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How can I feel confident and communicate successfully?

heart to heart The questioner's philosophy
I am Buddhist. I do believe in God.
The questioner's hopes and aspirations
I want to be successful in life.
I am an introvert and I always find problems in dealing with people. I am very emotional. People always find it hard to talk to me as I don't talk much which irritates them. I am having the same problem with my husband, that's why he decided to separate. I am always scared of people. And I think I can't talk and convince others. I think I am not intelligent enough and a dumbo.

Well I have a twin sister - she is exactly opposite to me. She is talkative, bold, beautiful and our relatives always praise and adore her more. They always compare both of us. So from my childhood I have had the feeling of inferiority. I don't have many friends. I am very emotional. I start crying if someone criticizes me. Everyone says that I am not mature. I don't know how to nurture that maturity in me.

I had secured first position in college and also received an award of good student but it was just on my performance in exams, it was just mugging. When I was in school I was not able to see clearly what was written on the board so I was not at all getting what was being taught. I told my parent about this problem to it was but it was too late. The number I got in the beginning for eyes was -4.75. So that's why my basics are weak.

The only concern I have is communicating with people and feeling confident about myself. I don't understand what to talk about and how to talk. When I try to talk people usually don't listen to me. I always get bogged down by critical situations. I am short tempered - whenever I get angry I don't talk to people for a long time, and that makes them angry. So kindly help me.

Wallace's reply
Wallace You may not talk to others but you are certainly talking to yourself all the time. I want you to learn to watch your own mind working. What is it telling you about yourself? I could guess a few of your inner dialogue comments:
I'm no good.
I'm worse than everyone else.
I am a dumbo.
I am stupid.
I have nothing interesting to say.
My opinion is worthless.
If your internal dialogue is similar to this I want to ask you a simple question - would you carry on a dialogue with a friend of yours and constantly tell her these things about herself. No you would not. And if you did your friend would loose affection for you and soon dump you. So why give yourself such discouraging comments? By doing so you are losing affection for yourself - you are alienating yourself from yourself - a state of inner turmoil and self loathing. No wonder you lack confidence and find it difficult to talk to others.

So the first thing I want you to focus on is to spend a week observing the way you "talk" to yourself. To do this, simply watch your mind as if it belonged to someone else. Don't interfere, don't try to change anything, simply watch. Carry a little notebook around in your handbag and when you catch your mind telling you something, write it down. Why am I asking you to do this? Because in watching your mind working and in discovering what you are telling yourself, you are learning about your relationship with the most important person in your life - yourself! You are BEING aware.

You say your hopes and aspirations are to "be successful in life". Notice the first word in that statement I have put in italics, "BE successful in life". To find success you must first change your WAY OF BEING. Many of us try and change life from the outside. We try and make our life a success "out there". We do this because we want what is out there to be great, special and full of promise. It is good and healthy for us to want the best for ourselves (and others) but how can this happen.

To understand how this happens we must see how as human BEINGS we create our life. Most of us want something wonderful "out there" so we try to create this by doing something and often what we do does not work. Why? Because we haven't looked at the source of how we can be successful. Being successful has three aspects, how we are being, what we are doing, and what we have as a result of what we do. And we need to see and understand them in that order - BE, DO, HAVE. The foundation is our WAY OF BEING.

So what can we do to improve our WAY OF BEING, DO the right thing and then HAVE what we need? By writing down your current way of being, represented by your internal dialogue (what you are always telling yourself), you become more aware. Once you become aware, you can take action to change your internal dialogue, and in so doing change your relationship with yourself.

So the first step is SELF AWARENESS. The second step is to be followed once you have practiced self awareness. The second step is to change your internal dialogue. A good way to do this is through affirmations. It's important not to resist your corrosive internal dialogue, but instead to simply replace it with a positive affirmation. Affirmations you could use are as follows:

  • I always know intuitively the right course of action
  • I can be happy and successful
  • At any moment I can receive the answer to my problem, etc.

I suggest you create some positive affirmations that suit your own needs - create affirmations that describe the kind of person you would ideally like to BE and replace your unhelpful existing internal dialogue with them. Affirmations should be realistic and tell the truth, and celebrate your inner potential.

The way your internal dialogue currently "speaks" to you is a reflection of decisions you made about yourself when you were young. For example when relatives compared you to your sister and praised her and not you, you may have made a decision that you were not good enough. However you are now an adult, with adult capability and wisdom. You can see through these early childhood decisions you made about yourself and replace them with a much more positive and constructive relationship with yourself through the power of newly created affirmations.

I wish you well in your newfound growth and evolution into BEING the wonderful, talented, unique and special woman that you are.

recommended If you would like further help and support in having more confidence while commutating, I recommend you consider buying our top recommendation for improving your self esteem, the Core Inner Strength - 2 CD Set. Among other benefits this audio course will empower you to:

  • Feel more comfortable in social situations
  • Handle confrontations more easily
  • Experience a sense of inner comfort and relaxation
  • Handle criticism more positively
  • Assert yourself naturally
  • No longer rely on approval from others

By following this advice, and through the support of our recommended course if you need it, you will achieve your aspiration and BE successful in life.

Read more questions on this topic


Steffi Travis, June 2009, comments
I'm simply going to offer practical and frankly, simple advice. I run a small nonprofit that helps unemployed people get back to work.

Research the companies where you are interviewing. KNOW the mission statement, main product/service, # of sites, # of employees, who is the CEO, etc. So many people go to interviews with little to no knowledge about the company. You are wasting time if you spend your entire interview being told about the company or not incorporating your new found knowledge insto your interview answers to questions.

Get out of your home every day at the same time; I coach - by 9am you should be on the road - just like a real job. Commit at least 3 hours to job searches. Record your progress. And FOLLOW-UP immediately after the interview with a written thank you note. Not an e-mail unless it's a techie job.

Be dressed professionally at ALL times (even going to the grocery store). Take your resume with you and create your own business card so you can hand it off at every new encounter. Go to church? Take your resume with you and tell everyone you know that you are looking for work.

Be face to face. I know it is tempting to be on-line and in chat rooms about being unemployed. But employers are looking for people with initiative and nothing beats face to face interactions. And you want to know the environment before you interview. Map out the area, know the drive time, what else is in the community? This will help during your interview.

If you are involved in a string of interviews that are not bringing results; then you might not be as trained in interviewing as you think you are. So, go on-line and pull up top 100 interview questions. Pick 10 and work on them. Write down your answers. Read your answers out loud; Invite friends over to drill you on your answers. You are not looking for friends who say, "yeah, you did a great job." Rather you want people who will give you honest feedback from their perspective. They don't have to be HR professionals. Most people interviewing you for jobs have had little professional training in how to interview. Practice makes perfect and the more your articulate your answers the more you will discover about yourself.

TODAY, get out and VOLUNTEER at an agency or entity where you have passion and/or can advance a skill for yourself; and or use your skills and expertise to fill a gap at that agency.

Nena, June 2009, comments:
"Well I have a twin sister - she is exactly opposite to me. She is talkative, bold, beautiful and our relatives always praise and adore her more. They always compare both of us."

People always compare twins. We do it because we want to know who is who. To help us distinguish among two individuals, we use polarities: outgoing - shy, talkative - silent, bold - cautious, and so on. This is not very accurate, nor fair for the twins, but that's how we do it.

Problem here is that you and your sister have adopted other people's views and started playing roles described by polarities which were aimed to help them to temporarily describe the difference between you and your sister. You know that family and close friends can imidiately recognize you and your sister, and you can not fool them.

Being one of the twins, you should always remind yourself that you and your sister are pretty much the same; so if you say that "She is exactly opposite to me. She is talkative, bold, beautiful...", you are describing part of you which you keep inside and probably show to your closest friends.

What you show to everybody else is your sister's hidden side known only to some of her friends. I know three couplets of twins, and they are generally playing roles just like you and your sister. Maybe it is their way to express their individuality.

You can do whatever your sister does. You have the same abilities. She will do it better because she has a lifetime practice, and you are beginner. Don't let it stop you, you can learn from her and avoid her mistakes.

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