While the concept of narcissism dates back thousands of years, narcissistic personality disorder only became recognised as a mental illness within the last 2 decades. But how did narcissism come to be?
Working as a communication skills trainer in Asia and Europe for the last 20 years, brought me into contact with many people who shared a common ‘worst fear’: public speaking. “Why public speaking?” I would enquire. The answer is always a fear of rejection. “Rejected for what?” I’d probe. The answers I’d hear were often a resounding fear of not being good enough, others’ judgement or for not delivering what the audience expects of them.
was very disconnected from anything I could not prove or touch for many years. Mystery was not my thing. This probably came from the model I’d absorbed growing up: that I had to manage everything by myself, I had to make it all happen on my own and most importantly, that I could not trust anyone or anything besides myself.
I’ve worked with several clients on confidence (or lack thereof). After many years of learning what the real meaning of confidence is, I recognise myself as an expert in this specific aspect.
Confidence is not as simple as it seems. There are many complexities and a spectrum of meanings within the definition of confidence. It involves attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that often aren’t innate gifts and need to be nurtured, practiced and/or acquired.
We often hear about and come across the term vision boards and visualising. We might know the benefits of using tools as such and we might not. But often we aren’t aware of the correlation between vision boarding and confidence. Even more so than a vision board, an inventory. Taking inventory of the past year is a useful tool. How do these tools come to play with confidence? Well, they help you to practice observing your actions and perhaps inactions and in so doing, practice becoming more confident in yourself.
There was a time when married couples would stay together for life. Despite a lack of happiness in the relationship, often rooted in unhealthy co-dependency between two partners, marriage wasn’t easily dissolved. People would choose to stay ‘glued’ together in the name of a commitment they made many years before. Often because it was financially more comfortable. Other times because they lacked the courage to take a leap of faith and enter the unknown. And more times than not, because they were used to conforming to the expectations of a hypocritical society.
“One of these dimensions in particular, is one that we tend to forget or prefer not to deal with. Looking into it might lead us to recognise something about ourselves that we might have preferred not to see, so we don’t look into it. I’m talking about the emotional dimension, which refers to our feelings, empathy, moods and creativity.”
Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) teaches us that a simple change of words can make the difference in how we speak to ourselves and others. This is because of the nature of the words, for example, ‘lessons’ or ‘experiences’ are far less judgemental than ‘mistakes’. The knowledge that the effect that language and empowering words has on boosting and transforming our reality is not exclusive to NLP practitioners or trainees.
98% of the Earth’s population is not self-actualised, according to Abraham Maslow. They therefore, act out from a space of unconditional or ‘inauthentic love’ for themselves and others. I believe that, no matter how much self-empowerment work I put myself through, becoming a self-actualised or authentic human being is a never ending process.
Happiness is being aware of our own gifts. To do so requires us to build awareness around our strengths and flaws, our light and our shadow. And once we've developed that kind of awareness, happiness is about making use of and sharing what we have discovered and built for ourselves with others so that they may learn and build happiness for themselves.