When you lack confidence, focus in accomplishing one thing at a time… nothing else!
Often our self-confidence is pounded; we lack motivation or do not have the confidence to move forward. At times, it's hard to get out of bed; we feel lost or defeated and we do not know how to get back on track… It happens to all of us!
So here is the question: How can I manage to come out of the hole, to build my courage and get my confidence back?
People do not realize that self-confidence works like a muscle, and, like any other muscle, in order to make it stronger, and increase endurance it must constantly be trained.
From my own experience, the best training method to build up self-confidence is by being willing to take action on a daily basis.
Daily-action stands for ‘every-day action.’ Day-to-day you must come up with a small action plan, a plan that you know that with enough effort you will be able to accomplish it.
Everyday, just push your fears aside and go for it, knowing that you will achieve your daily-plan. Then, next day come up with another action plan, achieve it and the third day achieve it again… By acting on your small daily-action plans, you will be moving forward step by step.
With time, these actions will build a positive momentum; your mind will start to envision successful results and these will re-enforce your confidence!
Be mindful: By taking daily-action, you feel accomplished; as a result, your self-confidence will skyrocket! Just like a muscle, everyone is trainable!
‘Generation 1.5’ (G1.5) is used for people that were brought to the US at a young age, before adolescence by first generation immigrants; by immigrant parents that never really integrated, keeping close ties with their home countries and always dreaming of the day that they will be able to return to their native countries.
Since these immigrants never saw the US as their home, their kids, G1.5 is a generation who exist in limbo, between two nations, two cultures, with no clear identity.
Nesrin, my wife was a G1.5 kid, she arrived in her early teens to the US when her father was transferred to Washington, DC. Like any other immigrant teenager, her adjustment to a whole new way of life was not easy, trying to conform while her parents still had a foot in there homeland.
The crazy part is that:
For the immigrants that entered in the US as undocumented, their children, their G1.5 offspring have a lot to overcome.
Despite having lived most of their lives in the US, having siblings born in the US and speak fluent English, many can not get working permits, get a drivers license, or vote. Just like any other undocumented migrant they are subject to arrest and deportation. They do not have the right to live in the great America.
What happens if they get deported? Many of them do not speak other than English and have no bond with their countries of origin. For them to be evicted is like being put-away, with no chance for parole.
It is insane to imagine that in this great country, a country built by immigrants, that a young person that was raised all his/her life here, has no rights and could be deported!
So, what can we do about it?
First, we must care! America was and continues to be built by legal and illegal immigrants. They are industrial-entrepreneurial people willing to risk; people that are responsible for creating a resilient-America, an America that strives.
Because we care, we should advocate laws and candidates that support ‘generation 1.5’ to get a legal status.
We must speak up against ‘leaders’ that have an irrational fear of people from different countries, cultures or religion; we must stand up to these bigoted honchos that believe that their opinion is superior then any regular mortal.
Most importantly we should view ‘generation 1.5’ as an asset rather than a liability, an investment rather than a cost. The majority is not here to collect social benefits, but they here to learn, to find work and to improve their lives and those of their families.
In the same way as my beautiful ‘G1.5 wife’ did!
All my life, I have been dealing with depression. As a teenager, I was able to camouflage it by being extremely extroverted, partying and drinking with ‘friends’. Well, this cover did not last for long; in my late teens, I moved away from home to a different country, to a different culture, to a place where I could not even speak the language. There, for the first time, I had to deal alone with my issues.
Alone in a different country, not having a scape route, I had to learn about my depression. At night, I would sit alone on the floor of my room, (didn’t own any furniture), and cry, and cry. I would work as a laborer during the day and then come home, broke, alone and depressed.
Slowly, I began to learn about myself; how stupid I had been and how my reality was not a good reality. With time I learned to manage my depression; when I say “with time”, I mean it that it took me years to really understand my brain. But now at 50, I believe that I have a ‘good grip’ of myself.
So, I would like to share how I managed to climb out of the ditch:
First, I put down all my guards. Any shield, any wall that was protecting me, I put it down. It was not easy; actually, it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. My defensive mechanism was to always be around people drinking, smoking and ‘having fun’; I was always shielded, I was never alone.
Then, I had to accept, that I did not care about other people; I was self-absorbed and I was there just to be entertained.
And finally, the toughest one: I do have plenty of mental issues and I had to learn to deal with them.
I never reached out for help or any type of medicine, which I think was one of my biggest errors. Although, I did learn to peace my mind by exercising, reading and finding healthy people to be around me.
Now, I use this guideline:
Darkness is something that has always encircled me; it is a part of my mind and soul so I am always attentive to it. It has been a fifty-year relationship and like any relationship, with time we learn to understand each other. The times when it becomes too dark or too cold, I quickly light a candle or if I need it, the fireplace.
If you want people to listen to you, share your knowledge.
If you want friends and family to care about you, treasure them.
If you want to grow your business, help those around you grow theirs.
By giving, you enhance your relationships with others, build trust, but most importantly, you make a difference in someone else’s life; you make others feel better about themselves and their lives.
Always keep in mind: The more you give, the more generous you are, the more joy you feel; helping others is the key to achieving happiness.
Writing has become my personal psychologist. Every time I feel a little lost, I put my thoughts on paper and then voilà: my mind clears and my garbage despairs.
Today, I decided to try something different and pen a poem:
How could I
How could I feel misplaced,
in a town that I identify so well?
How could I feel apart,
with a family so tight together?
How could I feel sad,
when so much hope is in my heart?
After writting, I always feel accomplished!
If I could only build a stronger willpower, I would eat healthier, I would exercise regularly, I would quit smoking or drinking, I would stop procrastinating and ultimately I would accomplish my goals!
I do know that my lack of commitment and drive is what keeps me on stand by, hopping for something to happen. I do comprehend that in order to improve my existence I must build a stronger willpower.
Willpower is the key, so what does it mean?
'Will' is the ability to make conscious choices. We all have a free will to make our own choices, good or bad. Plants do not have will and animals have some amount of will. Yet, humans have the greatest amount of will. Humans are able to think analytically and make informed choices.
‘Power’ is energy, it is the force and the strength required to sustain physical or mental activity.
‘Will-Power’ means to have the will to exercise power.
Willpower is the ability to control oneself and determine one's actions; it means to have a firmness of will. Willpower is to have self-discipline, to moderate emotions and to control actions.
Every time time you make a decision you practice some level of self-control; what to order for lunch, whether to go to the gym or have a glass of wine. All the decisions are directly related to your will power, to your mental energy.
A person with strong willpower will keep going even in the face of strong resistance; a person with little willpower will easily give in.
How do we build a strong willpower?
Willpower works like a muscle: to strengthen it, you need to train mentally and physically, and constantly nurture it.
Next, I have listed a few simple ways to help you maintain and build your mental-power:
Drink More Water: Lack of water damages your mental abilities, affects your mood and reduces your mind power. Our mistake is to confuse thirst for hunger. When you feel exhausted, first, reach for a glass of water before grabbing a snack.
A brain is like a sponge and dehydration parches it, shrinks it. Drink water before drying your brain, keep it saturated! Always keep in mind the term: ‘dry brain’
Eat Healthy, Get Ret Rid of The Junk: Nutrition is key for proper brain functioning. To keep your mind sharp and to maintain self-control, your brain cells require glucose, sugar. When glucose is low, you can’t focus and your brain looks for immediate rewards.
Create a habit of eating continuously small portions during the day; balanced meals that have a significant amount of protein and fiber. This will keep you with the energy you need and your brain won’t starve for junk food.
Get Plenty of Sleep: Sleepiness slows down your thought processes, impairs memory and makes learning difficult; it alters your mood, causing irritability and anger. When you are tired, your judgment, reaction time and awareness are significantly impaired.
Make as a priority to sleep 6 to 8 hours per day; a priority to rest!
Learn to Breathe: When breathing correctly our bodies are supplied with the right amount of oxygen. Oxygen is energy that recharges our brain and our vital organs; a boost of energy needed to power everything we do, from moving to thinking to growing.
When breathing properly we reduce stress and our bodies release endorphins. Endorphins are feel-good, natural painkillers created by our own bodies.
_Keep in mind: Developing strong willpower won’t happen overnight. It takes time and repetition to establish purposeful habits; a strong willpower will keep you committed to follow through; Intention without determination is of little avail!
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." - Mahatma Gandhi
Procrastination comes from lack of motivation, lack of discipline, poor management habits, lack of skill or seeking perfection; in reality they are just excuses for nonperformance.
Keep in mind: The #1 reason for failure is Procrastination.
Someday when I am ready I will speak up.
Someday when I am ready I will ask her to marry me.
Someday when I am ready I will change careers.
Someday when I am ready I will follow my passion.
Someday when I am ready I will find a purpose.
Someday is a word that keeps us safe from harm; it’s a word that verifies that we are actually going to do something about our dreams; a word that makes us feel good, knowing that one day we will accomplish our goals.
In reality, someday is a terrible word; it’s a word that manages to destroy our dreams and to slowly demolish our will. It’s a word that we use to keep us stuck and powerless by shifting our attention away from what truly matters; our purpose!
In fact, someday is a disguise for procrastination, a screen for our lack of motivation and lack of discipline. It’s a word that is used to postpone taking action; is an excuse for inaction!
So here is my thought:
Someday is today, and today I won't hope anymore for my dream to occur; today I will act on this, knowing that a dream without action will remain a dream forever.
Someday is today, and today I am done with excuses; today I am ready to make it to happen.
Someday is today, and today is the day to act!
Someday Starts Today!
Who I am today as a person is largely due to my failures!