When I wrote about my word of the year, Intentional, I mentioned a practice that I referred to as 30 + 10. I briefly explained the practice in that post, but I wanted to go more in depth about it and how it has changed my life.
30 + 10 is a practice that I gleaned from Napoleon Hill as a part of his Formula for Self Confidence. When I first came across this formula, I knew that it was something that I wanted to implement into my life because, well, I could use a little more self confidence.
The first part of the formula is to read the formula itself out loud, once a day. I have included it below.
1. I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my Definite Purpose in life. Therefore I demand of myself persistent, continuous action towards its attainment, and I here and now promise to take such action.
2. I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action and gradually transform themselves into physical reality. Therefore I will concentrate my thoughts for 30 minutes daily upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture of that person.
3. I know through the principle of autosuggestion (also known as affirmations) that any desire I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object. Therefore I will devote 10 minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence.
4. I have clearly written down a description of my Definite Chief Aim in life. I will never stop trying until I have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.
5. I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure unless built upon truth and justice. Therefore I will engage in no transaction that does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness and cynicism by developing love for all humanity because I know that a negative attitude towards others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself. I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory and repeat it aloud once a day, with full faith that it will gradually influence my thoughts and actions so that I will become a self-reliant and successful person.
- Napoleon Hill, Self-Confidence Formula
Then, do what you commit to when you read the formula. The first thing is to concentrate on who you want to become for 30 minutes a day. This is the "30" in the 30 + 10.
At first, I tried to do this in my head, but I found myself easily distracted and so I started talking to myself. During the first few weeks, I described who I wanted to become as though she was a person I already knew. I described her attributes, her personality traits, her accomplishments, and successes. I was always talking about "her". Then one day I began talking about who I wanted to become as though I had already become that person. Instead of everything being about "her", it was suddenly all about who "I" was, what "I" had done. This was a very important shift. As I spent 30 minutes, every day, talking to myself about how "successful I was" and the things "I had accomplished", I began to be bolstered up. I wasn't filled with pride and vanity, but with confidence and certainty in myself.
The "10" in the 30 + 10, is to spend 10 minutes developing self confidence. Again out loud, I spend 10 minutes telling myself about all the things I am confident in. "I am confident in my talents", "I am confident in my gifts from God", "I am confident in my abilities". With repetition, even the things that I only wished I was confident in, I actually became confident in. In other words, as I told myself I was confident in my talents, I actually became confident in my talents.
Go ahead and tell me that you don't have 40 minutes to talk to yourself.
If you want an excuse, you have one. If you want a way, you have one.
Does it take you at least 40 minutes to get ready in the morning? Or drive to work? Or clean the house? This exercise is best done when you have a mindless task at hand. This exercise occupies your brain while your hands are busy. I do this exercise every morning. After my toddler has woken up, I begin to get ready for the day. I get her settled playing and then I read the formula, out loud. Then I tell Siri to set a 30 minute timer and I talk to myself while I undress, shower, dress, do my hair, put my make up on. When the 30 minutes are up, I tell her to start a 10 minute timer and I continue. I pick up the house, do the dishes, put away clothes.
Before I know it, 40 minutes is up and I feel like a super hero.
This will feel silly and awkward at first, but you will find that the benefits will outweigh any of the discomfort. You will go forward in your day full of personal power and filled with the knowledge you are capable of creating any result you want in your life. If you're worried that you won't know what to say, then just repeat yourself. Keep reinforcing to yourself and to your mind that you are, indeed, a world traveler, even if your passport is expired (or, what passport?). Soon, you'll find yourself applying for a passport and booking that flight. Then, you'll be a world traveler.
Try it and tell me about it. I'd truly love to know how it goes!