Forging Your Self-Confidence: Part 2
Some years ago, a young man named Tim came to one of my personal-development seminars. He was shy and introverted. His handshake was weak and he had tremendous difficulty making eye contact. He sat in the back of the seminar room with his head down, taking notes. He seemed to have few friends, and he didn’t socialize very much during the breaks. At the end of the seminar, he told me that he was in sales and hadn’t been doing very well up to that time. But he had resolved to change, to go to work on himself, to overcome his shyness and to become very good at selling for his company. He then said good-bye, and I wished him the best of luck as he went on his way.
A year later, he came back to take the seminar again. But this time, he was distinctly different. He was calmer and more self-assured. He was still a little shy, but when he shook hands, his grip was firmer, and his eye contact was better. He sat toward the middle of the seminar room, and he interacted quietly with people around him. At the end of the seminar, he told me that he was starting to move up in his sales force and had had his best year ever. He was determined to do even better in the year to come.
About 14 months later, Tim came back to the seminar. This time, he brought five people from his company, all of whom he had convinced to come to the seminar, and he had offered to pay their tuition if they weren’t satisfied. He walked right up to me and shook hands firmly, looking me straight in the eye with a strong, self-confident smile. He asked if I remembered him, and I told him that I remembered him very well. He said that he had brought something that he wanted to show me. He took out of his pocket a letter from the president of a national corporation-one of the biggest companies in the country-personally congratulating him for the outstanding job he had done in sales in his territory in the past year.
It turned out that Tim had gone from number 33 to number one out of 42 salespeople. His income had risen from $26,000 a year to $98,000, and he had increased his sales volume at a faster rate than any other salesperson in the country had. He was still quiet, but he had a wonderful air of power and purposefulness about him. He had taken the steps and paid the price to build himself into a fine young man. He had made the decision to do whatever was necessary to overcome his shyness and to develop the kind of personality that he admired in others. He was, and is, in every sense of the word, a self-made man.
Two Mental Laws
Perhaps the most wonderful result of developing high levels of self-confidence is the positive impact that your personality will have on your relationships. There are two mental laws that are always operating and that determine much of what happens to you in your interactions with people.
The first is the law of attraction, which says that you will inevitably attract into your life people who are very much like you.
The second law is the law of correspondence, which says that your outer world of relationships will correspond perfectly, like a mirror image, to your inner world of personality and temperament.
In combination, these laws simply say that as you change in a positive direction, you will find yourself surrounded by people who are very much like the new person you are becoming. As you get better, the quality and quantity of your relationships will get better. You will meet nicer, more self-confident, more interesting and enjoyable people. You will find yourself getting along better with members of the opposite sex, including your spouse. You will find yourself doing better at your job, or even in a new job, and getting along better with your boss and your coworkers. Your attitude of confidence and calm assurance will make you more attractive to people. They will want to be around you, to open doors for you, to make opportunities available to you that would not have arisen when you didn’t feel as terrific about yourself as you do now.
Often, people lack self-confidence in their relationships with others because they judge themselves poorly in comparison. Sometimes you become self-conscious of what you are doing and saying, and sometimes you are afraid that people will not like you or accept you the way you want them to. Well, there is an important mindset that you can adopt to improve your ability to get along well with others in a more relaxed and confident fashion.
It’s important to remember that no one can affect your thoughts or feelings unless there is something that you want from him, or something that you want him to refrain from doing. As soon as you begin to practice detachment and decide in your own mind that there is nothing that you want or expect from another person, you will find that his ability to shake your self-confidence is greatly reduced. The people who are the most successful in human relationships are those who practice a calm, healthy detachment from others, and although they are friendly and engaged in the conversation, they don’t allow the behaviors of others to determine how they think and feel about themselves.
As you can see, it is our fears and doubts that, more than anything else, undermine our self-esteem and self-confidence and cause us to think in negative terms about ourselves and our possibilities. As Maslow said, we begin to “sell ourselves short” and see all the reasons why something might not be possible for us. We magnify the difficulties and minimize the opportunities. We become preoccupied with the possible losses we might suffer and the possible criticisms we might endure. Our fears and doubts paralyze us, preventing us from acting boldly, lowering our self-confidence and causing us to think and talk in negative terms. In fact, this probably describes the great majority of mankind. Most people are so preoccupied with their fears that they have time for little else, and this preoccupation manifests itself in much of what they say and do.
The only real antidote to doubt and worry and fear and all the other negative emotions that sabotage our self-confidence is action. Your conscious mind can hold only one thought at a time, positive or negative. When you engage in systematic, purposeful action, using and stretching your abilities to the maximum, you cannot help but feel positive and confident about yourself.
Act as though it were impossible to fail. Act as though you already had a high level of self-confidence. And continually ask yourself, “What one great thing would I dare to achieve if I knew I could not fail?” Whatever your answer, you can have it if you can dream it, and if you have the self-confidence to go out and get it.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.