Josh Shaw, Founder and Host of I.C.E Cold Confidence Talks About the Importance of Mental Health

While Americans experience great anxiety during our worldwide coronavirus pandemic, great attention is still given to fitness and keeping up with physical exercise. While this is absolutely important, TLC for mental health is as equally as important for Americans and their families to invest in today. With gyms being temporarily closed, now is the perfect time to start working on one’s mental health. It is proven that caring for our minds and emotions are key to a healthy and more confident life. Giving users 24/7 access to its tools, I.C.E. Cold Confidence was made to provide a wide age range of individuals a way to connect with live mentors and coaches, therapists, and psychologists as often as needed.

With the majority of individuals acknowledging a struggle with self-esteem, I.C.E. Cold Confidence is an easily accessible, affordable course that boosts individuals’ self-confidence from the comfort and safety of their home or office. I.C.E. was created with a mission to change the way people view mental health and to make mental health treatment more available and socially acceptable in today’s society. It offers one solution to challenge the real stigma associated with seeking out and receiving professional help for mental health today.

As a lifelong entrepreneur and Wisconsinite from Sheboygan, I founded I.C.E. Cold Confidence as a passion project when I saw the need for Americans to have more tools to tackle stress, anxiety, and a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. Together, with psychologist Dr. Jason Holland, I.C.E. Cold Confidence is ready to change lives starting today.

1.     What exactly is self-confidence and why is it so critically important? 

Self-confidence is the outward-facing projection of how you view yourself and your abilities, while self-esteem is the inward-facing equivalent. Self-confidence is a skill that can be improved, practiced, and learned by anyone. Having a healthy self-confidence is having an ability to be yourself, showing who you are, whether you have many flaws at that moment or minimal flaws. Self-confidence is how we project ourselves to the outside world. And if your self-esteem is compromised, it will show up in your behavior and your self-confidence, as well as affect your impact in the world.

Self-confidence is so critically important because, along with self-esteem, it makes up the core of our mental well-being. One’s mental well-being includes having a healthy mindset and outlook in life. It also includes having healthy attitudes, thoughts, and emotions. The very heart of our mental well-being spills out into how we conduct ourselves, the daily decisions we make, and the quality of relationships in our lives. A lack of self-confidence is linked to 20 psychological disorders including depression, drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety, and eating disorders. Having a fit and vigorous self-confidence can prevent you from developing these ailments.

2.     Are most people naturally self-confident, or could everyone benefit from learning this tool?

Most people are not naturally self-confident or born self-confident. Through events experienced, and influences and role models individuals have while growing up, people often find themselves living in self-doubt, deep insecurities, unstable relationships, and battling with major and minor regrets.

People learn to live with self-defeating thoughts and with this unbeneficial practice repeated, individuals can come to have very little awareness of the negative thought patterns which keep them running in circles. Many people will find themselves in survival mode—acting, speaking, and doing what they’re most used to and stuck in a cycle that runs like clockwork. This keeps so many people from even thinking about and planning what they really want out of life or becoming who they know they have the potential to be.

Everyone can benefit from learning this tool because self-confidence is a skill that always needs sharpening. Throughout the course of life, things change, life events happen, and people change. Thus, we recommend that you set specific goals when starting the ICE Cold Confidence program. Individuals will find that even goals are organic and change throughout the seasons of life. And even as these initial goals are set, during the process of ICE’s ten sessions, many users will add new goals to areas they didn’t realize needed a lot more TLC.

To use an analogy, having this tool will help you find where the hole, or holes, in the bucket are, to stop the leakage which keeps the bucket from becoming filled up. Without the benefits of having healthy well-being, people will continue to live in negative patterns that lower their overall health and wellness and quality of life. Going through the process of identifying, challenging and changing these negative patterns is life-changing, worthwhile, and one of the keys to building self-confidence.

3.     You talk about working on one’s mental health as similar to working on physical health. What are some of the similarities and what are some differences?

To start, a healthy mindset is the beginning of good physical and spiritual health.  These are directly intertwined. Our mental health is what wakes us up and gets us to the gym. It’s a healthy mindset that decides it’s time to nourish our spiritual selves and gets us to church or meditating at home. If we don’t have the mindset to workout, we will not go. If we don’t see the need for our souls to be nurtured, we will neglect our spirituality. Thus, I highly encourage those who are physically or spiritually out of shape, underdeveloped, or unhealthy to start with goals to have a healthy mind, self-esteem, and self-confidence to get back on the right track.

For a better balance in life, we need good health in mind, body, and spirit. The tools to find this balance are essential in helping us reach our goals. Regrettably, there is a despairing shortage of mental health resources today, which results in a lack of attention, priority, practice, and progress in peoples’ mental well-being. We have a plethora of resources for physical fitness in our culture and society today. The gyms, fitness magazines, and YouTube videos exist to boost our physical health. Churches, self-help books, and practices like meditation are promoted for our spiritual health, but what about our mental health?

Not only is there a stigma connected to mental health, but working daily on our mental health simply does not happen for the majority of Americans today. People associate positivity and priority around fitness. And the wide range of spirituality practiced in our country today is increasingly accepted and respected. Sadly, however, our cities, towns, and our nation are at a severe deficit of resources for mental health—especially ones that are easily accessible, affordable, and effective. ICE Cold Confidence was designed to meet this need today.

A similarity between working on one’s physical health and one’s mental health is that both require a routine, consistency, and a plan. For example, for physical health, you can’t go to the gym one time and get a six-pack as a result. Or, eating super healthy for one week doesn’t mean you can eat junk food for the rest of the month. These actions lack routine, dedication, consistency, and a plan. Adversely, they will put you on the road to developing physical health issues and problems which could become chronic.

In the exact same way, building mental health takes a plan, consistency, routine, and dedication. Prioritizing and having a daily 15-20 minute block of time to do activities such as—identifying your emotions, practicing self-reflection, learning to increase your EQ—will carve a new path for personal growth as you take the time to care for your mental health needs, just as you have physical and spiritual needs, too.

Lastly, working on one’s mental health is similar to working on one’s physical health in that it requires specific, attainable goals. The setting, conquering, and then setting of new goals is part of the journey we all take in achieving good health. This helps individuals track their progress and be inspired and motivated as they observe positive changes along the way.

4.     Do you find any differences in gender, between how men and women view and deal with self-confidence? 

Speaking in generalities, I tend to notice that with men, their self-confidence tends to lean toward prioritizing their outward projection and what they show to the outside world. Men can be completely self-confident in certain areas of life, but not in others. Depending on what they deem as significant—their career, their relationship with their wife, their friends—men tend to, knowingly or unknowingly, practice positive exercises to boost their self-confidence in the areas they deem key to their life’s successes. On the other hand, crucial areas that are not recognized as important may end up becoming neglected. An example of this could be how a man may relate to his parents. Perhaps through his upbringing, his parents have had a mixed influence on his mental well-being. With the doubts and insecurities stemming from these relationships, some men will continue to struggle since their own awareness of their low self-esteem and self-confidence is not addressed.

Self-confidence for women, generally speaking, tends to connect more directly to self-esteem and self-image. Depending on how a woman views herself and what she feels she is worth, her actions, speech, and decision-making will be directly impacted.

Taking a closer look at specific individuals, these generalities are contingent upon who each individual is—based on their upbringing, personality, and beliefs. Where their priority has greater focus, whether on either self-confidence or self-esteem, is not automatically determined by their gender. The goal of the ICE Cold Confidence program is for any person, male or female, to take the necessary steps to self-develop in the areas he/she finds him/herself lacking in at that time. ICE Cold Confidence is designed for a wide range of ages, regardless of gender identity.

5.     When does self-confidence become “too much” and spill over into arrogance or entitlement? How do you guard against that?

Self-confidence can become “too much” and spill over into arrogance when insecurities or immaturities that are not fully dealt with start to reveal itself. An arrogant person can have a degree of self-confidence within them, but if deep-seated insecurities are still in play, many times the people they’re closest to are mistreated and disrespected. Signs of arrogance in one’s actions and interactions are often obvious and upfront. And many arrogant individuals will believe it is okay to step on someone else’s space and ignore boundaries. Not only will they lack empathy for others, but they also will not allow people to be themselves, thus, allowing other people’s emotions to be compromised. Unfortunately, as a result, the fruit of arrogance includes people getting hurt and manipulated. A mature person who finally leaves their arrogant ways behind will begin to see that, by becoming a reliable and secure person, they can still be influential and successful without putting others’ dignity at stake or having to always feel they are above everyone else.

Today, when we hear the word, entitlement, it is often referred to in the discussion of which generation is the most entitled to date. And while we can argue about this until we’re blue in the face, entitlement’s negative spin is, thus, associated with selfishness and those we consider spoiled. How is this linked to self-confidence?

While a person’s self-confidence allows them to convey trust in their own judgment and abilities, a person who is entitled can already possess some degree of self-confidence. Where this can take a sharp turn is when extremely entitled individuals can display self-sabotage, greed, and bitterness due to feeling as if their rights were violated when they do not receive what they want. When they do not get something they thought they had a right to, sometimes the people around them will be disregarded. Entitled persons can go after their goals at the expense of others, just as ignorant persons may.

In a scenario where a new position has opened up in a company, there’s a self-confident individual who is ready to fill this role and speaks up. This person trusts their own ability to do an excellent job and shows self-confidence. Whether they get the position or not, their self-confidence is intact. And there’s a second individual who feels capable, but more than this, they feel entitled to land the new position. Not only do they feel entitled, but they are attaching their worth to this right, status, or potential promotion. This type of response reflects a link to insecurity, a focus only on the right, and many times not having anything to back this entitlement up. When people are entitled, they can easily use this to cover up their inmost insecurities.

In other cases, you will find that entitlement and self-confidence will not actually co-exist. The person with genuine self-confidence will be keenly aware of the rights, respects, and boundaries they abide by. And this self-confident individual will have no reason to claim status or rights on anything they have not earned or deserved.

6.     What are some of the unique challenges to self-confidence in the times of COVID-19?

During this time of the widespread COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that millions of people are facing unique challenges of a lifetime. Right now, worldwide, people are hunkering down at home, doing the best they can to help flatten the curve. While nearly 30 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last three months, basic food and necessities are absent from store shelves, and tens of thousands have lost family members and friends to the coronavirus. It is not hard to imagine how stressful and tough this time is.

Again, the obvious priority towards our physical health is crystal clear, as the coronavirus threatens to take the lives of individuals of all ages. But people need to remember that our mental health is threatened, too. The mindset of millions of families have now switched from living to surviving, and the lack of control regarding the highly contagious and potential infection of COVID-19 is triggering feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and tons of fear.

Is self-confidence being challenged during this time? Yes, absolutely. But, self-confidence is one factor that will successfully and safely guide people through this taxing and trying time. Having solid self-confidence is going to upstage the despair and anxiety which can so easily set into one’s thoughts and even one’s mindset.

With the Safer at Home order officially continuing, people are staying home for the longest stretch they’ve ever experienced in their lifetime. Having all this extra time at home is forcing individuals to spend more time with themselves—especially those living alone—who are also beginning to deal with loneliness. And if you don’t particularly like yourself very much, this will be a difficult challenge, and annoying at the very least. Being quarantined will keep you from staying busy and distracting yourself from ongoing self-esteem and self-confidence issues already present in you.

Now is the perfect time to dive into the ICE Cold Confidence program and start using this tool to build your own self-esteem and self-confidence. By practicing beneficial mental health exercises and activities on a daily basis, your growing self-confidence will develop your ability to believe you will come out of this stronger than before.

Yes, during this COVID-19 pandemic, insecurities can certainly lead to domestic abuse. The decrease in job security, as well as financial security, will trigger distress in people, even desperation. Building self-confidence and mental well-being within yourself will help you understand and be more aware of your actions and reactions. In the midst of the challenges you now face, those especially close to you will be at the receiving end of who you are today, regardless of your level of self-confidence. It is time to sculpt and build up your self-confidence now. Self-confidence will be your ally and the toughness you need to successfully make it through this time.

Yes, Americans are encountering a tremendous degree of loss in a myriad of ways, both personally and nationwide. And yes, with the millions of people across the globe, you are also at the risk of losing many things you treasure. No matter what you do lose, you have the choice to outshine your adversities with the power of a healthy mindset, an optimistic outlook, and the belief of a better day approaching. It’s time to decide if you will continue sweeping your mental health under the rug or take steps forward to empower yourself so you can eclipse your current situation.

People often don’t realize what they can have with robust and well-built mental health. The outcome is an upgrade in one’s quality of life, including things like happiness, success, and achieving what is truly desired. Have you ever heard a gym rat lifting weights and screaming at the top of their lungs? These people, while not permitted in places like Planet Fitness, demonstrate great passion for pushing themselves. It is quite a sight, and admirable, too. I implore with you today, to pursue mental health with the same gusto, commitment, roar, and intensity. Don’t be bogged down by fighting the same negativity that fills your mind every day. Now’s a good time as any for a change and a new day for your mental health and well-being. So go after this with vigor, and be fierce, since you have everything, including living out your best life, to gain from it.

This content is brought to you by Josh Shaw, Founder of I.C.E. Cold Confidence

Josh grew up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and currently resides in Madison. He was raised in a broken home and experienced trauma and tragedy when he lost his own father to suicide. While facing adversity, crime, and poverty in his childhood, Josh decided to beat the odds and defy statistics by relentlessly pursuing a healthy mind, redefining himself, and tapping into his potential. He realized that the key to confidence and personal growth was through a healthy mind that started with healthy self-worth. Josh became a real estate investor and entrepreneur of multiple 7-figure companies, where he emphasizes the value of relationships.  Josh is working to release his first book, Redefine Yourself.

For more information, please visit icecoldconfidence.com and iamjshaw.com.

Photo provided by Josh Shaw.