Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Lack Of Self-Confidence Can Be Overcome With Practice

Dear Tazi:

Where do you find the confidence to be you? I look at your profile picture of you sitting in what you call your "Tower of Power" and you just ooze confidence. I read your column every day, and you always have the best answers to the problems people have.

I would love to have your confidence and self-assurance, but I always feel like I am not quite good enough at what I do to excel at it. I would like to have your confidence. Can you tell me your secret?

Dorothy, Small and Meek

Dear Dorothy, Small and Meek:

You want me to teach you how to Tazi? Hmmmmm....well, since I adore your Wizard of Oz reference, I will let you in on a little secret: I am actually a very shy little scardey-cat who runs and hides under the bed at the slightest of loud noises. My list of fears includes the sound of a flushing toilet, large bugs, and the chihuahua who lives next door - even though I outweigh him by 5 pounds. My brave self-confident appearance is a front I put up because if I act brave, I don't always have to be brave!

From the sound of your letter, you have low self-esteem. Talking to a trained counselor could help you discover why you have such a low opinion of yourself, which would give you a starting point on learning to love yourself. Once you learn how to do that, you will realize that you are worthy of all of the wonderful things life has to offer - and may even find yourself gravitating towards adventure, like me! Today I went outside even though it was raining! For a cat, this is a big step! You don't have to start this big; you can start small by rewarding yourself with a special treat when you feel you have done a good job on something. Not a great job, mind you; a good job is enough to earn a reward. In time, you will find those rewards inspire you to see greatness in all that you undertake.

The great thing about confidence is that it can be faked until you start to feel the real thing; and one good way to learn it is by faking it! Here are some tips on how to look confident, even if you don't feel confident:

Stand up straight and tall. Have you ever noticed how a cat will arch its back when it feels threatened? This is our way of standing up straight and tall, and believe me it gets respect!

Look people in the eye. If you are not comfortable doing this, look at the bridge of their nose. From a distance of eighteen inches or more they will not be able to tell the difference. (Try it, it's fun!).

Speak in an even tone. This one may take practice, but if you speak in a calm, even tone of voice it will calm your nerves, which will increase your confidence, as well as soothe the person to whom you are speaking. A calm listener is a non-threatening listener.

Visualize yourself accomplishing great things. When you have some time to yourself, close your eyes and picture yourself accomplishing your dreams - from the smallest of hopes to the wildest of fantasies. Seeing our goals helps us to accomplish them.

Believe in yourself. There is an expression that states, "Whether you believe you can or cannot, you are right!" As cheesy as that sounds, it's true.

Surround yourself with positive people. Nothing will drain your confidence and self-respect quicker than people who work to bring you down, so don't give them the chance to do it.

With practice, these tips can help you to feel more confident as well as look more confident. I cannot guarantee that you will have the confidence of a cat - that's a pretty tall order - but you should find yourself better able to function under stress.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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