How I stopped being sad and became awesome instead. True story.

Hello, my name is Elmo Ensio, I am 28 years old and I have low self-confidence.

That’s how I would’ve have introduced myself 5 years ago, if I had dared.

A lot of water has flown down Neris and other rivers since those times and I am a totally different person now. The internet is full of pseudo-information and loose generic advice “be positive”, which, to be honest, is true, but nothing concrete you can take as such and use in everyday life to build-up your self-confidence. But now I am going to tell you in few concrete steps how I did become positive, self-confident and *cough* awesome. =)


1. Positive mantra as password

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”


Your mind is the single most powerful tool you will ever possess. Now we are engaging it to reverse your negative thoughts / limiting beliefs by simple repetition of self-affirmation mantras.

Choose three mantras of four to five words each that are your new beliefs. They have to be in present tense, specific and easily visualised.

For example:

  • I love my life
  • Shiny happy people everywhere
  • PhD writing is easy

To get enough repetition, we will use these mantras as passphrases. They need to be a bit modified (due to security reasons) before it is safe. First phrase will be password for your main email account, second for Facebook and other social media and the third one for everything else that you use on a daily basis.

Same phrases modified to be not so easily guessed

  • mE<3MyVida (here life is in different language to make evil crackers life not so lovable)
  • Sh1nyh4ppyppl0-0 (here 0-0 is symbolising the sleeping 8, the mathematical symbol for eternity, reference to everywhere)
  • dissisPeas0cak3 (diss= dissertation, reference to PhD)

Go on, change your passwords now! Just don’t use my examples or you will be hacked in less than a nanosecond.

2. Write a motivation letter for yourself

Recall and list your past successes, unique skills, loving relationships, and positive moments. Have a reminder of these successes automatically e-mailed to you using Google Calendar or Memo to Me.

Here’s a template you can use after changing my humouristic examples into your own real-life stories.


This motivational letter is from you to you. It takes only 5 mins to read it, please do it now.

Here’s a little reminder of what you are good in šŸ™‚

Shooting stars
Bunny hopping

Here are some amazing success stories from your past šŸ™‚

You landed a high-paying job in breeding exotic butterflies
This one time, at band camp…

These absolutely stunning girls/boys have been interested in you šŸ™‚

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Manson

This is what makes you happy šŸ™‚

Dancing in the rain
Smashing pumpkings

Here’s what others say about you šŸ™‚

quote Marilyn Monroe:
“You can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.”

quote Muhammad Ali:
“You are the greatest, I said that even before I knew you were.”

Hope this was time well spent and you feel again confident! You deserve it!

Yours truly,

3. Dress to impress.

Wear your favourite aftershave/perfume. Smile. The looks do matter. You look good, you feel good. You look confident, you feel confident. Smiling person is hundred thousand times more approachable than the poker face. Don’t close yourself from all those shiny happy people who want to share their happiness with you.

“Cause every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man”

ZZ Top

4. Speak up.

Make an effort to speak up at every group conversation. If there are unfamiliar faces in the group, introduce yourself. “Hi, I haven’t seen you before, my name is Elmo. What’s yours?” with a handshake will do just fine. Then if you have something more to talk about, talk, if not, don’t.

Speaking slowly conveys authority and confidence. And it helps people around you to understand your witty humour and/or broken English.

5. Be a good person.

Speaking of speaking, it does matter what comes out of your mouth. Sincerely compliment other people, it makes you feel good and people will like you, thus enforce your self-confidence even more. But be careful not to overdo and inflate your compliments. Two compliments per person per day is already too much in my books. Unless they are for your partner-in-crime aka significant other. šŸ˜‰

Do not lecture about yourself and your adventures too much. Yes, I know, everyone loves a storyteller, but truly awesome communication is always a two-way street. Find cues and hooks in other peoples mouthings and respond to them. We all have two ears and one mouth, use them in that ratio.

Make someones day, every day. Be optimistic and use positive words instead of negative words. There are no problems in your life, only issues or challenges.

6. Build professional competence.

Nothing feels better than knowing that you are good in what you do, and when encountering unfamiliar situations, you just know that you will find a solution, even though it is hidden in that f’n mess you’re staring at. Your boss is paying for solutions, not for your skills.

If you hate going to work every morning and do it just for money, maybe it’s time for a career change. It’s never too late for changing your life 180 degrees….

7. Sharing is caring.

Share all your knowledge and you will learn more about everything. Become the go-to guy. This improves your professional and social self-confidence as people will come to you for help and you will feel important and useful. And besides, you truly know a subject only when you have taught it to someone else.

8. Live according to your own standards and beliefs.

Not the ones from your peers. Do not be a sheep. It’s your life and only you are in charge of it.Ā  Hold your integrity and seek towards your goals. Help others hold their integrity and seek towards their goals. Have high standards for your work, always do the best job you can. Have a reminder of your one-year goal visible to you every day. If you want to travel to India, then you keep a postcard from India on your fridge.

You are the best yourself! And going to be even better tomorrow. Cheers!

Related articles

The Power of Affirmations by Remez Sasson
Pick The Brain for instant confidence
Zen Habits on confidence
Dr. Robert Anthony – Total Self-confidence
Steve Pavlina writes for smart people only

Disclaimer: This is a true story written by undersigned after a two years long self-organised crash course titled “Transformation from a spoiled westerner with first worlds problems into a real person with healthy values”. I graduated on 11.11.11 with honors.

posted: 11 November 11
under: Lifestyle