A healthy level of self confidence and self image is not only necessary, it is essential for any kind of success we seek achieve. Only when you’re comfortable with who you are and confident in what you can do, will other people believe in you and your abilities. This applies both to your personal as well as your professional life.

For those who experience the day-to-day effects of low self confidence it is a very real and troubling issue. The fact is that it dramatically reduces your chances for success in life due to its far reaching consequences. No matter how badly you may want something, a lack of self confidence will always work against you and undermine your efforts.

Low self confidence manifests itself in thought patterns and behaviors that continue to make you feel under-valued and unappreciated. It is a far more common issue than most people would like to admit.

Recent research findings reveal the clear cognitive and behavioral differences between people with a healthy level of self confidence and those with lower levels. The following a just a few examples:

People with healthy levels of self confidence tend to

- feel good about who they are and their value to society
- don't let their actions be dependent on other people's opinion or approval
- think they deserve to be treated with respect
- feel they're in charge of their own destiny
- believe in their future and have positive expectations
- seek and enjoy the company of others

People with lower levels of self confidence tend to
- feel unappreciated or not respected by others
- criticize themselves or others
- question or not trust their own judgments and decisions
- feel inadequate, different or disconnected from others
- take actions to earn the love or approval from others
- be reluctant to change / taking on new challenges

While the reasons for people to develop low self confidence vary, its effects can be traced back to our thought patterns, i.e. the way we think of and view ourselves relative to our social environment.

Therefore, it is important that we not only become aware of the way we think of ourselves but also that we consciously and actively take steps to change the beliefs that cause low self confidence. These are predominantly beliefs that in some way or other make us think that we’re “not good enough”. Ask yourself the following questions:

- What are the areas where you think you’re not “good enough”?
- Is it really necessary to be “good enough” in these areas?
- Are you trying to be “good enough” for yourself or someone else?
- What would “good enough” look like?

Once you’ve identified what the ideal state looks like, write it down in the in the first person presence tense. Here are a few examples:

- I see myself as a radiant being, filled with energy, creativity and purpose
- I choose to surround myself with people who are kind, supportive and appreciate me for the great person I am
- Other people’s thoughts about me or my abilities do not affect me.
- I am comfortable with who I am and have no need to earn the love or approval from other people.

While changing cognitive and behavioral patterns requires a more targeted effort with adults than with children, it is possible.

There are several techniques that can help you change your thought patterns. Some of the ones you may want to consider include positive affirmations, self talk, autosuggestion, visualization and self hypnosis.

“As is our confidence, so is our capacity”, William Hazlitt

Published with permission - ©2009, Inspirized ®, http:// www.inspirized.com

Author's Bio: 

Marc Frey has published several articles on how our thoughts affect our behavior. He and his team at Inspirized have spent years on researching both positive and negative cognitive and behavioral patterns and developed a unique and effective mind training approach. To learn more about the effects of positive thinking patterns on our behavior and how to train your mind to succeed visit inspirized.com.