January is the time of year for making changes, and I would like to share with you one of my challenges and my plan for success. As a member of the health care community, being fit and healthy is an important goal of mine. However, I have been perpetually frustrated by my inability to lose the same 25 lbs for the last couple of years. Although, weight has been a highlighted issue for me, I see other areas of my life where breaking new ground has been scary and has stunted my growth. It is a cycle because the less you succeed ,the more you feel unable to do so. As a lover of psychology and seeking growth in all areas of my life, I have been analyzing why I haven't been able to get past certain plateaus. I realized in all of these instances where I was nervous to move forward with my goals, I lacked sufficient confidence. Although, I really wanted to get from point A to point B, there was always a fear that got in the way of making real progress. I didn't have the confidence to excel at something new where there was unknown consequences. However, I have discovered that there are small and easy ways to build confidence. But, it should be noted that the most important way to build confidence is to eliminate sources of negativity. Negative self-talk destroys confidence so quickly that a person can literally become stuck in the same patterns of behavior indefinitely. Negativity can come from yourself, or any other person you respect who is critical or your capabilities. To help myself and my other readers, I am suggesting a radical approach to building confidence that is entirely action based. Action therapy is so great because it prevents the mind from conjuring-up any negative scenario that will inhibit growth and increase fear. I am now following a plan of "Aggressive Self-Love." Whenever I feel myself slipping into a self-defeatist frame of mind, I will do something immediately that conjures up the opposite feeling. For example, if I am feeling unattractive, I will make an appointment at a hair salon. If I am feeling unintelligent, I will read a complicated book. If I feel unlovable, I will call someone who I know loves me. If I feel ineffectual, I will speak to a client I have really helped or create a new business development strategy. So the key to "Aggressive Self-Love." is to challenge every negative thought with an action that will snap you out of your current state of mind. I will be keeping a diary of my experiences and look forward to sharing with you in the upcoming weeks.