Monday, November 7, 2011

Wherefore Art Thou, Self-Confidence?

Out of my five values, I decided that the one I'm failing at most is Family.  Oh, not being part of my current family, but starting one of my own.  I'm still hesitant in doing much about this before figuring out where I want to live, as dating eats up resources that I'll need, but I figured there is much I can do to get ready.  One of those things is to increase my self-confidence.

I am not by nature a very self-confident man.  This may be counter-intuitive with everything that I've done so far in my life.  Part of this may actually be because of my lack of dating in recent years.  Part may be to all of the question that I ask myself (and blog about).  As such, I scoured the internet looking for advice and found it from a fellow blogger.  I've followed Leo's posts for a while and highly recommend them.  I may not agree with everything he says, but there is enough there to make you think.  Here is the bit of advice I plan to follow:

Shave every day.  My face is not agreeable to what the razor wants, and my fast-growing, thick, dark facial hair does not help.  As such, it looks like I need to shave within a couple of hours of shaving.  And during those few hours, my skin is a bit red from mild razor burn.  Thanks, razor.  I like a goatee and occasionally a beard, which I feel makes me look more my age, but I tend to get negative reviews.  I still grow it back now and then.  For right now, I'm going with a 'clean shaven' look, even if it's not.

Dress better.  I'm a guy, so forgive me for not liking this one much. And I'm trying to save money, not spend it on something I don't care too much about.  That said, I plan to use what I have effectively and buy new clothes only when necessary.

Be more positive in what I want to accomplish.  This is another difficult one, as I'm never positive if it's actually what I want to do.  However, I think I've figured some it out, and I'm trying to be positive about that. 
Stop being negative about myself.  This is actually easier than most people would think.  I tend not to over-promote myself, and I also try to not underestimate myself.  This balancing act keeps me from being too negative about myself, but has the unfortunate side affect of me being less positive about myself.  I need to work on this.

Figure out what principles guide my life and live them intentionally.  This is something I though I had figured out, but a search both here and in my private writings came up with nothing.  For the moment, I'm going with the following:

Keep it simple
Whatever you do, make it flow
Follow your values
When faced with a choice, make one
Live

Five very simple rules that should allow me to live a good life.  Of course, long time readers will observe my troubles with the fourth principle.

Speak slower.  Like many people, I tend to ramble on at high speed when I get to talk.  This seems to be the opposite of what I want, as I tend to sound nervous when I do it.  Sounding nervous simply reinforces feeling nervous.  This is the opposite of what I want.  I need to practice slowing down.

Work on my posture.  Like most software developers, I tend to slouch.  This is a bad thing.  I also tend to look down when I walk (I don't really care for tripping) instead of holding my head up and looking more confident.  These need to change.

Stop complaining.  This is a bad habit that I really need to stop.  I tend to complain about this, that, and everything instead of standing up and changing it.  Sadly, I tend to be drowned out by the other complainers.

Smile more.  It may take fewer muscles to smile than it does frown, but that doesn't mean much if those smiling muscles are weaker.  Sadly, these muscles have atrophied a bit.  Maybe I'm too focused on what to do with my life instead of living it.  Maybe I just need more people in my life.  Maybe I've been waiting too long for that special someone to come into my life.  Any way you look at it, I don't smile very often. 

Get into a simple exercise routine.  Ouch.  It hurts just thinking about it.  I need to look at that routine I was working on back in the spring and take some stuff out of that.  Just 30 minutes a day would make a big difference in my life.

Keep a clean environment.  Yes, I'm a bachelor.  Yes, I'm a bit messy.  I may not leave dirty clothes on the floor, but I don't sweep or vacuum as often as I should.  And please don't look in the bathroom.  In the last couple of days, before I started creating this list, I began a massive cleaning initiative in my apartment.  I'm wiping everything down, starting in my kitchen.  I plan to go through everything in the apartment and get rid of a lot that I don't want.  It'll take time, but then I can settle down into the basic maintenance that I've been neglecting.

Start waking up a bit earlier.  Ug.  I am not a morning person.  My best thinking comes from my slightly sleep-deprived mind at 2 in the morning.  I wish I could find a job that allowed me to work from noon to nine.

And that's it from me.  Toodles.

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