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.
|Father calls her unattractive||Don't Lower Esteem||USA|
|Fear is controlling his life||Fear||USA|
|Wants to excel in BMX jumping||Confidence||USA|
|Trying to gain confidence with socializing||Confidence||Canada|
|How can I look more friendly?||Confidence||UK|
|Does believing in God reduce your confidence?||Confidence||INDIA|
|I'm attractive but feel inadequate||Confidence||UK|
|Getting discouraged in college||Confidence||Bermuda|
|Suffers because of others' words||Confidence||india|
|Having trouble speaking English||Confidence||Austria|
|Freak out when with friends||Confidence||UK|
|Empowered by walking on fire||Firewalk||USA|
|Wants to overcome the fear of water and swimming||Fear||USA|
|Anxious about dealing with girls||Confidence||USA|
Father calls her unattractive
October 31, 2005
What do you do when the person putting you down is your own father? How can you get past it when he tells you you're unattractive?
Pat - USA (8769)
You wonder why would a father say something like that to his daughter? It is completely unacceptable behavior to tell ANYONE they are unattractive, especially your own flesh and blood. Even if you were a step-daughter, that is not the right thing to say.
The first thing you need to do is to realize that your father has some internal problem. He may be taking it out on you.
The next thing to realize is that he doesn't know what he is talking about. He married your mother, who he thought was good-looking. You all have a family resemblance.
If you are old enough to be on your own, you can just tell him to mind his own business, if he says it again. Tell him you don't want to be around someone that talks bad about you.
If you are still dependent on your parents and are living at home, you just need to turn a deaf ear to what he says. Consider the source and realize he has some problems.
But the long and the short of it is that it is not good to be in an environment where someone is making toxic remarks to you. It is tough enough for the average person to maintain his or her self-esteem. So you don't want someone dragging you down.
It is a difficult situation and a sad one. Take a look at yourself and what you can do. You know you have a lot of potential and beauty. Just don't let him or anyone else drag you down.
I hope things work out. I hope he will realize what he is doing is wrong and harmful. Just keep working on building your esteem to overcome this problem.
Fear is controlling his life
October 30, 2005
hello, thank you!
fear is controling my life, i have fear of commitment, fear of strating a family, fear of continue my schooling , fear to bye a house and fear of not making it in life.
i work hard and a i save my money and i feel that i have a great job and i love my job but, that's about it. i work 40 hrs a week and i know i can open a busniess and i know i will be sucess, but i am fraid of failing, i am just afraid and i am very tired of being that way, i am really tired!!!!!!!!!!!
i need a sloution please help me.
Hashim - USA (8743)
Former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Too much fear can disable a person. But consider a soldier in a war. He has so much fear that he will be killed in battle. But many can block out the fear and move forward.
The fear of failing and being humiliated can almost be more than the fear of death. But failing is only when you give up. You must look at any failure as simply a set-back and a learning experience. Life is about learning. A person does not get stronger unless he fails and must bounce back.
One thing to realize is that no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Unless you take a chance, you can never move forward. A mistake or a set-back can provide a lesson not to do that again. Only in death is there no second chance. If you fail in school, you can always take a different class or subject. If you buy the wrong house, you may lose money but you can always earn more.
Any time you make a mistake or do not achieve a goal, look at it and tell yourself the corrective action.
If you look at people who have their own business, most of them have tried to start several businesses and have failed until they found the right one. Be aware of that, so you won't get discouraged.
The big thing is not think in terms of failure or mistakes. Always think of them simply as set-backs and learning experiences. Once you get in that mind-set, things will open up for you.
Best wishes on changing your way of looking at things and in becoming a success. I know that you will become a champion.
Wants to excel in BMX jumping
October 20, 2005
I love the way you break down things and explain them. Great website!!! I was just wondering if you could give some more examples of how to use the three steps, and explain the three steps a little more. Also, when breaking tasks into smaller ones, how small do you need to go? Also, can you help me with this problem of mine? I ride bmx, and I have a lot of big gaps to jump that I just made in my yard. How can I become confident in jumping big jumps? Thank you for any help that you can give me.
J - USA (8630)
Starting off small and building your confidence as you increase the distance and difficulty of your jumps is the the way to go. But that is looking at what you do in a simple fashion. The more you practice and take more difficult jumps the better you get a sense of the speed necessary and the control of the bike.
Taking a spill is actually good, because it is very important to know how to fall. I've heard of competitors who purposely practiced taking spills, so that they had the feeling of what to do. In that way, they built up their confidence even more.
Acknowledging your success means giving yourself positive self-talk, just as a good coach would do to encourage you. If you make a mistake or have a bad day, don't get into the trap of self-criticism. Instead, say, "Do it this way next time." Keep your self-talk positive and constructive.
Now when you are considering doing bigger jumps, visualize yourself doing that jump. Visualize the speed you should be going and how you will feel going through the air and landing. Start trying this visualization with the jumps you know you can do, just to get the hang of it. This is a technique that is taught to top professional athletes. They can see in their mind's eye scoring a goal or hitting a home run.
With good preparation for taking a spill if you goof-up, building up your confidence, and getting the feeling of doing it, stretch yourself and try a much harder jump.
I hope these ideas help. Best wishes in your sport. I'm sure you will become a champion.
Trying to gain confidence with socializing
October 7, 2005
I'm a grade 10 student and I'm trying to gain confidence with socializing with my classmates. I see a lot of other students talking and just having fun with people our age each day, but I feel so self-consious to what I say to other people. I try hard in school and I want other people to know that I'm also interested in socializing. I like to have conversation topics in my head before I see people I'm not comfortable with, but I find it hard coming up with topics. I'm just wondering if you have any advice?
- Canada (8450)
The very first thing to do is just to try to be friendlier with your fellow students. If you just greet others with something like, "Hi. How are you doing?" it can help to break the ice. Also, it is good to get to know the names of others. Greeting is a good way to let others know you are interested in socializing, but yet it does not require you to know what to say.
The second thing to do is to join in and listen while others are talking. Once you get an idea of what is interesting to them, you can join in on that topic. Students are much more interested in talking about themselves and what they like than in hearing someone else's topics.
Once you get to know someone, you can bring up things that are interesting to you. But note that it seems that many people don't care to talk about interesting topics. You need to be lucky to find someone with the same interests as you. That is usually a good friend.
Don't press. If you seem too anxious, others will back off. Just show a friendly face and soon others will let you join in on their conversations.
Best wishes in having a good time socializing with your classmates.
How can I look more friendly?
October 6, 2005
How would i go about looking approachable instead of angry as some say they feel intimidated by my normal face. Please help me as i would like to look friendly as i genuinlely do.
- UK (8446)
Every emotion is expressed on your face. For example, when you are sad, your face looks sad. But what is interesting is that if you make an emotional face, you actually feel that emotion inside. Thus if you make a sad face, you will feel a little sad inside. If you have an angry expression on your face, your body reacts slightly as if you were angry. That is not good for your health and can cause stress in the long-run.
If other people think you have an angry look on your face, it is probably due to a bad habit of frowning or such. Look at some pictures of yourself to see how often you look too serious, look like you are in a hurry or look angry. These would have to be pictures where you aren't posing for the camera. If nothing else, get a friend to take some pictures of you when you seem to look that way. It would be good for you to realize what others are seeing.
You don't want to walk around with a constant smile, like a clown, but you do want to be able to turn on the charm when needed. Try to get a relaxed expression on your face. Let all of your facial muscles relax. Every time you catch yourself with your facial muscles tightening up, remind yourself to relax them. Glance at yourself when you pass a mirror to make sure you done have a frown or such.
Then when you see someone you know, break into a smile to say hello. Practice doing that and soon it will become second nature. Try it out in the mirror to see what looks natural and not faked.
When you talk with people, try not to go into the serious look on your face. Sometimes people get so intense in conversations that they actually look angry, even if they aren't.
Anyway, just remind yourself to relax your facial muscles. Then go from the relaxed face to a smile when you greet people.
Best wishes in getting lots of new friends.
Does believing in God reduce your confidence?
September 29, 2005
Is the believe in God, makes one less confident. He think that the goal that he has accomplished is by the help of GOD. Is there any true in such a statement.
Prasanth - INDIA (8337)
Confidence is being sure you can achieve a goal. Believing in God can make a person more confident, because he will feel more sure of being able to achieve a goal with the extra help. Having God or some friend help you achieve a goal does not diminish you. To succeed you use all the resources you can.
I'm attractive but feel inadequate
September 26, 2005
i am an attractive girl an i know this but i feel somehow inadequate as i dnt feel as if i give out the correct view of myself, i would like to know how i could do this as i am genuinely a kind and loving person and would like to know how i could become a little more confident in myself so that i could fulfill my full potential
tia - UK (8307)
First of all, take the attractive girl part out of the equation. Although being attractive is a bonus, you really want to be known for what you can do and the type of person you are.
Think of things you can do and skills you have. Think of some achievements you have had--even small things that no one knew about. You can even write all of this down as a list to look at later. When you start looking at your capabilities, without judging them, you can realize you have a lot going for you.
Now think of the interactions you have had with people. Have you helped anyone? Have you helped your parents? Some children? Old people? You friends? Do you even listen to someone else's troubles? These are valuable skills and traits to have. Give yourself a pat on the back for them.
Note that the best way to give out the correct impression of yourself to others is to be truly interested in them. That is like gold.
Feeling inadequate means you don't think you reach some standard or are as good as others. But most standards are artifical and why be in competition with anyone? You want to be yourself and accept yourself.
The biggest thing about this is what you tell yourself. Always put your self-talk in positive terms. If you do feel you messed up on something, simply state that you need to improve there, as opposed to saying something negative.
I hope these ideas help you get your confidence and self-esteem going again. You know you are a champion and that others can think of you that way too.
Getting discouraged in college
September 21, 2005
I am a 37 year old female who is currently persuing a career in Business and Management. At this present moment my self esteem and confidenceto seems be low. I am having doubts in my mind that I can't finish this program to gain my Bachelor Degree.
Do you have any idea/s on how I can build up my self esteem and confidence to get on the right track of achieving my goal.
Your assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.
wendy - Bermuda (8219)
You must be getting some negative feedback from your classes such as lower grades than you expect and difficulty keeping up. That would typically redue your confidence and self-esteem concerning the classwork.
At 37, it is more difficult to get into the study routine than it is for someone 20 years old, since you probably also have other obligations and activities.
One thing to do is to improve your study habits. You want to study smarter and not harder. See our section on Tricks for Good Grades for some ideas.
Another thing to do is to take a look at your schedule. Perhaps you need to back off on the number of classes you are taking, so that you can have more time to get good grades in important classes. It might take a little longer to get your degree, but it is much better than feeling that you can't make it.
You can also check into getting a tutor on occasion to help in difficult areas.
These ideas will help you perform better. Once you start doing better your confidence will build up. Don't forget that you are among the elite in simply going to college in your course. That should build your esteem. Above all, don't give up. Just re-adjust.
I hope these idea help you become a champion in business and management.
Suffers because of others' words
September 16, 2005
generally i take things l in easy way some times i feel for unnesscary things wasting my time about it,why it happened ,i am suffering for sake of others words.
my aim to take things in lighter way .if it is possible i will be happy man on earth.so please helpme how to take things easier and not to suffer because of others unnnescary words.
nishanth - india (8144)
No one needs to have others insult or criticize them. That is a toxic input that you do not want, because it can lower your confidence, esteem and performance. Avoid people who complain too much and especially those who will criticize you or make fun of you. They are not friends. They are just rude.
But also consider the source. These people think poorly of themselves, so they try to build themselves up by bringing down others. Pity them, but also seek out positive people with whom to associate.
One important person to give you praise and encouragement is yourself. Do not brag to others, but acknowledge your good work and skills to yourself. When you do what you enjoy and are proud of your work, you become happier. Also, if others give you support, it increases your joy.
Best wishes in being a champion in life.
Having trouble speaking English
September 15, 2005
hello i am altan
nowadays i m in abroad as an exchange student.my department is electronics engineering.my courses have not started yet.i am staying in a dormitory.there are alot of exchange students.but i have a problem about speaking english.because i m very shy and i can not communicate with anybody. i want to gain self confidance please help me about this subject.
altan - Austria (8131)
Realize that many other exchange feel the same way. It is not easy to speak in a foreign language and takes much practice. One thing that may help you is the fact that we have all our famous speeches both in text and audio. You can listen to the words and read the text. It is good to read the text aloud and then check to hear how well you did.
We also have about 1/3 of our Physical Science lessons with audio.
When you do communicate well to someone in English, give yourself silent praise as encouragement. When you have problems, vow to improve. I am sure you will soon be an English-speaking champion.
Freak out when with friends
September 10, 2005
im having a terrible problem with confidence;
whenever im around my friends i freak out and all i can decribe it as is stupid and acting brain damage.
please can you help me cure this
Liam - UK (8069)
Start off by checking how talented and skilled you are in things. Make a list of different things you can do well, plus list things you've accomplished and are proud of. This is who you really are. Now you need to create a better impression with your friends.
The thing is that your friends now expect you to act crazy and may even have a negative opinion of you as someone not too bright. Don't try to impress them by freaking out. You don't need to do that.
For a while, keep a low profile with your friends. Don't try to get them to laugh or anything. Soon they may accept the "new you."
Whenever you achieve something, even something small, give yourself a pat on the back and say, "Good job." This will affirm you are capable and should improve your confidence.
Above all, you want to create an impression to others that you are valuable and capable.
Empowered by walking on fire
August 22, 2005
I walked on Fire on August 19, 2005 it was the most amazing that I can express to know that you have faced the Fire and walked with in it, it empowers you to no end. You feel and know after Walking on Fire that you have the ability to overcome all fears, and can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Oh it was such an empowering time, I walked on Fire that night 3 times, which was my first Fire Walk of many to come.
Rev> Ralph Broome CHT,MH, (AKA:Fire Walker)
Ralph - USA (7852)
Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, it is a real kick. I can still vividly remember my experiece as a fire walker.
Wants to overcome the fear of water and swimming
August 15, 2005
I almost drowned when I fell in a creek at age 5. I never delt with the fear nor did I learn to swim. Now I am getting my certification to be an Water Aerobic Instructor and have to learn to swim. I am putting my head under water and trying to breath out under water. I am terified of trying to float. As long as I have my feet on the bottom ofthe pool I am OK.
Maggie - USA (7791)
It is good that your certification will force you to learn to swim. Now you have the motivation to overcome your challenge. I, too, had been frightened of deep water when I was young and never learned to swim.
Finally, in college I decided I needed to overcome my fear. I started by doing the dog paddle, but only in water shallow enough where I could stand, After I had enough confidence in the dog paddle, I started to try to swim a regular stroke. Still, it was only in shallow water.
That summer, several friends and I rented a cottage on a lake. They didn't know I was afraid to swim. I vowed to myself that I would swim. The next morning I got up at 6 am, while the guys were still sleeping, I went over to the pier and jumped in the water and swam to a nearby raft. Then I swam back. It was quite a thrill to get that monkey off my back and overcome that fear!
Try the dog paddle in shallow water, keeping your head above the water. That is a good way to start and build your confidence to being able to float and swim the regular way. Work way up a little at a time until you can take the plunge and swim in deep water. I know you can do it!
Best wishes in learning to swim. Let me know how things turn out.
August 13, 2005
To whomever is concerned,
Your idea and feedback on confidence is thorough and true. However, there is just a tad I would like to parlay.
It is in my belief that confidence is located in all of us. No one does truly lack confidence, on the contrary, they have the confidence in them, but it may be flattened out or unenthusiastic to expose itself. Why? Well, certify me to explain:
Not all the people who who walk this earth are kind, encouraging beings. Therefore, when someone may complete a task, they can be brought down, picked upon, and gossiped about. This makes the confidence leak, and cease. I am one of those people who have gotten my own confidence lowered. In that time, I was so frightened to approach anyone in fear of what they may conceive of me. I was not proud of myself; I followed the word of what people called me. "Wild". "Weird". "Loser". I began to think this of myself, and began to think that all people around me would think the same.
But. My confidence was triggered. I attended a summer school one year of my life and met amazingly confident and encouraging people there. I wanted to be like them. Yet, to previous incidents, I was afraid to approach them and make conversation. They, however, spoke to me and stood up for me when my grades were being gossiped about by two accademically-involved kids. And how much better did I feel! Slowly my confidence did build. Those words of what people thought of me? Oh, it's not true! I am well-liked by some, disliked by others. I then remembered all my friends I have supporting me, all my family, all of those wonderful compliments said to me. And then I thought of those few awful words said to my face or aimed at my back. And I knew then that the good ones outweighed the bad by much. It is quite astonishing how a few hurtful words can lower such confidence.
It is the people that can lower confidence, too. People have the power to both arouse the confidence lurking inside of you and boost it sky high, or they may spit upon it, stab it, and lower it to such an extent it can take so long to bring up again. People are responsible for whatever may happen upon this earth. They are responsible for others feelings, happiness, saddness, anxiety. Why not their confidence?
What I want people to apperceive is that not everything people say are said in truth. Everyone looks at another in a manner that differs; all feelings differentiate from the other. Everyone has been littered with compliments and feelings of great blessedness, and everyone has had at least a few tomatoes of atrocious, terrible words thrown nonchalantly at them. Unfortunatley, the bad always seem to outweigh the good, but it is always the other way around, just like all the abhorrent, appalling things that occur in the word outweigh the ones of bliss.
People should open their minds, open their hearts, and open to the world with a smile and encouragement. No one should ever have a lonesome, deep feeling with confidence being a rock and resting at the bottom of the soul.
This is what I want people to know.
- USA (7783)
Thanks for your thoughts and for sharing your experience. Note that confidence and esteem are related and go hand-in-hand. Confidence is how sure you are that you can do something, while esteem is your view of your self-worth. You can be confident that you can do a task, but someone may put you down and say what you did was worthless. That can affect your opinion and esteem and can also affect how sure you are about doing that task again.
I agree that we all should open our hearts and minds with positive thoughts and words to others. But also, I try to avoid those who spread toxic opinions.
Best wishes in moving onward and upward.
Anxious about dealing with girls
July 28, 2005
Hey how are you ? First of all thank you for this free web page with such valuble information on sef confidence. I tend to have a lot of anxiety , which even prevents me from getting together with the opposite sex. Do you have any advice , if the issue is to big to discuss , I understand , and thank you for your time..Have a good day !!!
David - USA (7651)
A good place to start to build up your esteem and confidence is to take a look at all the skills and accomplishements you have achieved. Make a list of your talents and positive attributes. I am sure you will find there are things you can do that are beyond the average person. Give youself a pat on the back for that.
The way to have good relationships with girls is to start trying to be friendly to everyone--both guys and girls. Just saying "Hi" to people, with no strings attached is a good first step.
Observe what various girls like or are interested in. Then perhaps ask the girl a question about the subject, to gain some knowledge or information. Girls like to tell about their interests. This will help you become friends with the girl, but still don't think in terms of asking for a date or such for a while. Instead, build up your confidence in befriending girls. Once you are friends, you can get more involved.
This is a better method than simply being bold or such. There is not the pressure of possible rejection, since you are only trying to be friendly. If your personalities click, then you can get involved.
I hope these ideas help. Best wishes in getting rid of your anxieties and doing well with the opposite sex.
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