The Defining Moment: The Confidence To Change

I was a party animal I liked how alcohol gave me the confidence to ask girls to dance. I liked how marijuana made me feel happy for a couple of hours and caused me to forget the pressures of the present and the pain of the past.

I loved to go to bars and get really drunk so I could start fights and beat people up — that way I could release the anger I had deep inside toward my stepfather who physically and mentally abused my mother, my brother, and me. I had so much rage inside that I would sometimes fight three or four people at a time — and win.

My life was spinning out of control. I was hurting. I hated myself. I hated life. I hated people. My life was going nowhere.

The Defining Moment: The Moment of Decision

After twenty-three years, I made a decision that changed the course of my life. The guilt and shame of the horrible life I was living was overwhelming me. I felt so dirty inside. I was so angry at everyone.

Reinventing one's life starts in the moment of decision. I asked God that day to help me change my life so I could become the person I was destined to be. A radical change took place inside me. I forgave myself, forgave my parents, and forgave all those who had ever wronged me.

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My childhood thoughts — I'm stupid, I'm a bad person, I'm not good enough, I'm not loved, and it's wrong to express myself — had contaminated my adult life and were crippling me by hindering my confidence, true potential, and success.

Change is a door that can only be opened from the inside! — Gary Eby

One of my greatest moments, and one that I treasure, came when I attended my twenty-year class reunion and our class president said I was voted the "most changed" person in our class. I used to be so embarrassed that I had been such a deadbeat. When people would ask me about my past, I would quickly change the subject. But now I realize that I am a shining example — if I can change, anybody can change.

The Emergency Brake That Inhibits Change

The Defining Moment: The Confidence To ChangeAudre Lorde said, "Revolution is not a one-time event." Applied to your life, this suggests that you are an ever-evolving, progressive work. So continue to develop yourself.

Periodically, you must reinvent yourself. Examine your life and see what needs to be changed.

During your self-examination, expose and remove the obstacles to change and progress in your life.

The Ultimate Lie: I have tried everything!

I have a friend who moved to America to live the American Dream. He wanted to be a speaker and coach like I am. I gave him a list of twenty-five immediate action steps that he needed to take to be successful. However, his wife told me he only did one or two of them and simply quit. My friend finally decided he was going to go back to his country where it was "easier" to succeed. On the day of his departure, he looked into my eyes and said, "Keith, I don't want to leave this country, but you know I have tried everything I know to succeed and nothing has worked. Don't you agree?"

I gracefully looked him square in the eyes and put on my coaching hat, and instead of giving him a direct answer, I asked him, "You tried EVERYTHING?"

He quickly replied, "Yes! I have tried everything!"

I said, "Really? Name everything you tried one by one. Start by naming at least five of the twenty-five action steps I told you to do to build your speaking business that you actually applied."

He slowly named off a total of three and proceeded to give me all the negative "stories" about why each of them did not work for him. Then he quickly changed the subject and invited me to visit him in his country in the future.

Going To The Next Level

One time I was coaching a motivational speaker who taught some great information; but in order to go to the next level, he needed to write the information in a book. His story? "I don't have enough time to write a book."

I said, "Oh? How much time do you spend every day watching television, surfing the Internet, or playing video games?

"You have enough time... this is just the story you keep telling yourself."

©2011.  Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, a member of
Penguin Group (USA).

Article Source

This article was excerpted from the book The Confidence Solution by Keith Johnson.The Confidence Solution: Reinvent Yourself, Explode Your Business, Skyrocket Your Income
by Keith Johnson.

Click here for more info or to order this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Dr. Keith Johnson, author of the article: Confidence -- Being a Better MeDr. Keith Johnson known as America's #1 Confidence Coach, has spent the past fifteen years successfully training more than 120,000 leaders how to maximize their leadership potential and effectiveness. One of the premier speakers on the subjects of leadership and confidence building, he has spoken worldwide including in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Africa, India, Spain, and throughout the United States. Dr. Keith is the founder and CEO of Confidence International, and speaks at many organizations, entrepreneur groups, churches, and events each year. Visit his website at