by Ron Kurtus
Readers have sent in a total of 206 comments and questions on Excellence issues. They are listed according to date.
You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.
|Step-sister always put him down||Confidence||USA|
|Engineering student afraid to speak to group||Confidence WBT||India|
|I'm not good at anything but want to be a success||Confidence||UK|
|Mother broke promise about having a party||Dealing with Problems||USA|
|Losing confidence because guys at work discourage me||Confidence||SOUTH AFRICA|
|Student of science is very shy||Confidence||USA|
|Can confidence be created or developed?||Confidence WBT||Ireland|
|Can't seem to acknowledge my successes||Confidence||USA|
|Are humans capable of solving their problems?||Dealing with Problems||USA|
|Firewalk has nothing to do with religion||Firewalk||USA|
|Student wants to succeed||Confidence WBT||INDIA|
|I lose confidence when I look at other girls||Confidence||India|
|Strict father always wants to win an argument||Don't Lower Esteem||USA|
|I want to be a journalist, but I am quite shy||Confidence||UK|
|Fears the nightclub scene||Fear||Scotland, UK|
Step-sister always put him down
January 11, 2007
I have been lacking self-confidence for years, ever since I was very young. I don't know what it was, possibly my step sister always putting me down when I was as old as 5, but I was wondering how you can undo years of lack of self-confidence. I know you say stuff like, "Divide it into smaller steps." and "congratulate yourself." but I've tried doing that, and when I do receive a compliment or I do something good, my head explodes from happiness, but it wears off faster than it stays, and I end up just being the same person again the next day, who has extremely low confidence. I'm never made fun of by my peers, I am a spoiled kid in my opinion, I have tons of friends, but I'm just lacking self-confidence and want to know even deeper ways of gaining it back.
Jeremy - USA (12801)
Just like some foods can be toxic and ruin your physical health, so too can comments and opinions of others prove toxic and harm your mental health and self-image, including confidence.
One thing to realize that things your step-sister said are just her opinions. They are not facts. Also, she may have put you down because of jealousy and a way to build herself up. Parents also can harm a child's self-esteem with criticisms. They think it is helping, but it can have lasting negative effects.
But that is all in the past, and you want to move on with your life in a positive manner. First of all, avoid negative people and those who like to put down others. If your step-sister still makes put-down comments to you, just tell her that if she continues, you do not care to see her anymore. Why continue to take these toxic messages?
It takes a long time to correct the damage done over many years in the past. But each time your head explodes with happiness, you are moving an inch forward in the right direction.
Note that confidence is how sure you are able to do things, while self-esteem is how worthy you feel. They are separate things, but they go hand-in-hand. Realize how lucky you are to have tons of friends, especially those who are positive toward you. Appreciate what you have and appreciate them. They prove your worth. Now you just need to accept that.
I hope these ideas help you become a champion in life. I am sure you are on your way.
Engineering student afraid to speak to group
December 21, 2006
hi ,i m anshu from india,i m an engg student...i would like to know some tips to b a good public speaker..when i go to dias...my tounge gets stuck...n i feel my heartbeats very faster..i feel thrust ...while speaking...i know that my preparation is good n i know every thing bout the topic...then y this happens to me..???
upto now ..i hv gone for for to five public speaking..n now i want to improve..plz suggest me..
anshu - India (12670)
It is good to practice your speech in front of friends and others before making your formal speech. This will give you more confidence. But being so nervous in front of an important audience is not unusual. You are afraid of making a mistake, going blank or looking foolish in front of the audience.
You need to prepare for those situations. It is good to have an outline of your talk available to refer to in case you forget things.
Another thing to do is to realize that your audience is anxious to hear what you have to say. They do not want you to do poorly. Visualize them as smiling and anxious to hear you. Visualize yourself as giving a great presentation. This will help before you give your talk.
See Overcome the Fear of Speaking to Groups at:
http://www.school-for-champions.com/speaking/fear.htm for more information.
Best wishes in doing well in your speeches.
I'm not good at anything but want to be a success
December 15, 2006
This is a great website and I really like it.My question is I am 28 years old and I am not good at all to do anything in my life. I don't know what to do in my life. I want to achieve so many things in my life but don't have vision and don't know how to do that in a proper way.Whatever I do, don't succeed in that.I have some dreams which i want to fullfill as soon as possible.I'm also not confident at all. Please tell me how to acheive goals in life and how to do any work properly(in a proper way) to succeed in life.
Sally - UK (12634)
Actually, you are good at many things. I imagine you've graduated from high school. A large number of people never make it that far. You are able to use the computer and find things on the Internet. That puts you in the minority, as many people are unable to do those things. It sound like you have a lot going for you.
Start making a list of different things you can do and skills you have, no matter how trivial. Make another list of accomplishments and achievements you have had since you were a teenager. Again, even include trivial items. Now make a third list of things you like to do for fun. Try to think of some things that you enjoyed so much that you completely lost track of time.
When you look at these three lists, you might be able to see some trends that can indicate the direction you'd really like to go in life. It's important to find some activity or profession in which you would really like to be involved. Looking at what you enjoy will help you find your passion. Also, you want to be able to do the best you can in your activity. That gives a lot of satisfaction.
Finally, you want to give back, to make a difference in this world and to help other people. Always ask yourself, "How will what I am doing help others?"
It's better to do one or two things well than to achieve many things and not appreciate your achievements.
Most people don't have a true vision. Instead they follow their heart. Don't be so anxious to fulfill your dreams. Instead savor the journey. Remember that life is not a destination, but a journey.
In summary, realize your talents and your skills, appreciate what you have, and try to help others. This will move you in the right direction in life. I'm sure you'll be a true champion.
Mother broke promise about having a party
December 14, 2006
My mother made a promise to be about 3 mounths ago. Now she has decided not to follow through with it because of my school not agreeing with the promise because it is a religious school. The promise is to have a party. She finally gave in after me arguing and still gave me an ugly expression, which made me lose my appetite for having it. What should I do to make her understand and not be upset that I want it very much.
Sarah - USA (12626)
It is unfortunate that your school is against the party and has influenced your mother to break her promise. Is there some way to make a compromise about your party so that it will fit into the rules of the religious school?
Sit down with your mother and ask her if there is a way to have a party that would work out with the school beliefs or rules. It may not be exactly what you want, but it is better to have her agree, so you both can be happy.
I hope it works out that your mother will support you in having some sort of party.
Losing confidence because guys at work discourage me
December 8, 2006
i am working for a huge company around the universe as a technician trainne, most of the time i do not have confidence because of the guys who discourag my position.
please help me to gain confidence.
andrew - SOUTH AFRICA (12574)
Is not good for your company if other workers are discouraging you and criticizing your work. Sometimes fellow workers feel threatened or jealous of the new worker, so they try to make it difficult for him.
Although you want to get along with the other guys, you need to ignore their comments. Realize that they don't know what they're talking about.
When you complete a task, silently congratulate yourself. If you know in your heart that you are doing a good job, then you're confidence will increase. You will know that you have the ability to do good work.
It is not important what you guys think, but what is important is that the boss considers you a good worker and valuable member of the team.
Best wishes on achieving great things in your job.
Student of science is very shy
December 4, 2006
Very new to this world,But i appreciate the great work which you people are doing ..
I am a student of science,and doing my bachelors in Electronics,
I want to know how can i make myself VERY CONFIDENT.
I also want to get rid of Shynes..I m very straight ,simple ...but among gathering where huge crowd is there, i feel myself very alone, i feel it is very difficult to adjust with the people as they are different from my nature.
Plz help me out.
I want to be a person who is very much confident,Smily,Easy to adjust with people arouund,Not so much shyy,have a joky mode who can laugh people and people can love him.
sana - USA (12546)
Shy people often lack confidence when they are around other people. But also, it is a personality trait not to be as outgoing as others.
I am sure that when you are with people in electronics and talking about the subject, you have a fair amount of confidence. You know the subject, and you are sure about your knowledge in it. The problem occurs when you deal with others.
A good way to overcome shyness with other people is to observe and listen to them. Find out their interests and ask them to tell you more. Others like people to be interested in them. You don't have to try to be the life of the party and to joke or round until you really get to know people.
Everyone lacks confidence and feel shy when in a huge crowd, unless they know many of the people in the group. Listen and enjoy the others, and soon you will get to know them and be able to fit in. Personally, I never liked to be in a huge crowd, and instead I would prefer to be with a few good friends.
You cannot change overnight, but slowly trying to get to know people will help you overcome your shyness. I hope these ideas help.
Can confidence be created or developed?
November 10, 2006
Can confidence be created or developed?
Anna - Ireland (12365)
Confidence is the feeling of how sure you are that you can perform a task. Experience in doing similar tasks will help build your confidence. But also acknowledging your successes is necessary to build a confidence.
Building your confidence in being able to do a difficult or even dangerous task can be developed by doing small tasks and slowly building up to the larger one. It is similar to how he baby learns to walk: by taking "baby steps" first.
Can't seem to acknowledge my successes
November 1, 2006
Excellent website. I have learned a lot. I just have a couple of problems. I can't seem to acknowledge my successes for the life of me. I would do something successfully, but I wouldn't acknowledge it like I should. Once I do something, how should I go about acknowledging what I have done? How do I feel confident once I acknowledge something.
J - USA (12291)
Some people downplay their successes with a form of false modesty. They might tell others and even themselves, "Oh. it was nothing." Unfortunately, that doesn't build their confidence in doing the task another time.
As long as you don't put your achievement down, you don't have to formally acknowledge a success to increase your confidence. But the self-talk of, "Good job" or "Well done" can enhance your confidence.
Try complimenting or encouraging yourself on simply achievements like finishing your homework or fixing a meal or such. That should loosen you up to being able to acknowledge more profound achievements that will improve your confidence and self-esteem.
I hope these ideas help.
Are humans capable of solving their problems?
October 24, 2006
So is this agreeing that humans are mentally able to deal with their own problems? To what extent?
- USA (12240)
Humans and even animals are mentally capable of dealing with their own problems. The thing in humans is that often they may blow their problems out of proportion. You may have seen a person who receives a minor injury or set-back and will go hysterical, as if it was the worst thing in the world. That type of reaction often results in not even trying to heal or solve the problem.
Usually, by accepting the problem and having determination, a person can solve most problems that confront them. The U.S. Marines have a good motto on this: "The difficult, we do right away. The impossible takes us a little longer."
Firewalk has nothing to do with religion
October 20, 2006
I had done this coal-walking decades ago. This is very common in India where people do this for a living to show that they're possessed by God, hence they're not affected. I did it prove that it has nothing to do with any religious belief, but just science through preparation.
koothoosi - USA (12213)
Thanks for sharing your experience. That is true that it is easily explained with science.
Student wants to succeed
October 9, 2006
At this age I am a student and my aim is to always be on the top.I always tried a lot harder than other students,but the result comes as third rank.Afterwards I recognized that I wasn't enough confident ,then I tried to be confident,but even after revising all the lessons,I feel fear that I would'nt be able to be successful.So what should I do to gain confidence?
yash - INDIA (12109)
First of all, you should not work harder, instead you should work smarter. What that means is to be more effective with your time and to keep a sharp eye out for what the teacher considers important.
If you feel you did your best, but you still came in as the third rank, you should still congratulate yourself for doing the best you can, and then say that you will try to do better than next time. This will reinforce your confidence and motivate you to excel.
You can gain confidence, by recognizing your successes, even the small ones. Give yourself a tiny bit of praise and encouragement at each success. This will help build your confidence in a natural manner.
Some people have fears that they won't be successful, so their thoughts may actually sabotage their efforts. Vow to do your best, and don't worry about being number one. If you feel you've done your best, your confidence will increase and you will get better.
I hope these ideas help.
I lose confidence when I look at other girls
October 7, 2006
I NOW I AM SMART I HAVE A GREAT FIGER ALSO. BUT WHEN I SEE OTHER GIRLS I LOSSE ALL MY CONFIDENCE AND START FEELING MY SELF NOT BEAUTIFUL.I DON'T NOW HOW TO GAIN CONFIDENCE IN MY SELF.SOMETIME I MY SELF MAKE ME SMALL IN FRONT OF OTHERS.
SONU - India (12100)
The thing to remember is not to compare yourself with other girls, because you do not really know what appeals to boys. Different people have different tastes in what they like. What is more important than looks and intelligence is that you have a pleasant personality.
Often you will see a very beautiful girl who cannot get a boyfriend, either because she acts like she is so good or that boys are intimidated by her good looks. On the other hand, you may see a real ugly girl who is popular, because she is fun and has a good personality.
Another problem with trying to compete with other girls is that some have much more money and can afford the latest clothes. You don't want to have to compete with that.
Take stock in all the talents you have and things you can do well. Make a list of all your friends. They are important to do. And don't judge others by how they look. Instead judge on how they act. In this way, you will realize you have a lot going for you. This will build your confidence in dealing with other people.
I hope these ideas help you gain confidence and to be more popular.
Strict father always wants to win an argument
September 9, 2006
Your information about not lowering self-esteem is great but i have a father who is very strict, and often critisize me, that often makes me feel ridiculously bad about myself for a little problem. whenever i give a rebuttle to him he often use some logic that i can counter but i usually can't get any words out of my mouth to respond for some reason, probably it's because he's my father and i have to be obedient. if he doesn't have any logic to use he often goes like ok,ok like i do when i get the point of my parent's lectures and want it to end. I can argue with my dad but often when he hears my responses the talks soon escalates and in the end he wins his point. its like hes giving me subliminal hypnotising and i often follow his words like a slave.
I really need a way to deal with him.
- USA (11885)
Fathers want their children to turn out to become good and strong adults. But fathers are especially tough on their sons, because they hope that they will be perfect. There is also a point where the father does not realize his children are growing up and have minds of their own. Some fathers can be 70 years old and be criticizing their 50-year old son as if he was a child.
One big problem is that criticizing the son or daughter too much does not make them strong. Instead, it can ruin their self-esteem and lower their confidence. You can see the damage it it is doing to you.
While you are living with your parents, you need to establish a thick skin. Do not pay heed to your father's criticism. It is only his opinion and it may be incorrect. Instead, be aware of your own talents and be internally proud of the work you do. Sometimes it does not pay to show others what you have done, because they will only criticize it. This is why many youths are secretive to their parents about what they do.
Observe and study your father's personality. It sounds like he is a person who must always win and thinks he is always right. You can still love your father and try to obey him, but knowing his personality, you can realize that it does not pay to argue with him. Sometimes it is better to listen and agree, just to avoid an argument, but then you go out and do what you thought was right anyway. Of course, you need to be careful and use some strategies to make sure things don't get worse.
It is a difficult problem that I hope will diminish as you get older. I hope these ideas help.
I want to be a journalist, but I am quite shy
August 10, 2006
i want to be a journalist but i am quite shy in front of my classes in school. i want to build up my confidence as i really want to be a journalist! can you think of anything i can do to help me gain more confidence please?
emma - UK (11684)
The most important part of being a journalist is to be good at writing down the facts that is interesting and does not include your personal views.
A news reporter will interview people to get information on what happened. That requires skill in asking the correct questions and in careful listening. Such an interviewer may be very shy to speak to a group but will be good at one-on-one conversations. But also she should not be someone who talks too much and doesn't get the story from the other person.
Finally, being a good writer and good interviewer may lead to being a news commentator. That person mainly needs a good voice and to be able to read the script.
Knowing that you have the necessary journalistic skills--or being enthusiastic about the subject--will give you confidence in being able to tell others about it, like in front of a class.
We plan to act a section on journalism in our Writing lessons. Also, for speaking to your class, see out section on Public Speaking.
Best wishes in your journalism career.
Fears the nightclub scene
August 8, 2006
hi. i have no other choice but to believe i have a strange phobia. my problem is this, almost everyone i know, including my girlfriend, enjoys going out clubbing. Even thinking about going makes me get nervous and uncomfortable. i have no idea where this comes from. i am not a fan or drinking, dancing, dance music etc and i always put it down to this, but i cant help feeling that it is something more. i cant say i have had many really bad experiences on the few occasions that i have forced myself to go. it makes no sense to me. i feel that i might lose people due to never going out, but i just cant bring myself to do it. i have lost track of the amount of times i have sat down with my mate and tried to get to the bottom of my total hatred and fear of the club scene. and we never do.... any ideas? i originally thought possibly agoraphobia, but i dont have a problem with busy places, its just clubs/pubs. it just seems to be focussed on places that are drink orientated. as you may have guessed, i dont like how drink makes people act and i dont like being around it. any help would be appreciated. cheers. steve
steve - Scotland, UK (11667)
Different people like different things. Some just love to go clubbing with the the loud music, smoke and activity. But there are others who would prefer some more quiet situation with conversation among friends. And others love to go to sporting events and cheer on their teams.
An unfortunate thing is if you get into a group that loves doing something that you don't actually hate. Clubbing is somewhat of a thing that younger adults are "supposed to do" because it is fun. Thus many go out clubbing just because everyone else is doing. Instead, they'd rather be doing something else.
I wouldn't worry about any fear of the clubbing experience. It just is not your thing.
What you need to do is to find out what sort of activities you really enjoy doing. What do you think would be a good way to spend an evening? Don't be influenced by what others want to do. Find out your area of enjoyment, and then get some friends who enjoy doing the same thing.
You may stop associating with your old friends as much, but you've got to be yourself and please yourself by doing things you enjoy.
I hope these ideas help.
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