Rising up in the game of life


“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was inspired to write this post by Farnoosh Brock, who recently wrote about confidence. In her post, Farnoosh explained how confidence was the key attribute, which determined whether we would be able to achieve the lives we want.

I absolutely agreed, and reading her words inspired me to build upon her post, and share some of my views on confidence.

Our current situations

We’ve all experienced difficulties and challenges. For some of us, life may have been a struggle when we were growing up and continued as we matured into adults. For others, problems increased later on in life and continue to be a hindrance now.

Whatever point each of us start at, there comes a time when one decides that enough is enough. “I’ve suffered too long”, one might say. “They are to be an end.” Or to put it more accurately, there has to be a new start and so we seek out how to rise above our problems, so they cease to be problems.

We may get into self-development. We may seek out new friends who will help uplift us. We may find strength in spirituality.

Coming from a stuttering background, I had a number of problems when I was growing up. I had very low self-confidence.

However, I learnt how to rise above the problems and see the light that always shone inside me, and on me, but for so long seemed invisible.

Below are views, attitudes, approaches, and behaviours, which I have used personally to help rise up in the game of life and continue to do so.

Understanding that having confidence is not beyond you

Confidence does not belong to an elite clique of individuals.

If you are currently lacking confidence, are looking around you, and see others behaving confidently, and you’re believe you can’t be confident, then this is the big mistake. You have falsely led yourself into believing you can’t be confident.

A key thing to appreciate first is that confidence can be learnt.

Those people you see acting confidently most likely were not always like that (although that’s how it might appear). They became like that by practicing the same behaviours you’re seeing them do, again and again.

A lack of the confidence then has one big remedy.

This is action and the more fearful the action, the better it will be for you in the long run.

If you’re afraid of speaking in public, then join a public speaking group.

If you need to learn how to make cold calls for your job, then make extra calls to random companies over the weekend.

If you want to learn how to lead, then take a leadership course.

Keep doing the activity you find scary again and again until you achieve competency and mastery. Pretty soon your confidence will rise to a supreme level.

And it’s important to be calm and compassionate with yourself when you are working on your confidence. No beating up of self here. It just won’t help.

Take it from someone who has been there and done it, many, many times.

Also, remember that a lack of confidence at times is normal. This is another key point.

No one can be confident all the time. If we were, then we would be like robots programmed to be confident. A program keeps running and running. Humans in general are not like such robots, although we can come close, at times!

Having no shame for your actions

How many of you are feeling shameful for your actions? And these are actions where you haven’t even done anything wrong.

Quit the ‘shame game’.

Do what you need to do with your head held high. You are the King or Queen of your life, and go about your daily lives as such.

If you want to start up a business, and everyone around you thinks you’ve gone mad, then go ahead and do it, and let those others look on.

If you want to talk to that pretty girl smiling at you at the bar, and other people are around, ignore the fear in your mind, and step right over and say “hello”.

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn martial arts, and now believe you’re too old. No one is ever too old for self-defence, so go ahead and check out that local class.

If you’ve created someone pain, either emotionally or physically, then sure you should feel shame and guilt. I can appreciate this.

However, feeling shame for just existing and doing what humans do is something I can’t accept.

Never settle for mediocre

The amount of potential you can achieve is limitless. There is a core self inside you, which is indestructible. Sure you may be lacking some confidence at the moment. However, this is no reason to settle for second best.

Rise up in the game of life by working on your confidence. And as you do, remember to do so shamelessly, and keep ignoring the voice in your head that says “no”. As Rob White says, you have heard this “no” tens of thousands of times as a kid. It is now your job as a mature adult to keep ignoring this voice which stems from childhood, until it quietens and soon ceases to exist.

Your turn my friends

  • What activities do you do to help you rise up in the game of life?
  • What are you doing to increase your confidence?
  • Are you currently living your life without shame?
  • What can you do to improve your situation?
  • Please also share this post on your favourite social networks.

 

Photo Credit: ellavalentine

14 Comments
  1. Great post about confidence. I write exclusively about building confidence and I’ve always said the same as you have here – it’s possible to build it even if you haven’t started out that way.

    The important thing is that you identify what needs to be done, then take the first step. Even if you don’t know where the big picture will lead you, that first step is very important. It means you’ve started out on your journey.
    Great post.

    1. Hi Anne,

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for reading! 🙂

      Yes, confidence is one of the biggest issues I like to cover. It is so important to a person’s life, and being able to develop confidence is something that all of us should know how to do.

      I agree with you totally. It can be built even when one wasn’t confident before. This is such an important message. However, many people still don’t realise this.

      Absolutely, the first step is the most important. It is also the most challenging. However, once a person has taken the first step, they are well on their way to increasing their self-confidence.

      Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your thoughts on confidence. I just checked out your blog. It’s amazing that you have devoted your site to the topic of confidence! 🙂

  2. Wonderful post Hiten!

    Feeling confident is so-so important for us, and yet there are so many occasions when we feel the lack of confidence too.

    Just as you mentioned, as in your case it was because of stuttering, but people lack confidence even when they have no problems. They lack that will power and courage , which accompanied with self-esteem makes the base for building the confidence. Yes, there can be many reasons for that, but like I keep saying so often – it’s always in our mind….if we think we can – we can. If we think we can’t – we really can’t or won’t be able to make it.

    Moreover, if we lack confidence we need to remember that nothing is lost. You just need to turn around and find ways to build the lost confidence, which isn’t difficult. Speaking of myself, whenever I feel there is a lack of confidence in something that I need doing, I say my little prayer, gather up the courage and will power, and get headlong with things – not really bothering about the outcome or result. I guess I know that facing the fear is what really builds one’s confidence.

    What works best, just as you mentioned, is to face things you are afraid of, which builds your confidence that you too can do it. The fear just vanishes when you do that and you get a boost in your self-esteem. There is no question of feeling ashamed or thinking yourself to be inferior than others once you are able to give yourself that much required push – and move out of your comfort zone to achieve something you haven’t earlier.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I’m really glad you liked the post! 🙂

      What a brilliant comment you wrote. Thank you so much for writing it.

      You added some great points to the post. Indeed, as you say, some people lack will power and courage and don’t necessarily have to be experiencing problems, in order lacking confidence. I’ve also seen people lack a lot of motivation. I believe having a dose of strong motivation to change, will then help the actions that are needed in order to increase confidence!

      Absolutely, it really is as you say. If we think we can, then we will. And if we believe we can’t, then this will also happen. I believe people in general really do help themselves, when they learn how simple it is to take control over their thoughts and emotions. It is a skill that can be used for the rest of our lives, and help us to understand how we can quickly increase our confidence again, when the need arises.

      I too like you, find prayer a very powerful resource, to help increase my self-confidence! I loved what you said about not bothering about the outcome! Just do what needs to be done, and let the outcome truly happen, rather than ‘thinking’ about what might happen! 🙂

      Thank you once again for leaving such a great comment, and sharing your views and experiences with fear and confidence.

      Have a great weekend! 🙂

  3. Hi Hiten — very good, thoughtful ideas as usual. Might I propose a minor addition to Emerson’s quote: “The more experiments you make, the better — as long as you learn from them.” I have a long history of being dreadfully afraid of making mistakes, and that attitude tends to undermine confidence. But when I began to understand that our most valuable knowledge usually comes from making mistakes and reflecting on them, I felt more inclined to take action and see what happens. Plus, we’re going to make a lot of mistakes anyway — why not embrace them?

    1. Hi Stephen,

      I’m really glad you liked the post and I loved your addition to Emerson’s quote.

      I can appreciate what you say about being afraid of making mistakes and can relate to this also. It’s a strange one. With this attitude, one believes they are protecting themselves. However, in reality what they are doing is preventing any opportunity for growth, and as you say, sacrifice any increase confidence, and actually can end up feeling worse.

      I’m 100% with you, when you say our most valuable knowledge comes from making mistakes, and learning from them. This is so true and well worth reminding ourselves if we get into behaviours, where we are not doing what we really know deep in us, is good for us.

      Making mistakes is excellent. However, making the same mistakes without learning from them in general is not. One gets caught up in a frustrating loop.

      As you say, we are going to make mistakes. Let’s welcome them in and make many, in a wise manner! 🙂

      Thank you for leaving such a brilliant comment, and adding so much more to this post.

  4. Hello Hiten,
    I’m confident you know where you are going. I’ve had a couple of recent small confidence boosters recently. Building on these small victories will see me venturing out into bigger fields…had my first international skype hookup yesterday…maybe I should do it again Hiten, what do you think?
    be good to yourself
    David

    1. Hi David,

      Thank you so much for your kind words, my friend!

      Its great hear about your recent confidence boosters, and in particular your first global Skype meet up!

      Indeed, you should definitely do it again David. Those small victories, as you said, which then allow us to tackle bigger things are so important to our confidence. We need to be doing such activities again and again!

      Thank you so much for leaving your great comment, and sharing your experiences with how you increase your confidence.

  5. its a very encouraging post Hiten
    great morning confidence boost
    keep it up

    1. Hi Farouk,

      I’m so glad the post gave you a morning confidence boost! 🙂 It seems the post has done its job!

      Thanks a lot for commenting, Farouk. It’s great to see you.

  6. I couldn’t have said it better myself, Hiten! 🙂 Indeed, There is a two-letter word that has been masquerading
    as helpful for thousands of years but, in truth, is harmful. The word is NO. Most guilt, blame, and shame come from hearing NO, NO, and NO! This one word can make grown men tremble.We build our confidence by confronting those NO’s and seeing that the ’emperor has no clothes.’ A mind that works undisturbed
    by NO, is not only able to conceive of a rewarding future, it’s able to achieve it.

    1. Hi Rob,

      The more and more I contemplate this, the more I see the truth in it. The word NO can be so powerful, but for all the wrong reasons.

      Indeed, as you say, guilt, blame and shame all come from NO or similar derivatives. This word breaks rapport in conversations and relationships with others. It tricks us into internalising other people’s views, thoughts and beliefs. It’s a word, which when used on ourselves, shuts the very doors that we really need to be going through, if we are ever to get over the limitations that began all those years ago.

      Let us all have the courage to confront our NO’s, until as you brilliantly stated we discover that the ‘emperor has no clothes’.

      This was brilliant Rob, as was your comment. Thank you so much for sharing such an empowering perspective.

      On a side note, I have thoroughly been enjoying the WROAR shows! They are amazing and I recommend anyone who is serious about making significant changes in their life, to listen to them. I’m including the link to the shows below:

      http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wroar

  7. Hi Hiten,

    i like the title of this post, “..Rising up in the game of life”. When we have confidence we hit our fears head on and don’t look back.

    i to have had to learn to build my self-esteem and confidence. one thing that i have found that works for me is to find what I love to do and build on that. Also when you have confidence you are not afraid to say, “Oops, I did mess up on that, but I learn from it.”

    With confidence it is easier to admit when you can be right or wrong. You are not scared to learn from others.

    Having confidence it yourself is like the sun shining on you. You can stumble and fall, pick yourself up and laugh.

    Life is to live to it’s fullest and with your wisdom in this post many can be helped and learn to be confident.,

    Blessings to you,

    Debbie

    1. Hi Debbie,

      Thank you so much for leaving such a great comment, and for adding so much more to this post!

      Debbie, I can so relate to what you say, about gaining confidence through doing what you love, and then extending upon it. You’ve shared an amazing way to increase self-confidence. I have a similar experience through this blog!

      I agree that being truly confident involves being able to admit when we made mistakes. It’s almost like having a certain faith that we will make mistakes and that’s ok. And by learning from our mistakes we will keep on progressing further.

      In most books related to the areas of personal and professional development, a key theme is that those who are most successful if life, made many mistakes, and didn’t allow themselves to get disheartened when they did, while using the lessons learned for the future.

      Each of us can also experience the truth of this, when we set our minds on the life we want to lead and put in the effort to achieve it.

      I think you summed it all up when you said “Life is to live to its fullest…”

      Indeed, I’m with you 100% on this and thank you once again for leaving such a lovely comment!

      Blessings to you too, my friend.

      Take care,

      Hiten

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