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15 Jun 2016
I have a shocking revelation: I’m not Superwoman.
Surprising, right? Over the years, when I tell people about the Top Five Movement — and the rock-your-world impact it can have — they tend to think that when I started writing a Top Five I suddenly became a superhero. I definitely did not. To this day, I still do not have one respectable supernatural power (nor do I get to wear a cool cape, sadly).
But here’s the kicker: Sometimes I feel like I have special powers.
How can this be? The people around me probably didn’t even notice the tidal wave of change that had washed over me … at least not immediately. It was gradual. The small shifts, little habits, dozens of pint-sized “right actions” made a massive difference. The snowball effect of the Top Five mended, polished, refined and honed my spirit, mind and body.
And slowly, I realised that I was onto something incredible.
One of the many perks of having a gratitude habit like the Top Five is that it gives you an injection of confidence. As my husband says, “It makes people more positive, and through this, they think more positively about their abilities.”
Unfortunately, my super power isn’t a turn-water-into-chocolate kind of ability. No villains have been sent back to their far off lands. I cannot fly or see through walls. But I do feel like I can take on any challenge that I face. I have so much confidence in who I am and what I can do.
Now, it’s your turn.
Let’s admit it, we live in a my-designer-bag-is-more-expensive-than-your-designer-bag world. When you have a digital social life, you are constantly comparing yourself to the filtered photos of your friends, family, university pals and so on. That can do a number on your confidence, and it can almost convince you that you are not as happy as your cousin who always posts magazine-worthy photos of his near-constant holidays (really, Mike, Bali again!?).
It can make you feel as though you are in a rat race that everyone else is winning. It can wear you down.
So what is going to lift you up?
You deserve to feel great about your life and your lovely holidays and your hilarious friends and supportive family. You deserve to see your life as the fabulous adventure that it is. With the Top Five, you can take steps to grow the faith you have in your own abilities, in who you are, in the life you have and your ability to reach your goals.
Build the belief you
have in yourself
I mentioned above that my Top Five makeover was gradual. Baby-step by baby-step, tiny tweak by tiny tweak, I started taking responsibility for who I was and what I did. In the process, I began creating the kind of life that actually made me jump-out-of-bed excited to be living it.
No amount of likes or retweets is going to replace how you feel about yourself when you wake up in the morning. No hashtag will ever describe how good you feel.
Think about the cost of not building your own confidence. How does your lack of confidence, your negative thinking, your self-doubt inhibit you? What do you avoid or miss out on? How do you feel?
Now think, what happens if you actively take steps to build confidence?
What happens if you know — the kind of knowing that comes from deep down in your belly — that you have the skill, talent and energy to reach your goals? No, really. Think. Think about what would happen if you banish the negative thinking and celebrate the positive.
You see, the Top Five helps people see their world through a lens of opportunity. When you inevitably start to think negatively, it helps you refocus on the positive. It’s kind of like wearing a chic but affordable pair of rose-coloured glasses. Don’t believe me? Check out these five
ways that the Top Five can strengthen your positive-thinking muscles:
When you have a gratitude practice or have built up your mindful, positive thinking muscles, you begin to notice how you adapt in different situations. You learn from your mistakes, and you find the good in even the worst situations. A day finished with small wins and reflections on lessons is better than a day you have written off with frustration.
Remember that time you jumped out of a plane even though you are scared of heights? Maybe that’s just a metaphor, or maybe you have literally jumped out of a plane. Either way, when you step out of your comfort zone and have a positive moment then you will likely step out again. That’s just what the Top Five gives you: a running list of all your obstacle-overcoming, glass-ceiling-shattering personal victories. The more you recognise that you are stepping out of your comfort zone and surviving — let alone, potentially loving every single second of it — the more likely you are to do it again and again. Bonus point: You also have the opportunity to show others the way while you are doing it!
Let’s face it, your brain can be a feisty minx. Sometimes our thoughts can be irrational, annoying, unhelpful. They can make us feel like we aren’t prepared enough or skilled enough to do things. A Top Five helps you build self awareness — giving you a mirror-like vision of who you are. When you have a true sense of the resources (skills, support, experiences, abilities) that you already have access to, it becomes a platform for self-esteem. A Top Five helps you notice and celebrate the things you already have.
Positive, supportive and encouraging people are drawn to positive, supportive and encouraging people. Having a strong network of support makes you feel amazing, and it gives you confidence to know that an army of awesomeness has your back.
The more you fill your brain with positive thoughts, the less room there is for the negative ones. You can break the cycle of negative self talk by adding the Top Five to your routine. It’s like vitamins for your emotions.
Get yourself a Smile Chickie ring. I promise magic happens when you where one!
Still don’t believe me? Give it a go and prove me wrong!
We all know people who seem to be overflowing with self-assurance. They have mastered the art of the humble brag, and they never seem to have any doubts about their own greatness.
But what really makes someone overconfident? Do they really have more confidence than the rest of us? Or are they out of touch with reality and skilled in the “fake it until you make” mindset?
Sometimes overconfidence can comes from a place of fear. Sometimes it’s about putting on a brave front. They are trying to convince themselves and the rest of the world that they are braver than they are actually feeling. When in reality, they are just like the rest of us: human.
Maybe you are one of those people. Or have been.
But faking it will only get you so far. A practice like the Top Five can be a great tool as you tune in with their own happiness and build awareness, contentment and strength. Instead of pretending that you are really, truly happy about who you are, you actually become happy about who you are. And you no longer emit an air of narcissism. You don’t brag. You become secure with yourself.
Positivity has power. When you begin writing a Top Five, capturing five positive things each day, you naturally begin to adopt a practise of positive thinking. And as we’ve discussed, a practise of positive thinking leads to a greater sense of self and a greater confidence in one’s self.
The sky is not the limit.
Your belief in yourself is.
And maybe my favourite part of the whole domino effect is this: I believe that when you increase your self-esteem, it can lead to courageous, enthusiastic and deliberately positive acts.
Who’s the superhero now?
You, of course! Because more gratitude and positive thinking provides a platform of possibility and encourages a mindset where decisions are made out of a feeling of abundance, not fear or worry. That means you can take that leap. You know that leap, the one that could be starting a new business, testing your talents, beginning a new relationship. Yes, that leap. The big one. The one you are about to take.
Positive thinking drives positive action.
Positive action builds confidence.
There are so many proven — yay science! — benefits to positive thinking. More and better sleep. More optimism. More energy. More resilience. More exercise and better health. The list goes on and on. And all these elements help you to become the most awesome you, and they serve as your support as you take the leaps you want to take.
Lastly, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign up for my regular so-useful-you’ll-thank-me emails. I am all over the best and brightest developments in the world of positivity and self development. So let me do the sorting for you and bring you only the most effective tools and tips to help you live longer, be healthier, happier, more confident, less lonely, more relaxed, more creative, help you bounce back from hard times quicker, experience improved emotional balance and even sleep better.
With loads of gratitude,