience
3. Handling new stuff – particularly new technology
4. Speaking with their work colleagues, bosses
5. Applying for jobs
6. Change – taking on a new business or major life change
7. Positioning themselves as ‘experts’ in their areas of expertise

Fears Around Confidence

In my survey people said they feared:

  • rejection,
  • looking a fool,
  • not being intelligent enough,
  • asking dumb questions,
  • not knowing how to do something, or where to start,
  • being judged for the way I am
  • speaking about myself 
  • the future.

Not Being Good Enough

All of these things equate to fear of rejection – of not being good enough to live up to your own or others’ expectations.

Rejection of ourselves is the worst fear – if we constantly judge and criticize ourselves there is no way we can be confident with other people.

Our fear often comes from past experience. 

In my case it stemmed from my father, who frequently cut my communication – nothing I said seemed to be good enough or worthy of his attention. He would interrupt, put me down or get angry. This would cause me to cry, which he couldn’t handle, so I would retreat and ‘sulk’. For years I was too quiet and shy to cope well either in social situations or in front of groups. My older sister always seemed to be cleverer, better or brighter than me.

Even now, if I hear someone being praised highly, I have to stop myself from taking it personally – translating it to mean I am not as worthy.

A Situation in the Present that De-energizes You

anger undermines confidence and de-energizes

Anger undermines confidence and de-energizes

You  may be in  a situation right now that is reducing your self esteem – at home, at work or amongst your peers.

Who do you spend most of your time with? 

Who do you choose as your friends? Are they supportive and encouraging, or do they put you down – perhaps in jest, pretending it is just fun?

One of the worst things we can do to children as they grow up is to constantly tease them – make fun of them and expect them to laugh. It may be funny to the person dishing out the teasing, but not to the recipient, and constant teasing can easily destroy self-esteem.

I often watch the TV series ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ because of the interplay of personalities, and the way the various characters use put-downs or underhanded remarks  to manipulate and get their way. I am fascinated to see how Deborah survives in this dysfunctional family without losing her confidence or self-esteem. It is a very clever script.

The Intent Behind the Words

If you observe people, you can pick up the intent behind the words, and this can help you to immunize yourself against the barbs. I had to learn how to do this.

You may be in a seriously toxic relationship that is making it impossible to express your true self.

A lovely friend has written a book about the years she spent in a loveless relationship and how it drained her energy and reduced her abilities in many ways. After 29 years of marriage she chose to leave this situation and has since been able to blossom and shine her light in ways she would never have believed possible. Her book is called ‘Choosing To Cross The Line’ and her website  jocelynleckie.com.au.

If you are currently living with, or closely associated with, someone who constantly undermines your confidence then you may have to look at parting your ways.

If Your Lack of Confidence Comes From Past Experiences

There are strategies to use if you want to move on from your previous shyness, lack of confidence or inability to express yourself.

Giving the Appearance of Confidence
I don’t want to say ‘Fake it till you make it’ because I believe ‘acting as if’ is not the same as faking it.

If you observe what confident people do and how they present themselves, and you emulate them, acting as if you were already confident, people will invariably begin to treat your differently, which in turn will help to increase your confidence.

Becoming a ‘New Person’

When I went to Teacher Training College I had to board, as my home was in the country. I moved into a YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) Hostel where many other teacher trainees were staying. I decided to start afresh as a new person, and even changed my name to Joanne.

My room was in the centre of a long corridor, so most of the new residents had to pass it on their way to their rooms. I stood in the doorway and introduced myself as Joanne  to anyone walking past who looked like a student. Before long I had several new friends.

I repeated this on the first day of Teacher’s College amongst my co -students, and so built up another circle of friends.

Before long I had about 16 girlfriends. Some of us went to the local church and met some young men, and they joined our group.

Because I had pretended to be outgoing and confident, I was treated this way.

I was invited to spend holidays with my new friends in the country, and we went to parties, camps and other interesting things. My three years at College were a wonderful social time where my confidence continued to expand.

Did I Change Overnight?

No. I still suffered insecurities, but I had wonderful friends to support me and help me through the difficult times. I was able to leave behind the comments and criticisms of the past, to pretend and practice confidence in many different situations.

It was only when I went back home and was again under my father’s influence that I would slip back into the old ways.

Strategies To Gain More Confidence

Based on my experience back then, and how it has worked for me many times since, I recommend two things to begin overcoming your confidence issues:

1. Change your environment, your friends, your peers – the people you spend most of your time with, if they are undermining your confidence.

2. Act as if you already have confidence in the area you lack it. Observe other confident people and what they do and say, and imagine what that would be like if you did it. Then practice stepping out of your comfort zone. Make the first move. 

Baby steps are good at first. Don’t take on something too big. For instance, I didn’t decide to walk into a room full of people I didn’t know as my first step. I approached people one at a time. (It took me a lot longer to be able to go into that room full of people. More about that later.)

The important thing to remember is, if you get rebuffed it is probably not your stuff. Other people have their own reasons for not wanting to be approached. If you get knocked back just move onto the next as soon as possible. ‘Get back into the saddle’ so to speak.

However, if you put a smile on your face and approach in a friendly manner it is very likely the other person will respond the same way.

I would love to hear of your experiences approaching and talking with people you don’t know and how it energizes you. Please click on the link below that says ‘Leave a Comment’ and let me know.

Live with Energy
Joan
Visit:  http://www.theenergybook.com/ to find out about my book, ‘The Energy Book For Life – The Guidebook To Energized Living’