Aug 20 2012

My Story about Self-Confidence

Mana’o'i’o

I came across an interesting Hawaiian Value about Self-Confidence known as Mana’o'i’o ( (MA na oh EE oh). Mana’ o’i'o is also defined as – faith; to believe in onself.

This got me thinking.  Whenever I come across something inspiring or influential such as a book, word, quote, or an observation, I try to think of what it means to me and what I can learn from it.

Self Confidence

Take the leap in faith in to yourself.

Growing up, I lacked self confidence.  But why? There is a reason for everything that we feel and everything we are.  So I looked back on my life and thought about what have caused this lack of self confidence?  What was the root of all of this?

When I was born, I gave my mom a heart attack during labor, had my umbilical chord wrapped around my neck 5 times,  my face was black and blue, and both my parents thought I was dead.  Then later, they found out I was partially deaf.

They didn’t realize this until I was around 2 years old, when they noticed my speech wasn’t like my two older brothers when they were my age and also realized I wasn’t as responsive.  They took me into the doctors and found I had an undeveloped eardrum.  I had to get ear tubes placed in my ear and have ear surgery every year to flush out the ear canal.

Because of my lack of hearing, my family saw that my speaking skills were far behind.  We laugh about it now especially when my mom brings out the tape recordings of me practicing my flash cards. But during that time, it was the biggest obstacle I had to face as a child.

I saw a speech therapist till the age of 9, and had ear surgery until I was 11.

We live in a Cause and Effect world. The Effect is what we see in the outer world, the things that are more visual and tangible to us.  The Cause is found more in our inner world, inside us.  Most only focus on what’s visible, not what’s invisible. Our inner world creates our outer world.  So if we are not happy with ourselves or what we are doing, then what we see and experience isn’t want we deserve.

My speech impediment was my Effect.  I couldn’t speak clearly and many had difficulty understanding me which increased my lack of self confidence.  In school I was called names such as “Retard” because of the way I spoke.  The more and more I thought about what other’s were saying or how they looked at me, I chose to keep my mouth shut and started to believe that I was those words.

I got really good at reading lips from watching my family speak to me and was able to decipher a few words here and there.  One of the words that I saw a lot in school was “Dumb”.  I learned this word when I asked my mom what that word was,  I remember her telling me – “Something you aren’t.”

Because of this Effect I experienced in the outer world, I only spoke when spoken to, or if I actually needed assistance which was rarely because I figured I could do everything on my own. Sometimes I still think that today.

Imagine not being able to speak or communicate with a peer or even an adult. And if you did, you were thought of differently or looked at strange or for worse made fun of.  How would you feel? Frustrated? Defeated? Angry? Have a lack of self confidence? I did.

I still have the mental picture of me in kindergarten running up to someone to say “Hello”.  Of course it didn’t come out that way, but I remember the look the kid and his mom gave me.

Think back on your own life, is there anything that made you feel this way that could be still effecting you today?  This Effect that I Caused on myself got really bad and I carried it with me for years and years.

But only several years ago I became aware of where my lack of self confidence came from and attacked it full force.  I no longer wanted to feel that doubt in myself.  It was eating me alive and holding me back from what I wanted to accomplish in life.

“The only disabilities you have are those you put on yourself.” –unknown

There was a turning point in my life, where I felt that the only person I should be worrying about is me and how I feel about myself.  And honestly, at the moment I thought to myself – I’m a cool unique guy with a lot of Aloha to give. I still think the same today.

4 Keys to Building Self Confidence

Here is a simple formula of 4 Keys to Building Self Confidence that has helped me attack the negativity or discouragement that came my way. The easiest way to look at self confidence is simple – how much do you like yourself.

If you think of the most successful, well respected, highly achieved, and influential leaders – the common factor is they were very confident in themselves and overall happy people.

Key #1 – Be Happy

Who are you? What is it that you do or want to do? What are you passionate about and what do you want to accomplish? I’ve mentioned this many times –  setting challenging goals for yourself and writing down a plan can instantly raise your self confidence.  Especially when you go back to read them.

This isn’t something that you will be able to say right away.  Take some time out of your day, write them down and set it to the side for a day.  Then go back and read it.  If you don’t get the feeling of excitement, that means you need to dig even deeper into yourself. Be true to yourself.

Key #2 – Have Values

What do you believe in? What is most important to you in life? People who are clear about their values and refuse to compromise them have high respect for themselves and a lot of self confidence.  I know, I’m making you think a lot.  But it’s necessary.  We don’t take enough time to reflect on ourselves and what we want.  We spend too much time thinking about what other think of us.

Key #3 – Be Your Own Creator

I’m a big believer that everyone has something to offer to the world.  I don’t know what your capabilities are, and I can’t tell you want you have to offer. But I do know that we are all unique and extraordinary. Brian Tracy said;

“Perhaps the hardest thing to do in life is to accept how extraordinary you really can be, believe in yourself, and then to incorporate this awareness into your attitude and personality.”

Key #4 – Be Part of a Good Crowd

Take inventory of the people you surround yourself with.  You become the crowd you have around.  Are unmotivated? Lazy? Do they have no goals or aspirations? If you answered yes to these, then you need to find a different crowd to hang out with.  As hard as that sounds, especially when those people have been around for a long time, it’s something that needs to be done if you are looking at making a change in your self confidence.

Usually people who are lacking self confidence spend a lot of their time around negative people who hold you back from believing in yourself.  Surround yourself with people are a motivated, goal oriented, and confidence – you will become that as well. That’s why you should hang out with me here at the Aipa Project, and if you are ever in Redlands, CA – let me know.

Self Confidence Dalai Lama

Closing Thoughts

My lack of self confidence started from a young age.  As I came up with the 4 Keys to Building Self Confidence, it’s crazy to see the transformation I went through mentally.  I’ve always been known as a shy and timid person who was afraid of standing in front of a crown to speak.  But I made changes to the way I thought.

1) I’m happy and proud of who I am as a person

2) I have deep core values and a few that I’ve shared with you in this my 3 part series of Ho’omau; 3P’s Towards Greatness.  You can also read more on my About page.

3) I’ve become my own creator of my destiny and believe I have a lot to offer the world through sharing the Aloha Spirt and helping everyone Build a Ku Body.

4) I surround myself with motivated, fun, happy, caring, loving, and just all around great people.  I even try my hardest to recruit others around to jump on board.

If you are on board with me, please let me know in the comments below.  I would really like to get some conversations started on the comments.  Also if you know of someone who could benefit from this, feel free to share it with them.

Aloha. Mahalo. A Hui Hou

2 Responses to “4 Keys to Building Self Confidence”

  1. With you all the way brother… You have a lot of great insight and it seems like you have a good idea of who you are and how you got to where you are today.

    As I read the first part, I thought to my self of those days. I must say that I am a guilty for giving you a hard time with your speech and hearing. I guess at that age some of us don’t think on that level. In my defense though, we’ve had our share of “brotherly love.” But now, as we are much older, we can definitely look back and laugh about certain things. “MLILK”… couldn’t resist.

    Anyways, thinking more about your “cause and effect” point, I can relate big time. My self confidence was close to nonexistent for most of my life. I have constantly had to battle things within my mind to figure out how to deal with it. Sometimes those thoughts got the best of me and its like an eruption of frustration. You’ve all seen that and know me very well for it. Although those battles still are going on within me, I have tried and seem to be quite successful so far at keeping a lid on it. Your 4 keys hit it right on the head on how I’ve been able to do so. As I was reading them I couldn’t help but smile. I didn’t know until now of why I feel better about myself, and my self confidence has definitely started to escalate.

    I’m happier because I love my career as a firefighter and I love donating my free time to Lua whenever possible. How can I not be so happy doing these things? Both deal with helping people and making lives better. Its awesome. I am surrounded by people who live positively in and out of work. Our values in not only the fire department and Lua but also in our immediate family hold a place in my heart that can’t be forgotten.

    For now, that will have to be it. I’m still searching within myself and my surroundings of what more I have to offer to the world. I have many thoughts in my mind of where I’d like to be, and like I’ve told you before, the things that you write are definitely the thoughts that I have in my head but I have a difficult time bringing it out into the world. I guess you can add that stuff to my inner values. Its good for me, I don’t have to say it or write it, just live it and be an example of it.

    Keep it up!

  2. Mahalo brother for the comment. we all shared some “brotherly love” growing up. I can see how much you love being a firefighter and how much time and effort you put in to Lua which inspires me and makes we want to come back to Lua. I think it was the way we were brought up as kids with a family who never questioned when it came to helping others.

    Hopefully ‘Build a Ku Project’ will help you find what you have to offer the world, but I think you are already doing a solid job by serving the community as a firefighter and being a leader of example in Lua.

    Much Aloha!

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