Becoming Confident

105182105411111CDPby Neva Bodin

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right,” said Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company and maker of a car that was more affordable for the general public.

I remember back in high school, when looks became important, (as in how I looked and how the boy of my dreams looked, the one who made me tingle when he got close, and who didn’t even know I existed), some girls who weren’t what I considered pretty at all were still popular. Now, I know where your mind just went, (besides shaking your head at the extra-long sentence) and no, it wasn’t always the ones who were “easy.” It was the ones who had confidence.

Through my Linkedin Pulse Connection, I found a website——that lists “Twelve Things Truly Confident People do Differently” by Travis Bradberry, Author, ‘Emotional Intelligence 2.0’.

His first “thing” is saying confident people get their happiness from within, not from others. Easier said than done I think.

I believe how we respond to what others say is a combination of nurture and nature—something I think goes into many of our personality traits. If a person grows up in a critical environment, that person may become a hardline achiever to overcome the criticism, or they may wilt and try to be a people pleaser, sensitive to the slightest wish of others, depending on their personality traits.

Second on Bradberry’s list is, “They don’t pass judgement.” He feels they see everyone as valued and don’t worry about measuring up to others standards. He mentioned taking others down to feel better themselves. I had a Professor Price in a psychology class long ago who referred to that as the step down principle—stepping on others to make yourself feel higher.

Next he lists, “They don’t say yes unless they really want to.” That is definitely something I have to work on, along with all the other things he lists. But…how do you handle it when you are interested in trying to do everything? I get a lot of opportunities, probably because people know I don’t say no easily, and they all sound like fun! And I’m bored and depressed if I don’t have several projects nagging at me at the same time. Half the time I don’t know whether to grab my granny robe or start a new career!Granny career JPEG

“They listen more than they speak,” he says. Well, that, again, is something I need to work on. I want to share what I have learned way too much. I should stick to writing it into my stories so people can close the book if they like!

Number five is, “They speak with certainty.” Guess we could take a lesson from the newspapers, the articles sound dead certain of their facts, even when the facts are false or embellished, same as the best gossiper in the neighborhood.

“They seek out small victories,” Bradberry writes. “Small victories build new androgen receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation. The increase in androgen receptors increases the influence of testosterone, which further increases confidence and eagerness to tackle future challenges. When you have a series of small victories, the boost in your confidence can last for months.” (Just one good chapter…)

“They exercise,” is number seven. Endorphins. Those little guys that increase with exercise and build confidence—definitely something to work on.

confidence. JPEGConfident people “don’t seek attention,” Bradberry says. Is that incongruent with “Build your platform, market yourself?” I don’t think so; showing interest and focusing attention back on others helps endear them to you much quicker than being a braggart or selling yourself first. Mary Kay of make-up fame, and for whom I’m a Beauty Consultant, counseled to make others feel important. Make their day, in other words. That will draw them to you.

And the last four: confident people “aren’t afraid to be wrong…they stick their necks out…they celebrate other people…they aren’t afraid to ask for help,” says Bradberry. He elaborates more on each of these assertions of course. But I think he’s come up with a good list.

I can use this list in characters I’m developing in stories, as well as in developing my own character. Perhaps I should tape it to the bathroom mirror, right beside “Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light.”


15 thoughts on “Becoming Confident

  1. I’ve always kind of felt that confidence comes with the realization that your skills and intelligence are directing you to success. So many people are shy in high school, then they head off to college where they’re unknown… their personalities can shine through along with accomplishments. Back in high school, they were pigeon-holed and struggled to break free of their stereotyped cocoons. Not so in college; they’re “reborn.” Thanks for letting me let my thoughts meander.


    1. I think you hit the poverbial nail on the head, Mike. I was like that, feeling inferior in high school but able to blossom a bit in college where no one had prior expectations. It was very freeing. Thanks for commenting.


  2. This is a great list. I think I’ve gotten all but twelve of them down cold. :-p Thanks for sharing this! And I especially appreciate that you mentioned using these concepts when building characters.


    1. Love your humor! I do hope I can give some of my characters these traits even though I don’t necessarily practice them. But to be human, my characters are going to have to fail at them too sometimes–find their acchiles heel so to speak I think. I sometimes struggle to instill character traits I don’t have into others! Thanks for reading.


  3. Thank you for this post, Neva. I never seemed to have a confidence problem in the past (of course I was manic a good part of the time and thought I was always right), but when I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder my confidence dropped to the bottom. Your sharing this right now makes me realize I need to “get myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again”! I have a ways to go, but this time the confidence will be real, not imagined.


    1. Was it maybe like having to learn to know yourself all over again? I don’t know if we ever really know ourselves entirely, and I think some people certainly have more insight into themselves then others. I can’t imagine what you have gone through, even though I have worked with people with Bipolar Disorder as a psych nurse. Everyone can be a bit different depending on personality, as in every facet of life. I admire you for being so open and sharing what it’s like for you. You are a very talented and courageous lady. Would love to meet you, and all our bloggers, some day. Thanks for commenting.


  4. Great list. He is right on. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ll have to check it out. Here’s to the confidence and stories that come to life because of it. Doris


  5. Wonderful post, Neva! I waver on confidence — sometimes I really have it and sometimes I wonder what in the blazes do I think I’m dong?! I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given, and I need to stretch myself a bit more to learn more about my craft and to then apply that knowledge. Thanks for sharing and encouraging!


    1. Thanks Gayle, I have the same issue, confidence waxes and wanes! But I am reminding myself to be more confident. Just at work today I tried to change one of my passwords to “superwriter” but it wouldn’t accept it because it had too many letters and not enough symbols and numbers. Finally, I changed it to something with the word “stupid” in it! Of course, I meant the machine, not me! Going to do more inspirational passwords from now on–when I can!


  6. That’s a great list to keep beside the character images board that I have for new writing, Neva. Might just have to poach the ideas. 😉


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