‘Insights for your Innerspring’
“Build Confidence and Destroy Fear”
Chapter 3 from ‘The Magic of Thinking BIG’ by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Is fear real? Dr. Schwartz seems to think so, and he feels that “we must recognize it exists before we can conquer it.” He continues to put forward his point that “most fear today is psychological. Worry, tension, embarrassment, panic all stem from mismanaged, negative imagination … fear is success’ enemy number one.”
We can’t escape the results of fear that we see in our lives and all around us. Once we accept that this emotion does exist we can take steps to destroy fear and build confidence. If we are to make any inroads into conquering fear we must recognize that “all confidence is acquired or developed.” Over time, and with careful attention, we build the muscle of confidence. And just like the foremen in our thought factory, Mr. Triumph and Mr. Defeat; when we give our focus to building confidence we make him stronger while fear grows increasingly weaker.
Dr. Schwartz says “action cures fear,” while”indecision and postponement, on the other hand, fertilize fear.” What is it that you have been planning to do? You must act now! Continued postponement and indecision will encourage fear; bring about the failure disease called “excusitis” and cause frustration to take up a long-term lease in your house! You owe it to yourself to act now! Action does cure fear!
Dr. Schwartz gives several examples of what kind of action to take to conquer fear. In the case of “embarrassment because of personal appearance” he suggests “Improve it. Go to a barbershop or beauty salon. Shine your shoes. Get your clothes cleaned and pressed. In general, practice better grooming. It does not always take new clothes.” In the case of “fear or what other people may think and say,” he suggests “make sure that what you plan to do is right. Then do it. No one ever does anything worthwhile for which he is not criticized.”
As mentioned earlier we must, indeed, be careful of the kinds of actions we take in life, as our actions can either aid the growth of fear or decrease it. In addition, our thinking must be pointed in a certain direction to enable us to continue to see positive results. If we pledge to take action and think more confidently today, we can’t think negatively and drop back into the rut of excuses tomorrow. This will confuse the mind, and the little progress that was being made on your behalf will be nullified by the anti-action of negative thought that came just hours or days later. “Successful people specialize in putting positive thoughts into their memory bank”, while “negative thoughts produce needless wear and tear on your mental motor.” Some people have no regard for how much damage they do to their minds on a daily basis.
The constant repetition of mind-numbing music, empty words, unflattering images, pointless conversations and loose associations all take a toll on our ‘thought factory’ and causes it to produce from the templates that it is given. No wonder so many try in futility to suddenly change their lives by drastic measures. They fail to realize that the state they created over many months or years of neglect cannot be restored overnight.
Dr. Schwartz quoted the great psychologist Dr. George W. Crane from his famous book ‘Applied Psychology’, as saying “Remember, motions are the precursors of emotions. You can’t control the latter directly but only through your choice of motions or actions …” In short, “we can change our attitudes by changing our physical actions.” Years ago in the groundbreaking program “Where There’s a Will There’s an ‘A’ ”, the facilitators said that changing one’s position in the classroom could positively affect one’s grades. They also went on to say that direct eye contact with the presenter increases retention and that if one would tilt forward about 45 degrees when the lecturer is speaking, the brain is triggered to become more alert and as a consequence is open to receive the instruction that is being given.
This is similar to the aggressive posturing of a wild cat getting ready to pursue its prey. I work with young people and their actions speak so loudly, yet they do not realize it. At our weekly youth meetings, many of them sit at the back of the hall or next to the walls. This shows their insecurity and vulnerability as well as their lack of confidence. Sitting up front builds confidence! Confident action produces confident thinking. Mental attitudes are changed by adjusting one’s posture and speed of movement, and the way people move is a direct result of what’s going on in their minds.
Dr. Schwartz puts forth 5 procedures to build confidence and destroy fear:
- Action cures fear.
- Make a supreme effort to put only positive thoughts in your memory bank.
- Put people in proper perspective.
- Practice doing what your conscience tells you is right.
- Make everything about you say, “I am confident, really confident.” Practice these little techniques in your day-to-day activities:
- Be a front seater
- Make eye contact
- Walk 25% faster
- Speak up
- Smile big
The Innerspring Toolbox provides resources for readers that can assist in their studies, their businesses or in their own personal development. Enjoy!