Whats Stopping You Being More Confident?

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With his bestselling book, What's Stopping You, Robert Kelsey helped thousands of people conquer their fear of failure and unlock their full potential in life. Now Robert is applying his unique approach to the subject of confidence. According to Robert, it’s not something that can simply be injected into us through motivational exercises and positive thinking. What’s StoppingYou…Being More Confident? highlights the key reasons why you might be lacking confidence in the first place, what causes self-doubt or makes you feel less able than others. Then we are shown how to turn this around, by examining the traits that make someone confident.

Transcript of Whats Stopping You Being More Confident?

  • Unlock Your PotentialMillions of otherwise smart people lack the confidence to achieve their fullpotential - at work, in their careers and even in their personal pursuits. Yetconfidence isnt something that can be conjured from motivational exercises or withquick-fix techniques.Confidence is something you must build for yourself. It takes planningand action, deciding where you want to gain confidence and how it mustbe won. It will require courage, optimism and resilience.This book will help you to: Identify the truth about confidence Accept who you really are, while planning your path towards confidence through achievement Understand the myths around confidence Learn to overcome the most common barrier to strong confidence: other people Deal with the other barriers to confidence such as shyness, anxiety, stress, prejudice and even hubris Buy today from your favourite bookshop 2
  • Please feel free to post this sampler on your blog or website, or email it to anyone you think would benefit from it! Thank you. Extracted from Whats Stopping You Being More Confident? Published in 2013 by Capstone Publishing Ltd (a Wiley Company), The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ. UK. Phone +44(0)1243 779777 Copyright 2013 Robert KelseyAll Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording,scanning or otherwise, except under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 or under the terms of a licence issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 4LP, UK, without the permission in writing of the Publisher. Requests to the Publisher should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, England, or emailed to permreq@wiley.co.uk. 3
  • 12 ShynessExecuting our plans means developing confidence: not in private or on paper, but with real people in realsituations. Yet this can trigger shyness for the under-confident a beguiling trait in children but a disablingone for adults. At the very moments we need to speak, our shyness renders us speechless. Just as weneed to move, our shyness roots us to the spot. And when the requirement is for us to act, our shynesstells us to hesitate.Again, controversy rages regarding the roots of shyness - whether its innate or something we develop,perhaps via negative early experiences. That said, it could equally be a mixture of the two maybe withone reinforcing the other.Certainly, Ive always seen my own shyness as incident-related. For instance, I can remember being attackedby a boy called Gary on my first day at Writtle Infants School (making me five) an event that leftme under-confident when dealing with my peers in the playground. While by no means a bold child,Id started to develop strong friendships sometimes with older boys from spending two terms at amuch smaller school in Chelmsford. Yet the older boys could play rough, so at first I assumed Garys 1
  • approach was equally benign. I smiled and laughed as he pushed me against a low wall comprehendinghis aggressive intent only after looking up and seeing his contorted face. And, as the blows startedraining down on my tiny frame, my confused openness turned to abject terror.Thanks to Gary, the optimism with which I greeted my new environment disappeared to be replacedby an outlook more guarded and distrustful. Uncertain how to respond, I became discomforted by anyapproach and watchful for fear of further attack. And while outwardly this looked like shyness, inwardly itwas something far less endearing: fear.The role of the amygdalaOf course, Garys attack is unlikely to be the whole story when it comes to my shyness. Yet such incidentsare important as they are the formative events for our evaluations of others the episodes that turn ourperhaps open regard for those we encounter into fearful responses triggered by (potentially unconscious)negative memories. As Daniel Goleman writes in Emotional Intelligence (1996, citing experts such asDennis Charney of Yale University), this is no less than a mild form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):the impact of shocking events leading to anxieties and phobias with respect to social interaction.Garys attack is certainly burnt into my memory, as such events will be for us all thanks to the interactionof two key elements of the brains limbic system. First, the amygdala is triggered. This is the part of 2
  • the brain dealing with emotions and distress. It signals an emergency to the entire nervous system flooding the brain with hormones and putting the body on general alert (inducing classic fight or flightresponses such as an adrenaline rush, the sweats and shaking). And this makes a deeper impression onthe hippocampus, the part of the limbic system generating long-term memories.Its the interaction between the amygdala and the hippocampus that triggers our automatic and fearful response whenever tangentially reminded of the event. Indeed, many PTSD sufferers develop a conditionpsychologists call Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), which according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manualof Mental Disorders (2000) has symptoms that include: A frequent and unending fear of social situations, especially when coming into contact with unfamiliar people Panic attacks at the prospect of encountering such a situation perhaps looking immediately for an excuse to avoidFear of even appearing anxious or acting in a way that will bring about embarrassment or humiliation. 3
  • The bold-timid dimensionFor sure, SAD resonates with my own social phobia. Yet others may view their shyness as simplyintroversion, which as we have seen is an innate Jungian personality type, perhaps differentiated fromthe extravert by nothing more than brain chemical balances altering our emotional circuitry.At least, thats the finding of psychologists at the Laboratory for Child Development at Harvard University.Led by Jerome Kagan (and described by Goleman), the psychologists studied infant brain patterns in orderto plot children along a dimension ranging from boldness to timidity.In free play with other toddlers, some were bubbly and spontaneous, playing with other babies without theleast hesitation, writes Goleman. Others, though, were uncertain and hesitant, hanging back, clinging to theirmothers, quietly watching the others at play.Four years later, Kagans team observed the children again. Now in kindergarten (the start of formaleducation), the psychologists noted that all the outgoing kids were still confident. Meanwhile, aroundtwo-thirds of those viewed as timid remained behaviourally inhibited. According to Kagan, the timiditystretched to anything that wasnt familiar, making them reluctant to eat new foods or to visit new places,although it was most acute around strangers. 4
  • The timid children seem to come into life with a neural chemistry that makes them more reactive toeven mild stress, says Goleman. From birth, their hearts beat faster than other infants in response tostrange or novel situations. At 21 months, when the reticent toddlers were holding back from playing, heartrate monitors showed that their hearts were racing with anxiety. . . They treat any new person or situationas though it were a potential threat.A lower threshold of excitabilityAround a fifth of infants fall into the timid category, says Goleman, with an early clue being how distressedbabies become when confronted with something unfamiliar. Stranger fear is particularly acute, notesKagan, with timid children showing high levels of stress if the babys mother leaves the room while astranger remains present. One potential reason says Kagan is that the baby has inherited high levelsof norepinephrine (known as noradrenaline outside the US), one of several neuro-transmitting chemicalsthat activate the amygdala and lead to a lowering of that childs thresh old of excitability. Certainly, higherlevels of norepinephrine/noradrenaline were measured in the urine of the timid children within Kagansstudy group.Yet Kagans timid children revealed other symptoms, including higher resting blood pressure, greaterdilation of the pupils and much lower speech levels compared to the bolder children. Indeed, when directlyaddressed, the usual response