Monthly Archives: September 2007

Do you know a Confidence-Sapper?

The people who you have the most contact with and hang around will have either a positive or negative affect on your levels of self-esteem and confidence.

We all know those people who are positive, happy and joyful to be around.

How do they make you feel?

Yes, they make you feel the same! They can put zest into a boring atmosphere and can fill the room with positive, can-do vibes that have a ripple effect on everyone else.

We also know those people who could make great “Wendy Whiners” or “Debbie Downers” (characters from SNL – Saturday Night Live TV sketches!).

They say they never had the opportunities, they are always putting people down, they don’t like others to be successful, they are jealous and are negative thinkers – need I go on? They are like crabs in a bucket – pulling down anyone reaching for the top.

These people drain your energy and bring you down to their level, a million miles away from the level that YOU want to be operating on.

The interesting thing is, many of these confidence-sappers are not malicious. Many times they do not realize that they are so negative, and that they are annoying you. Some feel they are “realists”, but we tend to think they are clearly “pessimists.”

You have to ask yourself a big question – what happens to my level of confidence and optimism when I am inundated with their rainy cloud or critical attitude?

It will more than likely wear you down, and worse yet, you may even adopt their language, gestures and view. This scares me!

So what should you do to make sure that the people who you hang around with empower and support what you stand for rather than bring you down all of the time?

1 – You have the power to choose who you hang around with. Ideally you want happy, vibrant and positive people. Make sure they outweigh any party-poopers.

2 – If you have good friends who are negative constantly and yet you still want to hang around them, make a point of letting them know how you feel – if they are a true friend they will respect you for this. If they are negative from time to time just acknowledge that this is what they are like and block out the negativity. Some may appreciate you letting them know that they complain too much.

3 – The same can be said with family. Your more mature family members have behaviours that have been conditioned for years and years and from different eras. Appreciate where they have come from and as in number 2 above, elicit and select the information that filters through to your brain.

4 – Remember, that nothing has meaning in life except the meaning that you give it. You have the power to accept or not accept criticism, negativity and most comments directed at you. Do not allow yourself to feel like a ‘victim’ and instead be a person in-charge and in control. Filter everything around you, and choose carefully what you wish to believe, and always consider the source. Not just the person or persons, but the potential reasons why they would say or do such confidence-sapping things.

I feel so strongly about this issue of preserving your self-confidence that I run a unique coaching course on confidence-building. The focus is on communicating your confidence – inside and out – and will have you learning how to walk, talk, act and dress for confident success! We also sell the course workbook as an ebook on this site. 🙂  If you want to learn how to block out negativity, change your attitude and be more confident, take advantage of the training.