December 9, 2019
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Marcus Aurelius – How To Build Your Self Confidence (Stoicism)

If you want to build self-confidence, you
would do well to listen to the words of Marcus Aurelius. He was the emperor of Rome from
161 to 180 A.D., and is considered as the last of the five good emperors. During his
rule, Aurelius found the time to construct a series of autobiographical writings, now
known as the Meditations. The Meditations is regarded as one of the greatest works of
philosophy which is why in this video we will be using some of his wisdom as a motivation
to talk about 10 things we should do to build our self-confidence. Focus on building your character
Marcus Aurelius says “Consider at what price you sell your integrity; but please, for God’s
sake, don’t sell it cheap”. In our initial phases of our lives, our self
confidence is developed by the love and affection we get from our family members but it only
serves as a foundation on which our confidence can grow. We need additional skills to aid
us in social situations where we may feel uncomfortable. People skills and a strong
character are basic assets that we really need. Character refers specifically to the
moral dimension of the self. Character development deals with developing
a your personal integrity and internal compass of acceptable behavior. The formation of character
involves a continuous self-evaluation process in which individuals compare their description
of themselves as they are which is the Real Self with their descriptions of themselves
as they would like to become which is their Ideal Self and as they fear becoming their
Dreaded Self. According to the Stoics, we should use every occasion, every challenge,
as a way to exercise our character, to become a better human by constant application. We
should seek to become kind, honest and hard working people. We should educate ourselves
and learn to treat everyone with respect. Because your character is the one thing that
can never be taken away from you. A man can rise or fall just due to the virtues or faults
of his character and it is often this that leaves a legacy. 2. Practice Self-Acceptance
In the words of Marcus Aurelius “Be content to seem what you really are”. Self-acceptance is the cure for perfectionism
and unhappiness. It’s so easy to focus on your faults and
everyone can dwell on their insecurities instead of the things about themselves that they are
happy with and doing this can cause you to dislike yourself. You may also be too busy
focusing on others around you and not focusing on loving yourself. Some people don’t want
to be alone and fear to do things on their own. This can really hinder your journey to
self-love, as you have to learn to be comfortable being with yourself. Self-love is one of the
best things you can do for yourself. Being in love with yourself provides you with self-confidence,
self-worth and it will genuinely help you feel more positive. You may also find that
it’s easier for you to fall in love once you have learned to love yourself first.
When you are truly in love with yourself and happy, you should stop comparing yourself
to others so much and should find yourself more confident, not worrying as much about
what others think of you. Understand that you are whole and complete
as you are. No one expects perfection from you.
If you are overweight, your friends call you fat and you think less of yourself, DON’T
DO THAT! Accept what is. Love yourself regardless.
When you are ready, you can always get into eating more healthily and exercising more
like that Ketogenic Diet. You can do intermittent fasting with weight lifting and then see the
amazing transformation after a couple of months. There are many ways to practice self-acceptance
but the most important of them is being honest and forgiving yourself. Reflecting on your
mistakes can help you to forgive and forget. If you can look back at some poor choices
you may have made, and forgive yourself, you can start to move on and forget about the
past. Loving yourself despite any mistakes you made in the past is great for your self-worth.
Self love and self acceptance is nothing but your choice. You may have many problems and
there will usually be solutions. But even without one, you are still you. Why not accept
yourself the way you are instead of beating yourself up? 3. Focus on your thoughts
To quote Marcus Aurelius “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your
thoughts”. If you chronically feel down about yourself
it may just not be an issue of a negative thoughts here or there; but instead it may
be that your “core beliefs” about yourself are negative. Ideas like “I’m unlovable”
or “I’m a loser” might be at the bottom of most of the decisions you make. So that’s
where you need to start. Challenging such a fundamental idea can seem
daunting. That concept has a really good lawyer in your head who is constantly presenting
tons of evidence to prove his case that you’re a loser. So make a list of all the proof you
have in your mind that supports the argument that you are a loser. Now that you presented
a case, you need something that is lacking – a defense lawyer to challenge this notion.
Now, sit down and make a second list. A list of reasons you are not a loser – why the first
lawyer is wrong. Having that list of reasons you are pretty darn awesome will help you
dismiss that negative core belief and replace it with something more honest, accurate and
rational. It may seem scary or even impossible to change
your thoughts but you can change your thoughts to improve your self-esteem. The automatic
thoughts you’ve had for years are familiar and served a purpose at one point in your
life. However, think about how many of these are negative and hurtful. The more negative
thoughts you have, the lower your self-esteem will be. So wouldn’t it be nice to change
your thoughts and improve your self-esteem? 4. Make a plan and stop thinking As we learn from Marcus Aurelius “Turn your
desire to stone. Quench your appetites. Keep your mind centered on itself.” The truth is that we live in the age of procrastination.
We waste far too much of our time in making plans, attending meetings, strategising but
getting nothing done. Sure, if you don’t have any goals to work towards, that’s the
first step. But once you decide on your goals, it’s time to stop thinking and start doing.
Thoughts and plans don’t mean anything. A genius idea is not of any worth, either.
Not unless you put the work in and take the steps necessary to make it a reality.
Wanna switch careers? Great. Decide something new to try, then go get qualified or certified,
then start applying for jobs. Wanna to finally get in shape? Awesome. Lift weights 3 times
per week and start eating the right amount of calories.
Stop “doing research,” stop “getting prepared”, and stop telling everyone about
your sweet plan. Just get started. Today. Because planning just planning wont help,
it’s your actions that will boost your self-confidence because you will be getting things done. There’s a reason the ancient Stoics like
the great Marcus Aurelius were so successful and accomplished and that’s because They
took action. Over and over again. 5. Keep your word We are told by Marcus Aurelius to “Live
up to it. Make good on your promises. Be what your father hoped for you to be”.
Keeping your word is critical to restoring your sanity and creating a meaning driven
life. Keeping your word means honoring what you commit to. It’s keeping your promises,
with everyone and especially with yourself. When we promise ourselves that we’ll do something,
or promise to stop doing something, we feel it’s for our own good. We believe that life
will be more satisfying with the change. What we often fail to take into account is that
the promise is not just about improving relationships or conditions in one’s life, but it’s also
a test of integrity. To have integrity is to honor one’s word, to know that we won’t
do anything unexpected or surprising that would have us break our word, and to recommit
to our word if we find ourselves faltering. Making a promise to someone is one of the
most powerful forms of communication in existence. Yet, how many times do you make vows that
you can’t possibly keep? You tell a friend, your child, your partner, that you’ll do something
for them. But then you don’t actually go and do it. We already know breaking promises has a disastrous
effect. It not only disappoints the person we’ve promised, but it also erodes bits
of our self-esteem, too. Brain research shows that breaking promises actually registers
in our brain activity, showing up as emotional conflict for the promise breaker as a result
of suppressing their honesty. Keeping our promises is key to experiencing life as we
dream it to be. 6. Take ownership of your actions
As Marcus Aurelius so succeedingly puts it “Do your job without whining” The inability to accept responsibility is
a telltale sign of low self-esteem. This shows up when someone is indecisive and when they
blame other people. People blame others because they believe what you do is who you are which
means when you make a mistake, you somehow diminish yourself. They don’t realize by blaming
others, they have made themselves powerless by becoming a victim of circumstance.
How many times have you heard or maybe even said:
“I was late because of stupid train delays.”, “I didn’t get promoted because I don’t schmooze
with my managers.” or “I can’t find a job because of the economy.”
Although these may be valid reasons, people with strong self-esteem don’t focus on the
external factors that may have caused the undesired result but rather spend their energy
thinking of ways to achieve the outcome that they want. They don’t put themselves down
for making a mistake, they just learn from the experience and move on. When you begin
to do the work and take ownership over your life, you start to realize the power of time
management, control and autonomy. You live life on your terms this way. It truly is the
only way. 7. Don’t speak too much about yourself Marcus Aurelius instructs us to “Accustom
yourself to attend carefully to what is said by another, and as much as it is possible,
try to inhabit the speaker’s mind”. We are all guilty of talking too much about
ourselves. We talk about ourselves 30-40% of the time. That’s a lot. Studies have
shown that talking about ourselves is strongly associated with increased activity in the
mesolimbic dopamine system, the same part of our brain that experiences pleasure through
things like food, sex, and money. The truth is no one wants to sit through a slide show
from your latest outing on your latest gadget, no one really wants to hear another person
going on and on and on about himself. All of that talking is costing us time, productivity
and energy. It’s also costing us our credibility and our relationships. People who go on and
on appear to undervalue others’ contributions, lack curiosity and self-awareness, and seem
self-absorbed and even nervous. This is just terrible for your self-confidence. We should
stay away from the conversation that concern with gossiping and passing judgment on people.
To indulge in gossip and judge people who aren’t present to defend themselves simply
does not seem to be the virtuous thing to do. We should
instead develop our listening skills and respond less to gossiping and passing judgments and
occasionally introduce a challenging topic that you feel might lead to a mutually beneficial
conversation with your friends. 8. Remind yourself of death Marcus Aurelius says “You could leave life
right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think”. The Stoics made it routine to keep the prospect
of death in mind and you too can practice this every morning. There is a phrase within
the stoic philosophy called Memento Mori, which means remember that you will die. The
point of this reminder isn’t to be morbid or promote fear, but to inspire, motivate
and clarify. This morning routine will help you approach you approach to your daily life
fearlessly and make you feel confident about doing things that really matter. Reminding
yourself that every day has value and every day that passes is another day closer to your
expiration date can provide the perspective and motivation necessary to help you prioritize
your life in a way that reflects the kind of person you truly want to be. 9. Ignore the naysayers
As we learn from Marcus Aurelius “When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar
criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You
will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular
opinion about you”. Naysayers are the people who criticize, object
to, or oppose something. The Naysayers just love to say nay. Whenever you step out of
the norm and declare what you want, and that you are going to do whatever it takes to achieve
it, you will attract naysayers. They might love you, but they are afraid of progress
so they are against everything and their opinions are just terrible for your
self-confidence. While you don’t have self-control over what other people think or how they act
around you, you do have control over how you react. Their voice does not deserve to be
heard. Don’t hand over your peace of mind to outsiders to disrupt as they please. The
truth is you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So if someone
just has a history of being a naysayer, ignore them. 10. Have an evening confidence ritual
In our final quote from Marcus Aurelius, he tells us, “These are the characteristics
of the rational soul: self-awareness, self-examination, and self-determination. It reaps its own harvest….
It succeeds in its own purpose…” Self-confidence is a positive feeling about
yourself, your ideas, and your worth that enables you to take good care of yourself,
stand on equal footing with others, and feel pride about yourself and how you live your
life. Not all self-confidence is actually under your control. Infact, about 50% of self-confidence
is genetic. Fortunately, you’ve got the other 50% to work with! Here are two easy
exercises, you could do in the evening before going to bed, for confidence-building Keep a gratitude journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is a simple process. Every evening, you should pick three to five
things every day that you are thankful for and write it down. Gratitude doesn’t have
to be saved for the big things in life. The habit of being grateful starts with
appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small
for you to be thankful for. Appreciating the smallest of things in your life before going
to bed will also give you a good reason to wake up and a confidence to face new challenges
in life. 2. Have a Daily Success Review This is quite similar to your gratitude journal.
Each evening during your success review, write down one to three successes of your day. Success
doesn’t necessarily mean major achievements, although if you have them, by all means, be
proud of it. But don’t overlook the power of your everyday small wins. Some of your
small wins could be about making good decisions or taking the time to exercise, helping someone,
anything that makes you feel good. This will give you a huge boost to your self-confidence
because by focusing on daily victories, you reinforce your constructive actions and thoughts,
thus making it likely you’ll have more small wins on subsequent days. If you like this video, please do make sure
to check out our complete Stoicism playlist and for more such philosophical wisdom for
your modern day success, don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks so much for watching.

Otis Rodgers



  1. Philosophies for Life Posted on July 22, 2019 at 3:58 am

    Thank you for watching this video. Hope you liked it. We would like to apologize for not being consistent with our uploads but now we will be uploading a video every alternate Sunday. We are also planning to change the name of the channel from Downtown Success to Philosophies of life since this channel is now all about giving philosophical wisdom for modern day success. Do let us know your thoughts.

  2. Achinth Murali Posted on July 22, 2019 at 3:59 am

    Marcus Aurelius is hands down one of the greatest men who ever lived. Emperor, philosopher, hero, and total badass. He’s a role model for all ages.

  3. Life Progress - a channel for introverts Posted on July 22, 2019 at 4:01 am

    “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

  4. Life Progress - a channel for introverts Posted on July 22, 2019 at 4:03 am

    The way I built self-confidence was through exposing myself to the experience. What do you not feel confident about? Is it socializing? Then continually expose yourself in social situations and through the experience self-confidence will emerge

  5. Shubham Ghosh Posted on July 22, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Well done you are doing good job..

  6. Meldwin Visleño Posted on July 22, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Thank you!

  7. Betterment Boss Posted on July 22, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Feeling more confident already! Thanks for this video 🙂

  8. Gurusamy Kasee Posted on July 22, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Great thoughts to follow.. greetings from Malaysia. Tq

  9. Robotzky X Posted on July 22, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Naysayers are the jealous people pretending they had it done when in fact they cant

  10. Andrew Provo Posted on July 22, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Ups and downs during his reign. Plague, German revolt on the long border between the empire and the northern tribes, wrecked economy, etc. Wow, and then to write what has endured through the centuries. Given all the achievements, he chooses his son, Commodus, to succeed him—for some years prior to Marcus, the best man was chosen and not genetic succession. Hey, who gets it all right? To be fair, Commodus probably behaved himself being out on campaign as much as he was.

  11. Derek Bialy Blaustein Posted on July 22, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    I generally have alot of integrity, but for 10 million dollars, I would go to bed with Al Sharpton!

  12. joyshaitan Posted on July 22, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    Your videos are very well made, and convey very deep meaningful messages. Thank you. Keep doing the good work bro.

  13. ganirintiniano Posted on July 23, 2019 at 6:26 am

    12:40 arnold scharzenneger says that thing…we know…hes a robot from the future past

  14. Thom Lov Posted on July 23, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Here…care and dontcare at the same time.

  15. Simon Bruce Posted on July 23, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    I love these little videos and animations. Please keep them coming.

  16. Eduardo Parra Posted on July 23, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Dropt this at fat. This hole love your self is the problem whit the narcissistic left and the fat acceptens movement as a fat man I am losing fat now cus I don't love my self and what to improve my self so I can love my self u mist the hole point.
    So gj

  17. Arturo Cabello Posted on July 24, 2019 at 2:16 am

    It helps to portray your confidence with your body! Something that I've been practicing and it does work! 🙂

  18. Rekopaa Posted on July 24, 2019 at 2:57 am

    5:16 "Make a list of reasons you're not a loser."

    1) …

  19. Robbie WillSurvive! Posted on July 25, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Low self-confidence? NOT A PROBLEM! If you suffer from low self-confidence, don't despair. The world desperately needs more people like you with no self-confidence and no self esteem to work for me as my slaves and to serve my every whim! 👋😂🖕

  20. Rafael Velazquez Posted on July 25, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    The opening quote was Epictetus:)

  21. TiOZÃO Posted on July 28, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    Self Confidence… The oldest PUA bullshit ever! Self Confidence… You either have it or you DON'T! You cannot "build" this type of thing. Funny to see all the losers in the comment section praising this bs video and saying they're already feeling more confident just by watching it LOL

  22. Mitziemitz Mitchi Posted on August 11, 2019 at 3:53 am

    Im a winner…selflove is really needed to enhanced and improve self esteem self confidence..

  23. Lucas Horta Posted on August 12, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    I’m fairly certain the first quote is from the discourses, by Epictetus… great video nevertheless

  24. PPS S. Posted on September 5, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    All is nice and well but the main implication remains – the great outside is your judge and your master you try to please/contribute via stocism and all that good virtuous stuff. If you feel a loser who does not live up to the external expectations stoicism is here to help to numb yourself but keep trying.

  25. Araceli Carlos Posted on September 5, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you for this great video and visuals (:

  26. Alex Campbell Posted on September 6, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you for this, Great video 🙂

  27. Tfrne Posted on September 8, 2019 at 1:02 am

    Marcus Aurelius had 20 Wisdom

  28. Reala Clais Posted on September 8, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Great Video. Thank you

  29. steph Kirwin Posted on September 9, 2019 at 1:16 am

    just what I needed these days a bit of butt kicking philosophy

  30. mike rizzy Posted on September 9, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Neizche would scoff at this. I think stoicism is most useful when approached at a very high status level. It’s better for emperors than commoners because a commoner would practice is as content.

  31. ytrez2011 Posted on September 9, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Thank you. Very succinct presentation!

  32. Jay Lopes Posted on September 12, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    Its regrettable instead of common sense today the agenda is social engineering, men to be women . . . Women to be men . . . A complete break down of culture & traditions gone with this feminist agenda 🖐🇵🇹

  33. Pierre Poirier Posted on September 14, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Easy for him to say…

  34. Edgard Buelna Posted on September 29, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    This video is a Gem!! Thank you!! So inspiring an a saviour!! Keep the good work!! Gotta share it!! Blessings and More Stoic building circumtances!!!:)

  35. Laughking Tallent Posted on October 12, 2019 at 3:24 am

    How can I love me when no one else does? At some point I have to realize I must just be terribly flawed.

  36. michael onello Posted on October 16, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Just go plant based whole food vegan…..!
    Vegan whole foods on Instagram == mikewakethefoodup

  37. Ry Rilo Posted on November 3, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Problem is ppl confuse "love" for "like or lust". Doing the best for self can be uncomfortable.

  38. Erica Ashley Posted on November 14, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    If I have no interest in not socializing period

  39. mena seven Posted on November 19, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I like Marcus quotes Memento Mori meaning remember that you will die and the happiness of your life depend of the quality of your thoughts.