The magic of thinking offers plenty of intakes on how we should shape our thoughts to trigger empowering beliefs. Presented by David J. Schwartz, the magic of thinking is a best-selling book; it offers many useful strategies and tools to equip the reader in overcoming fear and becoming confident.
In this article, I’ll summarise the main ideas and help spread the message that is expressed within this book. I read this book earlier this year, so it was nice to come back and distil some of the influential ideas from this book. I’m going to paraphrase to a certain extent and include my own experiences. Please assume all other substantive ideas are acquired from the book.
- This summarisation is biased and is based on my perception.
- Any errors or omissions are my own.
The cure to building confidence is overcoming your fear. Take time to write down what are you afraid. It helps provide clarity in visualising your fear. Take action against that fear; building confidence is a means of becoming comfortable around that fear.
For example, “if you’re afraid of public speaking”.
Write down why you’re afraid of it, what opportunities you should practice becoming comfortable with that fear. Possible solutions – leading a presentation, speaking in workshops, volunteer as a student ambassador to lead a group.
Isolate your fear. Pin it down and enjoy your newfound confidence.
Five confidence building exercises
Be a front seater – don’t isolate yourself or hideout at the back of a classroom. Expose yourself
Practice making eye contact – It’s easier to achieve this while you’re listening. Focus making eye contact on just one eye. I have always found it helpful when I’m practising this on people who are taller than me or who exude a greater degree of confidence than myself. If you get interrupted with statements like “What are you looking at?”. Use your charm – ‘Smile’ and possible suggest ‘my bad, I thought you were an old acquaintance of mine’.
Walk 25% faster – Avoid slovenly posture and sluggish walking, which can be seen as an unpleasant attitude towards oneself, work and people around you.
Practice speaking up – I see speaking up like a muscle, that needs constant practise to become stronger. Consider the following practices to heighten your “speaking up muscle” like leading presentations, being a chaperon during college tours or becoming a member of a book club.
Smile Big – it’s empowering when you look at something that’s challenging and your first response is to ‘Smile’ and have that mindset – ‘I got you’.
Building Morning Motivation
I recently came across this statement – you make it or break it between 5-7am. Consider a 10 minutes practice before commencing your day and ask yourself the following:
- How can I do a better job today?
- What can I do today to encourage my employees?
- What special favor can I do for my customers?
- How can I increase my personal efficiency?
- My work is important because…
- I am a first class performer
Think enthusiastically. Build in yourself an optimistic, progressive glow, a feeling that “this is great and I’m 100 percent for it“. Be the broadcaster of good news because good news makes you feel good. And, more importantly others begin to emulate the same energy.
Joys of Imitation
Carry with yourself the belief and the attitude of positive reinforcement – spread it like a contagious bacteria. By exercising showing positive attitudes toward your job or an endeavour that you devote your energy and time towards allows your subordinates to “pick up” right thinking.
The goal for such practice is to become a preset marker to carry each day and ask yourself – “Am I worthy in every respect of being imitated? Are all my habits such that I would be glad to see them in my subordinates?
Success building program
- Circulate in new groups. Restricting your social environment to the same small group produces boredom, dullness, dissatisfaction; equally important, remember that your success-building program requires that you become an expert in understanding people. Trying to learn all there is to know about people by studying one small group is like trying to master mathematics by reading one short book.
- Make new friends, join new organizations, enlarge your social orbit. Then too, variety in people, like variety in anything else, adds spice to life and gives it a broader dimension. It’s good mind food.
- Do select friends who have views different from your own. In this modern age, the narrow individual hasn’t much future. Responsibility and positions of importance gravitate to the person who is able to see both sides.
- Be environment-conscious. Just as body diet makes the body, mind diet makes the mind. Experiment and adapt to a diet that heightens your energy levels and brain performance.
- Here’s a list of things to test out in your diet. 1. Avacado 2. Walnuts 3. Blueberries 4. Olive oil 5. Kale or spinach 6. Eggs 7. Dark Chocolate 8. Salmon 9. Broccoli Stems 10.Turmeric
- Get a clear fix on where you want to go. Create an image of yourself ten years from now. Write out your ten-year plan. Your life is too important to be left to chance. Put down on paper what you want to accomplish in your work, your home, and your social departments.
- Let your major goal be your automatic pilot. When you let your goal absorb you, you’ll find yourself making the right decisions to reach your goal.
- Achieve your goal one step at a time. Regard each task you perform, regardless of how small it may seem, as a step toward your goal.
- Don’t strive to follow the default route – take detours in your stride. A detour simply means another route. It should never mean surrendering the goal, it simply a means of creating your own path to success.
- Invest in yourself through the power of education and group learning. Invest in quality learning to yield a high return on investment (ROI).
Becoming an Effective Leader
- Take the initiative of making friends – because leaders always do. Join communities, engage in forums. Make it a daily mission to meet three new people every day.
- Next time you find yourself in a large gathering observe for the following: which person in the conversation does the most talking and which person is more successful. I often practice this when I’m part of a group meeting – at times I’ve noticed the individual who is more successful, sits quietly and absorbs information to make a decision at the end of the meeting.
- Trade minds with the people you want to influence. It’s easy to get others to do what you want them to do if you’ll see things through their eyes. Ask yourself this question before you act: “What would I think of this if I exchanged places with the other person?”
- Apply the “Be-Human” rule in your dealings with others. Ask, “What is the human way to handle this?” In everything you do, show that you put other people first. Just give other people the kind of treatment you like to receive.
- Think progress, believe in progress, push for progress. Think improvement in everything you do. Think about high standards in everything you do. Over a period of time subordinates tend to become carbon copies of their chief. Be sure the master copy is worth duplicating.
- Take time out to confer with yourself and tap your supreme thinking power. Managed solitude pays off. Use it to release your creative power. Use it to find solutions to personal and business problems. So spend some time alone every day just for thinking. Use the thinking technique all great leaders use: confer with yourself.
Action to cure fear
- The how-to-do-it always comes to the person who believes he can do it. Belief triggers the power to do.
- When the mind disbelieves or doubts, the mind attracts “reasons” to support the disbelief.
- It is well to respect the leader. Learn from him. Observe him. Study him. But don’t worship him. Believe you can surpass.
- A person is a product of his own thoughts. Believe Big. Adjust your thermostat forward. Launch your success offensive with an honest, sincere belief that you can succeed. Believe big and grow big.
- Believe in yourself, believe you can succeed. Thinking success conditions your mind to create plans that produce success.
- Remind yourself regularly that you are better than you think you are. Successful people are not supermen. Success does not require a super-intellect. Nor is there anything mystical about success. And success isn’t based on luck. Successful people are just ordinary folks who have developed a belief in themselves and what they do.
- Believe Big. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success. Remember this, too! Big ideas and big plans are often easier—certainly no more difficult—than small ideas and small plans.
- Break up fixed routines. Expose yourself to new restaurants, new books, new theatres, new friends; take a different route to work someday, take a different vacation this year, do something new and different this weekend.
- Action feeds and strengthens confidence; inaction in all forms feeds fear. To fight fear, act. To increase fear—wait, put off, postpone. Do this today: Pick the one thing you like to do least. Then, without letting yourself deliberate on or dread the task, do it. Make the initial effort to bring about in yourself to act on your fear through small baby steps.
A wise man will be master of his mind, a fool will be its slave.By Publilius Syrus
I am a writer and a graduate engineer working in Leicester, UK.