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This post was most recently updated on February 22nd, 2014

Self ConfidenceRaising your sense of worth is a key to gaining the self-confidence you need to reach your goals and attract what you want into your life.

In my years of professional psychic consulting, I’ve found that one of the major hindrances to clients’ development and happiness is highly related to their internal degree of self-confidence.


Defining Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is simply your belief that you have the ability to get something you want, the power to assert yourself in a way to obtain it, and the talent to bring it to fruition.  You will generally see results that correlate to your belief in yourself.  That’s because your subconscious mind encourages you to use your ability, power and talent to accomplish things when you truly believe in yourself.  When you don’t, your subconscious mind works to sabotage your efforts, or to dangle the allures of fear and procrastination to prevent you from even trying.

A Case Study

One of my clients, “Margaret”, is the medical director a major psychiatric facility in the United States.  She has hundreds of people under her charge as patients, and under her direction as head of the facility.

Because this facility had been widely recognized as a world clinic, she was asked to prepare and deliver a “white paper” (scientific assessment) at an upcoming psychiatric conference to be attended by other leading professionals in the field. 

She came to me, distraught that while she had been given 4 months to complete this task, she was unable to get any traction with it.  There was only one month left and she was visibly shaking with fear

The problem, I pointed out to her, was not one of inability, but one of confidence.
Although Margaret was a highly accomplished psychiatrist, she couldn’t see herself that way.  She believed she was just an ordinary day worker.  In fact, often times, when she had consulted with me in the past concerning her profession, she would refer to it as her
“job”.  Now, that’s a bit unusual in a field where I find even ordinary intake nurses to present themselves as bigger than life and smarter than most.

As we discussed her life growing up in a small industrial town, Margaret came to realize that her family of coal miners and cargo transporters did not place a high value on her schooling and professional accomplishments.  In fact, they rather sneered at her being
a psychiatrist at all since none of them trusted the profession.

Although Margaret had strong convictions for what she did, and discounted her family’s negativity, she had subconsciously adopted a more menial view of her occupation.  So when she arrived at the office each day, she internalized the idea that she was just “on the job”, as if she were a coal miner.

Digging a bit deeper, it appeared that Margaret subconsciously viewed herself as someone who had just been lucky to end up where she was.  She couldn’t really accept the fact that it was a result of her talent and ability.  She knew that rationally, but her non-rational subconscious told her she was just another worker, but one who was lucky enough to have a big office.

The white-paper task threatened Margaret because deep inside, she didn’t think she had (1) the ability to research and write the paper, and (2) the courage to deliver it for the inspection and review of her peers.

Developing Self-Confidence

There are many ways that I’ve worked with people to develop their self-confidence.
Perhaps the most effective and direct way I’ve found, is to give people small, manageable tasks that they can easily perform.  With each small task completed, their self-confidence rises and the task is done before they hardly realize they’re doing it.

I had one client who really liked a guy in her office, but didn’t have the self-confidence to approach him in any way.  I suggested that she begin by hand delivering interoffice memos that she regularly emailed to about 10 people.  He was one of them.  I had her
hand-deliver them to each of the 10 people so he wouldn’t feel like he had been called out in any special way.  The guise for doing this was to get direct feedback as she delivered the memos.  Was the time of the meeting good for them, would they like to add a topic for discussion, and so forth. 

To make a long story short, she grew in confidence of her ability to converse with this guy and eventually got to the point where she actually asked him out to attend a concert with her.  This is obviously making a long story short.  But the point is that she did what she KNEW she could, and then, as her self-confidence grew she had felt empowered to take it
a step beyond her comfort point.  I won’t tell you how this little romance ended though.  Maybe in a PM 🙂 

In the case above, I had Margaret collect all the primary sources (articles) she needed to prepare the white paper.  I asked her to call me as soon as she had done that.  Of course, that was not difficult but she had put it off for 3 months! 

Once she had done that, I asked her to summarize for me each of the the articles she needed to review in one or two sentences.  When she gave me that, I asked her to use her “review” to construct an outline for her paper.  Before long, she stopped calling me because she was rolling along effortlessly with the project.

By the time she finished the white-paper, Margaret’s self-confidence had soared to a level that the thought of sharing it and opening it to peer review was hardly an issue any more.

The Myth of The “Strong Will”

In my view, the attempts by people to develop a “strong will” to kind of muscle their way through low self-confidence rarely succeeds.  In fact, in my practice, I’ve only seen it fail, only to leave the person with even lower self-confidence because now they’ve “proven” to themselves that they “just can’t” do it.

Rather than wasting your time trying to build a mythical “strong will”, I suggest you begin where both of my clients that I’ve told you about here did.

The Action Model

The reason that both of my clients were able to move forward toward accomplishing their goals was this.  I did not tell them “yes, you can do it”.

Instead, I suggested that “well, if you can’t write the paper, at least you can collect the articles for research… so DO THAT.”  Or, in the second case, “You tell me you can’t strike up social chat with this guy, you’re too intimidated.  Okay.  So just start talking to him about mundane things that you are forced to talk to him about, just like you have to talk to the other 9 people in your group about”.

In both cases, these were manageable actions that my clients were able to put into motion.

With each increasing action you take toward you goal, you gain self-confidence and the obstacles to accomplishment diminish.

Think of something that challenges your self-confidence.  Write a list of small task you can accomplish that move you in the right direction at least.  You could even do them poorly or incompletely.  Just get it started.  As you pile up one seemingly insignificant accomplishment after another, your self-confidence will gain runaway momentum that will put your goals well within your reach.


Have you built your confidence level?  I would really like to know how.  If not, are you willing to take the plunge and write down a task and then accomplish it?  I would love to know your feedback.


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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65 Responses to Self-Confidence

  1. Jamie Bishop January 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You’ve written another very good and inspiring post here.Self-confidence can be a big issue for alot of people.I do believe that often times having very low self-confidence,or none at all can be linked to something in our past.I never had much encouragement growing up and this definitely has led to problems with my own self-confidence.When I told my father I wanted to join the military when I was 19 I thought he would be very proud of me and encourage me to advance and build a long-term career.Instead his reply was,”what do you want to do that for,you’re only going to end up going to war”.This was going to be a very big move for me as we lived in a very small town and career and job choices were very few and far between.I also didn’t have a college degree so the chances of me finding a career and becoming successful were very slim.I joined the Army anyway but needless to say didn’t make a career of it.Had I had a little encouragement and positive feedback from my father who knows where I might’ve ended up.I never received any type of encouragement or positive feedback from my parents which is why I try each day to encourage my children to be the best they can be.I also strive to build my self-confidence a little each day.As you basically said here,we need to learn to take on the little tasks in order to accomplish the big ones.

    Thank you for the post,

    Jamie Bishop recently posted..“LOVE THY NEIGHBOR”My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill January 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

      Hey Jamie,

      Sounds like we came from the same kind of family! I was verbally abused by my dad and had no self confidence at all. It took many years to develop that.

      The thing is, no matter what happened to us in the past and leaves us wounded in some way, we can ALWAYS fix it! There are countless ways we can overcome issues like our confidence level.

      Thank you so much for sharing your story,
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Blog Review Of 2012My Profile

  2. Rachel Lavern
    December 31, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Hi Donna.

    Love your post on self-confidence–one of my favorite topics. Many people never seem to realize that self confidence is necessary to really succeed. Some people advance to high paying positions while others with equal or even better training are not promoted. Those who advance really believe in themselves and in their ability to succeed. They seem to know that within them is something special. Others usually notice that these people radiate poise and, when they are around them, they seem to naturally believe in them and follow their ideas.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..How I Changed My MindsetMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill January 1, 2013 at 10:29 am #


      When you believe in yourself, you have more of a chance to succeed. When we are confident with ourselves, it radiates to others. People “pick-up” this feeling and as I always say: Like attracts like.

      Therefore, if you maintain self confidence and a positive mindset, others will be attracted to you. It is all about keeping things positive in your life.

      Many thanks,
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Blog Review Of 2012My Profile

  3. Celeste Smucker December 22, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    This is great advice Donna…I hadn’t really thought of it that way but I agree it doesn’t usually help to hear that “Yes you can do it” Taking one step at a time not only makes sense, but of course one step builds on the previous one and it all seems more manageable. Also that kind of narrow focus keeps us more in the present…which is where the power is. Thanks…and how did that romance end anyway? :)Good cliff hanger!
    Celeste Smucker recently posted..If you must doubt…doubt your limitsMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      Hi Celeste,

      The romance went well!

      As for my one step at a time, I find that if one has a goal, it is like a 10 mile walk. If you look at the end of the road, it may be discouraging.

      So one takes a step at a time, rests, gets up and that ten mile road may take a while, but there is so much we can learn along the way.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Inspirational QuotesMy Profile

  4. Jupiter Jim December 18, 2012 at 3:25 am #


    Absolutely Love the strategy of delivering the memos instead of emailing them! Brilliant! Also, love the idea of breaking complex problems into simple easy-to-do steps. That is definitely a great technique for conquering procrastination AND building self-confidence AND getting the job done.

    Your clients are lucky to have you as a coach!!!

    Merry Christmas to you and your husband!

    ~ Jupiter Jim
    Jupiter Jim recently posted..No More Mass Shootings on TV for MEMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Hi Jim,

      Thanks for your kind words! I love to take a complex problem, break it down, and achieve each task to complete the goal.

      Merry Christmas,
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Inspirational QuotesMy Profile

  5. clare December 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    Success is about taking new steps one at a time. However, online has never felt like that to me. It has felt like a waterfall rushing at me but the longer I stay here, the more comfortable it has become.

    That’s because we are inundated with emails from so many ‘gurus’ and FB messages, FB groups all shouting about how easy it is to make tons of money. But we know the truth is different and it takes courage to turn off all the noise, leave groups, unsubscribe from emails and turn to listening to one or two mentors who have walked this path before. And working on mastering one type of marketing before adding another.

    Your clients are blessed to be able to consult you and get the kind of logical and sensible help you provide.


    • Donna.Merrill December 16, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

      Thank you Clare,

      I know how crazy that can be. I had my share of guru’s, emails and oh those Facebook groups that I have to opt-out each day!

      It can get so crazy for the newbie that comes in. It only leads to Overwhelm!

      It feels so great when we can narrow it down to one specific thing and take the necessary steps to act upon it.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Create Your Own Google+ CommunityMy Profile

  6. Melanie Young
    December 16, 2012 at 9:54 am #


    I love reading your articles. This one has touched a nerve. I could easily see myself in the scenarios. I guess after I got out the military my self confidence took a major hit. In the military I was important because my role is part of a mission and it my role was critical to the success of the missions. I had rank and authority. In the civilian world I was just another face not nearly as important to others.

    That is what is happening to the soldiers now since the wars are winding down. Their egos take a blow because they don’t feel as bad ass or as important like they did in the military. They don’t know how to cope. I read a headline not to long ago about service members are suffering from the Hero to Zero complex. It’s true, it happens just like that.

    I left the service 11 years ago and I’m just now getting my self confidence back because I had been too busy feeling sorry for myself for a lack of a better phrase. It’s been hard and it’s all been baby steps.

    • Donna.Merrill December 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

      Hi Melanie,

      It is very common for military people to go from Hero to Zero! Many come home after being part of a group of people that had a goal, a mission, and an accomplishment day after day.

      Then, as they come back home, the energy is all different. Complicate that with the lack of jobs and oh boy do we have a major let down. It does take a lot of time for a military person to get back their mindset.

      I am so happy that you are finding your way back to your confidence levels. All you have to do now, is to let them grow!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  7. Sarah Arrow
    December 16, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    I love this post Donna, the case study showing how we can diminish the worth of what we do based on how other people feel about it, was a very interesting read. I can’t be the only one here saying “me too”.
    Sarah Arrow recently posted..Creating a better interview when podcastingMy Profile

  8. Nile December 16, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    You have to be confident before getting into any business or doing anything that requires interacting with other people. If you have no confidence, people see it immediately. Sometimes it takes time to develop confidence because of self-esteem or how you grew up.

    It is a choice to make. It takes a little bit at a time to build it.
    Nile recently posted..How Many Plugins Should You Install In WordPress?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      Absolutely Nile!

      Confidence building can take some time. And we need it in order to run a business because people do see through it immediately!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  9. Steven Hughes December 16, 2012 at 3:43 am #

    Hi Donna –

    Self-Confidence is so important for our motivation and happiness. I like your method of setting up manageable actions as a way of rebuilding confidence. Lack of confidence is something that we’ve all experienced at one time or another, and it can really be paralyzing.

    Steven Hughes recently posted..Pinterest and Holiday GivingMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      Yes Steve, a lack of confidence can be paralyzing to any goal we had in mind.

      That’s why I like to take those baby steps with people. It is encouraging to them.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  10. nick catricala December 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    here is me again 🙂

    Your great article deserve a great comment… hope this is the best for you 🙂

    Your advice not to use affirmations but instead use suggestions is very valid and I love to add that “autosuggestions are even better… and we can do that any time.

    I happen to do many of thse so called autosuggestions… and it always remind me a long time a go when I was reading teh book “The Lazy Mans Way to Riches” the author was into a lot of thse autosuggestions and I may say that praticing it, saved my life..

    Of course I cannot go into it here, it would take for ever… but I like to write it because it is so importanta nd teh way to are working with your clients… I know this info will support them greatly.

    Thanks so much Donna…
    nick catricala recently posted..Choose WiseMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Hi Nick!

      Thanks for your great comment and I would think that “autosuggestions” play a great role here too! You have given me inspiration!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  11. Holly
    December 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Well I am not sure that I have accomplished a build with my self confidence, but I am working on it!! I do things that I can do and get confident with them as I work toward getting/doing more of what I really want to do. It isn’t always easy when I need to step it up to the next level, but if I have done the “achievable task” the next step isn’t as daunting!! Great post, Donna!
    Holly recently posted..You’re Losing It And I Bet You Didn’t Even Know It!My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

      Exactly Holly!

      As we accomplish one task on our journey, it gives us the confidence we need to do the next step and so on. Looking at a new goal can give us so many reasons not to step out and do it..It can look to big for us to change.

      Thanks for stopping by Holly!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  12. Shelley Alexander December 14, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    What a wonderful post with practical suggestions on how to increase your self confidence. The two women’s stories you told and the way you showed them simple ways to achieve what they wanted and move past the fear that was holding them back, was really inspiring! You are a great coach and motivator Donna.


    Shelley Alexander recently posted..Cinnamon Almond Butter CookiesMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words Shelley,

      I showed examples because sometimes people can resonate with real-life situation stories rather than Step 1, Step 2, etc!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  13. Julieanne van Zyl December 14, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Donna, what fantastic advice for anyone! I wish you’d been around when I was doing my doctorate, I may have finished it. I did have a mentor, but I think the tasks he gave me were too big and unmanageable. Besides, I discovered that being an entrepreneur was more fun than doing all that research anyway! Have a fun weekend Donna.
    Julieanne van Zyl recently posted..Daily Marketing Coach ReviewMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

      He He….I found that I gave up my education to become an entrepreneur. How could I ever help people becoming a Social Worker? It not only paid too low, but my hands were tied with rules and regulations.

      I find I can be of better use to people doing my own thing! And it is fun too!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  14. Rosemary O'Shaughnessy
    December 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Great advice about developing self confidence by degrees. One thing which can be great for confidence is become really good at a skill and then finding it easy can be great for confidence . You gave the lady in this post great advice . Have a very happy Christmas . Rosemary

    • Donna.Merrill December 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

      Thank you Rosemary!

      Confidence takes time to acquire – we cannot do it over night. But I find that with small tasks completed one step at a time, this is a great way to build it.

      Have a Very Merry Christmas!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  15. Steve Borgman December 13, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    Donna, this is so powerful. Rather than work on changing beliefs, which is one way to approach change, the prescription of taking small actions toward a large goal is genius! I’ll give out your name next time I tell a client to take one small step toward her/his goal 🙂
    Steve Borgman recently posted..Comment on What You Can Do To Make A Difference In Your Relational World by SteveBorgmanMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      Thanks Steve!

      We cannot change belief systems as easily as we can change behavior one step at a time. Eventually, a positive belief in oneself can be obtained one step at a time to reinforce the next one.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  16. Mary Stephenson
    December 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Hi Donna

    I think we have this horrible habit of labeling ourselves as we grow up. Then when the growing up is done, we forget that we no longer have to carry that monkey on our back forever.

    Was a shy kid and let people take advantage of me. When I said “no” a few times they gave me an attitude, which in turn I felt guilty for. We are so programmed into what others expect of us that we are inclined to lose who we could become.

    Like to think of as each thing we conquer as a metamorphosis of our former selves. We can constantly transform ourselves if we are only brave enough to do so. The more we do the better we get and who is so much more righteous to tell us we are not good enough, smart enough or dynamic enough to get beyond mediocre.

    Mary Stephenson recently posted..Are Events In Our Lives Predestined?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

      Awesome reply Mary!

      If I look back even 10 years ago, I’m a totally different person. I am the type that loves to grow in all ways. I push forward no matter what! It is so true when you said that the more we do, the better we get and who is so much more righteous to tell us we are not good enough – smart enough or dynamic enough to go beyond the mediocre!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  17. Raena Lynn December 13, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Self Confidence makes or breaks you. There is no doubt about it. I believe most people are capable of doing anything “they set their mind to” but that darn subconscious can create havoc. The sad part is half of the time, we don’t know it! This business is all about taking action, but if we can’t conquer the nagging feelings of what we think we cannot do, the first step has to be building self-confidence first. Your two examples are perfect in describing how our thoughts will doom us from the start.

    Doing small steps in the right direction is the only way to win. There are hundreds of self-help and discovery books about “baby steps.” Both of your clients had to take baby steps to gain their self-confidence. In Margaret’s case, it shows that getting started will lead to a point of belief. So she was able to actually continue her project on her own, once her subconscious was convinced that she was capable to not only complete the project, but do it on her own.

    Personally, my self confidence has increased tenfold because I forced myself to take action, even if I didn’t know what I was doing. I found that if I get started, it lead to success. I remember I wrote a blog post about procrastination of a project I put off for months! Looking back, it was lack of self-confidence. It was something I had not accomplished before. Procrastination is a red flag for me. I know I do it because somewhere deep inside, I have a belief that I can’t. Now that I know it is a symptom, I have to take the “mind over matter” approach.

    I commend you on your great work helping people overcome what they believe are their weaknesses. This is a big deal. What separates success from failure is self-confidence. I suppose my advice would be to “get over it” and move forward regardless what the little voices are saying. The best way is to do what you did…little manageable tasks which lead to reaching the main goal. Awesome post Donna!

    Raena Lynn

    PS I’ll bet the romance turned into marriage…just my guess!
    Raena Lynn recently posted..Trim And Focus. Do You Need 5 Staplers On Your Desk?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

      Hi Raena,

      It does take a “force of action” to lead to success. Each new endeavour we take is a bit scary. It’s like stage fright. But as we force ourselves out of the box and do one action, the repeated actions become a breeze.

      I like the way you are pushing yourself out of “procrastination” Did you ever opt into my sidebar of procrastination? I’ve done several free videos that help.

      It is not so easy to take on different roles in our business when things move so quickly. There is always a learning curve we need to be up to date with. And I also understand that “we cannot do it all” Sometimes we just hire someone else to do it for us so we can focus on our tasks.

      Baby steps do work!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  18. Richard December 13, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    Two great stories that boil down to take little action steps to get out of the fear of the big steps, big fears, or big demands. Of course, if you had written just that I wouldn’t have been much interested and probably wouldn’t really get it anyway! LOL

    I have a question that is not meant to be a trick or anything. Just popped into my head while reading, What do you think: Whistle in the dark. Is that taking action to face fear, or is that in the category of trying to build a strong will?

    • Donna.Merrill December 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      Hmm interesting question Richard.

      I guess I’d have to say that whistling in dark is both taking action and trying to build a strong will. However, it doesn’t really matter if the action is not rooted in certainty… or at least a very good sense from past experience, that the action is likely to result in the results you’re seeking. Otherwise, it’s just speculation and all your action and strong will may be leading you nowhere but disappointment, and an excuse to shy away from taking action again.
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  19. marquita herald
    December 13, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Terrific advice as always Donna. Anyone can begin cultivating greater self-confidence, but it does take time, but I love your approach. For me, the real key to meaningful growth is courage, because it takes courage to take that first step – to take action despite fear or insecurity. Thanks for the inspiration!
    marquita herald recently posted..How to Achieve Success on Your Own TermsMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

      Yes building confidence does take time!

      And…it takes so much courage to take that first step, but once you do the rest becomes easier.

      Thanks for your kind words.

      You are the “master” When teaching confidence building my friend.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  20. Garen December 12, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    I never knew you did psychic consulting. No wonder your good at social media :). Do you think a lot of people have low self confidence because during their childhood they were always told they couldn’t do something. Kind of makes me think because I grew up in a rough neighborhood. Some of my friends started doing drugs in 4th grade. Lot of them didn’t have great influences in their life. Now that I look back at it lots of them are not going in the right path. I always had good people around me and while I was a trouble teenager and kid somehow I was smart enough to listen to those that were positive influences for me.

    I think my confidence grew because my family always stood behind me no matter what I was up against. I wanted to start a business with no experience. I had some setbacks along the way but people I looked up to still believed in me. That is why I think my confidence is so high.
    Garen recently posted..Using Facebook as a Fan PageMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      Hi Garen,

      I do think that most people with a low confidence does come from an early age. It can come from family, or bullying, whatever. But it does stick to the subconscious. That’s a difficult challenge.

      I had low self esteem and no confidence at all because I came from an alcoholic family. I had no support system at all. I was convinced I was stupid, ugly, and a looser. Hey that’s what I heard all my life.

      To make a very long story short, I did go out and helped myself with various methods…one step at a time. Now, nothing holds me back!
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  21. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    December 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm #


    You are so right. It is really difficult to look at a huge project and attempt to do the project. Yet, if we break it down into very small, doable steps, each step may not feel like much but it leads toward the end result. I had that experience this past November. I had signed up with Nanowrimo.org almost a year ago; it is an international organization that promotes writers to commit to write you novel (at least 50,000 words) during the month of November. About a week before the kickoff party, the publisher of Around Town (local Florida newspaper I had written for 17 years ago), happened to call me. In talking, he told me he had written a novel and that I was a good writer. So I ordered his book, started reading it and went to the kickoff party where they had us sign our name on a commitment sheet.

    All of that gave me the courage to just do it. I knew that other writers were attempting to do this at the same time. And reading that publisher’s novel, I said to myself: “I can do it.” If I had thought negatively or reacted with fear, I could not have completed the task.


    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..What Generation Are You? Guest post by Lesly FedericiMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 12, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

      Hi Dr. Erica,

      What a great experience you had. I think that’s a pretty big commitment to write your novel in such a short time. It is a good thing that you ordered that book to give you the confidence you needed.
      The same thing happened to me doing webinars. After signing up for several and watching them carefully, I said to myself “I can do it” and heck, the tech part always has problems. (something I feared) So there I go.
      Isn’t it great to take a task one step at a time?

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  22. Martin Casper December 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Confidence is not something that I have had a problem with, but I can assure you that once I hit the online world, it was like…Uh Oh how did I get into this one? It moves at light speed. All the main social media sites are frequently changing at a pace that begins to make me feel like I am an ignorant wann be…can be a bit of a jolt for the confidence level. This is where you dig deep and push through no matter what…do not let anything stop your progress,
    Martin Casper recently posted..Green Smoothies the Vitamix WayMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

      Hi Martin,

      Never thought that you were lacking in confidence! I agree that once we hit the internet world, there is no room for the lack of it. It does move like lightning speed. But as it changes, asking questions, and reaching out brings many people to you.

      I always have a problem with things on the social media myself. I read the instructions, and bomb out…then I just reach out on a social platform and ask a question. When I do I get so many people coming to my rescue.

      Thant brings me confidence that I am blessed with my social media buddies!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  23. Andy Nathan December 12, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Donna,Love the case studies! I watch one of Les Brown Youtube videos most mornings. I love watching one of the You Gotta Be Hungry videos, because it is a morning jolt of confidence!Andy

    • Donna.Merrill December 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

      Hi Andy

      Glad you enjoyed the “case studies” I like to put in a story or two in my blog. I find that people get the message through stories sometimes.

      And yes, we all need that morning jolt of confidence each day!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  24. Sue Price
    December 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    Hi Donna

    I too love that image. I smiled when I saw it.

    I am a bit like Adrienne. I had heaps of self-confidence in my past professions but when I came online it vanished. I was terrified of technology and just kept telling myself I could never do this. Gradually my confidence has grown as I have learned things but it sure took a while.

    This is such an important topic and your two examples will help others.

    Thanks Donna

    Sue Price recently posted..What do you do when Life Happens?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Hi Sue!

      Somehow I didn’t loose my confidence when I came on line. I just had the strong desire to help others find financial freedom in any walk of life.

      I have so many clients that wanted that. So I considered myself the forerunner to this new way. I learned what I could, realized that anything that was technical I paid for not to waste time. And there I went.

      Now, that David and I will embark on a new twist of business, which is webinars, I leave the technology up to him (which is a headache) and I do the social media.

      As we are still in beta testing stage, and it is doing well. Before I speak to people, I do get butterflies in my stomach, but then it’s a breeze because what I realized is that if I don’t have an answer to a question, I’m honest and tell them I don’t know, but will get their question answered via email.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  25. Amberr Meadows December 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    I loved this post. Amazing that even people in a position of power with a big office can lack the self-confidence to do a task that she was well-prepared for. I can’t wait to hear how the romance went, either.
    Amberr Meadows recently posted..5 Tips to Traveling with a Toddler #kiaholiday #parentingMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      Hi Amberr

      Well it just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover right?

      Oh and the romance: After several dates she dumped him because he just wasn’t 100% of what she wanted.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  26. Steve Vernon December 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    What a timely post, Donna! This is exactly the kind of thing I’m dealing with right at this very moment, and your solution makes so much sense! Interestingly, I just listened to an interview last night on this very subject, and the interview talked about the trouble most people have manifesting things in their lives. The problem is, he said, is that we try to manifest the big stuff first — those things or situations that we\\\’d truly like to see in our lives but don\\\’t fully believe yet that we can have them or that we deserve them. We simply can\\\’t wrap our emotional selves around them. The solution, he says, is to begin with the little things — those things that we fully believe and truly feel that we can have right now — then go to the next step.
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    • Donna.Merrill December 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      Hey Steve!

      Quite true. As we take those small steps, it encourages us to the bigger picture. Accomplishing a small task reinforces us to climb to the larger goals we set up for ourselves.

      I like baby steps because it eliminates overwhelm! We can overwhelm ourselves by fear and even past fear that is in our subconscious. So, I like to make things simple one step at a time (pardon the pun)

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  27. Margarita December 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Donna, great post,

    Very smart that you do not promise your clients that they can do it. Easier to start with smaller steps towards the goal. This is less intimidating and implies no change (nice trick).

    I started using afformations, which was less of a thread. Will see. The subconscious is against any change – does not matter good or bad. It’s only concern is our survival NOW. Does not care about goals or something else. So we must find a way to tame it. 🙂
    Margarita recently posted..Powerful Mind Tools: AfformationsMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

      Hi Margarita,

      Yes, that stubborn subconscious! There are so many ways to change it. But it does take dedication and work. I’ve tamed mine and it took a while to do it.

      I have also implemented affirmations. They do work well. At one point of my life I needed to get that subconscious of mine to stop getting in my way so I wrote “I Deserve” on my bathroom mirror with red lipstick. I left it there for 30 days and said this out loud all day.

      By the end of the month, things turned around!

      Thanks for visiting!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  28. Sylviane Nuccio
    December 11, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    My, my, my, Donna!

    I was just telling about self confidence and self-worth to someone last night during a little coaching session, and I was amazed, again, about how the law of attraction works as you’re the first post I read this morning. I love that post and one of my favorites so far.

    I’m sure that a post like this can help people see that we are so “conditioned” by the way we were raised that it blinds us totally, that’s why we need someone to point it out to us. we ARE worth it!

    The story of this woman really shows what lack of confidence can do to you, no matter how smart, talented or educated one can be.

    Thanks for this story, Donna.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..A Time To Reflect And A Time To Make Life Changing DecisionsMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      Hi Sylvaine,

      That’s why I used her as an example. A smart accomplished woman in her field and she was still lacking confidence.

      I cannot believe the clients I talk to that lack confidence. It only goes to show “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover!”

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  29. Michael Belk December 11, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    Donna a very good article, I love the image. You must know a lot about this subject.

    You covered the topic very well. I like your case study.

    A very interesting post.

    • Donna.Merrill December 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

      Thanks Michael,

      I work with many people and over the years, I found so many topics that people struggle with.

      I strongly feel that whatever one is doing in life, weather it be internet marketing or their J.O.B. The “inner you” has to have confidence.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  30. Carol Lynn December 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    Donna I wrote a nice long comment about relating to your first client and the page crashed! ARGH!!! Do you have any advice for dealing with miserable technology?

    I’ll try to remember the gist of what I said, which is that I can relate to being afraid to start something. Not sure where to start, having a crisis of confidence. When that happens it usually doesn’t end well.

    I have something I should be doing right now but instead I’m putting it off and hoping for a miracle. Wouldn’t it be better to just start somewhere! I am going to do just that. Thanks for your inspiration, it came at a much needed time~!
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    • Donna.Merrill December 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

      Hi Carol Lynn

      Oh boy do I hate when that happens! I write a novella comment and then loose it. Do I have advice on technology? Hell no! lol

      Take baby steps my friend! Do a simple task and when it is finished reward yourself. That can get you out of the crisis of confidence.

      I see you said “should” Please remember never to should on yourself!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

    • Jupiter Jim December 18, 2012 at 3:19 am #


      whenever I write a comment on a blog post, I click my mouse on the text of my comment inside the comment box. I press The control key (lower left) and the “a” key to select all the text of my comment. Then I immediately press Control + “c” key to copy everything I just typed. Then if I hit the “Submit comment” button and it Wipes OUT everything I just typed, I don’t have to freak out and be totally upset! I then just click Ctrl + V keys to PASTE the comment I just copied! And Voila!

      If you are on a MAC you use Command (apple) key + a or c or v keys!


  31. Mayura
    December 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    How appropriate is the image for this post? 😉 I love that images you have used here.

    I love the both stories you mentioned here 🙂 I don’t know, but for me they are perfect examples. Really love how you advice not to use affirmations but suggestions which helps to build confidence practically. Lets’ talk now, what’s happen to their romance? 😉

    I can relate with this one dear. I was a victim and I don’t say I’m totally recovered. To be honest, I feel it sometimes. I wasn’t even a talky person if I turn back and see my past. I never reach a person and talk. Feel alone to be in public even at a bank. I was really afraid though I knew stuff, and I felt like I had no self-confidence at all. Can you imagine who I was? 😀 lol…

    Most of the time I was thinking I was lucky enough, especially when self-confidence matters. I wanted to ignore, not to face ’em like I do now. I felt “I was just a boy”. My friends called me I’m a techy and appreciated me, but it was only helping few minutes or hours.

    Actually I started my blog with the strong will, ’cause I wanted to have something for myself and helping others was thing I always proud of. Still I haven’t told anyone about my blog here though I talk about it online 🙂

    I feel I’m improved myself and friends were always helping me 🙂 As I see my improvement, I’m always grateful for my friends (online/offline) for encouraging and recognizing me. You know, for someone who had no confidence about himself, it’s more than enough.

    Thanks for coming up with this topic and really loved it 🙂 ‘Cause may be I’ve been through it.

    Mayura recently posted..How to Create a Community on Google+My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm #


      Thanks for sharing your story! I feel that in the internet world it is so much easier to gain confidence. We are not face to face, but give out what we know and attract others to us.

      It is all in the relationships we acquire. It’s awesome. But for offline, it is a little different. Because we actually have to come face to face with someone.

      Either way, building confidence takes one step at a time. As long as we push ourselves to do it, we gain confidence.

      Hey, I was a dork all through school. I had the lowest self esteem and also felt invisible at one time.

      It took baby steps, but here I am with confidence in any situation!

      Thanks for coming by Mayura!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

  32. Adrienne
    December 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    OMG Donna, I can SO relate to both these women. Oh yeah, me!

    I have always been a very independent woman, very strong willed. I never meet a stranger and can strike up a conversation with anyone. I was also very successful in my chosen career because I was very good at what I did.

    Once I came online I was so intimidated by all the information and all the people I thought were so darn smart. I had no confidence in myself when I started this journey and had to take baby steps like you’ve shared here.

    When tip toeing in unknown waters it can be a scary thing. Especially when you don’t have the support or help from anyone else doing what you really want to do. The step of completing just one small task can be overwhelming because you have no one to ask for help. I struggled for way too long while all my friends were telling me you got this. Girl, you are SO good at what you’re doing but I didn’t see that in myself. I KNEW that I didn’t know all that I should so I was afraid I couldn’t take that next step if someone depended on me this time.

    You are right though, each new step is one in the right direction. As they always say, just one step at a time will get you to your desired destination.

    Thanks so much for giving us the examples of your clients. It much more relateable that way ya know! Oh and I bet I know how the romance ended. (((smiles)))

    Thanks Donna for this great share.

    Adrienne recently posted..How To Be Productive So You Can Achieve The Internet LifestyleMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill December 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      Hi Adrienne

      You are the most confident person I know in the blogging world. But that took a little tip toeing into the market didn’t it?

      Confidence is a funny thing. Once we step out of the box, we have to do everything we can to gain confidence.

      When I used to do a lot of public speaking, I always felt sick to my stomach before I stepped up to a stage. But once I got there and opened my mouth, everything just flowed. But that’s stage fright isn’t it.

      The same applies to each and every new endeavour I do. But I did learn to have the confidence to ask questions.

      Thank you so much Adrienne for sharing your personal story.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Self-ConfidenceMy Profile

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