Image suggesting self-confidence
Supreme Self-Confidence

Do you want supreme self-confidence? How about trying some complementary therapy?

The evidence has been mounting that training the mind is of great benefit in almost every area of human endeavor. The research of people such as Charles Garfield has made it clear that superior achievers in all aspects of life, including business and finance, make heavy use of mental training.

Corporate superstars such as Thomas Watson, the man who founded IBM, are great examples. Garfield has found that peak performers use their minds differently than other people.

These different ways can be learned. More and more businesses have been using mental-training courses for their executives and salespeople for the simple reason that these courses lead to improved performance.

The evidence has also been mounting that the mind plays a pivotal role in health and illness.

Stress, often the result of how the mind perceives what needs to be done, how quickly, and to what degree of perfection, has been linked to all kinds of illnesses.

Stress reduction can be achieved through retraining the mind, which leads to better habits and health.

Depression, one of the most common disorders in America, has been shown in clinical studies to be largely a product of maladaptive thinking, and to be successfully treatable by mental training.

Increasing evidence confirms that the mind is primary. As cognitive therapists have repeatedly demonstrated in the laboratory and the consulting office, in most cases our thoughts and mental images determine our feelings and behavior.

Change the ideas and images, and feelings and action also change.

Many of the popular psychotherapies of the 1960s and 1970s, which focused on the awareness and expression of cognitive behavior therapy, primarily a way of changing what you say to yourself and how you view yourself, has become one of the leading therapies and has influenced practitioners of other therapeutic schools.

From the corporate boardroom to the athletic field to the psychotherapist's and physician's office, using the mind to improve performance and the quality of life is finally coming into its own.

More and more people in different fields are recognizing that the mind can be used to reprogram itself, leading to greater creativity, productivity, and satisfaction.

The methods of mental training can be used to resolve emotional and behavioral problems, to achieve personal growth, and to enhance performance.

The same techniques can be used with equal success in all these areas. They really come down to helping people be more effective in all aspects of their lives.

Two dramatic events from the world of sports well illustrate the powers of the mind. The first occurred in 1954. Before May 6 of that year, no one had ever run a mile in under four minutes; lots of runners had tried and many had come close, but there was a barrier. Many runners and scholars argued that the barrier was physiological, that human bodies simply couldn't run that fast.

As Roger Bannister, the first human to break the barrier, said, "Everyone used to think it was quite impossible, and beyond the reach of any runner."

But Bannister never thought this himself and prepared accordingly. What is perhaps even more astonishing than Bannister's own achievement is that once he proved it could be done, others were also able to do it.

By now hundreds of runners have run a mile in less than four minutes. It is doubtful that human physiology underwent a significant change in that period.

A similar thing happened in weight lifting. Before Vasily Alexeev lifted 501 pounds in 1970 no-one had ever lifted 500 pounds over his head and many argued that it was a physiological impossibility.

But in the month after Alexeev broke the barrier, four other weight lifters lifted over 500 pounds. By now, scores have done it. Why?

The analysis of Arnold Schwarzenegger is undoubtedly correct. "They believed it was possible. The body didn't change. How could the body change that much? It was the same body. But the mind was different. Mentally it's possible to break records. Once you understand that, you can do it."

But what does this have to do with you? Probably a great deal, because your mind is no different from those of runners and weight lifters.

The mind's double-edged power is at work in all of us, either hindering and making us miserable or facilitating our efforts and making us feel good.

Your mind keeps you from doing things it doesn't believe are possible, but once it accepts that you can do something, chances are good you will be able to do it (provided, of course, that you are also prepared in other ways). This idea has ramifications in all of life.

Take a man who tells himself he doesn't have what it takes to give a good talk, one of the most common fears in America, and imagines the audience laughing at his attempts.

He is depressed and distraught and not surprisingly gives a poor presentation even though he knows his material.

Another man who also knows his material tells himself the opposite. He thinks he can give a good talk, and imagines himself doing so and the audience responding positively; not surprisingly, he greatly improves the chances of giving a good presentation. The difference between the first man and the second is how they use their minds.

But, you may be thinking, some things are absolute. Pain, for example, is pain, and it makes no difference what your mind says about it.

But that is not quite the case. The experience of pain is very much influenced by what your mind is doing.

Take two women in a dentist's office, both of whom are having exactly the same procedure. One woman has been terrified for days in advance, anticipating unendurable pain.

Assuming that she gets to and stays in the office, she focuses on everything the dentist does, waiting for the horrible feelings to begin.

As soon as the dentist touches her mouth, she feels profound anxiety and pain. Needless to say, she has a horrible experience. Even novocaine may not help much. This may be why some people are more prone to illness than others, too.

But the other woman has a very different kind of experience. Because she knows how to use the powers of her mind (what this book will teach you), she doesn't anticipate difficulty.

Going to the dentist for her is no different than going shopping or brushing her hair, just something that needs to be done. She uses what she knows about the mind to cope with the dentist's drilling. Her experience is largely one of comfort.

Consider two people of equal abilities, appearance, and interests. One learns to deal with the inherent problems of close relationships and develops one that is the envy of friends; the other doesn't. One becomes very wealthy; the other doesn't.

One goes to the top of his or her field; the other doesn't. Luck may have something to do with it, of course, but the main difference between those who make it and those who don't has to do with the powers of the mind and how they are used.

The terms commonly used to describe the differences between these two groups — words like drive, motivation, competitiveness, confidence, will, perseverance, and belief in self — are all qualities of mind.

Holistic therapies for confidence
What is self-confidence?
Live a confident life
Importance of high self confidence
Build self confidence
Power of Mind
Sexual self-confidence
Therapy and self-confidence
Hypnosis and self-confidence