Tuesday 5 October 2021

Talk Back To Your Inner Critic (2/25).

The Enemy Within:

We are all self-made, but only the successful are bold enough to claim it. I know a lot of people don't like to hear that. They are so quick to claim the part they played in another person's success. How so vain? I don't see people being quick to lay claim to people's failures, just the success. Everyone wants to have a share of the shine. Yet, what is true for Paul is also true for Nancy. 

If we are not self-made successes, then we are sure then not also self-made failures. Right? The truth really is we are all different, and the factors that determine the successes and failures in our lives are intrinsic to us, not external. It is not as much as what happens to us, or not. It is the way we perceive, interpret and react, or respond that differentiates between successes and failures.

This is what we mean by being self-made. It is not to disregard the external influences and assistance. It is to say they are all useless and subservient to an individual's choice. That is what Viktor Frankl teaches us in his book "Man's Search for Meaning." Viktor teaches, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."


Just simply borne from our humanness, we are so much easily prone to talk ourselves down. We arrived here as foreigners from another world trying to find our footing. Those we meet here are our first guides and could either help or dissuade us on our journey. The expectation is that they affirm us and hence help us gain confidence. This is not always the case. In fact, a whole lot of us are exposed to various degrees of abuse.

Yet, we all still have to trade in the same marketplace. The onus then is on each of us to champion our own cause. Albert Bandura coined a word for this in 1977. It is the word self-efficacy. It is one of the four (4) traits that affect our disposition to life. The other three are Locus of Control (LOC), Neuroticism, and Self-esteem. Self-efficacy is the belief that we can handle the details of our life, task, or action.

Self-efficacy is not exactly the same as self-confidence, though they are related and close. Self-confidence is generic, while self-efficacy is specific to the occasion and or task. Bandura offers four (4) ways by which one can build or consolidate one's self-efficacy. The first is experience. One is self-efficacious in things one has gained and or built experience in or on. Preparation is the key here.

Talk to Yourself:

"Preparation is the key to confidence," as Arthur Ashe so rightly said. We prepare by practicing. Practice does not make perfect, for everything can always be made better. Practice makes permanence, builds confidence, and makes better. We need to practice the vision of confidence we see of ourselves in the secret of our room; in front of the mirror; and with our tribe - our relatively safe place.

The second aid espoused by Bandura is the ability to synthesize from the experience of others. That is to see ourselves in the skin of our heroes. Those are the examples of confidence we admire and crave for. This supports our ability to visualize ourselves as confident, brave, and attractive. This is known in psychology as Positive Mental Imaging (PMI). It works by the law of attraction, to create a manifesting or becoming of the thing being focused on.

The third aid from Bandura is listening to others speak life to us. Those are words of encouragement that create the picture of us achieving our desired state. And, last of all, surely not the least, and most powerful are the words we speak to ourselves. This is found in each of the four and is the overarching aid. The words of others are only powerful if and when we accept them. Ours go directly to our subconsciousness, which works to make it true.

Our words go directly to our subconsciousness, which works to make it true. Speak life to yourself. Speak that which you want, not what you do not want. Coin the story of your life in a way that supports your goal. Don't talk yourself down. Talk yourself up. Guess what? Your subconsciousness does not know the difference between reality and fiction. It will believe WHATSOEVER you tell it. 

Tell your subconsciousness what works for you. Make it your ally, not your foe. Why not?

St. Akin de Great.

Links to Series:
Visualize Yourself Being Confident, Brave & Attractive (1/25).

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