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ARTICLES ON THIS PAGE (8)
*How Can I Stop Worrying?
*How do you keep a breakup from hurting your self-esteem?
*Why do people often feel sorry for themselves?
*Are Happy People More Productive People?
*What are the signs of envy?
*What is Wrong With This World?
*I'm Afraid to Travel Alone
*Do Name Brands And Exclusive Labels Matter to You?





How Can I Stop Worrying?

 

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Q. "Elaine, how can I stop worrying? I wish I could put fears I have about my boyfriend cheating out of my mind. I feel I'm not good enough for him and I know there are a few women who like him. He treats me wonderfully. There is no cause for me to doubt him. But I feel sick with worry sometimes." (K)

A. Let me put some questions to you, K. Think about your replies carefully.

What effect has worrying had on what you might worry about?
Be honest here. Has worrying made them any better?
Has worrying given you the result you wanted?
Has worrying made you FEEL any better?

Most important, can you remember what you were worrying about this time last month?

The TWO main reasons why we worry are:

1. A lack of faith in our abilities, competence and ourselves as individuals. We were probably not reinforced as children, and constantly scolded for our mistakes, so we seek perfection in everything we do, instead of relaxing and letting life take its course. In the process, we worry constantly about the consequences when things do not conform to expectations. This doesn't help because worry only keeps us from taking action and makes us feel impotent.

2. We wish to control everything on our path. But when we just let go we are then in for some BIG, pleasant surprises. We do not have all the answers to our lives. So the more we worry, the more we stop things from happening, while we become fearful and negative in the process.

Let's look at the facts.
He fell in love with YOU, no one else.
He acts as if he loves you.
You love him too and want him in your life.
Though you 'feel' inadequate, you seem to be enough for him.

It means that if he wanted someone else, he would not be with you, so you can't blame him for anything yet. He CHOSE you, K. Why should he go after someone else? The main problem lies with your self-esteem. You don't think you are worthy and that will cause you a lot of pain if any of your relationships break, because you are depending on someone else for your happiness and affirmation instead of yourself. Worry indicates a lack of confidence coupled with a desire for perfection and a fear of making mistakes. FEAR is at the root of it all. Once you let go of that fear and begin to appreciate people, to value love and GRATITUDE, life opens up for you. It means doing your best and damn the consequences; to feel proud of who you are and go for it. But that takes a while to develop when your resources are low and your desire for approval is high. Worrying is not good, as it is likely to turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy which you would have brought into effect all by yourself! Your worrying will soon irritate him and drive him away to someone more confident and appealing.


Learn to love yourself, K; to accept yourself as you are. Learn to know yourself too and where you're heading and you will stop worrying about your boyfriend. You will slowly realise that if, or when, he leaves you, there is likely to be someone better waiting, because you deserve it. You are acting as if he is the only man on earth because you don't love yourself enough. You feel he is the best you can get. But that's all in your head, caused by low self-esteem.

He might be the icing on your cake for now, but YOU are the cake, K. Start giving yourself some slack and appreciating the unique person you are. Begin to show appreciation for all your blessings by looking outward to others instead of merely focusing negatively on yourself and you won't feel so helpless. You will find that things will come into perspective and your fear will ease. You'll be grateful for what you have and make the most of it instead of reducing its value and taking it for granted.

There are tons of men out there for you and that's what you should begin to tell yourself daily. The more confident and self loving you are, the more attractive you will seem to them. If all you do is worry, you will become increasingly unhappy and unattractive. You will also begin to mistrust your boyfriend, and where there is mistrust, that's a shaky relationship in the making. Mistrust and fear are not the basis for any relationship. They only breed jealousy, insecurity and accusations.

There is nothing attractive about fear, K. It's love which makes us shine. Fear isn't love, it's control and soon becomes claustrophobic. When we truly love it is unconditional upon whatever the other person does. The day you can say to yourself, "So what if he fancies someone else? He can bugger off," is the day you realise who you are, and the day you truly start to love both yourself and your boyfriend. True love means that you don't spend time worrying about his actions. You just enjoy every moment of his company and give thanks that someone who loves you is actually in your life cherishing you and caring for you. Gradually, nothing else should matter except reciprocating that love.




How do you keep a breakup
from hurting your self-esteem?

 

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It is very easy for our self-esteem to take a nosedive the minute we have had a break up, especially when we did not instigate it and feel rejected, because breaking-up is emotionally draining. Nothing prepares us for it. The reasons for the low self-esteem are threefold.

First, we all want to be liked and desired and tend to judge our worth by the significant others in our life, the ones we admire the most. Once they reject us, we are likely to believe that we are worthless and have no value to anyone else either. It would take quite a while for us to feel differently.

Second, if we did not love ourselves in the first place, that rejection would have cemented the negative view we have of us as 'bad' or someone not capable of being loved. To break-up with someone we really care for confirms our worst sub-conscious fears.

Many people expect their relationships to last a long time and when they break up it leads to self-blame and deep disappointment as their expectations are dashed. But relationships often break because there is one taker and one giver instead of two givers. This usually happens with people who expect to be loved but give little back in return.

The best way to keep a break-up from affecting our self-esteem is to recognise five main things.

1. Our life is a journey from birth to death. Everything we experience is designed to develop us, to help us evolve, to make us more resilient in coping with setbacks and forms the route to where we are going. Events in our lives are like signposts to the next stage, not ends in themselves. They are means to achieving what we really want. Just because one relationship did not work does not mean there is anything wrong with us. It is likely to mean a need for more experience in dealing with relationships, or a greater understanding of potential partners and their needs.

2. Begin the process of self love by daily affirmations. Most people don't really love themselves at all because they are more used to finding fault with who they are than to appreciate themselves. They expect others to love them instead to compensate for that lack, but no one can love what we reject. We have to start to accept ourselves as we are, to affirm ourselves daily as wonderful human beings before we can begin to love another person and appreciate their feelings for us. We have to stop the self-criticisms and self-negation and be happy with ourselves before anyone else can truly appreciate us.


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3. Know who your are. We cannot have successful relationships and greater self-confidence if we do not know who we are, what we want in life and where we are going. Otherwise we won't recognise what we want when we see it. For example, the signs of incompatibility in a relationship are always there at the beginning, but a lack of self knowledge and our desire to make others 'fit' our grand plans blind us to their presence.

4. Accept that life consists of both pleasure and pain. We cannot have one without the other. Like pleasure, pain is a natural part of our lives, a natural twin of the pleasure we seek: birth and death, joy and sorrow, happiness and sadness - they are all double-sided coins in life. We have to accept them totally when they come our way without seeking to expect just the pleasure while missing out on the pain. It is not possible in this life. By expecting pain as well as pleasure we will keep the self blame and the self-pity to a minimum and strengthen the way we cope with break-ups.

5. Accept that we do not need someone else in our lives to make us lovable human beings, but they are desirable. It means learning to love and nurture ourselves first, to know who we are, what makes us happy and to value our independence. It keeps us from being dependent upon another human being to reinforce us while we reinforce ourselves. When that person is no longer there, it is easier to accept because we were the cake in the first place. They were mainly the icing and, as we all know, icing is not mandatory!

6. Let events in life unfold and try not to control them. Often we burden new relationships with our expectations of perfection instead of accepting whatever they bring and letting them gradually unfold before us and . We want the fairy-tale ending so much, we tend to worry and fret about what might happen in the end when that day could be our last! The best thing is to just enjoy life, each moment at a time, without too many expectations of what we want. In that way, we allow life to give us some surprises.

The essence of preventing our self-esteem from being affected by any break-up is to learn self love. By learning self-love and appreciation we will gradually accept that people will come and go in our lives but we have to live with ourselves 24/7. In that way a lover's departure might affect us briefly, but loving ourselves as we do, our journey would continue with greater determination and self-acceptance than ever before. Hopefully, we would have learnt more from that association about ourselves and move on with greater pride and clarity in who we are, our self-esteem fully intact and even higher than before.






Why do people often feel sorry for themselves?

 

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People like this are usually negative types who feel very insecure, unloved and undervalued, and who fear taking action because they fear the consequences of those actions and do nothing instead. They feel sorry for themselves for four main reasons:

1. They feel impotent to affect their situation. Something has happened which makes them feel overwhelmed or victimised and they believe they cannot cope, especially if they are dealing with someone whom they perceive to have more power over them, or whom they are trying to impress without success. It is easy to stop any personal actions to change the situation by replacing them with feelings of regret, weakness and impotence.

2. They lack confidence and esteem, the most likely reason. It is difficult to feel good about life and ourselves when we have no confidence, no self-belief and a lot of doubt and insecurity. So we would prefer to feel sorry for ourselves because it stops us examining the situation, the options we have and taking any action. It also stops us taking responsibility for ourselves and keeps us in fear and insecurity.

3. When we have not been affirmed or reinforced by others we value. Feeling sorry for ourselves gets us the attention we seek while keeping us in victim mode. It also puts all the responsibility and blame for our situation on others and keeps us feeling defenceless, while also getting the continuous attention we crave from them.

4. When we believe we are insignificant and have no value. We then feel sorry for ourselves because we do not know how to improve our situation. Feeling sorry confirms the low opinion we already have and keep us in that negative mode until we are shown some value by the people we care about and whom we perceive to matter.


Are Happy People More Productive People?

 

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Happy people are far more productive people for a variety of good reasons, especially the following:

First, they feel good about themselves and their great self-esteem means less angst or worry about what is possible. They tend to feel less anxious about the consequences and so are more willing to at least try. Happy people are likely to be self motivated to do whatever they desire because they do not need anyone to motivate them to feel good. Being already happy, they are also likely to be far more positive and to appreciate their world and other people, which provide them with the resources to get what they want.

I am a very happy person, always with a big wide grin on my face, no matter what is happening to me, or how negative the situation. I have great self-belief in what I can accomplish and am highly self motivated every day, especially as I work for myself. I have the the self-discipline to attempt what I want to do and the end result is that I have tended to be a pioneer, always first to do something. I have achieved so much single-handedly, many others have been amazed at my capabilities and determination. Life is a joy to live, instead of having anything to be gloomy about it, so productivity sits easily with me.

When we are unhappy, life becomes a drudgery. We are less motivated to fulfil our desires because we lack the essential ingredient to make it happen: self belief and confidence. The end result is that we tend to do far less than our potential would allow because most of our time would be spent whingeing, feeling sorry for ourselves as victims, criticising, wishing and hoping rather than doing. Most of all, unhappy people tend to be riddled with fear, which keeps them paralysed in action, and yearning instead of doing.

A happy disposition is a productive one because, when life feels good, we want to reach for the skies. Being happy at least gives us the disposition to make the crucial start to achieve that goal.





What are the signs of envy?

 

Q. I know mocking is a sign of envy, competitiveness is usually induced by envy, emulating the person you envy is also but what else?

 A. Any kind of envy is linked to low confidence and low self-esteem; a feeling that others are much better; that you can never have what they have; that they are more beautiful, popular etc, and so you resent them for it. There is nothing wrong with emulating someone or trying to be like them in a positive way. We are all socialised into the world by emulating our parents, doing what they teach us and copying things we learn, either directly or indirectly, from them.

Real envy is when those feelings are accompanied by resentment against the other person, or anger against what they have which we would like as well, that we believe we deserve too but are not getting. Hence why you might 'mock' someone to feel superior. Your envy makes you feel that you have to put them down, and belittle their achievement or possessions, instead of celebrating with them or being happy for them. But soon enough that will keep people away from you as they would find it hard to respect your negative reaction.

You need to start working on your own confidence and esteem, to learn that anything is possible for you too if you believe in yourself and want it badly enough. That you are as good as anyone else and can reach the skies if you wish. Learning to like yourself more and to build your self belief would gradually get rid of the need to feel envious or superior of others.





What is Wrong With This World?

 

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There is NOTHING wrong with this world at all, in my opinion. This is a beautiful, glorious world, full of things which we are enjoying as well as things which might not go to plan. The way we perceive the world is actually inside our heads, not outside of it. The way the world looks to us is entirely dependent on how we FEEL about it, our emotional happiness, not how it is in reality.

When we feel insecure, lacking in confidence, low in self-esteem and unable to cope with the crises that are meant to enrich us, and make us more resilient, we then see the world in an entirely negative light. Everything that is supposed to be 'bad' looms large, while the goodness pales into the background, especially when we cannot control it or impose our views and power upon it.

But whatever 'bad' is happening in the world forms a natural balance of two sides of the same coin: life and death. We cannot have one without the other. The seasons represent life in microcosm: spring is the vibrancy of our existence, the birth of all we desire and cherish while winter symbolises a kind of retreat, hibernation and death. Yet without winter ending we would not have spring and without spring ending we would not enjoy the glorious hot summer. Whatever happens in life reflects those extremes in both the 'bad' things and 'good' things. That is why there is always a good reason for something bad, even though it is not obvious at the time, because every bad occurrence makes room for something new. A jar has to be empty before it can be filled, so something has to die before a new life is possible.

If we lived in a world which simply had goodness at every step we would be deprived of the opportunity to develop ourselves through change. We would be weak, stagnant, apathetic people without diversity, without rebirth and without hope. Everything would remain exactly the same every day of their lives. It is the change in our world, the crises, the events and the natural disasters that regenerate our environment, develop our talents, educate our minds, bring out the best in us, hone our survival skills and make us more resilient.

This is a fantastic world and I give grateful thanks each new day that I am granted extra hours of life to be an exciting part of its birth, it's promise, it's awesome, unfolding existence and, inevitably, it's death.




I'm Afraid to Travel Alone

 

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Q. There are things in my life the I would like to do, such as travelling alone, but I cannot do it as I am afraid of the bad people I will incounter along the way. I want to explore new life in all the wonders of the world but I can't do it alone.

A. That is a very sad thought you have, only because the world has two sides to it: good and bad, and whichever one you focus upon, that's the one you'll get. We CHOOSE what we think about, and it is our low self esteem and low confidence that make us think of negative things all the time, when we could just as easily think about positive things, if we wanted to.

There are three things wrong with the way you are thinking:
1. Would you call yourself a 'bad' person? If you wouldn't, then why do you think that everyone else is bad, and that you would mainly meet bad people? The minute you lump everyone together, without recognising that we are all individuals, good and bad, you include yourself, your family and your friends among the very bad people you fear. Why? because if everyone thought like you, then everyone else would be regarded as being bad too.

So you should expect everyone to treat you well, to protect you and show you love, if you wish to be thought of like that too. You cannot get respect from others if you give none or expect the worst of them. I have been travelling every year since I was 18 (I am now 60) and have not had a single bad incident on my journeys, and I have been all over the world, mostly on my own. But then I don't expect people to be cruel or nasty to me. I think everyone is lovely until they show me otherwise, and I have not been disappointed because we tend to get what we expect in life.

2. Everyone is different and unique. There isn't a bad group and a good group in this world. We all have it in us to be evil one minute and good the next. What prevents us being evil is our need for love, affection and being wanted, so we prefer to be loving instead. There is crime everywhere, no matter which country you are in, but it doesn't mean anything will ever happen to you, especially if you live your life in a positive way and expect the best.

3. You get the life that you THINK about. Our thoughts make our existence. We are both writing on a machine invented by someone else purely through their thoughts. You are likely to be sitting on a chair that someone else thought about to invent. Hence if you go around every day of you life thinking awful things, then your life is likely to be one awful mess because you cannot get positives out of negatives. You will bring them to life yourself.

So stop the negativity from today. Just face your fears, which are mostly irrational and without foundation, ditch them right now and remind yourself that whatever will be will be, you cannot stop your fate. Neither can you spend your life hiding from others because you fear being hurt. Let me tell you about a little known statistic. In the UK, the second biggest cause of death for women over 50, would you believe it, is falling down the stairs!! It shows that you don't even have to leave your home to be harmed or killed!

So face your fears and live your life, expand your horizons with travel, expect only good of the world, and you could have a most amazing life. In fact you will feel far more protected than going around expecting the worst. Otherwise, what is your real alternative? Living forever in fear and doing nothing? I am sure you wouldn't feel happy with that.







Do Name Brands And Exclusive Labels Matter to You?

 

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Q. I know a lot of people who won't wear anything that's a name brand. I personally don't care. I've seen a lot of shirts that are nicer for cheaper. I can buy 2-3 pairs of pants at a good store like Garage, or I could buy one pair for the same amount of money at an expensive store. Both equally look good on me. Do you, or your children for that matter, live for labels?

A. That's a very healthy attitude to have, in buying both. It shows common sense and flexibility. People who will wear nothing but name brands tend to be low in self esteem, are seeking approval and need something to make them feel significant. As brand names tend to be more expensive than other clothing, that fulfils the purpose of putting the wearers 'above' others and keeping them feeling exclusive. But what is a named brand of clothing, except the person's name who has designed it? And he/she could be a criminal on the quiet, could be a racketeer or someone pretty unsavoury, especially if they are from another country and we know nothing about them. Why would I wish to promote their name for the sake of it?

It is also about the economy. When we support only the ones who are already making the money, we kill the business of smaller traders and local entrepreneurs who cannot compete with the big names, and rob our locality of jobs and growth. There is nothing wrong with buying all types of accessories, both branded and standard, but when one obsessively buys only one type for spurious reasons, especially to suggest superiority, they are saying an awful lot about their insecurities and low esteem. It is not clothes that make us who we are, but the personality and character that we have.

On the other hand, people who insist on just buying cheaper items because they think it's a waste of money to buy expensively, or out of pure principle against shopping at expensive stores, are really being inverted snobs to justify their biased perspective. When we need anything in life it should not be about the cost, per se, but about the VALUE we get from it, and the two are not the same. We can pay tons for an item which would probably give us little value in enjoyment and good feeling, yet buy something very cheaply which gives great joy. So one should not have any hard and fast rules around shopping, except living within one's budget!

I buy all kinds of labels, known and unknown. It simply depends on whether the item appeals to me or not, and the amount of money I have at the time. When I was presenting annual awards, what I regarded as very special occasions, I used to have my gowns specially made for between $700 and $1000 each. All my other clothes I have bought for whatever price they were. Only yesterday I bought two amazing pairs of shoes for $8 each that had been reduced.

Life is about variety and when we get stuck in one mode of life and one mindset, whether cheap or expensive, we miss out on an awful lot else in the process.





 



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