The Science of Confidence

Good morning/ afternoon everyone, I hope you’re all staying safe during these difficult times. Today’s post is all about what goes on between our ears that changes the way we feel about ourselves and how we can manipulate that to our own advantage. In this post I will discuss different techniques for gaining confidence and why it is that they are effective. Without further a do.. lets get into it!

A. Bandura – Developing Confidence

The following information is from a psychology study performed by professor Albert Bandura, it discusses the 4 principles to achieving confidence.

1. Mastery Experiences

Mastery experiences simply refers to the idea of knowing your capacity through previous success in an endeavour. For example if an athlete trains for the 100m sprint and is attempting to complete it in under 12 seconds they will be more confident if they have completed the run in under 12 seconds before, and the more times they do it the more comfortable they’ll be with their chances of performing on race day.

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2. Vicarious Learning

Vicarious learning is the process of learning through the experiences of others. Sort of like researching. Vicarious learning allows, a person to learn through the success of others, and make adjustments according to the journeys, hardships and trials of others in their respective journeys.

3. Modelling Behaviour

Modelling behaviour is quite similar to vicarious learning, however when talking about modelling behaviour we are referring to imitating actions of extremely successful people as oppose to anyone. We are also not looking at events that may have happened to a person but the habits, routine, study and work that got them to where they are. An example of this could be taking sections of a professional athletes routine, recovery process, and diet and adding them to your own personal routine, in the hope of improving your own performance.

Photo from @LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

4. Social Persuasion

Social persuasion is arguably the most important part of the confidence development process. It explores the idea that the environment we’re in, largely influences our own conscience. It talks about the human need of approval and acceptance from those around us. Examples of social persuasion include positive verbal reinforcement and a supportive/uplifting environment for people to work in.

How Can I Put This into Practice?

Although these techniques have been proven to be immensely successful, it does not come after only 1 day of practice. The changes in the brain necessary for the confidence to become natural take time to develop. This is due to a concept known as neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity, is simply referring to the way in which our brains are constantly developing and evolving. We can harness this evolution through repetitive behaviours, that eventually become habit.

By practicing this process for extended periods of time you are subconsciously re wiring entire sections of your brain! By doing so you will eventually be able to be confident in your chosen endeavour without even trying.

Added Notes:

Some ways to put this information into practice include

  • Positive self-talk
  • Visualisation (manifestation techniques)
  • Acknowledging minor success’s
  • Researching successful people in the field
  • Setting S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals
  • Adopting new lifestyle changes to accomodate the activity if necessary (eg improved diet, or more study hours)
  • Surrounding yourself with positive and uplifting people
  • Self belief, and understanding you are 100% capable
  • Affirmations

It is really important to remember that this process will be different and take different amounts of time for each person.

Thats all from me today! I hope this post was helpful and that you are able to take something away from this read! If you did enjoy this post, please consider dropping a follow and/or like! As always stay safe and have an amazing day!

Individual Action on Climate Change

Good morning/afternoon, today I will be writing about what you can do to take a stance against climate change.

Climate change isn’t a topic I’ve discussed on this blog before. I have never been one to publicly discuss climate change, but I, like many others have felt called to action as a result of recent events. For those of you who feel the need to take a stance on climate change I have included a list of things you can do. Enjoy the post.

Climate change is a phrase used to describe the ongoing destruction of our natural environment and the consequences presented as a result of this.

Photo from: @marcusspiskeonunsplash

Why are some people reluctant to act?

Firstly I would like to discuss the “bigness trap”. The bigness trap is an expression used to describe the feeling of “it (the problem) is too big for me to do anything.” and I feel as though the bigness trap is quite often something that people find themselves tangled up in.

The biggest problem with “the bigness trap” is that it stops people fro trying before they even have the chance to get going. For those people who struggle with this I would simply advise you to remember anything is better than nothing.

Another thing that I believe stops people from taking action, is the idea that “it’s someone else’s problem.”

For example in Australia there has been a lot of pressure on our government to address climate change, get rid of the coal industry, lower green house emissions and ultimately start thinking in a more innovative and sustainable way. Although pressuring leaders is good we need to combine that with individual action. If we want to see change we can’t continuously think “well it’s the prime ministers job to fix it.” Its not. It is our job as residents of planet Earth.

A point worthy of mention here is that I believe that there is an established connection between the bigness trap and the idea of pointing the finger. Many people who feel the need to put the pressure on somebody else would probably be doing that as a result of feeling helpless.

Photo from: @marcusspiskeonunsplash

When you think about it if you felt as though you couldn’t make a difference, you would subsequently, be looking at others who you thought could make a difference. These “others” come in many forms: councils, governments, activists etc. Therefore I do think that there is (like many things) a connection to mindset, and when I say mindset I don’t just necessarily mean on world problems, but essentially i’m also talking about the way we regard themselves.

Having a sense of confidence and an open mind will leave you with a burning desire to know: how could I create change? And although climate change is an intricate and complex predicament sometimes the best thing you can do is change your own habits. You don’t need to be an author, scholar, activist etc to be able to create change. Thats the truth. There is no special personality type that you need to be able to take action.

When you go to ask yourself “why isn’t the president, prime minister etc taking action?” Switch it to a moment of self – reflection: what am I doing? What is good about what I am doing currently? How can I improve on that? It’s all good to be applying pressure to leaders, but its when that becomes an excuse, a way out, that it becomes a problem.

Thirdly I would also like to draw attention to the idea of being afraid.

Climate change is scary. I am scared. Some people are afraid of climate change itself and honestly, fair enough. But rather than putting the truth aside we need it to stimulate you into acting.

Photo from: @Li-anlimonunsplash

Aside from that there is also the portion who are afraid of just genuine change. Like I have mentioned in previous posts people are afraid of what change means for them. I will again go back to the example of Australia and the coal industry, if you were a coal miner who could barely afford a house, a bed, and 3 small meals a day the last thing you’d want is for your job to be taken away. Therefore I would think that you would be reluctant to start attending protests on ridding Australia of the coal industry. Think about it on an even bigger scale, one of Australia’s largest trading exports is coal, so what happens when no one will buy our coal or we stop producing it? We would need to be able to find another way to make money and keep the economy going, otherwise it would be bad news for us Australians. All of this happens and it all influences individual decisions. Even on a really small scale, someone may not want to stop buying chocolate containing palm oil just because they like it, even though they know that its horrible for the environment.

How do we overcome these obstacles

Humans are emotional creatures and we make a lot of our decisions based off of our emotions. In fact it has been proven that up to 90% of our decisions are formed from our emotions not logic. So to overcome this fear of change we need to create a safety net. We need innovative ideas, new people and thoughts to help us. We need to be able to have a job ready for that coal miner after we’ve closed the coal mines. We need a new export to replace coal after we’ve ridded ourselves of the coal industry, and although it may sound insignificant we need a new kind of sustainable cooking oil to put in our chocolate etc.

I also think that in order to call these people who are afraid into action that we really need to try and understand what it is like for them. We need to approach them with compassion and empathy. So instead of telling them that they’re being unreasonable, and illogical we need to approach this with an attitude of compassion.

Over the past year I have come to realise that you will rarely ever change a persons mind by yelling at them.

Photo from: @marcusspiskeonunsplash

So as you can tell climate change isn’t exactly a question, answer problem. It is a global problem that requires global action, not just from the world leaders but from you. It requires individuals such as us to create change.

So what can you do? Here are some ways to take individual action within your own home.

Indivual Actions

  • Turning off taps when you’re not using them

This could mean turning the tap off whilst you’re brushing you’re teeth or making sure there is no water trickling from the tap before exiting the room.

  • Taking 5 minute showers

Simple but effective. Be conscious of your water usage and how much you’re wasting.

  • Air dry your clothes

Air drying your clothes is a great way to save electricity, and help our environment.

  • Only taking what you need

Whether it been a large frappe at McDonalds or buying the new iPhone when your current one is completely fine, buying things we don’t need isn’t helping anyone. Certainly not the environment.

  • Natural light

If you have windows in your room turn the lights off and open your blinds! Not only does the natural light look better it is also environment friendly.

  • Drive less

If you can afford it, driving less is a good way to help our climate. If the shops are close see if you can walk next time!

  • Being an informed consumer

Knowing what’s in the stuff you’re buying and boycotting things that are unsustainable and/or causing harm to the environment is one of the best things you can do!

  • Reusable alternatives

Whether its a reusable coffee mug, drink bottle, bag, straw, fork, plate etc limiting the amount of waste you produce is an awesome way to take individual action.

That’s my list of individual actions you can take to make a stand against the climate crisis. A lot of these are very textbook ways to take action but they are effective none the less.

Also I wanted to mention an app that I’ve been using called A World. A World is an app owned by the United Nations that encourages individual action against climate change, and provides you with the tools to do so!

Thats it for today! I hope you enjoyed todays post. As always please take some time to reflect on this post and the things I have said. I hope this post has inspired you to take action, and showed you that you don’t have to fit a special mould to help save the planet! If you enjoyed this post and wish to see more articles such as this one please consider dropping a follow. Have an amazing day!

Systemic Racism (understanding it and where it came from)

Systemic racism by definition is a form of racism that is embedded as a normal practice within a society or organisation. Systemic racism (also known as institutional racism) is a global problem, which needs to be dealt with on a global scale. As a result , systemic racism isn’t something that is easily fixed. It is often engraved in peoples thought patterns from a young age and is passed on through generations, so when a person grows up believing in the division of the races it is often quite difficult to convince them otherwise. Even people who do believe in unity can sometimes have a closed mindset on the topic and here’s why.

Photo from: @claybanks on unsplash

It is a common misconception that racism started with a misunderstanding. That black and white people met and because they didn’t look the exact same they considered each other abnormal and acted under the falsehood that they were not the same species. And most people believe some variation of that story.

The problem with this is not only that it is false but also that it gives people an excuse to sit on their hands. Some white people look at that story and think because it was a misunderstanding, racism is a black person problem to solve.

This is true for a proportion of the world population; that they aren’t necessarily “racist” they just don’t believe its their problem to deal with. But the truth is, it is very much a white person problem, more so than a black person problem. To fully understand why that is and what us white people can do, we first need to understand where these unethical beliefs came from.

“The opposite of racist isn’t non-racist, it’s anti-racist.”

Ibram X. Kendi

Dr Ibram Kendi, one of the leading scholars in racism and author of the New York Times bestselling book “How to be an Anti-Racist”, has found what he believes to be the start of systemic racism. He believes that racism was first dominant around the 1450’s when slave traders tied to the Portuguese crown used racism as a way of justifying a poor decision. These particular slave traders were the first to travel to sub Saharan Africa. Upon their arrival they promptly enslaved groups of African people, and to justify what they had done, to themselves, and the world they lied. They claimed that the Africans were unintelligent and inferior. Therefore making it “ok” to strip them of basic human rights.

Photo from: Nathan Dumlao on unsplash

John Biewen a friend of Dr Ibram Kendi, journalist and documentarian gave a speech on the issue. He said that the whole idea of “blackness” and “whiteness” began then and there, and that it didn’t take long for other European countries to follow in their footsteps and adopt these unethical and racist ideas. He then went on to tell us that there is no such thing as “blackness” and “whiteness” that racism is a mental block. A mindset that is based off of a lie.

“Denial is the heartbeat of racism.”

Ibram X. Kendi

Dr Biewen also states that racism is a white person problem. It began with a lie, a lie that a white person told in order to justify a poor decision. To supposedly “right a wrong”. He then goes on to tell us we need not to feel guilty about the wrongs of our ancestors but to take on a sense of responsibility. Which I agree with entirely. Our history as the human race is not pretty, it is full of violence, irrationality, lies and hurt. However we must not only reconcile these past mistakes with the descendants of the victims but with ourselves as well. We no longer live in the 1450’s, the times have changed, so have the people, so should the thinking. This isn’t only meant to mean being racist or homophobic or sociopathic etc it is also about how we view solutions. If the people have changed the problems and solutions will change with us.

Photo from: Nathan Dumlao on unsplash

Dr Kendi spoke of the current causes of racism in his interview with The Undefeated. He talks about where racism comes from now. He tells us that these days racism is not out of hate or ignorance but more so out of self – interest. Dr Kendi claims that “education, love and exemplary black people won’t solve racism”.

I would also like to mention that culture is built from us, the people. Therefore collectively we can rebuild culture. And redefine “normal”.

White people need to understand that racism is as much their problem as it is a Black persons problem. People need to understand that there is no such thing as “blackness” and “whiteness” that racism is a mental block, and to fix racism we need to make a mindset switch.

Thank you for reading this post. It is incredibly important to me that these messages are heard and I am thrilled to have been able to pass this one on to you. If you would like to read more on major world problems and what we can do about them be sure to follow this blog. Anyways thanks for reading have an amazing day.

For anyone interested in John Biewen’s TED talk I’ve linked it here.

Striving for Unity

The world is divided.

Into 3 primary classes, the elite, the middle class and the minority. In these 3 classes there are multiple sectors each one ranked unofficially in society in accordance to the colour of their skin, their gender, religious beliefs, quality of their education, political opinions, sexuality or wealth, and to be honest these deciding factors should not matter. Yet millions of people are at a disadvantage as a result of them. Some of these people are at more of a disadvantage than others, some even losing their lives as a result.

So my question to you is… What have you done, or can you do, to show your support?

My guess is that a lot of people will say that they have donated, or campaigned for BLM or the “Me Too” movement or some other worldwide campaign. Whilst this is a good start there is still a lot more to do. Whilst your thinking about the question I previously asked, I want you to also reflect on if you have ever thought about those people or helped them in any way after the campaign was no longer popular. The reasoning for these questions is to get you thinking and to get you reflecting on your decisions.

Let me explain. I want you to think about whether you have personally gone out of your way to see what you could do, whether whilst you were campaigning for that trending issue you were actually empathetic and connected to the issue, and if the answers no, don’t worry about it! I’m pretty sure your not alone. Because from what I understand more times than not people jump on the bandwagon of a particular issue just because their favourite celebrity was behind it or because everyone else was doing it. This chain reaction may help in some ways like spreading awareness and raising money for an organisations. The problem is the effort is not sustained. What I mean by that is that once it is no longer in peoples ‘recommended’ or their favourite celebrity moves on the problem seemingly “no longer exists”. The whole issue seems to just disappear and only a proportion of people actually continue to express their interest in the issue. I guess what I’m saying is that just because something is no longer trending that doesn’t mean it has been solved. Long after the issue has been forgotten by the mainstream, others are still suffering.

These trending campaigns they come and they go, as does the support they gain. The ‘2020’ Black Lives Matter movement was actually born in 2015, but was raised to popularity again in 2020. Yes, there were many campaigns in between but there was significantly less attention paid. Do you think that black people were only disadvantaged in 2015 than left alone for 5 years just to be harassed again in 2020? I don’t think so. Yes there were people out campaigning in those 5 years, but they were also a very small proportion of the people who were donating and campaigning in 2015. My guess is that they had forgotten, there was a new trending campaign that had gotten everybody fired up, and the year after that was the same and so was the year after that and I have no doubt it will continue for a very long time. Do you see the cycle? People have very short attention spans. They lose interest in the issue before anything has been changed. They forget about the injustice before things are any different, which means things tend to stay the same.

I have no problem at all with trending campaigns, and absolutely no problem with people combining forces to fight for a particular cause. I actually believe that the use of social media to advocate a campaign is quite an intelligent and efficient way to do it. My problem with using online media tools to endorse campaigns is that there are so many campaigns to choose from. Although it is good to gain exposure to all different types of problems in the world, having so many options tends to make people jump from band wagon to band wagon. Going back to my previous point, that means that before any particular issue has been changed people have moved on. Or because there are so many different organisations to support the followers are divided and there isn’t enough support for any of the issues to make any real changes.

Although it seems all hope is lost and that we will never be able to heal this divided society we have created there is a way. You don’t need to be some form of super human or a world renound activist to create change. The truth is everybody can do it! We need people, ALL people, to discover a humane empathetic respect for one another, and essentially it all comes back to the way we treat one another. If every person makes a conscious effort to treat others as equals to themselves we will achieve peace. In order for this to work people have to understand that for the greater good they need to put their own opinions aside and work collaboratively with people of all genders, sexualities, nationalities, religions, political parties, and classes. I must admit it will take a long time, it will be a slow and drawn out process of healing, but it can be done. I have no idea how many people will read this but if one person reads this and passes it on and then that person passes the message on this could go a very long way. But if you are going to take anything from this article, let it be that you can make a difference. The world is not an endless pit of misery, it is a world of possibilities. It is a world where we prove time and time again just how intelligent we are. It is a world where anything is possible, including change.The person who realises this and believes in it and the human race, with the whole of their being, that person will be the change this world needs to see.

On the topic of people who are working to create positive change, I would like to acknowledge all of the incredible work being done on a global level. I would personally like to acknowledge and show my appreciation for those real life heroes who go out of their way to help others. Who, for some of them, dedicate their lives to serving humanity. Your efforts do not go unnoticed, not by the people you’re helping and not by me. I’m sure you’re all aware of how negative the media really is and how much people tend to gravitate towards negative news. But just because we quite rarely hear about these inspiring stories of success doesn’t mean they aren’t there. The world truly isn’t doom and gloom as there are so many wonderful things taking place each day.

So I hope you understand that the problem isn’t that there’s no good things happening, the problem is that there is not enough support behind them. So I really encourage you to get involved within your local community or even set yourself a goal to show a small act of kindness each and every day.

As I said before I don’t know how many people will read this article, let alone how many people will actually think about what I’ve said, but I will be happy if one person at least thinks about this after reading this article and I will be over the moon if someone takes this message and passes it on. Because you cannot attempt to climb a whole staircase in one go, you have to take it one step at a time. Keeping the end goal in sight.

Thank you so much for reading this article. I hope something that I have said as got you thinking or resonated with you. This is something really important to me and I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks again for reading, have an amazing day.

Black Lives Matter

Black people and Indigenous people have been mistreated and abused for centuries. It is a practise that has lasted too long and must be changed. Your race and the colour of your skin should not matter, we are all human. This post is all about the mistreatment of the African-American people. This is a call for change, something must be done to handle the violence and abuse that has been, and continues to be, inflicted upon them. I am calling for change.

Before I get on with this post I would like to address something that I have come across quite often. I would like to ask you a question. When you hear the words Black lives matter, what is your immediate response? Is it to agree to the statement or counter it with all lives matter? Or do you go on with everyday life like nothing has happened? If you feel like responding to that statement with “all lives matter” or “all lives are worth the same”, I would like you to think about the impact of your words. Saying all lives matter is like bringing a present to a friends party and saying it’s for your cousin who’s birthday is next week, because her birthday matters too. It is like pinning a poster for your lost cat over the top of someone else’s for their lost dog, because all pets are worth the same. You see what I mean? Also if you say all lives matter and truly believe what you’re saying, you’ll acknowledge that all lives won’t matter until Black ones do too. It is not just your words that can impact others, it can also be your silence. If you don’t say anything, you have chosen the side of the opposer. You don’t have to do much, just show your support, educate yourself on the horrible things that happen in our world and spread the word. Tell others about all these dreadful events that occurs in our world every day. Think of all our Black and Indigenous people, they are all human too. I don’t mean this to upset or anger anyone I am simply asking that you think before you say. Now on with the post.

African – Americans

As most know African-Americans were enslaved throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Although some things have improved, they are still disregarded and harmed unfairly. Recently there was an incident where an African – American man died a tragic and unjust death. His name was George Floyd. He had a life, a family and dreams. Black Lives Matter is an international movement that was founded in 2012 after the death of African – American teenager Trayvon Martin. Since Mr Floyds death there has been an uproar of supporters to this movement. This is a result of people worldwide having enough with racism.

Government and Police Racism and Brutality

The story of George Floyd has made its way across the globe and has sparked outrage around the world and so it should. It is a tragic story of injustice and abuse. For anyone who doesn’t know the story of George Floyd I have linked it here. What happened to Mr Floyd is unacceptable. I am a white Australian girl on the other side of the world and I am pretty sure I’m not alone when I say I am outraged by this incident. George Floyd was not the only case of death at the hands of racism. Even in Australia our Indigenous Australians (the Aboriginal people) are nowhere near as well treated as the average white Australian. Around the world people are taking part in protests. People are angry. Fired up not just about Mr Floyd but about thousands of Black people whose lives have been taken from them by police. All those people who are afraid to walk past a police car for fear of being abused or killed. The stats for police abuse of African-Americans in the U.S are disgusting. To give you an insight I have included stats in the following section.

Police Brutality Statistics (USA)

The statistics for police abuse of black people is disturbing and completely wrong. African-Americans make up 12% of the total American population, but they make-up 37% of prisoners. Black people make up the majority of the American inmates with white Americans making the 2nd largest and Hispanics making the 3rd. African-Americans also make up 26.4% of the people killed by police. In America 1004 people were shot and killed by police in 2019. It has also been proven that Black women are killed at a higher rate than any other group of women. African-Americans are 10x more likely to be jailed than white Americans.

What Needs to Happen

The main issue in this is power. We need white people to come and fight, to use their white privilege to help fight for equality. We need people to break the silence and face the facts. We need people to educate themselves on the horrors that occur. We need people to speak out. Right now thousands of protests are happening worldwide Black and White people coming together for peace and equality. That is how we are going to get out of this. By helping each other many races, many colours, all human.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.

Jimi Hendrix

What You Can do

There are many places you can campaign or donate. If you want to do neither of those, spread the word. Post on your social media platforms use your voice. Research all the horrible things that happen, a lot of which we don’t hear about. Take control and educate yourself . You have a voice, use it to change the world. If you do want to donate I have a link below. I also have links below for great websites you can use to learn more.

Places to Research

Donate to I have placed the link below

Thank you for reading this post I hope that it has been informative or has sparked your voice. I encourage you to speak out in a peaceful way. Use your voice for the benefit of others and our world as a whole. Work together towards equality, peace and unity. I hope you’re all safe and well. – Sophie

Photos From: uncustomary| self – love + creativity on Pinterest. Photos From: Nykeiria Chaney on Pinterest