CONFIDENCE BOOSTER No.7: Get a Positive Charge

It’s a simple fact that the more external negativity you allow into your life the more down you feel. Now, there are sources of negativity over which you have no control and very little influence, but there will be areas where you can make a positive difference to your environment.

THE CHALLENGE: To create a more positively charged environment in which to live.

If you allow yourself to be surrounded by ‘down beat’ and depressed energy from people, places and media, you are at a disadvantage before you even get started. Is there any benefit to your confidence in permitting this to continue? If you wish to up, maintain or enhance your confidence, it will be more difficult if you are weighed down by the burden of a negative environment. Remember that negativity is contagious and it loves company, but the same is true of positivity, so….



  • Seek out the company of supportive, positive and motivated people (this means reducing exposure to pessimism, doubt and psychological lethargy)
  • Do not allow your enthusiasm and motivation to be eroded by the negativity of others – you’ll know who they are. Where possible keep a distance because they just love to spread frowns.
  • Look out for negative judges, labellers, self confessed control freaks, or those who are simply unkind. The time may come when you may be able to help them….but you first.
  • Seek out different physical environments – try something new: gym, pub, café, restaurants, clubs, sporting clubs, parties you attend etc. Taking positive action will create positive change.
  • Beware what you read, listen to and watch. The constant media flow does have an affect how you feel – it’s your call.
  • Adjust your social media friends / likes as this alters the tone of your feed. Or take a holiday (temporary or permanent) from certain social media altogether.

This may seem obvious, however, so often  we can run our lives on auto pilot which will obscure what needs changing. It is said that if you own the action you own the consequences so a number of small adjustments can have a greater impact than you can imagine. The trick is in the doing.

CONFIDENCE BOOSTER No.5: Stop Comparisons

THE CHALLENGE: To stop using unfavourable comparisons to others as a stick with which to beat yourself.

Look out for this popular trip wire if you are trying to restore some lost confidence. If you are comparing yourself unfavourably to those around you: friends, colleagues, even relations, then you are actively undermining your own position and where’s the upside to this waste of mental energy?

  • Finding inspiration in the achievement of others can be a great source for motivation, however, be careful this does not slip into negative comparison – which is very fruitful ground for weighing down your own self confidence…..completely unnecessarily.
  • You are unique and possess your own skills and abilities, but how can you properly concentrate on your own performance if you are busy getting anxious about how someone else is doing?

How many sprint races were lost when, instead of dipping for the finishing tape, a competitor decides instead to glance across at the competition? 



Improve your own game – you have already identified your skills in BOOSTER No.2 so:

  • Set out a plan to enhance the things you are already good at, and to challenge yourself in areas where you may need to improve.
  • What new element would you like to add to your skill set? Identify it and then set about getting it

Up your own game – this is where true motivation comes from….not in glancing at what others are doing….they will have different strengths and weaknesses to you. Watch out for wasted energy wishing you were like someone else – it’ll never happen so rule it out of your thought process.


CONFIDENCE BOOSTER No.4: Handling Criticism

The challenge: To take criticism the way it is intended and learn the lesson in its context.

If we offer or simply think critically of someone in a negative sense, we are not seeking to improve or to support, but are simply passing judgement. On these occasions, there is something else at work which in most circumstances has little or nothing to do with the poor soul on the receiving end. In most instances it’s about our own ‘stuff’ – our frustrations, our disappointments, our ‘what ifs’ etc. Ultimately, that judgement may have nothing to do with the target at all!

The same is true when we find negative criticism coming our way:

  • It has next to nothing to do with us.
  • The comments cannot be objective (otherwise they would not be negative).
  • This breed of criticism will not be helpful.
  • If the criticism comes from a stranger, it’s not even personal – how can it be? Remember they do not know you.

Therefore, we are merely the canvas upon which another person has chosen to sketch out their issues. Incidentally, if the negative judgment comes from a close friend, then that is a clear sign that your friend is in need of your help and support. Pitch in and find out what on earth’s the matter.

With all this clear in the mind, it is easier to take positive feedback from friends and colleagues in a constructive way and in the manner in which it had been intended – with good will.


  • Identify the source of the criticism/feedback and ask yourself, “What is their intention?” – Is it well intentioned or not? Is it to your benefit or not? Write it down.
  • Note an instance (more than one if you really want to drill down on this issue), of when you feel you have been criticised either recently or in the recent past… write it down.
  • What was your reaction? Keep writing!
  • Then conclude – on serious and accurate reflection, is the criticism really something that should be taken to heart?

As in all personal development, this is an ongoing process and the more you practice doing this, the more it will become a good habit. Over time, this will replace the feelings of being under siege when you are criticised and will remove the reaction of self-defence – be it internal or external.

CONFIDENCE BOOSTER No.3 : The Damage of Comparisons

Another unnecessary pressure we heap on to ourselves in an already pressured environment is when we compare who we are, how we look and what we have achieved, to others – & such comparisons are rarely favourable.


  • It’s time to measure up to your own standards and not those set by peer pressure and the desire to be like someone else – these have a detrimental effect on self esteem in a very profound way.
  • If you compare yourselves to others you are not going to have the full picture necessarily: the sacrifices they made to get there; how happy they are with the outcome; the effects on other aspects of their lives i.e. home & family. You do not see the full picture so you cannot know how successful someone REALLY is beyond the superficial.
  • While you are busy measuring up to others you can miss your own opportunities where your particular strengths & talent can shine – effectively you stifle your own talents.



  • Identify your skills and abilities (as in No.2), and match these to goals you would like to achieve. This way you play to your strengths…..why would you want to do anything else?

By all means, seek inspiration in others, in their achievements and the examples they set – but in doing so give full credit to your own abilities. In aiming for your goal, ensure you do it your way and for your reasons. The keys word here is AUTHENTICITY, which will check negative comparisons at every turn.


Most entrepreneurs will be all too aware of the pressures that go hand in glove with being self-employed. The pressure not only to succeed but also to be seen to be successful, is inherent within the very fabric of our society. 



We are taught to want to ‘succeed’ from a very early age, and once past infancy the forces at work, driving us forward: our parents; our teachers; and our friends, are irresistible. We become conditioned with the need to compete and in a competitive society this is a useful driver to have. However, if we become conditioned to value our worth by what we believe the world thinks of our success, our thought process and behaviour can create huge dissonance with our core values.



Most of us at some time in our lives have uttered the plea ‘stop the ride, I wanna get off!’ but seldom do we question that urge. What many of us do not appreciate is that we do not need to ask permission of a third party to stop the ride, in fact all the controls we require are in our hands. This does not mean have to mean walking away from existing life styles, nor for abdicating responsibilities. Rather, it is a call for regular pauses, short periods of reflection to re-evaluate our understanding of our lives, our aspirations and our emotions.



How often do we question how we personally measure success & why? Our social and cultural conditioning measures success by whether or not we surpass those around us. We spend our time, therefore, making comparisons with our peers and competing on that basis. We often fail to explore what success really means to us. As a result we spend our time chasing goals reactively preset, and which may have absolutely nothing to do with our innermost desires and core values. Only by matching our lives to those desires and values can we attain our own true success and fulfilment.


It is for all of us to challenge our own thinking and, possibly for the first time, take a serious look at what makes us tick as opposed to what convention dictates it should be. If we take the time to take a look, we may be pleasantly surprised.


. Alan specialises in helping executives, entrepreneurs & their staff to manage stress levels, conflict resolution, self confidence & potential burnout! In doing so he employs mindfulness, emotional intelligence, life coaching/CBT, & more than 3 decades of experience as an international sales executive.



1000 miles journey


Belief is the key to all work related to changing life strategies regardless of whether someone is setting such plans for their home life or their business.The belief referred is not that associated with faith, but instead is concerned as it applies to facts, to our reality and to objective judgment. So what it is we need to believe in order to take control of our lives?
We can all agree that allowing negative thoughts and actions to preoccupy us, contributes nothing towards positive change in our lives. If, on the other hand, we recognise the positivity that already exists for us, there will be a change in our thinking – and that can only have a beneficial effect.
We need to recognise, acknowledge & connect with our strengths – we all have them – the stuff we are good at. At this point, if we can hear a voice saying ‘I’m no good at anything’ then that is a trip wire alerting us to the fact that we are allowing excess negativity into our thinking. If we allow negativity to run the show the results will be predictable. The truth is that by the time we reach maturity we already possess everything we need to achieve our own fulfilment – we just have to reveal it.
Lets make sure that we are surrounded by people who are truly in our corner, and who bring positive energy with them. The power of intention – our will to make things happen – is a matter of fact and it works so much better the more of us there are all wanting the same thing.
Of course, we are not in control of what others think and do, but we are totally responsible for our own thoughts and behaviour and, importantly, our reactions to people and events. It’s our choice to turn off the autopilot & once we take ownership of what happens next, it gives us much more clarity as to the choices we have to make.
This all leads to one thing: BELIEF IN OURSELVES….
This is what it all boils down to. We can set our goals and formulate our plans but the engine room is to be found in believing we can do it. Once we back our abilities, once we create an environment where our strengths can be enhanced by drive and optimism, there’s nothing that can stand in our way.
“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves”.  
Alan Keyse is a fully qualified Business and Life Coach who now applies his 30 years of experience as a sales executive to coaching Emotional Intelligence to business leaders, executives, managers and their staff either in one-to-one sessions, in groups, or speaking to larger audiences. 


iceberg floating

Emotional Intelligence


EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is regarded by successful business leaders as an essential skill to compliment IQ and is defined as:

“The capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships”

The five domains improved by enhanced Emotional Intelligence are:

Improved connections to our emotions & their effects on us physically, our thinking & our behaviour. A greater understanding of our emotional strengths and limitations.

To better control our behaviour and reactions. We also become more flexible in challenging circumstances

Strengthens our ability to get inspired, motivated, up-beat, and ensure we stay there consistently

Understanding the emotions, wants and needs of others. Being better attuned to body language and moods, be it in individual or a group dynamic.

Developing relationships & communications. More empathetic & effective management – picking up early warnings signs of potential conflicts.

85% of financial success is due to skills of personality, communication, negotiation
Carnegie Institute of Technology