social phobia is a fear of interacting with others on a
social level. Examples would be imagining others are looking
at you while waiting in line at a checkout, talking in front
of other people, or even fear of talking on the phone.
is an attitude which allows individuals to have positive,
yet realistic views of themselves and their situations.
Self-confident people trust their own abilities, have a
general sense of control over their lives, and believe that,
within reason, they will be able to do what they want to do.
is an attitude that is learned through experiences.
When a person experiences success, that person will
tend to expect to be successful.
And that expectation will cause a feeling of
example: A young man wants to learn how to be a
prizefighter, so he takes lessons, and gets a manager.
His manager will not put him into the
ring until he has built up enough stamina and skill.
And even then, the manager will only put him up
against a competitor that he knows his fighter can beat.
When his fighter beats the opponent, he is
successful, and starts to gain confidence in his abilities.
contest, the manager puts his fighter up against an opponent
who is a slightly better fighter than the last, but not good
enough to beat his man.
By the end of the third fight, the young prizefighter
begins to expect to win his fourth, and so his confidence
continues to grow. This
scenario continues to repeat itself.
And as long as the fighter wins, his expectations of
success, and his feelings of self-confidence will continue
a young lady who is afraid of heights wants to
learn to dive into a swimming pool from a high diving board.
So she finds a diving coach who asks her to jump into
the pool from the first step of the ladder up to the high
board. The first step of the ladder isnít very high, so
the young lady feels no fear, and she jumps from that step,
and lands in the water unharmed.
coach has her jump from the second step of the ladder, and
so forth. I
think that you are beginning to get the picture.
With each additional step up the ladder, since the
girl was successful on the previous step, and this next step
is only slightly higher than the last, the fear factor is
negligible, and the girl expects to be successful.
When she jumps in and lands unharmed, the girlís
confidence grows, and her expectation of success on the next
step up the ladder increases.
If a person
who has a long history of success and feelings of
self-confidence does fail, they still tend to expect success
the next time out. Conversely,
when a person who is weak in the self-confidence department
fails, they tend to lose confidence, and begin to expect
failure, which can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
self-confidence doesnít mean that individuals will be able
to do everything. People,
who have true self-confidence, usually have expectations
that are realistic. Even when some of their expectations are
not met, they continue to be positive and to accept
are not self-confident, tend to depend
excessively on the approval of others in order to feel good
about themselves. They tend to avoid taking risks because
they fear failure. They
often put themselves down and tend to discount or ignore
compliments that they do receive.
self-confident people are willing to risk the disapproval of
others because they generally trust their own abilities.
They tend to accept themselves; and they don't feel they
have to conform in order to be accepted.
because a person feels self-confidence in one or more
aspects of their life, doesnít mean that they will feel
confident in every part of their life.
For example, a person might feel confident about
their athletic ability, but not feel confident where members
of the opposite sex are involved, such as in a dating
situation, or social relationships.
How Is It Developed?
factors affect the development of self-confidence. Parents'
attitudes are crucial to the way children feel about
themselves, particularly in their early years. When parents
provide acceptance, children receive a solid foundation for
good feelings about themselves. If one or both parents are
excessively critical or demanding, or if they are
overprotective and discourage moves toward independence,
children may come to believe they are incapable, inadequate,
parents encourage a childís moves toward self-reliance,
and they are not overly critical when the child makes
mistakes, the child will learn to accept herself, and will
be on the way to developing self-confidence.
A lack of
self-confidence is not necessarily related to a lack of
ability. A lack
of self-confidence is often the result of focusing too
strongly on the unrealistic expectations of others,
especially parents and friends. The influence of friends can
be more powerful than those of parents in shaping the
feelings about one's self.
that Continue to Influence Self-Confidence
response to external influences, people develop assumptions;
some of these are constructive and some are harmful. Several
assumptions that can interfere with self-confidence and
alternative ways of thinking are:
I must always be successful at everything that I do.
This is a totally unrealistic assumption. In real
life, each person has their strengths, and their weaknesses.
While itís important to learn to do the best that
one can, itís more important to learn to accept the self
as being human, and fallible.
Feel good about what you are good at, and
accept the fact that no one knows everything, or is an
expert at everything.
I must be perfect, and loved by everyone, and satisfy
this is a totally unrealistic assumption.
All human beings are imperfect.
Itís better to develop personal standards and
values that are not completely dependent on the approval of
Everything that happened to me in the past, remains in
control of my feelings and behaviors in the present.
While it is true that your confidence was especially
vulnerable to external influences during your childhood, as
you grow older, you can gain awareness and perspective on
what those influences have been. In doing so, you can choose
which influences you will continue to allow to have an
effect on your life. You don't have to be helpless in the
face of past events.
are some Strategies for Developing Confidence
Your Strengths. Give yourself credit for everything you can
do. And give
yourself credit for every new thing that you are willing to
Risks. Adopt the attitude of:
I never fail, because there are NO failures.
However, sometimes I learn what doesnít work, and
once Iíve learned what doesnít work in a given
situation, I can try something else.
self-talk as an opportunity to counter harmful assumptions.
Then, tell yourself to stop and substitute more reasonable
assumptions. For example, when you catch yourself expecting
perfection, remind yourself that no one can do everything
perfectly, and that it's only possible to do things to the
best of your ability. This allows you to accept yourself
while still striving to improve.
Learn to evaluate yourself independently. Avoid the constant
sense of chaos that comes from relying too much on the
opinions of others.
self-confidence is a trait that is learned and rooted in the
unconscious mind, both hypnosis and NLP
can be invaluable tools. Both modalities can make it possible
to quickly change the negative beliefs one has that are
causing them to see themselves in a negative light.
has some especially powerful tools for quickly modifying
belief systems. When a person believes that they are a
winner, they feel confident, and this feeling literally
makes them a winner. Many of these tools are used in
program. You can
read the review of this program submitted by three
independent reviewers at the Personal-Development.info site
list of the common uses of hypnosis.
© 2007 By Alan B. Densky, CH. This
document may NOT be re-printed. All Rights Reserved.
B. Densky, CH is an NGH certified consulting hypnotist. He offers
CDís for self confidence and social phobias. His hypnosis
for self confidence CDís were independently reviewed
in the UK. Visit his Neuro-VISION
self hypnosis site and enjoy free hypnosis videos.