How to Use Mantras to Build Self-Confidence (The Skill of Self Confidence)

To me the most important thing about that Ted talk,  the reason I did that talk has over 20 million views is because I struggled with, self-confidence.  I had to, build self-confidence so I sat on the bench of a soccer team.  I got kicked out of University. When you grow up as a black man in a white man’s world, you’re always not feeling like you’re quite up to it. ~ Dr Ivan Joseph

I am speaking to the infamous Dr Ivan Joseph. Dr Joseph is a best-selling author of the book “You Got This: Mastering the Skill of Self-Confidence.

Listen to the full interview 

Short Bio: 

Dr Ivan Joseph was born in Guyana, South America, my birth country.  He immigrated to Toronto, Canada at the age of 5. I immigrated to Toronto, Canada as well but at the age of 17. As he became a  young man of color, he often felt disenfranchised and disconnected. But he excelled in sports and  attended a small University in Iowa on an athletic scholarship, then achieved his Master’s Degree, and  a PhD in psychology. This lead to him becoming a professor, AND being awarded Coach of the Year. For ten years he was the Director of Athletics for Ryerson University in Toronto, and spearheaded the 100 million dollar renovation of the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens. Dr Ivan is now the Vice Provost of Student Affairs at Dalhousie University, one of Canada’s most distinguished and competitive institutions. ”

Introduction to, Self-Confidence Definition

Self-confidence definition, is the genuine belief in your ability to accomplish the task at hand.  Everybody needs to understand that you may have all the talent in the world,  you may be the most beautiful person in the world, the smartest person in the world,  the strongest person in the world; but if you don’t have this genuine belief that you have that skill,  you will never put your hand up to answer the question in the math class or sit on the board, or volunteer to be the do the presentation,  or choose to join the team.

Myrna – What was your journey from an immigrant boy and a man of color and then transcending that to becoming a doctor, a performance coach, a Tedx speaker, an author?

Dr Ivan – l  think  like many immigrants who come to North America whether that be your audience, that’s American or my audience that’s Canadian, we all choose to leave our countries of birth for hopefully a better future.

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There’s something that’s grounded in all of us that chose the country of citizenship and that is a desire to achieve.  We were not comfortable or we were not content with what we had and discontent drives us.  That desire is to be better and to pay it forward for our families.  Those parents who are immigrants who grew up as kids, we are drilled with that constant mantra you need to be twice as good.   It’s not good enough to be average, you need to get an A.

You could end up  internalizing that message where you’re never quite good enough and that is where a lack of, self-confidence, gets rooted. Great jobs will pass you by because you don’t have the, self-confidence, to go after it. So you’re pushed to the corners or to the edges of society.  You start to not achieve what you may have achieved if you had, self-confidence, whether that’s from your own internal belief or from society.

All of us will fail in life at some time. When you fail, you hang on to that failure and it becomes paralyzing.  You’re then not willing to take the next risk to achieve. It took me many strikeouts, to use my sports analogies,  or swinging and missing to succeed. With every success I , build self-confidence, was tapped up.

How do we, Build Self-confidence?

Myrna – As I was preparing mentally for this interview I asked myself how I, build self-confidence? I think I have been, self-confident,  all my life and I was wondering how I, build self-confident,  and my own response was that life experience was my confidence builder. If somebody tells you that you’re good at something or somebody tells you you’re pretty or you get good grades in school, you start, building self-confidence, that you can do most things.

Dr Ivan – One of the things about, build self-confidence, is the more you achieve the more it grows. The more you achieve the bigger it gets.  You’ll get your opportunity, you’ll get your promotion and then you start all over and your, self- confidence, will wane.

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How Does, Build Self-confidence, Equal High Performance?

Myrna – So let’s transition to our, build self-confidence,  topic.

Why do you believe, building self-confidence, optimism,  grit,  and resilience are fundamental skills in achieving high performance goals?

Dr Ivan –  If you don’t believe in yourself, you will not put yourself in front of anybody and risk failure.  So the genuine belief is the foundational cornerstone of success.  We can all outwork and learn to do whatever we want, given enough time; but if we’re not willing, really willing to put ourselves out there, it doesn’t matter how talented we are.

Myrna – I understand not having the, self-confidence,  to do a job or not having the, self- confidence, that you’re gonna win the race or not having the, confidence, when you’re down 20 points in the fourth quarter and have the, confidence, that you can still win because I’ve seen that happen.

But what I don’t understand is why women can be beautiful, have a great body and don’t have the, self-confidence, that  they can walk in a room and own it. Instead they don’t project anything, they  don’t protect any energy.  They want to be in the corner, and then you have the woman who is not by standards attractive; but she walks in a room  and she feels that she’s got it and you know she gets the guys.  Because guys think that, self-confidence, is sexy.

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Why do we Lack, Self-confidence?

Dr Ivan – Well I’ll never comment on a woman’s appearance or looks.  What I would say that anybody whether it’s a female or a male or an athlete or a young girl or a young man. It’s the measuring stick that they’re using to measure themselves against.  This is key.  If I’m measuring myself up to Denzel Washington, I may never feel like I’m good enough.  It’s human nature to always be in competition and in comparison with others.  Whether it’s the Joneses next door, whether it’s what you did last week,  we are always looking at how we compare and stack up.

So your message to the young woman who may not be attractive, or the gentleman who may not be as smart, or the person who doesn’t think they have as much as the next person; you can’t tell them they are attractive or smart, they won’t believe it.

This is why we have to start with this genuine belief and, self-confidence. We’ll call this maladaptive perfectionism.  This is when you  have an unrealistic understanding of what perfectionism is or excellence is and you chase that almost impossible thing.

Myrna – What about optimism and the gift of resilience to achieve, high performance goals?

Dr Ivan – Optimism and, build self-confidence, takes you to the next level.  You believe that you can make it.  You’re, confident, you may have setbacks,  you may fail or flounder; but this is where grit comes into play. Grit, is the genuine belief in your ability to accomplish the task despite setbacks.

The only way to develop, grit, in order to achieve your goals is to experience failure.  There is no other way to grow, grit, and resilience than to sit and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

So many people out there won’t ever achieve, because they are so caught up with the embarrassment of failure.

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How to, Build Self-Confidence, Resilience and Grit

Dr Ivan – One of the first things you have to recognize is that your thoughts influence your beliefs which influence your actions.  It’s this whole cyclical self-fulfilling prophecy. What you tell yourself you become,  so you gotta stop the negative talk like:

  • Oh my God I look terrible in this dress.
  • or I’m never going to get this Job
  • Or I’m not as smart as these folks
  • I can’t do this, I’m no good

We keep saying these things to ourselves and they beat us up,  so you got To Stop the negative talk.

3 Centering Mantras to, Build Self-Confidence.

  1. In my book I teach some centering exercises to help stop the negative self talk and, build self-confidence
  2. Positive statements or mantras help replace the negative self talk.
  3. Replace the negative self talk with a positive statement or an affirmation e.g
  4. I  am the captain of my ship and the master of my fate.
  5. Nobody outworks me,
  6. I can learn anything.

Mantras to,  Build self-confidence:

1 – “MY TIME IS TOO VALUABLE TO WASTE IT WORRYING ABOUT THE THINGS I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER.”

2 – “THE OUTER IS ALWAYS A REFLECTION OF THE INNER.”

3 – “I TAKE NOTHING PERSONALLY.”

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Myrna – I’m a big believer in positive self-talk.  I fluctuate back and forth about affirmations; but I know as a Life Coach, that you should speak it until you believe it. Sooner or later if you keep on speaking it, you will start to believe it.

Dr Ivan – In sports we call it the as if principle.  Act as if you already have it.

Myrna – How can we , build self-confidence, and develop a winner’s mindset?

How, Building Self-confidence, contributes to a Winners Mindset

Dr Ivan – I think  a, winner’s mindset, and, self-confidence, go hand in hand. I’ll flip your question around and say, build self-confidence, helps you build a winner’s mindset.

Write a letter to yourself about all the things you’re great at. There’s going to be times when you feel like you can’t do it and you need to change that. Take that letter and read it to yourself and whatever that letter says congratulate yourself on it’s accomplishment.

Write that letter to yourself because, there will be  times when people tell you you can’t do it.

When you feel like you can’t do it,  that, winner’s mindset, will be turned on. The other way to build that, winner’s mindset, is to be careful and be intentional about the company you choose.

Myrna – I know personally that will work because how did we start off our conversation?

Saying that, self-confidence, comes from past experience.

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Mastering the,  Skill of Self-confidence

Tell us about your book “You’ve got this: Mastering the, Skill of Self-Confidence”  I know that your TedX on the, Skill of Self-confidence, has over 19 million views. Why do you think  that talk resonated with so many people and did you put some of that content in your book?

Dr Ivan –  To me the most important thing about that Ted talk,  the reason I did that talk was because I struggled with, build self-confidence.  I sat on the bench of a soccer team,  I got kicked out of University. When you grow up as a black man in a white man’s world, you’re always not feeling like you’re quite up to it.

One day when my wife came to me, she was my girlfriend at the time and she realized after I’d been sitting on the bench, that  she saw me practice and said I was terrible. She had already seen me play a really good game and she said to me.

“What happened to your game?  You let that man define your sense of self-worth.  Didn’t you tell me that he didn’t play high level Soccer?  That you’ve been coached by some of the best?”

I realized I had given my power away and that affected my performance, because I didn’t believe I was good any good anymore. I stopped that very day and changed my mindset. I went on to start to play like I was meant to play, I became the captain of that team playing in the all-conference finals.

It wasn’t that man who belittled me, I belittled myself. There’s always going to be people who don’t believe in you,  it’s your job to change that person’s mindset, not to fulfill their belief prophecy about you.

So the reason that TedX talk resonates with everybody is that we all have feelings of Self-doubt. We all need to, build self-confidence.

  • I’m not smart enough
  • I’m not rich enough
  • I’m not skinny enough
  • I don’t look good here
  • My teeth aren’t this
  • You get the new job and you’re great but then you get the promotion
  • I don’t know if I can do it
  • I don’t think I can do it

What I did with the book, was I shared some of that Ted talk and I went even further to create exercises, practical pieces and workshops in that book as a self-help guide about how to go about, building self-confidence.

I teach  about higher expectations, talking about skill and mastery. Listeners of the podcast will get a 20% discount using the coupon code Myrna

To order click the link below

Ivans Book

If you go on  the website and order the book, I’ll give you the course materials.  I think it’s a great opportunity for people who want to grow and learn how to develop their, self- confidence, to improve their performance.

Follow Dr Ivan Joseph on Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram

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Dr Ivan how can our listeners Transform their Mind to Transform their life?

Just remember your mantra! You are the captain of your ship and the master of your fate.  So whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember You Got This!

Additional Resources

How to Build your Self-Confidence Muscle

Setting Goals Leads to Higher Performance