Grenville Kleiser on Self Confidence
I often hear from the wonderful readers of Self Help Daily and their words direct me in the direction I need to take the self help blog. The three most frequent subjects are almost always family relationships, empty nest syndrome, and self confidence.
However, I’ve been a little neglectful when it comes to writing about self confidence. I apologize for that and will try to right my wrong by serving up a series of articles, quotes, and posts geared toward helping you improve your self confidence and get your swagger on!
How to Develop Self Confidence
One of my favorite authors of all-time is Grenville Kleiser. His books, published in the early 1900’s, are filled with more wisdom than you’ll find in a lot of modern books. I also enjoy his writing style. He’s one of those authors with what I call the “gift” – the ability to make the reader feel as though the author is right there with them. Reading Kleiser feels more like a visit with a wise old uncle than actual book reading.
“How to Develop Self Confidence,” Copyright 1910, is one of his greatest works . It’s amazing how applicable Mr. Kleiser’s writings are to our present time – in spite of having been written so long ago.
In this world of self help and self improvement, we run across “buzz words” or “keywords” such as ability, action, passion, determination, and talent on a regular basis. But, the one thing they each rise on or collapse under is Self Confidence.
As defined by Dictionary.com Self Confidence is
1. realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc.
2. excessive or inflated confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, etc.
Self Confidence, as defined by me, however, is what we think ourselves capable of.
Here’s an example: I think I could design and publish a blog about Basset Hounds and, within a year, have it ranked among the top 10 Basset Hound blogs. My confidence is healthy or high. Why? I know all about blogs (I’ve been doing this for so long I should) and I know all about Basset Hounds – a favorite breed. Although I no longer have a Basset Hound, I know and love this beautiful breed as well as I do cats (which is saying something!).
My level of knowledge would be a 10 out of 10 and my passion for the subject would even surpass that. As a result, my confidence is through the roof.
However, if someone asked me to create a blog about fishing and have it ranked even within the top 25 within a year, I’d probably go hide in a closet. The extent of my “fishing” knowledge is that the sport takes place in water.
With zero knowledge about my subject, my confidence in myself in such an endeavor would be lower than low.
Many times our confidence rises and falls with our preparation. I’d be prepared to photograph and write about Basset Hounds all day long. Fishing…. not so much.
If I HAD to create a fishing blog, I would have two choices:
- Approach it with a half-hearted attitude and try to fake my way through it.
- Determine to read everything I could get my hands on about fishing, get my fishing license, grab my camera, and have my husband take me out and show me how it’s done!
Number 1 wouldn’t end very well… certainly not within the top 25. The second one, however, would really give me a fighting chance. It’s that type of attitude that leads to confidence – which in turn leads to success.
And, often, a lot of fun.
“The development of self-confidence begins properly with intelligent self-examination. The mind must be closely scrutinized, undesirable tendencies checked, faults eradicated, and correct habits of thought and conduct firmly established.” – Grenville Kleiser, How to Develop Self Confidence
Fear trips us up more than anything else when dealing with Self Confidence. We’re fearful that we’ll make a mistake, that we’ll make a fool of ourselves, that someone will laugh at us or (my greatest fear) that we’ll let someone down. We know, full well, that we can erase all chances of any of these happening simply by not even attempting the challenge in the first place. We pull the covers up around our ears and get all comfy in our comfort zone.
The only thing about comfort zones is that, while they’re undeniably comfortable, they encourage zero growth. Comfort zones are like overly indulgent parents – the end results are never pretty.
Comfort Zones spoil what could have been.
Fear needs to be diagnosed and faced. More times than not, fear arises from what we allow to go on in our minds. You know those quiet little conversations we have with ourselves throughout the day? The ones where we think, “I’m fat (or scrawny),” “I wish I were smarter (younger, older..),” “If only I had more money…” etc.
“The mind is permitted habitually to dwell upon thoughts of doubt, failure, and inefficiency. So great does this power become, when unchecked, that it affects to greater or less degree almost every aspect of one’s life.” – Grenville Kleiser, How to Develop Self Confidence
Maybe we’d be better off if we just stopped thinking so much and do what needs to be done. We have to find a way to work with our fear rather than not working because of it.
Ironically, we can actually use our fears as tools to help us. Going back to the example above, if I were timid about building a Fishing blog, I could very well write down my fears. They might read something like this:
- There’s too much competition. I’d never be able to compete for top rankings in the search engines. There are far too many other fishermen and women getting their groove on.
- I don’t know anything about fish OR catching them.
- Worms??? YUK!
- Where would I find the time? I have 10 blogs as it is…
- What if I disappointed my family by failing?
“To walk straight up to the thing feared will often strip it of its terror.” – Grenville Kleiser, How to Develop Self Confidence
When we write down our fears, we can then go back and stare them “eye to I” and manipulate them to work FOR us rather than AGAINST us.
We can take our “objections,” and create “objectives.”
For example, if I were worrying about time, I could write out a strict time schedule (you have no idea how that phrase just made me cringe – I’m not sure if it was the strict part or the schedule part, but I shivered). By writing the day’s available hours on paper, I could hold them accountable and find the extra time I needed.
Fears can be incredibly motivating if we allow them to be.
“The other day I saw a dog leisurely pass a cat on the street, and to all appearance there was no ill feeling on either side. The cat looked him straight in the eye as he approached, and the dog returned her confident glance and quietly passed on. Then the cat, seeing a good chance for escape, bolted across the street, but the instant the dog saw her running he turned and followed in hot haste. It was cat and dog for some yards, when suddenly the cat stopped, humped her back and looked defiantly at her adversary. He stopped, caught his breath, blinked uncertainly, turned up his nose, and walked off. As long as the cat showed fear and ran, the dog chased her; but the moment she took her stand, he respected her. When a man stands up boldly and self-confidently for his rights, fear slinks tremblingly into the shadows.” – Grenville Kleiser, How to Develop Self Confidence
Self Confidence can be built and nurtured. We can work towards the level of self confidence evident in the cat above. He has got it going on! If we work hard and believe in ourselves – the same can be said of us.
~ Joi (“Joy”)