How to stop self sabotaging and start building a powerful self confidence
Confidence is natural. It is in you somewhere. You just can’t connect with it right now.
And there’s very good reasons for this.
It’s locked far way.
And no matter how hard you’ve tried to change, you still find yourself reverting to unconfident behaviour.
Like staying quiet when you want to speak up.
Avoiding situations you find challenging – socialising, making new friends, any situation that puts you in the spotlight or where you think you might fail.
And it doesn’t help that other people notice that you’re not as confident as you would like to be. And their attempts to help you often leave you feeling worse.
It’s not your fault
There’s a very good reason why these behaviours are a natural reaction to such challenges.
They are part of your psychological make-up. And it’s actually very difficult to change them because your psychology is complex. It is called self-satotage. You want to change but powerful psychological keep you repeating the same old patterns. This is why so many confidence-building techniques don’t work.
But there is a way out of this.
Do you relate to this pattern?
In the Myth of Sisyphus, Sisyphus is doomed to roll a very large stone up a hill. It requires a huge amount of effort, and at the end of the day, his strength gives way and so the stone rolls down the hill, leaving Sisyphus with no choice but to start the process all over again the next day.
And so it goes on, day in and day out.
Little does Sisyphus know how close he was to getting to the top of the hill, and to the end of his toil.
Many people relate to this story, repeating this pattern endlessly throughout their lives.
Have you been struggling to build the confidence or to make changes in your life that’s going to enable you to achieve the things you want in life.
So you keep on going like Sisyphus, keep on coping, in the belief that one day it will get better. Surviving life’s struggles is what you know how to do?
The truth is, Sisyphus does not have the physical strength to roll the stone all the way up the hill. To keep on and on rolling it up the hill day in and day out is draining his life energy and his potential to change the situation.
And neither do you.
Are there things in your life that feel a bit like Sisyphus’s stone?
- Feeling handicapped because you’re locked away in your shell?
- Working so hard but not being valued for who you are or what you do?
- Being taken advantage of, or not being paid what you’re worth?
- Your battle with shyness or speaking up in front of groups?
- Feeling weighed down with emotions, and fear that if you begin to let them out your life will fall apart?
- Feeling unfulfilled in your job or putting up with an unsatisfactory relationship?
So you keep on going, keep on coping with these situationin the belief that one day it will get better. Surviving life’s struggles is what you know how to do?
In the end you give up, little knowing how close you were to achieving victory. Like Sisyphus you probably applied your logical minds to the problem, believing that this is the only way.
If you’re anything like me, however determined and persistent you might be, the effect of living with the struggle gets you into a mindset that just perpetuates the situation. Ultimately is deeply de-moralising and it will keep you very stuck. It will keep you locked in a pattern of self-sabotage that’s never going to get you anywhere.
How do you stop self sabotaging?
But life is funny. Every so often it sends you a lifeline.
It happened to me. It was a chance encounter when I was really getting myself in a mess. You can read all about it in my book or by listening to a couple of my Facebook Lives: Shyness the Way Out, Say Goodbye to Living Your life on the Sidelines
It may come through someone you meet, a leaflet you pick up, through surfing the internet, through losing your job or relationship that causes you to rethink what is really important to you. Maybe it was visiting this website?
This is your “Call” to make a change in your life.
Joseph Campbell, a remarkable man, spent his life thinking about this issue. He called this lifeline, “The Call to Adventure”.
What happens next, he says, is totally up to you.
Either you listen to the Call, or you ignore it. Perhaps you receive too many Calls, and you don’t know which one to listen to?
Joseph Campbell calls this place of confusion, doubt and fear – “the belly of the whale”
It comes from the biblical story of Jonah and the whale. You avoid the Call because it feels too big or you know it’s going to challenge you or be uncomfortable.
Whether you ignore, avoid or are confused by the Call, almost inevitably you will find yourself in the belly of the whale as Jonah did, unable to do anything.
Are you in the belly of the whale right now?
How you will know.
It’s a big dark space where nothing much is happening, it may even feel quite comfortable, and there’s a voice inside you that says “if only you had….”
This painting by Annie Lucas gives you a good idea of what it’s like to be in the “belly of the whale”.
You may feel any of these things:
- Depressed. Depression is often the result of not responding to the Call.
- Resigned to your situation. You soldier on determined to make the best of things but you know deep down nothing is going to change. And it doesn’t.
- Really stuck. You can’t see a way forward.
- Overwhelmed by negative emotions and thoughts.
- Deep down, you believe that someone like you is never going to change.
- It’s going to be far too hard to make a change, so you might as well give up now.
- The belief that you don’t have the time or the money to invest in the process of change.
- Exhausted. You may experience burn-out, ill health or a severe lack of energy.
How often do you hear the call to take action in the area of confidence and you ignore it?
Once a year? Once a month? Once a week? Every day?
If you are hearing this voice on a regular basis, I suggest it is time to take action NOW!
In my experience, if you receive the Call to make a change in your life, and you don’t take action, you just get more and more stuck.
But the Call will keep on knocking on your door until you take action. Whilst you prevaricate the “belly in the whale” will keep you very stuck.
The truth is that once you take the first step, something seems to shift. It is never as hard as you think it was going to be.
After you’ve taken that first step, Joseph Campbell tells us, help and helpers will appear to assist you- seemingly from nowhere.
In Jonah’s case, once he decides to go to Ninevah, the whale ejects him out of his belly onto dry land. The task of preaching repentance to the people of Ninevah turns out not to be as hard as he thought it was going to be. The opposite in fact. They repent gladly.
If your life feels a bit like Sisyphus or Jonah, maybe its time to stop.
Stop rolling the stone, stop toiling and struggling. Stop avoiding and ignoring what is really important to you. There is a more successful way of dealing with challenges. Maybe there’s a creative solution you haven’t yet thought of.
And in my experience there always is.
There is a gift lurking somewhere in the interminable struggle.
I’m not asking you to commit to anything right now, but I’d like to invite you to consider taking one small step forward.
And I mean a small step.
It might even be fun!
I can suggest a few things….
How to get started?
Sign up for Three Chapters from my book
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In these chapters you’ll discover:
- Why you’re not alone, and why more people are identifying themselves as wallflowers
- The biggest mistake that wallflowers make when they’re trying to build confidence.
- Discover the magic power to break old habits and create new patterns of confident behaviour you’ve had the whole time – but you didn’t know it.
You’ll also receive regular free resources, tips and support for your journey to greater confidence, as well as information about my highly effective confidence courses.
Subscribe now to receive your free chapters emailed straight to your inbox, and join a community of people like you, who are ready to change their lives.
Or buy the book From Wallflower to Sunflower – with lots of information about how to build a natural confidence and how to get over the blocks that might stand in your way.
Or join one of the introductory evenings – a taster event I run 6 times a year in London.
Or take the plunge and join a course or workshop
Start transforming the blocks to your confidence the fast, fun and easier way
One of the unique things about my courses is that they work through The Sunflower Effect, the powerful confidence-building system that I have developed and refined over a 20 year period, based on my experience of completely changing my prospects in this area.
What is the most surprising thing for many people when they join one of my courses, is that they find they are able to make significant shifts to their confidence levels whilst at the same time having the most enormous fun. And then they wonder why they spent all that time struggling.
This is because most methods for change involve digging up the past, churning over unresolved issues and going through the pain. For some people this can more like Sisyphus’ stone.
I have a personal theory that it is actually far more healthy and healing to have fun while shifting the stuck places and that the effects, as a result, last much longer. (I have a very high success rate and 100% money back guarantee.) This by-passes the logical mind and puts you in touch with a powerful and superior intelleigence that lives dormant within you.
It will enable you to work directly on transforming the habitual patterns that are keeping you stuck AND have fun at the same time?
Or get in contact by email and tell me about what you’re grappling with.
I look forward to hearing from you.