Don’t Let Critics and Nay-Sayers Get to You

I hope by now you’re cruising along working on those positive thoughts and becoming a more positive and creative person overall. I’m sure you’re getting lots of encouragement and support from the people around you, and you’re well on your way towards reaching your various goals in life. You’re grabbing life by the horns and having a great time.

There’s something I need to prepare you for, and that’s critics and nay-sayers. They are all around us, and they love to bring us down. It can be a bit of a challenge to keep up your positive thinking and good attitude when someone else is actively trying to tear you down.

The most important thing you need to realize when you encounter these critics is that more often than not, it isn’t really about you. It’s more about them, their insecurities, and their resistance to change. Positive thinking is a good change and a big improvement to you, but it’s a problem for them. By watching you make those changes and share your positive thoughts and energy, you’re simply making them look bad.

When comparing themselves to you, they fall short. It’s easier to lash out and criticize you, than to step up and embrace positivity for themselves. The easy way out is to stop you. But you’re not going to let that happen, are you?

The first step is to realize and remind yourself of the fact that this isn’t about you as much as it is about them. For example, if you’re taking steps to change the culture of your workplace and make it an environment that fosters positive and creative thinking, you may be met with some resistance. You may find people on your team or even above you, resist and even ridicule the idea. Remember that it’s about resisting change on their part and not really about you.

Don’t empower these nay-sayers. Don’t let what they say bother you. Keep doing your thing and prove to them through actions and results that they are wrong. Don’t get into arguments. Nod, smile, and keep doing what you’re doing.

Find a cheerleader that you can turn to for encouragement and advice on those days when it’s hard to tune out the critics and nay-sayers. Tip the scales back in your favor and feel good about what you’re doing by getting support and encouragement. Grab your journal and prove to yourself how far you’ve come and how much you’ve changed for the better. Do whatever you need to do to get over the harsh words, and get back to what you were doing.

In the worst case scenario, it may be time to cut your worst critics out of your life. It isn’t always possible; it isn’t easy, but sometimes, it’s your best option. You may not be able to completely cut out your co-worker or a fellow department head, but you can limit your contact with them and do what you can to stay out of their toxic circle of influence.

A big part of positive thinking is taking ownership of your thoughts and actions. Don’t give that away. Keep control and don’t let those negative people bring you down. I promise it gets easier with practice.

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Challenge: Reflect on How Far You’ve Come

I hope you’ve enjoyed this 30 part series of building courage and increasing self-confidence as much as I have. More importantly I hope you’ve learned a thing or two and started to put this knowledge into action. The confidence hacks are always a great place to start, but all the knowledge I shared over the past month will serve you well over time.

Let’s take a quick walk down memory lane and browse through all the different topics we covered over the past 29 days. Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Welcome to the Reward Your Success Confidence and Courage Challenge
  2. The Connection Between Self Confidence And Courage
  3. Courage Is A Habit
  4. Start By Looking Back And Seeing How Far You’ve Come
  5. Pick Something You’re Scared Of And Do It Anyway
  6. Focus On What’s Important To You
  7. Confidence Hack – Strike A Power Pose
  8. How Goals Can Help You Boost Your Confidence
  9. Confidence Hack – Write Those Goals Down And Check Them Off
  10. Do What You’re Good At And What Makes You Happy On A Regular Basis
  11. Confidence Hack – Keep a Journal
  12. Bad Days And Setbacks Are Part Of Life
  13. Confidence Hack – Do It Anyway
  14. Time To Talk About Negative Thinking And Negative Self-Talk
  15. Confidence Hack – Stop Negative Self Talk In Its Tracks
  16. Confidence And Courage Are A Balancing Act
  17. Confidence Hack – “What’s The Worst That Could Happen?”
  18. Put Your Shoes On In The Morning And Other Good Advice On Self Confidence
  19. Confidence Hack – Sometimes You’ve Got To Fake It
  20. Let’s Talk About Random Acts Of Kindness
  21. Confidence Hack – Start Volunteering
  22. Stop Complaining And To Focus On Solutions
  23. Confidence Hack – Eat That Frog
  24. The Power Of Being Prepared
  25. Confidence Hack – Make Yourself A Promise And Keep It
  26. Let’s Talk Diet, Exercise, and Sleep
  27. Confidence Hack – Cultivate A New Habit
  28. Avoiding People, Places, And Situations That Will Bring You Down
  29. Confidence Hack – Make A List Of Your Strengths, Skills, And Achievements

What has had the biggest impact on you? What tips and ideas have you found the most helpful? Those are the posts that you want to come back to again and again.

Take a few minutes today to reflect on not only how far you’ve come, but more importantly how this simple 30 day challenge has influenced you and changed you for the better. What positive experiences have you had as a result of working on your confidence and courage throughout this month?

Challenge: Confidence Hack: Make a List of Your Strengths, Skills, and Achievements

No matter how confident and courageous we become, we all have days when we feel less than our best. It’s normal to go through times when you struggle with self-esteem and confidence. Today’s confidence hack is all about creating a little tool that will help you get through those days and find your self-confidence again. The idea is simple. Make a list of your strengths, skills, and achievements that you can look back on whenever you need little confidence boost.

Pick A Pretty Notebook

While you could jot your list down on a scrap piece of paper or make it a digital note, it will work much better if you start with something that’s visually appealing. It’s even more important to have this list in a format that you can hold and feel. The tactile sensation of writing your list down in the notebook, adding to it over time, and most importantly, having the book to hold whenever you refer back to it makes it seem a lot more real, memorable, and believable. Trust me on this. Go find a pretty little notebook and use it as your very own confidence journal.

Make A List and Add To It

Start by writing down anything and everything you can think of that you’re proud of or that you’ve accomplished. Make a list of your strengths and any skills you’ve acquired over time. Don’t forget to write down your various achievements as well.

This may seem a little strange at first, but stick with it and you’ll get more comfortable with the process. Remember that you don’t need to show anyone your confidence journal. Brag away so you are able to remind yourself of everything you’ve accomplished when you’re having a bad day.

Include Pictures, Sketches, And Mementos

Visual aids can be very helpful in your journal. Feel free to turn it into a bit of a scrapbook. If you have pictures of big things you’ve accomplished (think graduation or that time you hiked up a mountain for example), paste them in there, or at the very least tuck them into the appropriate pages. Add other mementos like ticket stubs, postcards, and anything else you have laying around that reminds you of your accomplishments. Make it personal and make it real.

Add some color, some doodles, or some sketches. Make the journal your own and something you’ll look forward to browsing through going forward. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. The only rule is to create the book and it’s something that can and should evolve over time.

Keep Adding To The List And Use It Often

Last but not least, make sure you use the confidence journal. Keep adding to it as you accomplish new things and are proud of yourself. During times when you’re lacking confidence, sit down and read through the journal. Once you see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished already, you won’t help but start to feel more confident.

Don't Miss a Post!

Catch up on any posts you miss during the challenge. Here's the link: confidence and courage challenge posts.

Challenge: Avoiding People, Places and Situations That Will Bring You Down

We all have people in our lives that act as cheerleaders and who are great for our self-esteem. We also often have people around us who bring us down. Or maybe it’s a particular place or situation that makes you feel inadequate or self-conscious. It’s important to be aware of these people, places, and situations that will bring you down. When you know who and what they are, you can guard against them and if possible avoid them.

Become Aware of the Negative Energy

Your self-confidence takes the biggest hit when you are unaware of the person or situation you’re walking into. When you feel blind-sided, it hurts, it and it’s hard to recover and rebuild your self-esteem and courage. I like to think of how these people, places, and situations affect us as negative energy. Your first task is to become aware of this negative energy and realize where it’s coming from before it hits you. By simply being aware you avoid being surprised. Try it.

Guard Against It and Neutralize It Going In

Once you are aware of what or who is bringing you down, you can start to guard against it. The basic idea is to neutralize the negative energy that’s being send your way. One of my favorite ways of doing this is to expect it going in and realizing what’s causing it. For example, if your cousin always gives you a hard time about your weight, it may help to realize that she’s putting you down because she’s not happy with her own life. If you feel judged at a local club by a group of people, it helps to know that they may be doing it to make themselves feel better. Realizing this going in will go a long way towards neutralizing things. Of course, another way to guard yourself is to do what you can avoid interacting with the people that bring you down and of course avoiding the places and situations that make you feel bad.

Adjust Your Life as Needed Until You Feel More Confident and Courageous

Last but not least, avoiding people, places, and situations that will bring you down is always an option. If you know a conversation with your sister will make you feel less confident, or you feel judged when going to a certain bar or club, avoid those people and places for now. I’m not saying you have to cut them out indefinitely. Instead, take a break and focus on building up your confidence and your self-esteem. When you’re ready, you can go back to spending time with those people or hanging out at those places and see how it goes. Often the experience is completely different for you when you approach it in a confident manner.

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Catch up on any posts you miss during the challenge. Here's the link: confidence and courage challenge posts.

Challenge: Confidence Hack: Cultivate a New Habit

It’s time for another confidence hack. Today is all about cultivating new habits. There’s nothing to boost your confidence like getting into the habit of doing something positive. I don’t care if it’s giving up coffee or smoking, hitting the gym each morning, or getting your most dreaded task out of the way by 10 am. We all have habits we would like to create that will improve our lives, our jobs, or at the very least make things easier for us. But establishing new habits isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be hard to get going. Which is where today’s confidence hack comes into play. I have a simple little strategy that you can deploy anytime you want to cultivate a new good habit.

Use The KISS Principle

Creating new habits isn’t easy. That’s why it’s important to keep it simple (Keep It Simple Silly). Don’t overcomplicate things and don’t try to change too much at once. Instead of completely making over your morning for example, tackle it one habit at a time. Start by getting up at a certain time of the day and doing one simple task like writing in your journal. Once that habit is established, start making a new one. Rinse and repeat until you’ve completely made over your morning routine, one positive habit at a time.

Commit For 30 Days

There’s a very good reason I made this confidence building series 30 days long. It takes about that long to start establishing a new habit. Use the same concept and commit to your new habit for 30 days. At the end of that time you should see some serious results and chances are you’ve formed the new habit so you no longer have to put a lot of energy and effort into making it happen on a daily basis.

There you have it. Keep it simple and define one new habit you want to establish. Then stick to it for 30 days. It can be helpful to have a calendar or checklist where you can check it off every day. Your biggest challenges will be to remember to do the new task each day, and to keep from talking yourself into slacking off towards the middle of that month long commitment. By the end the new habit should become a true habit and something you will do without having to think about at least spending a lot of energy talking yourself into getting it done.

Don't Miss a Post!

Catch up on any posts you miss during the challenge. Here's the link: confidence and courage challenge posts.