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Complete Confidence: a Handbook
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To be confident a person must walk a path to freedom, arriving at a place called Emotional Maturity. The people you will meet there are competent, high achievers. Cheerful and calm, they are free of anxiety and depression. They will welcome you, for they are not shy. When annoyed, they will set a good example with their straightforward honesty. They play the game of life with a Winning Hand, and you can join them if you make the journey.
The path to Emotional Maturity can free up everyone's inborn, natural confidence. Like any journey, there is much to gain and some necessary losses. On this pathway to confidence you will discover new ways of thinking and acting, and gain the emotional management skills that are the bedrock of complete confidence.
What you will lose are the immature emotions of childhood and adolescence. Fears of judgment and correction will be gone. There will be no more shaming self-criticism, and no helpless self-pity, for confident people are self-reliant and rarely need help. Instead of feeling guilt about not pleasing other people or resentment about having to please them, you will listen to yourself and do only what you believe to be right and necessary. And to further lighten the burden of emotional immaturity, you'll learn to calm and comfort emotions internally, within the brain, ending dependence on binges and addictions, the insecurity blankets so many people cling to.
"But Sheenah," you might ask (my clients call me by my first name and I hope you will, too), "this is some promise you are making. Is it mere psychobabble?" Good question. Let me answer it. Notice how you are dissuading rather than encouraging yourself to try. Realize how your doubts about our confidence project are built on dark predictions of disappointment and failure. If you see success as unlikely or even impossible, you undermine your confidence.
Begin now by fighting against any tendency that will undermine your effort. "This won't work." "I've tried before and failed." "This book is probably just the same old self-help stuff." "People can't change." These ideas are self-defeating, and in a way self-pitying and humiliating. You are not so powerless.
Instead, listen to the opportunity knocking at your door right now. It's not the sweepstakes guy ready to hand you a check for a million dollars. This is an opportunity that doesn't require any luck or good fortune. The Winning Hand knocks on your door. I stand waiting with my hand outstretched to take yours and walk forward into confidence and success. Confidence is worth more than a million dollars, so make the effort for yourself.
Hold out your hands and marvel at how much they do for you. They protect you when you fall. They feed you. They hold the hands of those you love. They massage, caress, and arouse. They wave good-bye.
You have a hand in your own troubles, too. So, as you hold your hands in front of you, look hard at your fingers. They can also poke and point in criticism and accusation at others and yourself.
The mission of this book is to enable you to take yourself in hand.
I can help you gain the confidence you need to retire your Losing Hand. Playing with a Winning Hand means you will activate every talent you have, eagerly take every opportunity you are given, and calmly solve every problem you face.
It is time to stop blaming yourself and others, to stop pointing a finger at the flaws you falsely perceive as preventing you from living a successful life, to stop generating shame and self-pity. It is time to give up the habits of a loser, and to think and act like a winner.
Partners in Confidence
Partners starting a business sign a contract. As my future partner, please read this contract carefully before you sign it.
"But Sheenah," you ask, "why should I trust you? I haven't even met you." If you want to know more about me before signing the contract, first read the next section. I hope you will then agree to be my partner in confidence.
The Commitment to Confidence Contract
- I will read Complete Confidence from beginning to end.
- I will practice all the strategies and behaviors that are required for a confident life, and repeat them over and over again so that I can learn to become confident. (People learn by rehearsal.)
- I will be very persistent because it is not intelligence, money, or good luck that leads to success; it is persistence.
- I will have faith that I can learn to be more confident. I will not listen to my feelings if they make me feel that I will fail.
- I will begin to read Complete Confidence today and I will set time aside every day until I finish it -- I will not put off this project.
I commit to the aforementioned conditions:
I, Sheenah Hankin, commit to being your partner. I promise that the methods I describe in my book work when you fulfill your commitment, which I trust that you will.
Meet Sheenah, Your Partner in Confidence
Unlike therapists who reveal nothing about themselves, I prefer the
openness of self-disclosure. So, I'll tell you a little about myself. In my
busy practice in New York, I invite every client to ask me personal
questions, for people are usually curious about shrinks. What are their
private lives like? Are they secretly nuts like those depicted in the
movies and on television? Do they have children? How do their children
and marriages turn out? Are they obsessed with sex? Are they
competent and confident? Do they have enough professional and reallife
experience to be helpful?
Excerpted from Complete Confidence: a Handbook by Sheenah Hankin. Copyright © 2004 by Sheenah Hankin. All rights reserved. Posted with permission of the publisher. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.