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Étiquette : self-confidence

From Admiration to Incarnation

Magritte, coaching, admiration
René MAGRITTE – L’étoile du matin, 1938 – Huile sur toile, 50 x 61 cm

When it’s not about pride

Often attributed to the hubris of the ancient Greeks or to the sin of pride as Christianity calls it, the self-promotion of our own assets is discouraged in many Western and Eastern societies, while humility is highly praised. Rightly or wrongly, the result is that from earliest childhood, ignorance – or even non-recognition or denial – of one’s own qualities is reinforced, with the corollary of a lack of self-confidence and a difficulty blossoming. We are so used to looking up that we forget to look at ourselves – selfies aside – and as a result, we miss out on realizing just how beautifully and perfectly imperfect we are.

So, in a world where competitiveness is a reality and is constantly increasing, identifying one’s strengths, talents or positive differentiators stimulates self-confidence. It also helps to find or regain a rightful place in the social setting, a space where one can evolve and feel sufficiently at ease to have an equal exchange with peers.

A self-coaching tool

Put another way, the question is about how to build a sustainable balance between excessive pride which doesn’t support fruitful exchanges and self-depreciation which is an obstacle to growth. There are a number of techniques that can be used to boost self-esteem. The « Role Model » is one of them, suitable to all ages, genders, social levels and cultures.

First of all, identify two or three people YOU particularly admire. Here, by « people » I mean any real or imaginary individual, known personally or through any kind of media, admired for their acts, their impact, their attitude or their values. This could be your grandmother who is a war survivor, your godfather who achieved a brilliant career, a teacher who traveled the world, a politician who fearlessly faced his own party, a revolutionary artist from the Middle-Ages, or even a cartoon hero or a character from a sci-fi novel who protected their planet.

Maybe you will need to think back to when you were adolescents or children, at an age when your dreams were still vivid.

Actually, it doesn’t matter so much who those idols are, so long as you have sincere thoughts such as « If only I could be or act like X ». What’s more, it doesn’t matter whether the reasons for this admiration match with reality or not. It matters even less if others share the same opinion or not. What counts here is that you are able to verbalize the reasons or rather the components of your deep admiration and pinpoint the underlying values, strengths and talents. What makes these heroes so appreciated? What inspires you? What is behind these acts or behaviors that makes them so admirable for you?

In fact, starting from the principle that we can only appreciate what we have already experienced and in contrast to the externalizing conversations used in psychotherapy to help patients dissociate themselves from their problems, this is an internalizing technique, aimed at allowing you to realize the treasures you have inside of you, especially if these treasures are ignored or unused.

From observation to ownership

Once you have identified the ‘components’ of admiration (e.g. courage, creativity, resilience, kindness etc.) divide them into two categories: those you possess, even if only in part, and those you believe you don’t possess. In the most extreme cases – if you feel you have none of these qualities – just make a ranking. In this way, you will bring in a gradation in your own judgment.

The next step is to find both what to capitalize on and what to develop, as the key is to remember that what we admire in others is often already in us without being aware of it. Then a double dynamic develops.

By working on the characteristics already possessed, illustrate them using as many concrete examples as possible, recent and less recent. List actions, highlight experiences where you successfully expressed these values. You need to realize and feel that you are not starting from scratch, that you already have a base to draw from, a base for growth. This will be the stage where the foundations of improved self-esteem are built or strengthened.

Then, in the range of attributes you consider not to possess, choose those that are most desirable to attain or develop…while keeping in mind that an envied characteristic may hide a latent need. To admire someone for his or her sporting victories can express a deep respect for strength of character or express the need for recognition…and therefore love. Listen to yourself and possibly detect the wisest doors to open. The aim is to open the field of possibilities.

From ownership to action

Finally comes the stage of generating ideas as to the different ways in which these dreamt characteristics could be experienced, or how these strengths could be developed. How can you express these characteristics, how could you behave more like your role model? However seemingly insignificant or ambitious the acts, attitudes or rituals, it doesn’t matter. Start small, very small. Progress step by step. What could you put in place? What could you stop doing? What can you do differently? What can you do instead? How can you slowly incarnate your role model?

The action plan to develop is then very simple: choose the first of these actions to implement in your daily life, then a second, a third and so on according to a program that induces a positive spiral and moves from admiration to incarnation. And keep momentum.

The objective of the exercise described here is first the revelation, and second the appropriation of your desired values. What is sought is the embodiment of personality traits as a simple stage of your development without being an end in itself because the development of your personality necessarily passes through the acceptance and appreciation of your own uniqueness.

So, who are your role models?


“There is an innocence in admiration: it occurs in one who has not yet realized that they might one day be admired.”

Friedrich Nietzsche


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Insight #100

leonor fini, talent, insight, coaching, career, carrière
Leonor FINI – La Tenebrosa, 1978 – Huile sur toile, 116 x 81 cm


« D’où sort le talent? Moi, je crois que c’est quelque chose qui sort d’une sorte de révolte. Une sorte de besoin de s’affirmer très fort. »

“Where does talent come from? I believe it is something that comes from a kind of revolt. A kind of need to assert oneself strongly.”

Leonor Fini, in an interview by Chris Vermorcken


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Insight #96

salvador dali, insights, coaching, anges, demons, angels
Salvador DALI – Anges et trompettes, 1950 – Aquarelle et encre sur carton, 51 x 76 cm


« Si je me débarrassais de mes démons, je perdrais mes anges. »

“If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.

― Tennessee Williams


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Insight #95

John LATAM – Ben, 1966 – Encre et huile sur toile, 66 x 86 cm


« Tout est bruit pour qui a peur. »

“To him who is in fear everything rustles.

― Sophocle


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Insight #94

picabia, insight, coaching, ocean, art-therapy, infinity
Francis PICABIA – Les calanques, c.1945 – Huile sur carton, 50 x 60.5 cm


« Je suis le rivage et l’océan, en l’attente de moi-même de part et d’autre. »

“I am the shore and the ocean, awaiting myself on both sides.

― Dejan Stojanovic


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Insight #92

abiodun olaku, insight, coaching, masque, confiance, trust, self-confidence
Abiodun OLAKU – Heavenly Steps, 1995 – Huile sur toile, 84.25 x 68cm


« La raison pour laquelle je me parle à moi-même est parce que je suis le seul dont j’accepte les réponses. »

“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.

― George Carlin



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Insight #91

orchestra, music, stanley pinker, mindfulness
Stanley PINKER – The Orchestra, 1970 – Huile sur toile, 78 x 115 cm


« Lorsque vous jouez, ne prêtez pas attention à qui vous écoute. »

“When you play, never mind who listens to you.

― Robert Schumann


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18 ways to improve your self-confidence

Ronald VENTURA – Forest, 2015 – Huile sur toile, 243.5 x 365.5 cm


Here are 18 ways to improve your self-confidence as presented by Jeff Haden, writer for Inc.

My favourite? #7

1. Show gratitude. Thank someone. Thank anyone. Thank yourself, too.

2. Act with kindness. This will give you confidence to truly be yourself around others.

3. Define your values. Make a commitment to live those values.

4. Find your true motivations. Once you know what your values are, those values help you understand what motivates you.

5. Take special care to look better than usual. But we all perform better when we look better.

6. Perform a little mental Photoshop. We are what we expect.

7. Smile more. Find a way to smile, especially when you don’t want to.

8. Visualize success. Hold on to those images. Hold on to those feelings.

9. Erase negative thoughts. Stop listening to that voice by imagining the voice as a person. Tell that person to leave.

10. Prepare, with focus. Know your stuff.

11. Slow down your speech. Showing you are not worried about what to say next.

12. Serve others. Serving others erases millions of personal problems.

13. Focus on solutions. Solutions are more important than problems. Focus on what is possible rather than what currently « is. »

14. Fix your posture. Stand tall, sit up straight, be present.

15. Learn more. Learn from the best. Then learn more.

16. Set goals. Then set bigger goals. Set a small goal. Accomplish it. Success breeds success.

17. Exercise more than last week. Movement creates action.

18. Clean your space.  Clarity of space allows for clarity of thought.


Source :


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Insight #61

Klimt-art-insight-coaching, identity, self-awareness
Gustav KLIMT – Dame mit Muff, 1916 – Huile sur toile, 50 x 50 cm


“Il nous faut oser être nous-mêmes, tout effrayant ou étrange que cela puisse se révéler.

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”

― May Sarton


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