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)
  • KEEP TRYING
  • 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!

Success

Success. It is something that everybody strives for, and for some it is this ideal of success that makes them feel complete. But what is success? How do we know when we have it? And is our relentless and tireless effort to find it wasted?

Good morning/afternoon! Today’s post is about success, how we define it, what is wrong with the definition, why we believe it and how we should define it.

Photo from @marcnajera on unsplash

I am sure many of you are aware of how western culture defines success and just how wrong it can be. Success is something everybody wants. And many people have been manipulated into thinking of it in the wrong ways. When we measure success in problematic and misleading ways we are bound to encounter predicaments.

Current definition of success

The oxford dictionary defines success as : “The fact that you have achieved something that you want and have been trying to do or get; the fact of becoming rich or famous or of getting a high social position.”

This is a half a definition. Success is not a one size fits all thing. It is immeasurable as every single person is solely and uniquely themselves, therefore having unique and varying lives. Which consequently results in us having a loose term.

Another point worthy of raising in this article is that success is not money, fame or status. Too often do we allow ourselves to be convinced it is, but success is not wealth, nor is it fame, nor power.

What is wrong with this definition?

Photo from @jordanwhitfield on unsplash

Our definition of success comes from many years of stereotypes, falsehoods and ultimately lies that have been planted in our brains. We are constantly being spoon-fed information from all sorts of places and our brain adapts to this new information accordingly. Through use of media, this is how we allow ourselves to be manipulated; we do not distinguish the truth from the lies. We therefore allow ourselves to be persuaded into striving for an ideal that is eluded from our reach consistently.

When we continuously make strenuous and draining efforts to accomplish something that constantly moves further and further from our reach it takes a toll on our mental state of being.

Falling victim to this cycle of strenuous futile effort, is dangerous. There is much research to show that setting impossible targets drastically increases your risk of mental illness.

Ultimately this continuous strive for “success” is almost like perfectionism. Having to have what we consider to be the perfect life.

In a study conducted by social psychologist Thomas Curran, it was found that more now than ever the “drive of having a perfect body, mind and career” is being indoctrinated in people. Dr Curran say that this is “not only a result of parents are pushing their children harder but rather a larger shift in ideology in a societal level”. According to the same study, pushing people for greatness does not always create inspiration but on the contrary, has detrimental effects on ones mental wellbeing.

After some research I believe striving to please others and achieve an elusive form of “success“ is very much connected to the idea of perfectionism.

Achieving ultimate wealth, fame and power is something many people would deem as perfect a perfect life or “success”. It is also as I previously stated elusive. It is a cycle of which there is no end and no reward. It is not difficult to understand how mentally draining this would be.

Who is feeding us these ideas?

Photo from: @camilojimenez on unsplash

As mentioned before we are constantly being spoon-fed information. From where? Mainly the media. The media are not the only cause but they are a big one.

It is now becoming more and more well known how manipulative the media is. That everything we see is being sent to us. It is no secret that social media can be a very negative thing and it is for this reason exactly. Seeing people with so called “perfect lives” makes us feel like we are not enough. We then therefore strive to be like these people who we have deemed “enough”.

When we see these people with their perfect lives they seem so happy, so content and it really does seem perfect.

So as human beings we feel the need to be happy, content and perfect. This all contributes to your perception of the world around you.

Who is benefiting from these falsehoods?

Photo from: @mufidmajnun on unsplash

The answer is the rich, elitist, famous and powerful.

One thing that I don’t think people realise is that by setting these impossible goals we are consequently idolising those who have achieved them.

We idolise them by following, liking, reading, buying etc we endorse these people. Which subsequently gives them more money, more fame and more power. The people who benefit are benefiting because of our idolisation. We are the ones who give these people more power money and fame.

It is yet again another cycle. We keep giving them more, and so than the bar gets higher, and higher. The expectations rise. These people benefit whilst we work on achieving something that we are likely never to accomplish.

Redefining Success

So now that I have rambled on about all the things that are wrong with our definition of success you are probably asking “well what should I define success as?” And that is what I’m about to answer.

Now I personally don’t think there is a set definition of success and if there is I don’t know it. Success is something that will vary from person to person. However with all that said this is how I define success: achieving something of which you had desired to accomplish; the positive impact you leave on the world. Now obviously not everybody is going to have the same resources or experiences so my definition is not perfect either. But for me personally this is a good and relevant definition.

Thank you for reading this post! I hope that you were able to gain something from this post! 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.

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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.

An Unpopular Opinion

Good morning/afternoon! Today I will be writing what I realise will be a controversial post. I would like to apologise if this post is in any way shape or form offensive. I would also like to issue a disclaimer: this is my own personal opinion, all opinions in this post are my own. I am by no stretch of the imagination a qualified scholar on any of the issues in this post nor do I know what it feels like to be personally persecuted or to watch my own be persecuted for any of them and I am aware of this fact. These opinions have been formed by conversations, essays, articles, speeches and personal experiences. Please respect my opinion as I respect yours.

Now moving on to the post!

I for a while now have understood that I am lucky. I am lucky because I have a house to live in. I can walk down the street without feeling afraid. I can wear what I please. Have the opinions I have. Love who I want. Achieve what I set my mind to. And ultimately, be who I please.

It is not like that for everyone.

In this post I am once again voicing an opinion.

Most of the time you will find me agreeing with the activists, scholars, lawyers etc but I do have one thing where I will beg to differ, and I have been seeing it for years, in speeches, books, conferences, rallies even TV shows…..

In order to be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, the indigenous people, disabled people etc you have to believe that we are all the same. That you have to be comfortable talking about these issues. That you have to be willing to forget the past for a better future.

I don’t believe any of these statements to be true. I believe in order to be an ally of the ostracised groups you must accept that we ARE different. That we aren’t the same, we come from different places, we do things differently, we believe different things and our appearances will differ but that’s ok.

I also believe that it is 100% normal to be uncomfortable talking about these issues. For example I used to be extremely uncomfortable talking about racism, do I still experience mild discomfort talking about it? Yes. Does it mean I’m racist? No. Well, I don’t think so anyways. Being uncomfortable is normal, and it is ok. If someone is discussing something with you and you feel uncomfortable. Good. Be uncomfortable. Because in my understanding it means you care. Think about this. If I went to a racist and began discussing racism and they were not at all uncomfortable the chances are they do not care. But if I went to a “racist” and began talking about racism and they were uncomfortable they probably do deep down feel some form of empathy.

You may then ask if they do care why do they continue to be that way? And may I add that, that is a very good question. It probably means that there is some deeper issue. That they think being that way will be of profit to them. If you were poor and could barely afford food for you, your husband and your children, and the only source of income was your job you would be feeling pretty keen to keep that job. So what happens if discrimination stops and Eddie the transgender aboriginal woman who is 10x more qualified than you are, can now take you’re job because she’s know longer being discriminated against? What happens to you and your family?

From what I understand there is a population of people under this banner. That are afraid of what change means for them. Some of them have very good reason to be afraid. What is needed is a safety net. A way to look after those people, but that’s another days discussion. My point is that they probably do care, they are just afraid.

Lastly I want to mention the belief of “forget the past for a better future” or some variation of that phrase. Our history is what makes us. I will agree that it is ugly and wrong and filled to the brim with injustice, lies and violence, but it is still there. It will always be there. There is no hiding that white man invaded most of the nations on the planet, that they killed and tortured. I’m sorry but there isn’t any hiding that there were slaves. And for my country, Australia, there is no hiding that for many years the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were regarded as plants, not only that but in their own nation where they had been living peacefully for 40 000 years.

I know it is horrible, I too was ashamed to think that I am white. That my ancestors committed all these horrible crimes. But you know what? I shouldn’t. I am a firm believer that we should not feel guilty about the crimes committed in the past, but feel responsible for the reconciliation of all the different people.

I think that forgetting our past is going to solve as much as removing Hatshepsut from the Egyptian line of pharaohs did (For those of you who don’t know that story Hatshepsut was the first woman pharoah. Her and evidence of her reign was found and she was put back in the history books). We need to remember what happened and learn from it. To use it as motivation to heal the wound. We were never perfect, and never will be. But rather than burying our failures as the human race we need to understand what went wrong and learn.

Thank you for reading this post! I know it’s kind of long. Sorry. But this is just an opinion of mine I wished to share. I would like to close this post by saying I fully respect the opinions of people with those beliefs. I would also like to say to any of the indigenous, black, disabled, LGBTQ+, female, lower socioeconomic, (etc) people who may be reading this post, that I respect you as I would any other human being. I hope that reading this post and all the others on this site adds another name to the list of people who are your allies.

And to everyone have an amazing day!