Hope is like the stars

Hope is like the stars

Hope is like the stars

“Hope itself is like a star – not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. ”

― Charles H. Spurgeon

Hope: To have confidence; trust with earnest expectation of good.

To entertain or indulge an expectation of something desired

Expect; regard as likely to happen

– Century Dictionary, 1889

What give you hope?

12 Steps to increase your confidence.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Confidence

Confidence.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Increase your self-confidence by following these 12 easy steps.

1. Stop trying to be perfect – no one is.

Focusing on being perfect keeps you thinking of the negative. Focus instead on your personal best. Work on being just a little better each time you do something and over the long haul you will see improvement. Skills take constant polishing to develop and to maintain.

2. Improve yourself.

Learn a new skill, tackle something you have never done before. Confidence is based on having a wide variety of areas in which you feel competent. Freed of the need to be perfect in everything, you can be however good you are at lots of things. The more skills you have, even rudimentary skills, the more confidence you will have.

3. Don’t compare your private self to others public selves.

We all know our private self. The times we have done something we regret. You know your imperfections. It is easy to compare yourself to someone else’s P.R. image. Do not compare your naked self to someone else’s red carpet costume. Time and again we have seen a public person that many thought had it so together, only to find out that this public person hid a major flaw.

4. Accept yourself warts and all.

The key to increasing your self-confidence is to accept that the way you are now is perfectly OK, all the while striving to become the best person you can be. Being self-deprecating is not being humble. Stop putting yourself down. Accept yourself and you make it easier for others to accept you. Reject yourself and no amount of accomplishments will make you feel good about yourself.

5. Please yourself first for increased confidence.

Trying to please others first results in being chronically unsure if you measure up. Outside people do not know you the way you know you. There will be others in your life you will never be able to please. Some parents think the way to get their children to do better is to always point out their offspring’s flaws. The result is that those children feel they can never measure up and some give up trying altogether, a thing we call learned helplessness. As adults, many people can trace their lack of confidence to a lifetime of trying to please impossible others.

If you have or had someone in your life like that, realize that pleasing them is an impossible task and focus on pleasing yourself.

6. Take more chances.

The great basketball players take more shots. Many highly successful people have tried a number of careers or businesses before they found their niche. You do not protect yourself from failure by sticking to the things you already know. Trying new things helps you discover talents you never knew you had.

7. Have a gratitude list.

Creating a list of the things you have that you are thankful for. Write down a list of your life accomplishments.  Remembering the things you have accomplished in life boosts your confidence. People who lack self-confidence tend to dismiss their accomplishments and discount what they have because they focus only on the things that are lacking.

Recognizing the things you have and the part you have played in creating those things can boost your self-confidence.

8. Use affirmations to increase your confidence.

Affirmations are an incredible tool for boosting confidence. Tell yourself that today you will have a great day and your brain creates it. Say these positive affirmations to yourself every morning. When you need a boost of confidence, repeat them to yourself.

For maximum effectiveness pick affirmations that you believe. Do not try to lie yourself into self-confidence. If you want to be more famous your brain may not accept the affirmation I am famous. It could accept that “Today I will do things that people should notice.”

9. Do your homework – be prepared.

Giving a speech about something you know nothing about will not inspire confidence. Teachers, even those who have been at it a long time, will prepare before classes. New to a field? Learn the basic vocabulary and the “who’s who” of your job. The more you know and the more subjects you know about the easier it will be for you to have conversations with people. Knowing what you are talking about breeds confidence.

10. Educate yourself – read.

Confident people know a bit about a great many things. Self-assured people read and read widely. Read about your own field but also read about things outside your interests. Being well versed in many things will help you interact with others in a confident way.

11. Find the things you care about.

Know yourself and know your interests. It is much easier to be confident when talking about or doing something you really care about. Self-knowledge should make you more confident not less. Accept your good qualities and do not dismiss them lightly. It takes time and practice to become proficient at things. Pick things to practice that you enjoy and you will learn them more rapidly and become better at them.

12. Look for the happy things in life – smile and laugh.

Being a happy person draws others to you. Happiness is a skill. It requires practice and observation. The negativity in the world yells at you every day. The positive happy things wait patiently to be noticed. Make happiness watching a skill you hone every day.

More self-esteem info

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Do you have delusions of inferiority?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Delusions.

Delusions.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Do you suffer from delusions of inferiority?

Most of us are familiar with the term delusions of grandeur. In delusions of grandeur, people think they are more important than they really are. In my practice as a therapist, I find that far more people suffer from delusions of inferiority. What are some of the signs of delusions of incompetency and how would you recognize someone who has these delusions?

Normal people have moments of doubt. Low self-esteem is a frequent problem. They wonder if they are doing things well or if others like them. People who suffer from delusions of inferiority see only their shortcomings and never notice anything good about themselves.

People with extreme feelings of inadequacy are prone to overcompensate and hold others to a higher standard than they hold themselves because they believe that others are more capable than they are. This can look like narcissism. Some writers have suggested that narcissists all suffer from delusions of insecurity that they cover up by thinking only of themselves. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is an extreme case of a person not being able to see things from another’s perspective.

Here are a few of the ways that people who suffer from delusions of inferiority exaggerate their shortcomings and minimize their positive qualities.

Do you believe that you have to be perfect to be worthwhile?

That constant focus on perfection and the beating yourself up for each and every perceived flaw can take you to a place of thinking you are not OK. People with delusions of inadequacy forgive imperfections in others but not in themselves.

They tend to see things in black and white terms, no middle ground. Either they are perfect or they are worthless.

Do thoughts of you make you want to kick yourself?

When you look in the mirror do you see only defects? You are focusing on the negative and discounting anything positive about yourself. Focusing on your flaws does not keep you humble or motivate you to do better. Delusions of inferiority keep you unhappy and immobilized.

People with delusions of inferiority do not like themselves and would not want them for a friend. This impedes their ability to make real friends and makes them suspicious of others who try to befriend them.

Are you constantly telling yourself that you are stupid or incompetent?

Constant put downs are not something you should take from others and you certainly shouldn’t be doing that to yourself. You can’t beat yourself into being a better person. Run yourself down enough and your brain starts to believe what you say.

Martin E. P. Seligman tells us in “Authentic Happiness” There is not a shred of evidence that strength and virtue are derived from negative motivation.

Beating yourself up will not make you try harder or be more moral. At least not in the long run. Some people think that by running themselves down they are preparing themselves for when they fail, softening the blow. What they are in fact doing is creating the failure they fear.

People with delusions of inferiority think others are more capable.

This belief that others are more competent and you are less competent results in setting up high standards for everyone else. People who suffer from delusions of inferiority live a life in which they are constantly disappointed when others do not live up to their expectations.

Another risk for the person with delusions of inferiority is that they will push their offspring to be more than they were. The effort here is to live through their children’s accomplishments. The result is, most often that the child can never be enough to meet this parents needs and the next generations of delusions of inferiority are set in place.

You discount your accomplishments.

If you feel that you are inherently defective or flawed you need to discount your accomplishments. Rather than see the things you do as evidence you are just as worthy as others, the person with delusions of inferiority will dismiss their successes as just luck, an accident, the result of someone else helping them; as something of no great value.

Giving yourself a round of applause for something well done will not result in a swelled head or any of those other maladies people who are stingy with compliments fear. There is more danger from not ever hearing praise than from hearing too much.

You find it impossible to accept a compliment.

Do you find it hard to accept compliments? Do you wonder why people say nice things about you? You may have so thoroughly convinced yourself that you are less than others that you think people who are complimenting you are lying.

People with delusions of inferiority will avoid potential friends as they can’t imagine anyone wanting them for a friend.

You seek praise and popularity.

People with low self-worth, delusions of inferiority may constantly seek praise and compliments even when they are unable to accept those compliments. When you do not feel you deserve praise no amount will satisfy your hunger.

There are some thoughts about delusions of inferiority, their causes, and their cures. What do you think about this subject? Do you feel unworthy or are you moving towards the happy life you deserve?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Hope is Spring Flowers

 

Hope is Spring Flowers

Hope is Spring Flowers

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”

― Pablo Neruda

Hope – a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

What brings you hope?

What is low self-esteem? What causes low self-esteem?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Low Self-esteem

Low Self-esteem.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Is self-esteem related to confidence?

Low self-esteem, despite all the talk we hear about it, is not a specific mental health diagnosis. Low self-esteem does co-exist with several mental health issues including depression and anxiety.

While it is hard to define precisely, it is easy to see in practice and if you have suffered from low self-esteem you know the devastating effects it can have on your life.

Definitions of self-esteem vary widely. The Dictionary definition includes such things as your confidence in your merit as an individual person.

Also contained in the concept of self-esteem are such things as self-confidence, self-respect, and problems solving abilities. In effect, self-esteem is all about your ability to cope with life.

There are many causes of low self-esteem but regardless of the cause low self-esteem can be overcome.

People with low self-esteem are frequently high in self-monitoring. They are constantly on the lookout for errors they might be making. The result of high self-monitoring is that we find what we are looking for if you expect to find yourself making mistakes and that is all you look for then you will come to believe that everything you do is wrong.

In extreme cases, people who over self-monitor, who never give themselves credit for things well done, become increasingly helpless and hopeless.

There is a major connection between low self-esteem and depression. Being depressed reduces your ability to do things you used to be able to do. One consequence of depression is reduced or low self-esteem. But the connection works in the opposite direction also. Having low self-esteem increases the probability that you will rate yourself harshly and one result of this over negative evaluation is to become depressed.

Depression is not the only mental health challenge that stems from harsh self-evaluation and low self-esteem. People who believe they are not able to do things and look for evidence become fearful that they will make mistakes. The beginning to expect others to have negative evaluations of them and they look for ways to avoid those negative evaluations.

Low self-esteem is a major cause of some anxiety disorders. But this excessive self-evaluation, this inability to give yourself credit for things you are able to do, can lead to other problems also.

One way a person with low self-esteem tries to protect themselves is to constantly check everything. They expect to do things wrong, they expect others to be negative about them as a result of their errors so they develop routines of constant checking of everything trying to prevent or correct the smallest of errors.

While not the only cause, low self-esteem, and overly harsh self-evaluation are causes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder symptoms. In extreme cases, this becomes Obsessive-Compulsive personality disorder.

A significant cause of low self-esteem is growing up in a non-affirming family. There was a time that parents were told that to praise the child would give them a “swelled head.” Many parents find it difficult to praise their children for things done right but are quick to fulfill their parental duties by pointing out the child’s flaws. The result is that the child only hears about the things they do wrong and begins to think that they are “wrong.” Believing that it is you that is at fault, not that you are unable to do something is a precipitator of much low self-esteem.

Even if your family did on occasion affirm you, failure to affirm yourself or having non-affirming friends can also create these symptoms. Being bullied, teased or rejected, are reasons many children come to believe that there is something inherently wrong with them. The result is chronic low self-esteem.

One antidote for low self-esteem is high self-confidence. Being high in self-confidence is a cultural thing. Some cultures believe that to put yourself forward, to assert your ability to do things, is narcissistic and wrong. Our American culture often values those who are high in self-confidence, possibly even high in narcissistic tendencies. We accept sports heroes and politicians who brag about their abilities as long as they produce the results.

People with low self-esteem find it difficult to achieve in life. They expect to fail and so often do not try. The result is that if you do not attempt things you never achieve them. Low self-esteem is in this way self-perpetuating.

If you have low self-esteem you can learn to accept yourself and feel good about yourself. Raising your self-esteem does not put you at risk to be arrogant or have an excessive opinion of yourself. Increase your self-esteem or better yet stop judging yourself harshly and you may find that your anxiety and depression are reduced or eliminated. Get treatment for that depression or anxiety and you may find that you feel better about yourself and your life.

More to come in future posts on ways to reduce or eliminate the problem of low self-esteem.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.