#111 - Any Advice for Being More Confident?

October 13, 2021

Confidence is something that we all struggle with at one point or another. Let's talk about the true meaning of the word.

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody. You are listening to another episode of life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, we are talking about confidence.

[00:00:09] INTRO MUSIC

[00:00:15] Alright. Andrés from España says, “Bro, I've moved abroad to study medicine in English. I'm originally from Spain and people laugh at my English. Any advice for being more confident?” 

[00:00:30] This is a very important topic, and I know a lot of people have experienced this same situation. I'm going to do my best to answer this question, not by telling you what to do, but by challenging you to shift or change your mindset.

[00:00:41] Let me start by saying, I can appreciate the fact that other people laughing at your English is something that makes you feel bad. I can appreciate the fact that you're struggling with your confidence and your self-esteem.

[00:00:51] So I want to make it clear that when I'm about to say is not meant to be taken as an attack. What I'm about to say is not a critique of who you are. I also don't want you to think I can't empathize with you and that I've never been in your position because I have... many times. 

[00:01:06] Now that that's clear, let me start by detailing the situation. You've made a decision to learn a new skill, a skill that most people, especially English speakers, will never even attempt to learn in their lifetimes. You decided to live in another country and study medicine. 

[00:01:23] The problem is, not only do you have the challenge of learning about the complexities of modern medicine, but you have to learn about it in a language that's foreign to you. Not only do you have the challenge of medicine and language to worry about, but whenever you try to communicate with your colleagues in this foreign language, they laugh at you because of the way you speak. 

[00:01:41] You're a Spanish man in a foreign land and the people of that land don't accept you. I imagine this type of thing affects all aspects of your self-confidence because language is at the base of everything we do. And every time you try to use the language, people make you feel stupid for it. 

[00:01:58] So you want to know how to gain the confidence you need to be successful in medical school and in your career thereafter. Well, first we have to talk about what confidence actually is. 

[00:02:10] The dictionary defines confidence as a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances. Faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way. The quality or state of being certain. A feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.

[00:02:33] Confidence is a state of being clearheaded either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct, or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. 

[00:02:43] Confidence comes from a Latin word 'fidere', which means to trust. Therefore having self-confidence is having trust in oneself. 

[00:02:53] If I understood your message correctly, Andrés, this is what you're after. This is what you want. And your question is, “How do I get it?”

[00:03:01] Well, if we take a closer look at these definitions, we can find the answer. Having confidence is having trust in oneself, a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities and qualities, faith or belief that one will act in a right proper, or effective way.

[00:03:19] You have to trust yourself. You have to know and appreciate your own abilities and qualities. You must have faith in yourself. 

[00:03:27] How can you do these things if you don't truly know yourself? You can't, it's impossible. Now, you can have false confidence also known as arrogance, but that won't get you very far in my opinion.

[00:03:42] So you must get to know yourself. Self-confidence comes from self-knowledge. 

[00:03:49] You have to know what you look like. What are your physical characteristics

[00:03:53] You have to know how you sound. What's your communication style? Are you aggressive? Timid? Soft-spoken? Eloquent? Direct

[00:04:02] You have to know what you're capable of. Can you read and write well? Do you learn fast? Are you good with numbers? Are you good with people? Are you open-minded or closed-minded? Is your body in good shape? Can you stay committed to your goals? Are you easily influenced? Are you addicted to anything? What interests you? Why does it interest you? 

[00:04:23] You also have to know what you're not capable of. This is just as, if not more important than knowing what you're capable of. Can you get taller? Can you run faster? Can you be someone else? Do you know how to be a leader? Do you know how to be a follower? Are you funny? Are you good with kids? Are you genuine? 

[00:04:44] Now at this point you might be thinking, “Okay, that's cool. But how do I figure all of this out?” Well, the answer to that question is pay attention. Self-awareness. 

[00:04:55] Self-knowledge comes from self-awareness. Become aware of yourself, pay attention to yourself. Put your fucking phone down. Turn off your computer and spend some time with yourself. 

[00:05:10] Take note of your thoughts, your habits, the things you believe, your mood, and your energy. Take note of the things that affect your thoughts, your mood, and your energy. Start a podcast, or keep a journal that documents the things you're thinking and feeling. Process these things. Take time to reflect on past experiences and what you can learn about yourself from those experiences. 'Cause after all the only reason you can remember the past is so you can learn from it and do better in the future.

[00:05:39] So if you're truly paying attention and you're honest with yourself, I'm sure you'll start to see patterns in your behavior, your thought process, and your relationships, your work, et cetera. You can get a sense of the type of person you really are and what it is that makes you who you are. In other words, you will gain self-knowledge. And like I said before, self-knowledge leads to self-confidence. 

[00:06:05] Self-confidence isn't the belief that you can be or do anything in this life. Self-confidence is knowing a hundred percent who you are, what you're capable of, what you're not capable of, and accepting it. You have to own it. 

[00:06:22] This is where a lot of us start to have problems. We realize that we have a dark side. We aren't perfect. We are the people we would like to be. Not only that, but other people are doing the things we want to do, or they have the qualities we want to possess. Not only that, but people judge us and make fun of us because of who we are or who we are not. We feel embarrassed and ashamed of the people we discover when we become aware of ourselves.

[00:06:50] Now, many of us are well aware of our imperfections and shortcomings, but we just have a hard time accepting them, which is why we lack confidence. We're so attached to this idea of who we believe we should be instead of accepting who we are and working diligently to become who we want to be. 

[00:07:09] At the end of the day, self-confidence is little more than self acceptance. When you've accepted the fact that your English is terrible, things become much more simple. You only have two options. Let your English be terrible forever (nothing wrong with that) or work hard to improve your English. Those are your only two logical options. 

[00:07:33] Crying and complaining about it doesn't make sense. Expecting someone else to solve the problem for you doesn't make sense. Letting other people make you feel bad for something you've already accepted about yourself also makes absolutely no fucking sense. 

[00:07:49] So remember, self-awareness leads to self-knowledge, self-knowledge leads to self-confidence.

[00:08:00] So now that I've talked about, you know, what true confidence is, let me challenge you to shift your mindset so you can see that people laughing at you or talking shit about you is not a problem. It never has been, and it never will be. 

[00:08:15] What you need to understand is that what people say about you says absolutely nothing about you.

[00:08:22] What people say to you says absolutely nothing about you. 

[00:08:28] What people do to you says absolutely nothing about you. 

[00:08:34] People's words and actions are only reflections of themselves.

[00:08:38] So if you find somebody's laughing at you because of the way you speak English, or because of the way you do a certain task, or just because of who you are, you have to stop and ask yourself, what does that mean, exactly? Does that define who I am? Does that change who I am? Does that say or mean anything about me in particular? No, of course not. Of course not. 

[00:08:59] If you're trying to express herself in a foreign language that's not your own, and you're having a difficult time... you have a strong accent or whatever it is, and somebody decides to point their finger at you and start laughing... The only thing that says about anybody is that they are the piece of shit. They are the asshole. It doesn't say anything about you. You haven't done anything to anybody. You see what I'm saying? 

[00:09:21] If anything, it just says that that person simply does not understand. They cannot empathize with the position that you are in. They've never been in your position. They’ve never had to leave their country, go across the world to study medicine in a foreign language by themselves. Right? Be the only person in the classroom, most likely, that's from their country, that speaks their language, and step outside their comfort zone to express themselves. They've never been in that position. They cannot empathize. 

[00:09:50] So when they look at you, there's no... how can I say... there's no empathy. They don't care about what you're going through, what your position is. They just don't understand. They don't care to understand. It's easier to feel superior, easier to feel like, “Oh, I'm cool. I'm the shit. Look at this fucking idiot. Trying to speak, learn how to speak English bro.” Right?

[00:10:11] It's so much easier to do that. Be cocky and arrogant and an asshole because everybody else is like me. We all speak English. We're all in the same group. You know, I feel confident in numbers. I feel confident in my comfort zone, my country, my university, my language, my friends and classmates. So it's easy to be an asshole. 

[00:10:32] But those types of people who most likely have never been across the world to study something complex like medicine in a foreign language where they're the only English speaker in the city, let alone the university or the classroom. They've never had to try and express themselves in Spanish or Vietnamese or Swahili or something like that. Right. So it's easy for them to be arrogant in that situation. 

[00:10:55] Or even worse, maybe they have been in a situation where they are the outsider, let's say. And they are the ones that are embarrassed and laughed at and made fun of for being the foreigner for being the one that can't speak the language perfectly or whatever it is. And their ego was so damaged, it was so hurt. They felt so bad about themselves that after that moment, they made it their life's mission to make everybody else feel that way so that they can feel better about themselves. Either way, either way, it says nothing about you. Nothing. 

[00:11:28] So you have to get to a point... what I'm trying to say is you have to get to a point where you know yourself so well inside and out, the good, the bad, the ugly, the light and the dark that nobody can say shit to you. Nobody can tell you something about yourself that you don't already know. Whether it's good or bad if somebody is telling you something about yourself that you already know, why would it affect you? Why would it have any effect on you? You already know. You see what I'm saying? So that's the point you gotta get to. 

[00:11:59] You have to go inside yourself and get to know your strengths, your weaknesses, your shortcomings, you know, your gifts, all of your qualities. You see what I'm saying? You have to be very, very, very, very honest with yourself. Have that conversation with yourself sometimes daily, you know, and remind yourself of who you actually are. 

[00:12:21] And you might be thinking, “Yeah, easy for you to say, Tony, you're extroverted and you're confident, and this, this and that, you speak well and you speak three languages and blah, blah, blah.” But what you don't know is where I come from or who I was a year ago or five years ago, or 10 years ago, and how I've grown and evolved over time. That's the part that you haven't seen. You will never see and you will never know. So I'm not speaking like, oh, it's so easy. It's so, you know, just do it. Even though I kind of am. 'Cause it's not easy, but it's simple. 

[00:12:52] But what you don't... What I'm trying to say is that you will never understand the fact that the reason I say this with such confidence is because I've done that work. I've gone to, let's say, the dark side. The place that most people try to avoid, because it's an uncomfortable feeling to have to get to know yourself, or it's an uncomfortable feeling to have to get to know all of yourself, when there's huge parts of yourself that you don't necessarily like, or that you're embarrassed about as you're ashamed of that you wish were different... that you know you can't change, but every day you sit and wish you could change it. It's an uncomfortable process to go through on a daily or weekly or monthly basis, you know? But you have to go through it and I've been through it, you know, I'm going through it.

[00:13:38] So the reason that there's literally nothing you can say to me that's going to affect me emotionally or mentally is because you could never in a million years think of something so fucked up to say to me that I haven't already said to myself. 

[00:13:57] The little motherfucker in the back of my head, that's always, always talking shit. Always trying to bring me down. You know, that little bitch inside. There's nothing you could say. Nothing you could say that's worse than what I hear on a daily basis. There's nothing. Nothing. 

[00:14:15] So why would I let something that you say affect me? “Oh, you're ugly. You're not funny. You're short. Your English is trash.” Whatever it is. Okay. I know that, right? 

[00:14:31] “Your English is terrible. HA HA HA learn English!” Okay. I know that. Yeah, I'm trying to improve. So if you don't have something positive to add, if you're not going to help me, fuck off. You see what I'm saying? That's the mentality you have to have. Not to be an arrogant asshole or nothing like that, but just understand... people talking shit, who cares bro? 

[00:14:53] If you know yourself and you know who you are, if you know what you're not capable of, if you know what you need to work on... What does it matter if somebody else just tells you that or reminds you? Regardless of how they say it, even if they're mean or rude or arrogant about it, who gives a shit? Who cares?

[00:15:10] It does not say anything about you. It doesn't define you. You feel what I'm saying? It doesn't mean anything. And that goes for the negative and the positive, because it goes both ways. It's all about your ego and it goes both ways. So if somebody saying something negative should have no effect on you, it's the same thing with somebody giving you compliments, telling you how beautiful you are, how smart you are, how talented you are.

[00:15:32] You can't let that have a mental or positive effect on you, and then say all the negative stuff isn't going to have an effect on me. It goes both ways in my opinion. So don't let somebody pump up your ego or make your head super big by telling you all this positive shit either. You need to stay balanced and grounded and level. Positive or negative. Neither one of these things should have so much of an effect on you that it changes the way you feel or think about yourself. 

[00:15:59] Now, when I say that, I don't mean that you shouldn't listen to people because everybody can tell you something that you don't know, including something about yourself. Because no matter how well you think you know yourself, everybody else in your life knows a different version of you that you can't see. Because you can't see yourself through somebody else's eyes. 

[00:16:16] So maybe somebody, even your enemy, somebody you hate or despise or don't respect, they can also tell you something about yourself that you need to know. So even if you think you know yourself a hundred percent, your enemy could tell you even more and that's okay. You need to take that information objectively and you process it and you determine what it means. You determine whether or not it's true. That's what I'm trying to say, is you don't let somebody else's words or actions or opinions define you. 

[00:16:45] So you can take them in and process them but be objective about it. Don't let somebody come in and tell you something about yourself that makes you feel worse about yourself. That should never happen. That should never happen. So that's what I mean, is you have to get to a point where you can become self aware enough, pay enough attention to yourself that you start to know yourself inside and out. 

[00:17:09] Because once you get to that point, once you know who you are, you can trust yourself. You can trust yourself and know I'm capable of this. I'm not capable of that. I could learn this. I could never learn that I could do this. I can never do that. Right? I'd be happy in this situation. I wouldn't be happy in that one. These are the types of people I want in my life. These are the type of people I don't.

[00:17:31] By being self-aware, learning from the past, paying attention, you can learn these things about yourself. And once you learn about yourself, you can be confident in yourself because you know who you are, what you're capable of, who you're not, and what you're not capable of. That's confidence, not thinking that you're the best or better than everybody in the room and everywhere you go, that's not confidence.

[00:17:53] Confidence is just being comfortable and accepting of oneself. Period. Because when you get to that point, nobody can say anything that's going to shake you. Nobody can say anything that's going to affect you or put you down or lift you up. You do that. You see what I'm saying? That's your responsibility. 

[00:18:11] Now, obviously, you know, somebody gives you a compliment that makes you feel good. Of course, I'm not saying like, you know, put this wall up. So even when somebody says something nice, you're like, “Nah, fuck that. I know who I am!” That's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying, you know, you need to take all comments and actions objectively. And remember, at the end of the day, it says nothing about you. It's just somebody else's opinion of you. Somebody else's opinion of you or actions toward you will never define you. You define you every day when you wake up, your actions define you. You see? 

[00:18:46] Anyway, man, I could talk all day about this subject, but hopefully I've gotten my point across to you. And just to summarize it in one simple idea, is the key to self-confidence is self-knowledge and you get self-knowledge by being self-aware. So start paying attention to yourself, get to know yourself. The good, the bad, the ugly inside and out the light and the dark, the positive to negative, to a point where nobody can tell you something about yourself that you don't already know.

[00:19:15] And if they can tell you something about yourself, you don't already know, you can take it objectively instead of, you know, personally letting it destroy how you feel that day, or making you feel better about yourself than you probably should. The positive or the negative. Neither one of them should have so much of an effect on you that you feel... it changes the way you feel about yourself. 

[00:19:38] So understand that what people say about you or to you, or what they do to you, has nothing to do with you. So other people's actions or words should not be affecting your self-confidence at all. Not at all. Okay. 

[00:19:55] So go within and figure out what's missing. What do you need from yourself to feel better about yourself, more confident in yourself?. That's what you need to figure out because once you get to that point, somebody's pointing and laughing at, you talking shit, criticizing you... it just rolls off you like water off a duck. You see what I'm saying? 

[00:20:20] It's not easy, but it's very simple. So hopefully. This episode, this message, you know, these ideas gave you something to think about. And hopefully they help you get on the path to self-awareness then self-knowledge, then self-confidence. 

[00:20:38] Peace.

[00:20:38] OUTRO MUSIC

[END OF PODCAST]

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody. You are listening to another episode of life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, we are talking about confidence.

[00:00:09] INTRO MUSIC

[00:00:15] Alright. Andrés from España says, “Bro, I've moved abroad to study medicine in English. I'm originally from Spain and people laugh at my English. Any advice for being more confident?” 

[00:00:30] This is a very important topic, and I know a lot of people have experienced this same situation. I'm going to do my best to answer this question, not by telling you what to do, but by challenging you to shift or change your mindset.

[00:00:41] Let me start by saying, I can appreciate the fact that other people laughing at your English is something that makes you feel bad. I can appreciate the fact that you're struggling with your confidence and your self-esteem.

[00:00:51] So I want to make it clear that when I'm about to say is not meant to be taken as an attack. What I'm about to say is not a critique of who you are. I also don't want you to think I can't empathize with you and that I've never been in your position because I have... many times. 

[00:01:06] Now that that's clear, let me start by detailing the situation. You've made a decision to learn a new skill, a skill that most people, especially English speakers, will never even attempt to learn in their lifetimes. You decided to live in another country and study medicine. 

[00:01:23] The problem is, not only do you have the challenge of learning about the complexities of modern medicine, but you have to learn about it in a language that's foreign to you. Not only do you have the challenge of medicine and language to worry about, but whenever you try to communicate with your colleagues in this foreign language, they laugh at you because of the way you speak. 

[00:01:41] You're a Spanish man in a foreign land and the people of that land don't accept you. I imagine this type of thing affects all aspects of your self-confidence because language is at the base of everything we do. And every time you try to use the language, people make you feel stupid for it. 

[00:01:58] So you want to know how to gain the confidence you need to be successful in medical school and in your career thereafter. Well, first we have to talk about what confidence actually is. 

[00:02:10] The dictionary defines confidence as a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances. Faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way. The quality or state of being certain. A feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.

[00:02:33] Confidence is a state of being clearheaded either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct, or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. 

[00:02:43] Confidence comes from a Latin word 'fidere', which means to trust. Therefore having self-confidence is having trust in oneself. 

[00:02:53] If I understood your message correctly, Andrés, this is what you're after. This is what you want. And your question is, “How do I get it?”

[00:03:01] Well, if we take a closer look at these definitions, we can find the answer. Having confidence is having trust in oneself, a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities and qualities, faith or belief that one will act in a right proper, or effective way.

[00:03:19] You have to trust yourself. You have to know and appreciate your own abilities and qualities. You must have faith in yourself. 

[00:03:27] How can you do these things if you don't truly know yourself? You can't, it's impossible. Now, you can have false confidence also known as arrogance, but that won't get you very far in my opinion.

[00:03:42] So you must get to know yourself. Self-confidence comes from self-knowledge. 

[00:03:49] You have to know what you look like. What are your physical characteristics

[00:03:53] You have to know how you sound. What's your communication style? Are you aggressive? Timid? Soft-spoken? Eloquent? Direct

[00:04:02] You have to know what you're capable of. Can you read and write well? Do you learn fast? Are you good with numbers? Are you good with people? Are you open-minded or closed-minded? Is your body in good shape? Can you stay committed to your goals? Are you easily influenced? Are you addicted to anything? What interests you? Why does it interest you? 

[00:04:23] You also have to know what you're not capable of. This is just as, if not more important than knowing what you're capable of. Can you get taller? Can you run faster? Can you be someone else? Do you know how to be a leader? Do you know how to be a follower? Are you funny? Are you good with kids? Are you genuine? 

[00:04:44] Now at this point you might be thinking, “Okay, that's cool. But how do I figure all of this out?” Well, the answer to that question is pay attention. Self-awareness. 

[00:04:55] Self-knowledge comes from self-awareness. Become aware of yourself, pay attention to yourself. Put your fucking phone down. Turn off your computer and spend some time with yourself. 

[00:05:10] Take note of your thoughts, your habits, the things you believe, your mood, and your energy. Take note of the things that affect your thoughts, your mood, and your energy. Start a podcast, or keep a journal that documents the things you're thinking and feeling. Process these things. Take time to reflect on past experiences and what you can learn about yourself from those experiences. 'Cause after all the only reason you can remember the past is so you can learn from it and do better in the future.

[00:05:39] So if you're truly paying attention and you're honest with yourself, I'm sure you'll start to see patterns in your behavior, your thought process, and your relationships, your work, et cetera. You can get a sense of the type of person you really are and what it is that makes you who you are. In other words, you will gain self-knowledge. And like I said before, self-knowledge leads to self-confidence. 

[00:06:05] Self-confidence isn't the belief that you can be or do anything in this life. Self-confidence is knowing a hundred percent who you are, what you're capable of, what you're not capable of, and accepting it. You have to own it. 

[00:06:22] This is where a lot of us start to have problems. We realize that we have a dark side. We aren't perfect. We are the people we would like to be. Not only that, but other people are doing the things we want to do, or they have the qualities we want to possess. Not only that, but people judge us and make fun of us because of who we are or who we are not. We feel embarrassed and ashamed of the people we discover when we become aware of ourselves.

[00:06:50] Now, many of us are well aware of our imperfections and shortcomings, but we just have a hard time accepting them, which is why we lack confidence. We're so attached to this idea of who we believe we should be instead of accepting who we are and working diligently to become who we want to be. 

[00:07:09] At the end of the day, self-confidence is little more than self acceptance. When you've accepted the fact that your English is terrible, things become much more simple. You only have two options. Let your English be terrible forever (nothing wrong with that) or work hard to improve your English. Those are your only two logical options. 

[00:07:33] Crying and complaining about it doesn't make sense. Expecting someone else to solve the problem for you doesn't make sense. Letting other people make you feel bad for something you've already accepted about yourself also makes absolutely no fucking sense. 

[00:07:49] So remember, self-awareness leads to self-knowledge, self-knowledge leads to self-confidence.

[00:08:00] So now that I've talked about, you know, what true confidence is, let me challenge you to shift your mindset so you can see that people laughing at you or talking shit about you is not a problem. It never has been, and it never will be. 

[00:08:15] What you need to understand is that what people say about you says absolutely nothing about you.

[00:08:22] What people say to you says absolutely nothing about you. 

[00:08:28] What people do to you says absolutely nothing about you. 

[00:08:34] People's words and actions are only reflections of themselves.

[00:08:38] So if you find somebody's laughing at you because of the way you speak English, or because of the way you do a certain task, or just because of who you are, you have to stop and ask yourself, what does that mean, exactly? Does that define who I am? Does that change who I am? Does that say or mean anything about me in particular? No, of course not. Of course not. 

[00:08:59] If you're trying to express herself in a foreign language that's not your own, and you're having a difficult time... you have a strong accent or whatever it is, and somebody decides to point their finger at you and start laughing... The only thing that says about anybody is that they are the piece of shit. They are the asshole. It doesn't say anything about you. You haven't done anything to anybody. You see what I'm saying? 

[00:09:21] If anything, it just says that that person simply does not understand. They cannot empathize with the position that you are in. They've never been in your position. They’ve never had to leave their country, go across the world to study medicine in a foreign language by themselves. Right? Be the only person in the classroom, most likely, that's from their country, that speaks their language, and step outside their comfort zone to express themselves. They've never been in that position. They cannot empathize. 

[00:09:50] So when they look at you, there's no... how can I say... there's no empathy. They don't care about what you're going through, what your position is. They just don't understand. They don't care to understand. It's easier to feel superior, easier to feel like, “Oh, I'm cool. I'm the shit. Look at this fucking idiot. Trying to speak, learn how to speak English bro.” Right?

[00:10:11] It's so much easier to do that. Be cocky and arrogant and an asshole because everybody else is like me. We all speak English. We're all in the same group. You know, I feel confident in numbers. I feel confident in my comfort zone, my country, my university, my language, my friends and classmates. So it's easy to be an asshole. 

[00:10:32] But those types of people who most likely have never been across the world to study something complex like medicine in a foreign language where they're the only English speaker in the city, let alone the university or the classroom. They've never had to try and express themselves in Spanish or Vietnamese or Swahili or something like that. Right. So it's easy for them to be arrogant in that situation. 

[00:10:55] Or even worse, maybe they have been in a situation where they are the outsider, let's say. And they are the ones that are embarrassed and laughed at and made fun of for being the foreigner for being the one that can't speak the language perfectly or whatever it is. And their ego was so damaged, it was so hurt. They felt so bad about themselves that after that moment, they made it their life's mission to make everybody else feel that way so that they can feel better about themselves. Either way, either way, it says nothing about you. Nothing. 

[00:11:28] So you have to get to a point... what I'm trying to say is you have to get to a point where you know yourself so well inside and out, the good, the bad, the ugly, the light and the dark that nobody can say shit to you. Nobody can tell you something about yourself that you don't already know. Whether it's good or bad if somebody is telling you something about yourself that you already know, why would it affect you? Why would it have any effect on you? You already know. You see what I'm saying? So that's the point you gotta get to. 

[00:11:59] You have to go inside yourself and get to know your strengths, your weaknesses, your shortcomings, you know, your gifts, all of your qualities. You see what I'm saying? You have to be very, very, very, very honest with yourself. Have that conversation with yourself sometimes daily, you know, and remind yourself of who you actually are. 

[00:12:21] And you might be thinking, “Yeah, easy for you to say, Tony, you're extroverted and you're confident, and this, this and that, you speak well and you speak three languages and blah, blah, blah.” But what you don't know is where I come from or who I was a year ago or five years ago, or 10 years ago, and how I've grown and evolved over time. That's the part that you haven't seen. You will never see and you will never know. So I'm not speaking like, oh, it's so easy. It's so, you know, just do it. Even though I kind of am. 'Cause it's not easy, but it's simple. 

[00:12:52] But what you don't... What I'm trying to say is that you will never understand the fact that the reason I say this with such confidence is because I've done that work. I've gone to, let's say, the dark side. The place that most people try to avoid, because it's an uncomfortable feeling to have to get to know yourself, or it's an uncomfortable feeling to have to get to know all of yourself, when there's huge parts of yourself that you don't necessarily like, or that you're embarrassed about as you're ashamed of that you wish were different... that you know you can't change, but every day you sit and wish you could change it. It's an uncomfortable process to go through on a daily or weekly or monthly basis, you know? But you have to go through it and I've been through it, you know, I'm going through it.

[00:13:38] So the reason that there's literally nothing you can say to me that's going to affect me emotionally or mentally is because you could never in a million years think of something so fucked up to say to me that I haven't already said to myself. 

[00:13:57] The little motherfucker in the back of my head, that's always, always talking shit. Always trying to bring me down. You know, that little bitch inside. There's nothing you could say. Nothing you could say that's worse than what I hear on a daily basis. There's nothing. Nothing. 

[00:14:15] So why would I let something that you say affect me? “Oh, you're ugly. You're not funny. You're short. Your English is trash.” Whatever it is. Okay. I know that, right? 

[00:14:31] “Your English is terrible. HA HA HA learn English!” Okay. I know that. Yeah, I'm trying to improve. So if you don't have something positive to add, if you're not going to help me, fuck off. You see what I'm saying? That's the mentality you have to have. Not to be an arrogant asshole or nothing like that, but just understand... people talking shit, who cares bro? 

[00:14:53] If you know yourself and you know who you are, if you know what you're not capable of, if you know what you need to work on... What does it matter if somebody else just tells you that or reminds you? Regardless of how they say it, even if they're mean or rude or arrogant about it, who gives a shit? Who cares?

[00:15:10] It does not say anything about you. It doesn't define you. You feel what I'm saying? It doesn't mean anything. And that goes for the negative and the positive, because it goes both ways. It's all about your ego and it goes both ways. So if somebody saying something negative should have no effect on you, it's the same thing with somebody giving you compliments, telling you how beautiful you are, how smart you are, how talented you are.

[00:15:32] You can't let that have a mental or positive effect on you, and then say all the negative stuff isn't going to have an effect on me. It goes both ways in my opinion. So don't let somebody pump up your ego or make your head super big by telling you all this positive shit either. You need to stay balanced and grounded and level. Positive or negative. Neither one of these things should have so much of an effect on you that it changes the way you feel or think about yourself. 

[00:15:59] Now, when I say that, I don't mean that you shouldn't listen to people because everybody can tell you something that you don't know, including something about yourself. Because no matter how well you think you know yourself, everybody else in your life knows a different version of you that you can't see. Because you can't see yourself through somebody else's eyes. 

[00:16:16] So maybe somebody, even your enemy, somebody you hate or despise or don't respect, they can also tell you something about yourself that you need to know. So even if you think you know yourself a hundred percent, your enemy could tell you even more and that's okay. You need to take that information objectively and you process it and you determine what it means. You determine whether or not it's true. That's what I'm trying to say, is you don't let somebody else's words or actions or opinions define you. 

[00:16:45] So you can take them in and process them but be objective about it. Don't let somebody come in and tell you something about yourself that makes you feel worse about yourself. That should never happen. That should never happen. So that's what I mean, is you have to get to a point where you can become self aware enough, pay enough attention to yourself that you start to know yourself inside and out. 

[00:17:09] Because once you get to that point, once you know who you are, you can trust yourself. You can trust yourself and know I'm capable of this. I'm not capable of that. I could learn this. I could never learn that I could do this. I can never do that. Right? I'd be happy in this situation. I wouldn't be happy in that one. These are the types of people I want in my life. These are the type of people I don't.

[00:17:31] By being self-aware, learning from the past, paying attention, you can learn these things about yourself. And once you learn about yourself, you can be confident in yourself because you know who you are, what you're capable of, who you're not, and what you're not capable of. That's confidence, not thinking that you're the best or better than everybody in the room and everywhere you go, that's not confidence.

[00:17:53] Confidence is just being comfortable and accepting of oneself. Period. Because when you get to that point, nobody can say anything that's going to shake you. Nobody can say anything that's going to affect you or put you down or lift you up. You do that. You see what I'm saying? That's your responsibility. 

[00:18:11] Now, obviously, you know, somebody gives you a compliment that makes you feel good. Of course, I'm not saying like, you know, put this wall up. So even when somebody says something nice, you're like, “Nah, fuck that. I know who I am!” That's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying, you know, you need to take all comments and actions objectively. And remember, at the end of the day, it says nothing about you. It's just somebody else's opinion of you. Somebody else's opinion of you or actions toward you will never define you. You define you every day when you wake up, your actions define you. You see? 

[00:18:46] Anyway, man, I could talk all day about this subject, but hopefully I've gotten my point across to you. And just to summarize it in one simple idea, is the key to self-confidence is self-knowledge and you get self-knowledge by being self-aware. So start paying attention to yourself, get to know yourself. The good, the bad, the ugly inside and out the light and the dark, the positive to negative, to a point where nobody can tell you something about yourself that you don't already know.

[00:19:15] And if they can tell you something about yourself, you don't already know, you can take it objectively instead of, you know, personally letting it destroy how you feel that day, or making you feel better about yourself than you probably should. The positive or the negative. Neither one of them should have so much of an effect on you that you feel... it changes the way you feel about yourself. 

[00:19:38] So understand that what people say about you or to you, or what they do to you, has nothing to do with you. So other people's actions or words should not be affecting your self-confidence at all. Not at all. Okay. 

[00:19:55] So go within and figure out what's missing. What do you need from yourself to feel better about yourself, more confident in yourself?. That's what you need to figure out because once you get to that point, somebody's pointing and laughing at, you talking shit, criticizing you... it just rolls off you like water off a duck. You see what I'm saying? 

[00:20:20] It's not easy, but it's very simple. So hopefully. This episode, this message, you know, these ideas gave you something to think about. And hopefully they help you get on the path to self-awareness then self-knowledge, then self-confidence. 

[00:20:38] Peace.

[00:20:38] OUTRO MUSIC

[END OF PODCAST]

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody. You are listening to another episode of life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, we are talking about confidence.

[00:00:09] INTRO MUSIC

[00:00:15] Alright. Andrés from España says, “Bro, I've moved abroad to study medicine in English. I'm originally from Spain and people laugh at my English. Any advice for being more confident?” 

[00:00:30] This is a very important topic, and I know a lot of people have experienced this same situation. I'm going to do my best to answer this question, not by telling you what to do, but by challenging you to shift or change your mindset.

[00:00:41] Let me start by saying, I can appreciate the fact that other people laughing at your English is something that makes you feel bad. I can appreciate the fact that you're struggling with your confidence and your self-esteem.

[00:00:51] So I want to make it clear that when I'm about to say is not meant to be taken as an attack. What I'm about to say is not a critique of who you are. I also don't want you to think I can't empathize with you and that I've never been in your position because I have... many times. 

[00:01:06] Now that that's clear, let me start by detailing the situation. You've made a decision to learn a new skill, a skill that most people, especially English speakers, will never even attempt to learn in their lifetimes. You decided to live in another country and study medicine. 

[00:01:23] The problem is, not only do you have the challenge of learning about the complexities of modern medicine, but you have to learn about it in a language that's foreign to you. Not only do you have the challenge of medicine and language to worry about, but whenever you try to communicate with your colleagues in this foreign language, they laugh at you because of the way you speak. 

[00:01:41] You're a Spanish man in a foreign land and the people of that land don't accept you. I imagine this type of thing affects all aspects of your self-confidence because language is at the base of everything we do. And every time you try to use the language, people make you feel stupid for it. 

[00:01:58] So you want to know how to gain the confidence you need to be successful in medical school and in your career thereafter. Well, first we have to talk about what confidence actually is. 

[00:02:10] The dictionary defines confidence as a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances. Faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way. The quality or state of being certain. A feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.

[00:02:33] Confidence is a state of being clearheaded either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct, or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. 

[00:02:43] Confidence comes from a Latin word 'fidere', which means to trust. Therefore having self-confidence is having trust in oneself. 

[00:02:53] If I understood your message correctly, Andrés, this is what you're after. This is what you want. And your question is, “How do I get it?”

[00:03:01] Well, if we take a closer look at these definitions, we can find the answer. Having confidence is having trust in oneself, a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities and qualities, faith or belief that one will act in a right proper, or effective way.

[00:03:19] You have to trust yourself. You have to know and appreciate your own abilities and qualities. You must have faith in yourself. 

[00:03:27] How can you do these things if you don't truly know yourself? You can't, it's impossible. Now, you can have false confidence also known as arrogance, but that won't get you very far in my opinion.

[00:03:42] So you must get to know yourself. Self-confidence comes from self-knowledge. 

[00:03:49] You have to know what you look like. What are your physical characteristics

[00:03:53] You have to know how you sound. What's your communication style? Are you aggressive? Timid? Soft-spoken? Eloquent? Direct

[00:04:02] You have to know what you're capable of. Can you read and write well? Do you learn fast? Are you good with numbers? Are you good with people? Are you open-minded or closed-minded? Is your body in good shape? Can you stay committed to your goals? Are you easily influenced? Are you addicted to anything? What interests you? Why does it interest you? 

[00:04:23] You also have to know what you're not capable of. This is just as, if not more important than knowing what you're capable of. Can you get taller? Can you run faster? Can you be someone else? Do you know how to be a leader? Do you know how to be a follower? Are you funny? Are you good with kids? Are you genuine? 

[00:04:44] Now at this point you might be thinking, “Okay, that's cool. But how do I figure all of this out?” Well, the answer to that question is pay attention. Self-awareness. 

[00:04:55] Self-knowledge comes from self-awareness. Become aware of yourself, pay attention to yourself. Put your fucking phone down. Turn off your computer and spend some time with yourself. 

[00:05:10] Take note of your thoughts, your habits, the things you believe, your mood, and your energy. Take note of the things that affect your thoughts, your mood, and your energy. Start a podcast, or keep a journal that documents the things you're thinking and feeling. Process these things. Take time to reflect on past experiences and what you can learn about yourself from those experiences. 'Cause after all the only reason you can remember the past is so you can learn from it and do better in the future.

[00:05:39] So if you're truly paying attention and you're honest with yourself, I'm sure you'll start to see patterns in your behavior, your thought process, and your relationships, your work, et cetera. You can get a sense of the type of person you really are and what it is that makes you who you are. In other words, you will gain self-knowledge. And like I said before, self-knowledge leads to self-confidence. 

[00:06:05] Self-confidence isn't the belief that you can be or do anything in this life. Self-confidence is knowing a hundred percent who you are, what you're capable of, what you're not capable of, and accepting it. You have to own it. 

[00:06:22] This is where a lot of us start to have problems. We realize that we have a dark side. We aren't perfect. We are the people we would like to be. Not only that, but other people are doing the things we want to do, or they have the qualities we want to possess. Not only that, but people judge us and make fun of us because of who we are or who we are not. We feel embarrassed and ashamed of the people we discover when we become aware of ourselves.

[00:06:50] Now, many of us are well aware of our imperfections and shortcomings, but we just have a hard time accepting them, which is why we lack confidence. We're so attached to this idea of who we believe we should be instead of accepting who we are and working diligently to become who we want to be. 

[00:07:09] At the end of the day, self-confidence is little more than self acceptance. When you've accepted the fact that your English is terrible, things become much more simple. You only have two options. Let your English be terrible forever (nothing wrong with that) or work hard to improve your English. Those are your only two logical options. 

[00:07:33] Crying and complaining about it doesn't make sense. Expecting someone else to solve the problem for you doesn't make sense. Letting other people make you feel bad for something you've already accepted about yourself also makes absolutely no fucking sense. 

[00:07:49] So remember, self-awareness leads to self-knowledge, self-knowledge leads to self-confidence.

[00:08:00] So now that I've talked about, you know, what true confidence is, let me challenge you to shift your mindset so you can see that people laughing at you or talking shit about you is not a problem. It never has been, and it never will be. 

[00:08:15] What you need to understand is that what people say about you says absolutely nothing about you.

[00:08:22] What people say to you says absolutely nothing about you. 

[00:08:28] What people do to you says absolutely nothing about you. 

[00:08:34] People's words and actions are only reflections of themselves.

[00:08:38] So if you find somebody's laughing at you because of the way you speak English, or because of the way you do a certain task, or just because of who you are, you have to stop and ask yourself, what does that mean, exactly? Does that define who I am? Does that change who I am? Does that say or mean anything about me in particular? No, of course not. Of course not. 

[00:08:59] If you're trying to express herself in a foreign language that's not your own, and you're having a difficult time... you have a strong accent or whatever it is, and somebody decides to point their finger at you and start laughing... The only thing that says about anybody is that they are the piece of shit. They are the asshole. It doesn't say anything about you. You haven't done anything to anybody. You see what I'm saying? 

[00:09:21] If anything, it just says that that person simply does not understand. They cannot empathize with the position that you are in. They've never been in your position. They’ve never had to leave their country, go across the world to study medicine in a foreign language by themselves. Right? Be the only person in the classroom, most likely, that's from their country, that speaks their language, and step outside their comfort zone to express themselves. They've never been in that position. They cannot empathize. 

[00:09:50] So when they look at you, there's no... how can I say... there's no empathy. They don't care about what you're going through, what your position is. They just don't understand. They don't care to understand. It's easier to feel superior, easier to feel like, “Oh, I'm cool. I'm the shit. Look at this fucking idiot. Trying to speak, learn how to speak English bro.” Right?

[00:10:11] It's so much easier to do that. Be cocky and arrogant and an asshole because everybody else is like me. We all speak English. We're all in the same group. You know, I feel confident in numbers. I feel confident in my comfort zone, my country, my university, my language, my friends and classmates. So it's easy to be an asshole. 

[00:10:32] But those types of people who most likely have never been across the world to study something complex like medicine in a foreign language where they're the only English speaker in the city, let alone the university or the classroom. They've never had to try and express themselves in Spanish or Vietnamese or Swahili or something like that. Right. So it's easy for them to be arrogant in that situation. 

[00:10:55] Or even worse, maybe they have been in a situation where they are the outsider, let's say. And they are the ones that are embarrassed and laughed at and made fun of for being the foreigner for being the one that can't speak the language perfectly or whatever it is. And their ego was so damaged, it was so hurt. They felt so bad about themselves that after that moment, they made it their life's mission to make everybody else feel that way so that they can feel better about themselves. Either way, either way, it says nothing about you. Nothing. 

[00:11:28] So you have to get to a point... what I'm trying to say is you have to get to a point where you know yourself so well inside and out, the good, the bad, the ugly, the light and the dark that nobody can say shit to you. Nobody can tell you something about yourself that you don't already know. Whether it's good or bad if somebody is telling you something about yourself that you already know, why would it affect you? Why would it have any effect on you? You already know. You see what I'm saying? So that's the point you gotta get to. 

[00:11:59] You have to go inside yourself and get to know your strengths, your weaknesses, your shortcomings, you know, your gifts, all of your qualities. You see what I'm saying? You have to be very, very, very, very honest with yourself. Have that conversation with yourself sometimes daily, you know, and remind yourself of who you actually are. 

[00:12:21] And you might be thinking, “Yeah, easy for you to say, Tony, you're extroverted and you're confident, and this, this and that, you speak well and you speak three languages and blah, blah, blah.” But what you don't know is where I come from or who I was a year ago or five years ago, or 10 years ago, and how I've grown and evolved over time. That's the part that you haven't seen. You will never see and you will never know. So I'm not speaking like, oh, it's so easy. It's so, you know, just do it. Even though I kind of am. 'Cause it's not easy, but it's simple. 

[00:12:52] But what you don't... What I'm trying to say is that you will never understand the fact that the reason I say this with such confidence is because I've done that work. I've gone to, let's say, the dark side. The place that most people try to avoid, because it's an uncomfortable feeling to have to get to know yourself, or it's an uncomfortable feeling to have to get to know all of yourself, when there's huge parts of yourself that you don't necessarily like, or that you're embarrassed about as you're ashamed of that you wish were different... that you know you can't change, but every day you sit and wish you could change it. It's an uncomfortable process to go through on a daily or weekly or monthly basis, you know? But you have to go through it and I've been through it, you know, I'm going through it.

[00:13:38] So the reason that there's literally nothing you can say to me that's going to affect me emotionally or mentally is because you could never in a million years think of something so fucked up to say to me that I haven't already said to myself. 

[00:13:57] The little motherfucker in the back of my head, that's always, always talking shit. Always trying to bring me down. You know, that little bitch inside. There's nothing you could say. Nothing you could say that's worse than what I hear on a daily basis. There's nothing. Nothing. 

[00:14:15] So why would I let something that you say affect me? “Oh, you're ugly. You're not funny. You're short. Your English is trash.” Whatever it is. Okay. I know that, right? 

[00:14:31] “Your English is terrible. HA HA HA learn English!” Okay. I know that. Yeah, I'm trying to improve. So if you don't have something positive to add, if you're not going to help me, fuck off. You see what I'm saying? That's the mentality you have to have. Not to be an arrogant asshole or nothing like that, but just understand... people talking shit, who cares bro? 

[00:14:53] If you know yourself and you know who you are, if you know what you're not capable of, if you know what you need to work on... What does it matter if somebody else just tells you that or reminds you? Regardless of how they say it, even if they're mean or rude or arrogant about it, who gives a shit? Who cares?

[00:15:10] It does not say anything about you. It doesn't define you. You feel what I'm saying? It doesn't mean anything. And that goes for the negative and the positive, because it goes both ways. It's all about your ego and it goes both ways. So if somebody saying something negative should have no effect on you, it's the same thing with somebody giving you compliments, telling you how beautiful you are, how smart you are, how talented you are.

[00:15:32] You can't let that have a mental or positive effect on you, and then say all the negative stuff isn't going to have an effect on me. It goes both ways in my opinion. So don't let somebody pump up your ego or make your head super big by telling you all this positive shit either. You need to stay balanced and grounded and level. Positive or negative. Neither one of these things should have so much of an effect on you that it changes the way you feel or think about yourself. 

[00:15:59] Now, when I say that, I don't mean that you shouldn't listen to people because everybody can tell you something that you don't know, including something about yourself. Because no matter how well you think you know yourself, everybody else in your life knows a different version of you that you can't see. Because you can't see yourself through somebody else's eyes. 

[00:16:16] So maybe somebody, even your enemy, somebody you hate or despise or don't respect, they can also tell you something about yourself that you need to know. So even if you think you know yourself a hundred percent, your enemy could tell you even more and that's okay. You need to take that information objectively and you process it and you determine what it means. You determine whether or not it's true. That's what I'm trying to say, is you don't let somebody else's words or actions or opinions define you. 

[00:16:45] So you can take them in and process them but be objective about it. Don't let somebody come in and tell you something about yourself that makes you feel worse about yourself. That should never happen. That should never happen. So that's what I mean, is you have to get to a point where you can become self aware enough, pay enough attention to yourself that you start to know yourself inside and out. 

[00:17:09] Because once you get to that point, once you know who you are, you can trust yourself. You can trust yourself and know I'm capable of this. I'm not capable of that. I could learn this. I could never learn that I could do this. I can never do that. Right? I'd be happy in this situation. I wouldn't be happy in that one. These are the types of people I want in my life. These are the type of people I don't.

[00:17:31] By being self-aware, learning from the past, paying attention, you can learn these things about yourself. And once you learn about yourself, you can be confident in yourself because you know who you are, what you're capable of, who you're not, and what you're not capable of. That's confidence, not thinking that you're the best or better than everybody in the room and everywhere you go, that's not confidence.

[00:17:53] Confidence is just being comfortable and accepting of oneself. Period. Because when you get to that point, nobody can say anything that's going to shake you. Nobody can say anything that's going to affect you or put you down or lift you up. You do that. You see what I'm saying? That's your responsibility. 

[00:18:11] Now, obviously, you know, somebody gives you a compliment that makes you feel good. Of course, I'm not saying like, you know, put this wall up. So even when somebody says something nice, you're like, “Nah, fuck that. I know who I am!” That's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying, you know, you need to take all comments and actions objectively. And remember, at the end of the day, it says nothing about you. It's just somebody else's opinion of you. Somebody else's opinion of you or actions toward you will never define you. You define you every day when you wake up, your actions define you. You see? 

[00:18:46] Anyway, man, I could talk all day about this subject, but hopefully I've gotten my point across to you. And just to summarize it in one simple idea, is the key to self-confidence is self-knowledge and you get self-knowledge by being self-aware. So start paying attention to yourself, get to know yourself. The good, the bad, the ugly inside and out the light and the dark, the positive to negative, to a point where nobody can tell you something about yourself that you don't already know.

[00:19:15] And if they can tell you something about yourself, you don't already know, you can take it objectively instead of, you know, personally letting it destroy how you feel that day, or making you feel better about yourself than you probably should. The positive or the negative. Neither one of them should have so much of an effect on you that you feel... it changes the way you feel about yourself. 

[00:19:38] So understand that what people say about you or to you, or what they do to you, has nothing to do with you. So other people's actions or words should not be affecting your self-confidence at all. Not at all. Okay. 

[00:19:55] So go within and figure out what's missing. What do you need from yourself to feel better about yourself, more confident in yourself?. That's what you need to figure out because once you get to that point, somebody's pointing and laughing at, you talking shit, criticizing you... it just rolls off you like water off a duck. You see what I'm saying? 

[00:20:20] It's not easy, but it's very simple. So hopefully. This episode, this message, you know, these ideas gave you something to think about. And hopefully they help you get on the path to self-awareness then self-knowledge, then self-confidence. 

[00:20:38] Peace.

[00:20:38] OUTRO MUSIC

[END OF PODCAST]

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