Seven Tips for Improving Our Self-Image and Building Self-Confidence:

“All you need to succeed is a willingness to face the unknown and apply the principles of Ten Seconds of Boldness, and enough courage to make a decision and take the first step.” – Shawn Langwell

  1. There are no shortcuts to self-confidence or success. All worthwhile achievement in life is a direct result of having a dream or a vision that requires learning, practicing, and developing the habits necessary to be, have, or do that which you desire. At its core, confidence and success must start with you. Nobody else can determine your dreams or goals. No amount of external motivation will fire you up long enough to help you develop the confidence necessary to feel a meaningful sense of belonging, purpose, and accomplishment.
  2. It’s normal to suffer occasional blows to our confidence. We all do— even star athletes or celebrities. So why then is confidence so hard to build, develop, and maintain? Can it be that we feel the need always to be at the top of our game? That we are so afraid of failing that we don’t ever really try. Or is it more like the song, “Looking for love in all the wrong places”? Are we trying too hard to find confidence in things outside ourselves?
  3. Confidence is not some magic potion. It is built and developed over time, through countless hours of practice and repetition.
  4. Confidence is an experience of being fully present, and at peace with who you are, where you are, now.
  5. Confidence is acceptance of things as they are‑—“It is what it is”— and believing that if you don’t like that, you have the power to respond and react differently.
  6. Building self-confidence is a perpetual quest; it is found in the process of discovering who you really are and who you want to become.
  7. Life is a lot more fun with confidence. When I think of confidence, I think of Stephen Curry. He is, in my opinion, a penultimate superstar. Because of hard work, lots of practice, mental and physical conditioning, creativity, and his willingness to take risks, he dazzles fans around the world with his ball-handling and shooting mastery playing the game he loves—basketball. He exudes fun, joy, humility, and a sense of teamwork that, to me, is the epitome of confidence. But even Steph has off nights. Don’t we all?

If you’d like to learn more, check out my forthcoming book, Ten Seconds of Boldness: The Essential Guide to Solving Problems and Building Self-Confidence. Sign up for early release notification and other helpful tips here: www.shawnlangwell.com

Denial is Not a Solution

To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”- Socrates

At this time last year, I wrote about my own shortcomings and how excited I was to finally see the light at the end of a long dark tunnel regarding how long it took to write my next book. I talked about lessons and personal struggles—trying to write a book about confidence while in the midst of one of the biggest slumps in my sales career.

I spoke of promise and hope that my book would be done by the end of 2021. Well, guess what? I’m still not done. But I am many steps closer.

Why do I write this, now? Why am ratting myself out? Because I don’t know of any writer, salesperson, or anyone for that matter, who never struggles with motivation, confidence, with procrastination.

As a writer, speaker, and salesperson I get to face my feelings of inadequacy and insecurity on a daily basis, constantly wondering is this “good enough?” or “am I good enough?”

I know I am not alone.

So, what do I do to overcome that faulty belief system in my head?

I “feel the fear and do it anyway.” I practice Ten Seconds of Boldness.

I show up. I put my butt in a chair and write. I do a little bit every day. I don’t dwell in a carnival house of mirrors where my self-image is distorted and warped. Where the mirrors have names like, worry, doubt, fear, insecurity, and my least favorite, the dreaded “imposter.”

In some small way creating the habit to write on a regular basis alleviates the noise in my head. But like the shadow monster in our closet as kids, these insidious beliefs about my value and worth continue to sneak around, especially in the dark. Probably always will. When I feel them lurking, I flip on the lights and see that they were only shadows. Figments of my imagination and faulty belief system.

Sure, it takes more than flipping on the lights to overcome many of our persistent negative habits and feelings that block us from doing our best. Denial is not a solution. That’s why I chose the quote by Socrates. Our progress is predicated on knowing ourselves and being brave enough to walk across the room and flip on the lights when we think there are monsters sneaking about.

But for now, recognizing and admitting the problem exists—monsters are real when we believe them to be— is the first step toward healing. The first step toward becoming a better, more confident writer.

Like anything in life, things get easier with practice. And our confidence grows when we find the courage to feel what we feel and press on anyway.

Now back to finishing my book, even though I don’t want to write right now.

Here’s to you and your success.

If you want to be one of the first to read my next book, “Ten Seconds of Boldness: The Essential Guide to Solving Problems and Building Self-Confidence.” Sign up here.

I will be giving away some planning tools and one signed copy when it’s published.

Find me at: https://shawnlangwell.com/

Feed your dreams, not your fears

My step father once said,
“What are the dots in your life?”
As in, I did x dot, dot, dot then y dot, dot, dot.

I didn’t fully grasp it at the time but now it’s a little more clear.

What he was saying is to pay attention to the pauses in life—the thoughts, moments of mediation, reflection and of being not doing. Sage advice. Thank you, Dave O’Connor!

As he and my mom age I am reminded how very short this life we have is.

In November last year, my mother took her second big fall. This time she was partially paralyzed and forced to recoup in nursing home for five weeks. Meanwhile, her ninety-year-old husband of twenty-eight years and my stepfather was battling age related memory loss and required a caregiver to assist with meals and meds. To top it off his son attempted to assert control over David’s health and finances. It was a nightmare, but we survived.

My wife graciously cared for my mom for six weeks after she was released from the nursing home and eventually moved in with us for four months. When the six weeks leave of absence for my wife was up, my work was generous enough to allow me to work from home, so I could care for her until we were able to sell their house and find a new place for them.

For four months, I was not able to break free to recharge. I was unable to make time to feed my soul. I desperately needed to hike the coast, to be in nature, to reconnect with my spirit. I needed to pay heed to the other dots in my life. Once their house closed escrow and we got them all settled in one of the first things I did was take a long hike along the West Marin Coast.

Even though I battled fears my mom would never be able to live on her own again, I trusted everything would work out the way it was supposed to. Fortunately, it did.

In hindsight, everything happened exactly as it was supposed to. My mom and Dave are now in a place in Petaluma where they can maintain their independence while having meals and cleaning services provided.

Though I did the right thing, those few months sapped my soul to the core. Now, I make it a point to carve out time for me to rekindle my inner spirit. To dream again. This year has been a challenge but despite it all me and our family have been blessed beyond measure. I don’t take anything for granted and am even more intentional about investing my time on the important things.

The past three years my wife has chosen a word as a focal point for something she wanted to work on that year.  It worked. Last year I watched her whole life transform as she lived out her word, confidence. My word for 2018 was focus. I have accomplished virtually everything I set out for myself and more. When it is all said and done, my relationships are stronger, my faith has grown immeasurably, I joined Toastmasters and even pushed myself to go back to school.

I am feeling pulled to grow even more in the year ahead and that is both frightening and exciting. I know in my soul that I need to dream bigger. So big, in fact, that I must rely on the divine forces of the universe to do for me what I cannot do for myself. I am growing to trust my higher power even more. From a logical standpoint, there is really no reason to live in fear or doubt. I could list hundreds of experiences where I was given exactly what I needed, despite any of my best laid plans.

2019 will be a milestone year. The events and blessings to come from faith, effort and my willingness to grow will set the course for the rest of my life. The dots will be many. I will walk through every moment of fear with a quiet certitude that there is a plan for me and my only job is to seek and trust that inner voice which guides me— my responsibility is to put one foot in front of the other and march forward into the vast unknown. In so doing, my prayer is that the dreams I live and achieve will ignite many others to aspire to whatever change they seek.

I am more determined than ever. This year, my word is commitment.

Feeling Stuck?

Ever feel like you’re a human doing instead of a human being?

Are you caught in the rat race of life feeling like there is never enough time to do all you want to do?

I don’t know about you but I go through seasons in life where things seem to be clicking and all is falling into place as I would like.  I am happy and content, and then something shifts.  I say yes to too many things. I become over-extended. I want to do it all yet there never seems to be enough hours in the day. I come home exhausted, burnt-out, and have nothing left for my family.

Fortunately, there is hope and resources to help. You can learn how to “leverage your thought life to live your best life.”

It takes a concerted effort to break out of the Home-Work-Sleep routine to live life fully as, I believe, we were all intended to.

I have been invited to participate in a “Master Your Mindset” web interview series with Darcy Lubow and 8-12 other coaches, trainers, and thought leaders from around the world.

If you feel stuck and want a way to break through some of the limiting  thought patterns, false narratives, and feelings that may be holding you back from your dreams and goals then you’ll want to sign up for this free event.

It will be live July 5-11. Click below for details and to sign up…registration is FREE.

Free Master Your Mindset Web Interview Series

I hope you can join us.

In the meantime, if you’d like to receive future updates about goal setting, and achieving all you we’re intended to, please join my email list.

Email contact

Thank you for your support and encouragement.

We are all destined to leave this world a little better than it was when we came into it. Let’s do it together by starting with ourselves.

Shawn

Exposed – Local Author Gets Real

Public speaking usually tops the list of things most people fear.

I’ve found that when I do that which I fear most, confidence and joy typically follow.

The first time I had to give a talk in front of a crowd I was in grammar school. I hated it. I was mortified.  Filled with anxiety and worry that I would suck, I stood there with sweaty palms wondering if I would have anything worthwhile to say. Would I stumble over my words, and saying lots if “ums” and “ahs”? That was many years ago. Despite all my fears, I lived through it.

Last Thursday, before delivering my first truly public talk about my memoir, Beyond Recovery: A Journey of Love, Grace and Forgiveness at Many Rivers Books in Sebastopol, I was a nervous wreck.

Shawn Langwell - Many Rivers Book Reading - Sebastopol - 6-1-17

Shawn Langwell – Many Rivers Book Reading – Sebastopol  6-1-17 Photo: Dale Godfrey

As the hour of reckoning drew closer, I psyched myself out wondering if anyone I invited would show. Most did. I was thrilled when the founding pastor of our church arrived. I had prayed all day that he would be there. I smiled and gave him a big hug, and thanked him for coming.

Later, as I began my talk though, I was afraid I’d drop a few cuss words and worried that I might mess up. I also wondered how the mixed crowd would accept or reject me talking openly about my faith, my struggle, and my recovery journey. How would they receive my stories of love, acceptance and forgiveness? Would they even know the inner terror I was feeling?

It didn’t matter, I had chosen to do this. I was committed and went for it.

Was it the best talk I’d ever given? No. Far from it. It did, however, give me that extra little bit of confidence to do things a little different next time. For example: I need to practice a little more, be lighter, and share from more from my heart in the beginning of my talk and not rely so heavily on my notes. I believe this will help me connect more  and build a stronger relationship with my audience.

Perhaps I am being too hard in myself, but the point is, I am walking through uncharted territory which is scary and exciting.

I have found that the greatest growth happens when I stretch my comfort zone and venture out into the unknown.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

-Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

Want to turn doubt into confidence?

Are you ready to trust yourself, feel safe in following your intuition, get doubt, fear and confusion out of the way, and get to living the dream life you’ve been working toward?

Can you allow yourself to dream right now?

Imagine feeling safe, confident and excited about following your gut instincts. Imagine turning your intuitive feelings into tangible action and watching your dreams turn into reality.

My colleague Darcy has the solution for you!

headshot-april-2017_1_orig

Join her Free 5-Day Challenge where she will show you what she has done to turn self doubt into self trust, create results toward that dream life you know is possible by following her intuition so you can do the same in your life.

I know you will get a lot from her.

Here’s the FOCUS!

How to Finally Trust Yourself & Your Intuition so that you can turn your dreams into tangible results now, regardless of what you’ve been through or already tried.

What you’ll get from this Free 5-Day Challenge:

  1. Why now is the perfect time to put fear to the side and take the leap of faith on your dreams
  2. Uncover the skills and abilities you already have that completely qualify you to start trusting yourself first and foremost
  3. Identify what has stood in the way of you really trusting yourself so you can turn doubt into trust and confidence
  4. Define your dream life in tangible ways and begin taking action to live it now
  5. How to develop your intuition and understand the subtle messages your inner voice is sending so you can turn your dreams into tangible results with confidence and joy and discover how others are enjoying the fulfillment that comes with becoming successful—and how you can too!

Join the challenge now

My intention is that this is landing in your inbox at just the right time. Also, as a bonus, when you sign up for this challenge you will automatically be included in a web interview series that I will be featured in! (Details to come in July)

Join the tribe & let’s get you the results you’ve been waiting for.

Join the challenge now

See you there,

Shawn Langwell