Tag Archives: self-confidence

Einstein, default settings and inner change

16 Nov

Albert Einstein (some say) once said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results was the definition of insanity.  My good friend Sheena once said that if you are sick of getting what you always get, stop doing what you always do  – the original source of this quote is unknown! Now, there is nothing wrong with my ears, nor my cognitive processing, but despite hearing and sagely acknowledging both of these wise quotes many times, my general demeanor and disposition would suggest otherwise to an on-looker.

Personal or inner change is difficult to achieve – the process is long, slow and frustrating with genuine ‘turning-points’ being too few and far between to keep us determined. We know we desperately want to change – what ever it is we are trying to change – to make our lives better. We set ourselves at the ready, know what we need to do in the given situation and we have our plan of action all worked out.

It was at this point that I failed spectacularly every time. Despite my best thought-out intentions, when it eventually came to the crunch – when the ‘upgraded me’ was due make its grand entrance, I would unceremoniously revert back to my default settings and fail miserably.

Inner change is essentially re-programming, especially when you are dealing with deep-seated issues like self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence. Each of these elements revolve around the other, knitted tightly through themselves and it is almost impossible to have one without the other two. Changing the perception of yourself from within is a lengthy process, taken in tiny steps through a plethora of thoughts, interactions, reasonings and judgments over a long time. It’s a long haul for anyone.

For me, I was completely useless at standing up for myself. End of.  I hated that I mostly always took on the role of  inferiority by default. It was only when my back was completely against the wall that I fought my corner – and even then, my fight was unsteady, flinching and unconvincing. I didn’t believe in myself.

Trying to change this was enormous and at the same time it all depended on so many variables – past experiences in similar situations, knowledge (or lack of knowledge) of who or what I was dealing with, my own self-confidence on a given day and my challenged sense of my own self-worth. It was so difficult to stay in control – to try to come out evens – when you always felt less strong than those around you.

My constant disappointment in myself at my inability to stick up for myself finally forced me to attempt to change. The main catalyst for attempting this change was a massive life event whereby my default response of inferiority pushed me into deeper trouble and unwittingly assuming guilt. I was so out of my depth, was so distraught and frustrated that perhaps the fight element of the ‘fight or flight’ response kicked in. Maybe it was the final straw and I had been pushed to the limit but deep within me the spark of self-worth ignited. Finally.

It was a big day – not because of the event itself but because I was sick of getting what I always got, so I stopped doing what I always did. It wasn’t an immediate over-all change – but little events happened after that where I could practice what I had learned from the big event – sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I failed.


Eventually though, a new pattern (although sporadic) began to emerge. It was slow for sure but I am now stunned by the internal knock-on effects and inner strength standing up for yourself brings. It was a tough slog to get on this road, but I am slowly beginning to feel like the person I should have been all along.


An unfocused means to an undefined end

6 Mar

Purpose and Determination – both these words have taken on significant new meanings for me in the last few days. I do have the Oxford English dictionary and I do know the definition of both words, however something Napoleon Hill said cast both words in a tremendous new light.

My life for the past few years has been marred with failures and let downs despite my very best efforts for more favorable outcomes. It seemed no matter how hard I tried to make my career, my relationships and my management of finances work, it appeared they were conspiring against me. I powered ahead, my sole purpose was to make ends meet and to survive. There was little, if any satisfaction in my endeavors and I believed that my sole purpose was to keep going with the faith that eventually everything would work out for me. My unhappiness with my life was further fueled by the fact that I really didn’t know what I wanted from life, what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. I was aimless and purposeless despite my determination.

My litany of failures hung over me like a dark cloud, chipping away at my self-confidence. I even tried allowing someone else to have access to my deepest thoughts, both conscious and subconscious, to examine if together, we could understand why I seemed completely incapable of making anything work out for me.

What I have learned over the past few days is that I have wandered aimlessly through all aspects of life. I had no plan, no desire for some final tangible outcome – I had an unfocused means to an undefined end. I was higgledy-piggledy in a maze with no exit.

So what has changed? I have finally realized what I want to do with my life. I was aware of this for some time, but not in the purposeful and determined way as outlined by Napoleon Hill. I was blinded by the barriers, the obstacles, the lack of this and the lack of that; all of which I truly believed would keep me from my fanciful goal. My failures have made me realize that I was on the wrong path all along and now I know that I have ignored lessons I should have examined for their greater meaning. I guess you could say I had an epiphany. You can’t go anywhere unless you know where you want to go – otherwise it is called wandering.

And so, with purpose and determination, I will now begin construction of my master plan for fulfillment. It feels great to finally know what I want from life and to believe that, if I let nothing stand in my way, I can achieve the greatness and success my soul always told me I had.


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