Why we all need strong Confidence

When you think about Confidence, what do you think of first? Is Confidence really important?

Until only a few years ago I was a fairly shy, introverted female – always driven to succeed but never

Speaking to 600 people about how to make your dreams come true

Speaking to 600 people about how to make your dreams come true

really succeeding. The reason was my lack of confidence and self esteem. In my eyes most people were better. I was never good enough and drove myself to study further, to work more but however much I did it never felt enough.

Have you ever have disempowering thoughts like that?

What do thoughts like that do to you? They stop you – they stop you to really achieve your dreams. They stop you to let your true light shine through. They stop you from living your true potential.

Less than a month ago I was speaking at a large conference in Sweden.I was really well prepared, the technician knew what to do – everything seemed perfectly arranged. But things rarely go that smoothly. The speaker before me ran overtime, the technician had not even started the laptop as had been pre-arranged; the recording equipment did not work…

The room filled up while we were fiddling about with the equipment and I hate it when a speaker is not ready for his audience. They lose me there and then and in this case I was the one not ready – arrgh! The introducer stumbled through my introduction in such an uninspiring way that I was happy when he was done and just as the technician finally managed to get my presentation on the screen the computer shut down again.

Armageddon in my head. All the preparation for this moment had gone up in smoke. Inwardly I was between fuming and crying but then I took a decision.I decided to start no matter what, knowing that I am strong, knowing that I am good enough to get my points across without any technical equipment. In that moment I stood tall and spoke from the depth of my soul aware that the audience deserved to see me at my BEST. And they did.

Would this have happened 10 years ago I would have been too upset to concentrate on the need of my audience. Why? Because I would have beaten myself up for everything that was happening. I would also have been very angry with the technician for not making sure everything worked as needed. I would have found fault.

What would the result have been? At best a mediocre presentation because audience can feel where you stand. If you are inside or in this case beside yourself they will not appreciate you because you do not appreciate them. Being able to consciously take a deep breath and step out of chaos into the feeling of calm confidence has changed my life enormously and it will change yours too.

 Today I know who I am and that knowledge gives me a strong confidence and healthy self-esteem. In how many chaotic situations do you make the empowering decision over the disempowering one? The decision to stand tall and give your best overcoming any chaos or challenge because you know who you are? Because you are centered within yourself? Because you have belief in yourself! Because you KNOW for a fact that you are strong enough to overcome anything!

Belief creates facts so start believing in yourself in order to create those facts you have always wanted in your life.

Life let’s you only get as far as your confidence permits. That is a proven fact you can see all around you. Nobody applies for a higher position unless they are confident that they can fill it. Nobody starts their own business unless they are confident in making it a success. Nobody flirts with someone they are attracted to unless they believe they have a chance.

I could give you hundreds of examples but for now let this be enough. Widen your boundaries, overcome your fears and doubts and consciously build your confidence every single day. Dare to do things you have never dared before because that will give you plenty of opportunities to stand tall to show the world (and yourself) who you are.

To your success

Barbara Hofmeister


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Are Self-esteem and Self-respect the same?

Our culture is concerned with matters of self-esteem. Self-respect, on the other hand, may hold the key to achieving the peace of mind we seek. The two concepts seem very similar but the differences between them are crucial.

To esteem anything is to evaluate it positively and hold it in high regard, but evaluation gets us into trouble because while we sometimes win, we also sometimes lose. To respect something, on the other hand, is to accept it.

I enjoy singing and do so quite frequently. As those within earshot will attest, I’m not very good but I love to sing anyway. During summer parties I frequently sing solo and play the part of the “moving ball,” trying to stay just ahead of the music to provide the words for those who don’t know the song. I am not saddened by my lack of talent. I accept the way I sing. Because of this acceptance, I am able to sing without being evaluative of myself or concerned with what others think.

The word acceptance suggests to some readers that our culture does indeed deal with this idea of self-respect; after all, don’t we have the concept that it is important to accept our limitations? Aren’t many of us encouraged “to change the things we can change, accept the things we cannot change and know the difference between the two?” I believe I could learn to sing better, so my acceptance is not based on my limitations. Nor is it based on resignation, since I am not resigned to the belief that I cannot sing well and am not committed to any particular belief about my voice in the future.

The person with self-respect simply likes her- or himself. This self-respect is not contingent on success because there are always failures to contend with. Neither is it a result of comparing ourselves with others because there is always someone better. These are tactics usually employed to increase self-esteem. Self-respect, however, is a given. We simply like ourselves or we don’t. With self-respect, we like ourselves because of who we are and not because of what we can or cannot do.

Consider an interesting test of self-respect. If someone compliments us, what is our reaction? If we are very pleased, it would suggest a certain amount of uncertainty about our skill. Imagine that somebody whose opinion we respect told us that we were great at spelling three-letter words, or that our pronunciation of vowels was wonderful. Chances are we would not be moved. We know we can do it in the first case, and we don’t care in the second. Because we were not evaluating ourselves, the compliment was unimportant. The more instances in which we don’t “take the compliment,” the less vulnerable we become to evaluation and insult.

My recent research, with Judith White and Johnny Walsch at Harvard University, points to the advantages of self-respect. Compared to those with high self-esteem who are still caught in an evaluative framework, those with self-respect are less prone to blame, guilt, regret, lies, secrets and stress.

Many people worry whether there is life after death. Just think about it: If we gave up self-evaluation, we could have more life before death.


This article was written by Ellen J. Langer, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, is author of The Power of Mindful Learning (Perseus, 1997) and Mindfulness (Perseus, 1989).

Suffering from low self-esteem?

Are you fraid you too are suffering from the epidemic of low self-esteem? Finish the following sentence: If I don’t succeed. . .

If you came up with something like “I feel devastated” or “no good for nothing” there may be cause for concern. What separates the high from the low on the self-esteem meter is response to failure, says University of Washington psychologist Jonathon Brown, Ph.D.

He put 172 people – 81 with high self-esteem, the rest with low – through a computer word game. Half the participants received a version too difficult to do in the time allotted, assuring their failure. Afterwards Brown asked them to evaluate their performance.

For those lacking self-esteem, failure felt devastating. They felt strong feelings of shame and humiliation and they overgeneralized their failure, rating their overall intelligence much more negatively after a poor performance than a successful one.

People with high self-esteem did just the opposite. They rated their intelligence a bit higher after failure, compensating for their sub-par performance. This is the value of self-esteem, explains Brown: It enables us to respond to events – good or bad in ways that bolster our sense of worth.

Because failure is so agonizing to people with low self-esteem, they are less willing to take risks and more apt to be conformists and melt into the masses.

What is self-esteem anyway?  Its a common buzzword,  but how is it understood and defined? The Merriam Webster dictionary defines it as a “confidence and satisfaction in oneself.”

Experts in the field of confidence conceptualize it as:

  • Confidence in our ability to think, to cope with the basic challenges of life and confidence in our right to be successful and happy. – Nathaniel Branden
  • Having a positive image of self.Don Simmermacher
  • An evaluation of the emotional, intellectual, and behavioral aspects of the self-concept. – Diane Frey & Jesse Carlock
  • A state of mind. It is the way you feel and think about yourself and others, and is measured by the way you act. – Connie Paladino.

Abraham Maslow who founded humanistic psychology and developed Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs” addresses esteem as a  the normal human need to be accepted and valued by others.

George Boeree, Ph.D. wrote,  “Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs, a lower one and a higher one.  The lower one is the need for the respect of others, the need for status, fame, glory, recognition, attention, reputation, appreciation, dignity, even dominance.  The higher form involves the need for self-respect, including such feelings as confidence, competence, achievement, mastery, independence, and freedom.” Maslow’s theory on the need of esteem highlights how self-esteem is nurtured and impacted by our relationships with others.

In my opinion is has to do with both – with our relationship with ourselves and with our relationship with others. Tips how to boost your self-esteem are in my book “To be or not to be – the choice is YOURS!”, in the “Moments To BE” and in other posts on this blog.



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How is your self-esteem?

I read a forum post just now that talked about an online test someone had taken. It seems her expectations were higher than her results and she felt really down for only getting 50 %. In her post she said:

“I shall try to forget it, its hard to forget negative things for me, its like i want to put myself down. ”

Do you know how often I hear that? And why do I hear that so much? Hard to forget negative things… Why would we want to put ourself down? Why do we seem to listen more to negative things than to positive? If someone makes one negative remark all the praise we got from that person or from others before seem cancelled out as if they never existed.

Does that make sense or is it just something we have been trained to do until it became a disempowering habit? I feel that is becoming more and more difficult to stay positive. The media is doing their best to make us think we are surrounded only by violence (which is not true!).
Parents and teachers and in many cases Governments are telling us what is right and what is “wrong”. Even though we seem to have more freedom today there are more and more No, No’s we identify ourselves with. Fortunately there are plenty of people out there who see great opportunities and use them for the betterment of mankind.

It should be easier to laugh or at least shrug on a test like the one the lady above made because unless done by a real professional who knows the topic inside out, they have no meaning but hey, if I get all excited by the Matrix test (see my ecademy profile) than I suppose it is only normal that someone else gets upset about some other silly little test.

Here some advice: Hold your head high knowing that you are unique with all the ups and downs that make you the personality you are.

Let’s focus on the good in our lives! Let’s make it a daily habit to count all our blessings, all the good things we can be grateful for so our “so called weaknesses” don’t graze us so much. We are all unique and we are all perfect if we only let the perfection out that is often locked so deep inside of us.

Dare to be different. You are worth it.
Barbara Hofmeister

In case you want to read the Wikipedia definition of self-esteem:
In psychology, self-esteem or self-worth includes a person’s subjective appraisal of himself or herself as intrinsically positive or negative to some degree.

Self-esteem involves both self-relevant beliefs (e.g., “I am competent/incompetent“, “I am liked/disliked”) and associated self-relevant emotions (e.g., triumph/despair, pride/shame). It also finds expression in behavior (e.g., assertiveness/timorousness, confidence/caution). In addition, self-esteem can be construed as an enduring personality characteristic (trait self-esteem) or as a temporary psychological condition (state self-esteem).

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Know Your Qualities

Moments TO BE

In the famous film “The Secret” they talk about the basics of the Law of Attraction and they are “Ask – Believe – Receive”.

I think they forgot the action between believe and receive but today we want to talk about the believe part and look at all the great skills, abilities and qualities you already have.

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Before anyone else can believe in you, you have to believe in yourself!



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Is self-love selfish?

This is a question I would like you, my readers, to answer. Here is what some of you have said so far:

  • Robin Green I think there is a saying… In order to be loved, one has to love oneself.
  • Damien Thomas I don’t think it is selfish. I think self-love is to have a strong sense of respect for and confidence in oneself.
  • Moni Ka To love yourself is like to love a little part of God living in you. Since God is unconditional love, everything with this feeling cant be selfish.
  • Barbara Hofmeister Thanks. I totally agree with all 3 of you. Self love is essential. If we can see and respect the uniqueness in us, we might feel the unconditional love we are meant to feel. Keep the comments coming please. I am working on a new workshop with this title and need lots of ideas, techniques etc.
  • Tami Roberts-Principe You cannot constantly give to others without rejuvenating yourself. You have to love yourself first, and then others. It’s the selfish people that try to attach guilt to it.
  • Susan Jewett Reid Walsh I think if you are not giving love from a place of self-love overflowing, than there is a good chance your love is not pure and unconditional. You cannot give away what you don’t have – it’s just the way it is.
  • Barbara Hofmeister yes and way too many people do not feel unconditional self love. How would you help them discover it?
  • Victor Onochie Anumba You have to love yourself 2 love others.u can help them by letting know that they should appreciate God first & every other thing follows
  • Barbara Hofmeister A good point Victor. The question is how can I make them EXPERIENCE SELF LOVE? Just telling is not anywhere near enough
  • Lillian Ogbogoh You can’t give what you don’t have, if you don’t love you how can you love anyone else?
  • Victor Onochie Anumba Firstly,its team work, you need the help of a personal coach,it takes time,but you do need to convince them that people like them for who they are. Encourage them to interact with like minds. Finally they should consider Rebranding their personality. Remember Leaders are made not born. Cheers
  • Rebeca Orozco Self love is essential since you cannot give what you do not possess although it could also be a double edged sword. A perfect example is the story of Narcisus in Greek Mythology
  • Barbara Hofmeister Rebeca, unconditional self love has nothing to do with conceit (hope that is the right word). My experience with unconditional self love is love of ALL there is and narzism doesn’t have any room in that
  • Bala Padmanabhan
    Barbara, I just saw this post now. I wanna say ‘superb’. I always thought of it this way. For me, there is no difference between self love and loving ‘others’. After all ‘others’ are just a figment of your (soul) own imagination, then how can you share any form of energy within this ‘illusion’ when you have none. First cultivate it within yourself. Love everything about ‘you’. Nourish this energy, enrich it as much as you can before sending it out within this abundance around us! Beautiful stuff, Barbara! Sorry I saw this late!
  • Barbara Hofmeister There is no such thing as late Bala as long as we keep sharing. Keep it coming please
  • WOMENSRECREATION.COM Barbara, there is nothing wrong with Self-love. You have to have it in order to maintain balance. You can’t just keep giving of yourself, there would be nothing left. You have to love yourself first and then others. It is the selfish people that try and attach a guilt trip with it.
  • Teresa Caliendo I personaly think that unless a person has self love, he or she, can not be whole, and can not have the feeling of self worth! We need to walk with our head held high and self love, leads to pride in one’s self!
  • Barbara Thank you, Teresa!! This is so very true! Unfortunately many do not have self love. How can we re-discover it?
  • WOMENSRECREATION.COM Aloneness, rediscovering ourselves, going within. Taking time for ourselves, doing the things that make us happy.
  • Lydia Proschinger Much of it is unlearning of old script, and reintroducing the emotional vibration of self-love by realizing that you are a magnificent human being, a dear child of God and unique. “Being YOU means there is no other with the same thoughts, the same voice, the same feelings, the same DNA. You are unique, and that is how you perceive your world. Just like everyone else, your pair of eyes sees what you want to see.This makes you special and equal to all others who all have this intrinsic freedom also. We all are as unique as you. The fact that we all live together and die alone eventually makes us all the same, dependent on taking a new breath every sparkling NOW of the day, an oxygenesis in co-creation. If we look more at the ONEderful beings we are, we would never have a reason to feel alone or misunderstood.” (this quote is from a note I wrote this morning).
  • Roxanne Riedeman How can you help an “other person” the only way is to show them…you dont need words …although i believe we are still in 3d and therefor the spoken word is verry important…Metaphors, Songs, Poetry, Positive Coaching….if every one focus on themselfe to keep the energy high and clean the whole world can be transformd in Love in a heartbeat???
  • Tami Principe You can re-discover unconditional self love by knowing exactly who you are. Self love starts from the inside, it means understanding the good and the bad, and dealing with all the emotions, fears etc. To unconditionally love yourself. Facing all issues that you may not want to face. Allowing yourself the freedom to feel it.

    Barbara Hofmeister that’s great Tami. Thanks. We need to accept our imperfections as part of an exciting and versatile life
  • WOMENSRECREATION.COM …meditation,and the art of breathing alone can do wonders!

Don’t bargain your Life away

In Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich” I read the following poem by an unknown author that hits the nail about us not believing in our dreams and therefore not asking for them fully. It is sad how little so many of us value ourselves.

I bargained my life for a penny

And life would not pay more,

However I begged at evening

when I counted my scanty store.

For life is a just employer;

He gives you what you ask,

But once you have set the wages,

Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,

Only to learn, dismayed,

That any wage I had asked of life,

Life would have willingly paid.

Please, don’t limit yourself in any way. Don’t just ask for a penny. Write down your wildest dreams in as much detail as possible and start living the possibilities and opportunities that will come your way.

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5 winning beliefs to achieve anything – continued…

There are five basic elements to reach any outcome you want:

  1. YOU
  2. Your plan,
  3. Your actions and behaviors,
  4. Your path and
  5. The outcome itself.

If you develop a winning belief for each element it will empower you to achieve anything you want out of life.

If you’re not happy with the results you are getting, you need to change your belief system. Remember what Einstein said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

Instead consider the following questions.

  • What else do I have to know, believe or do in order to be more confident?
  • Second, do I have a mentor that can help me change this particular belief?
  • Third, what advice or message would my mentor give to me?

In doing that for each of the five core beliefs to attaining any goal, you will build a high level of self-confidence. Your winning beliefs will give you more self-esteem and a feeling of self-worth and soon you will truly become unstoppable.

If you believe it, you can achieve it!

Barbara Hofmeister

5 winning beliefs to accomplish anything

Whether you want a happier life, a body that’s in better shape or a wealthier lifestyle, it all begins with a winning belief system. Beliefs shape our destiny and the more supporting they are, the more we are able to achieve our goals and live our dreams.

Positive beliefs, like “I can do it” “I am good enough” “I have all the resources to succeed” have been formed through your experiences, especially during your childhood. In the same way, negative or limiting beliefs, like “I can’t do this” “I don’t know enough” or “I am not good enough” have been formed at an early age.

But to succeed at anything, you need to develop and maintain powerful beliefs. Ask yourself the following key questions and for each statement you make, rate your degree of belief from 1 to 10.

1. Do I deserve it? This has to do with you. This has to do with your feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. “Do I deserve all that I want?,  “Am I worthy of really being wealthy?” “Do I deserve happiness?” Feel these questions in your entire body. This is an essential step that your whole body and your mind need to accept and integrate.

to be continued tomorrow…

Self Esteem comes from your Esteeming SELF

Self Esteem should be easy, shouldn’t it? After all, all it is, is esteeming ourselves…

What can be so difficult about that?

Let me tell you the story of one of my clients. Let’s call her Jenny. Jenny was so good at beating herself up that even I was amazed (and I used to be pretty good at it myself).  She would always find someone that was better than her. For instance she went to the gym and who did she compare herself with, the superstar there, with the one girl that had the “perfect” body. No, she was not as good as that! She was not good enough!

At the same time there were dozens of women in the gym who were nowhere near as fit and shaply as she was – but Jenny could only see the one that was.

At work she would find fault with herself just because someone seemed to ignore her. She expected them not to have respect for her and they oblidged her.

Whenever her boyfriend as much as glanced at another woman, she paniced because SHE WAS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH. She “knew” he would leave her, which eventually he did.

Where did this feeling come from? From her childhood when her elder brother always was allowed more, when her elder brother always beat her at every game, when her elder brother always could do more than she could. But isn’t that natural, when you are 3 years younger an a girl? She didn’t see it like that. She only saw that she wasn’t good enough. She thought she could not live up to her Dad’s expectations (expectations he probably never had) and she continued to see it that way until she came to me.

There is nothing worse than beating yourself up and many of us are really good at it. We mull over what we might have done or said that was wrong or what we could have done better. We must be at fault if someone doesn’t call or email as often as they used to. We look at the fault in ourself for everything that is happening. We walk with our head bend low and wonder why we continuously bump into people and need to appologize (which again affirms that we are stupid, not smart, not good enough…)

You see, we cannot change the past but we can change the NOW

I keep repeating that because it is the only time we have influence over – the NOW – this moment in time.

Whatever we do NOW can change our past because as soon as we release all the pain and negative emotions, which we have from our interpretation of past experiences, life changes. It is that easy. You can use NLP to help you, you can use EFT to release and affirm more empowering beliefs, you can use Hypnosis, you can use Radical Forgiveness by Tipping or you can write a journal and work through it consiciously but work through it you MUST.

Stop beating yourself up. Love the divine presence that is within you! Learn to love yourself unconditionally. Your parents and grandparents did the best they could with the resources they had. That dreadful teacher, that always made you feel really stupid, is probably long gone and who cares today anyway?  You are an adult now and can make your own decisions.

What keeps you in the emotion of “feeling small” is your inner voice, your inner self talk, your old conditioning and only YOU CAN CHANGE THAT!

Learn to come from a higher place by loving the divine within you. Let everything that comes from you and through you come with love and respect. Only when you love yourself can you truly share love with others.

You see that is the vicious cycle. If we think we are stupid, not good enough, not slim enough, not pretty enough it is like a self fulfilling prophecy. We ourselves make it happen!!! It’s all those negative emotions that have pilled up until they formed a clear but unfortunattely negative belief “You are not good enough” and that is what we project out into the world. STOP DOING THAT!!!

Remember, you are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t save the world…

To be continued…