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Overcoming the Negatives

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

With all the great things Japan has to offer, deeply-rooted culture, fine foods, unparalleled services, and outstanding craftsmanship, it always amazes me how so many Japanese people lack confidence. Perhaps lacking confidence is not uniquely Japanese at all. In fact it is a condition that affects most humans regardless of where we are born.

In July, I hosted a seminar in which we explored questions related to confidence and discussed why so often people lack it. To the question, “Why do many Japanese people fear English?” participants suggested that the education system teaches that anything less than perfect is just not good enough. I would argue that life is rarely perfect, and although perfection is a great aim, we must know that it is not always necessary. For example, conveying ideas clearly does not require perfect grammar. The other response to the question was, “people don’t like to be judged by others.” It is hard to deny this, but the problem is that it implies that others are judging each other harshly. In the case of a presentation, I believe that an audience is a support group that would like to see you succeed. After all, why did they come to your presentation? To gain information, hoping to hear a speech that resonates with them, and to hear a different perspective on a subject. Those sound like supportive reasons, don’t they?

The truth is that each of our brains has a negative bias. This is a default setting of the brain and is designed to help us survive. The good news is that we can overcome this. Here are some suggestions:

  • In order to offset the negatives, read, watch, and listen to things that inspire.

  • Continuously seed your mind with positive thoughts and affirmations.

  • Surround yourself with like-minded people who are positive and supportive.

  • Ask yourself if your worries and fears are based on fact or emotion.

  • Talk to yourself as you would a friend.

So, the next time you are lacking confidence, remember that you are not alone and with some effort and support, it can be overcome.

Wishing you perfect health and happiness.

Mark Tofflemire

Tailor Made Inc.

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