Today we will break from the relationship theme for a bit....
I had a good friend ask me an intriguing question today. She asked if I had low self-confidence today. This struck me as odd, for a few reasons, but, mainly because I possibly have never been asked that before. It made me think about people I talk to on a daily basis. It made me think, how can I help people overcome their issues with confidence/self esteem?
This is near and dear to my heart, as majority of people I have come in contact with in my life, suffer some form of poor self confidence. I will admit this is foreign to me on a personal level as I have always been supremely confident in myself. I also have supreme confidence in people. I however relate cause I have talked to many people that have explained their torture. They have also given me feedback that my confidence in myself and that which I attempt to instill in them has had a positive affect on their lives.
To me, a few things help people gain confidence in themselves. One can be a person that shows them that they genuinely have confidence in them. This seems easy enough, however if you don't feel that person to be genuine, you won't respond well. People who have self-esteem issues are always taking advice from others with the same issue. People.... stop this, misery-loves-company train wreck. Actively take hold of your path to overcoming self confidence issues.
Another friend told me this morning that she officially got her radio show. She said she was nervous and she needed prayers. My first response to her minor trepidation was, "you're OK you got this". In my mind there isn't a doubt because, she already got the show. There will be growing pains, but, she already proved in someones mind she is worth the spot. The point of all this is simple, we need to take our success stories and use them as fuel, as we embark on the next challenge. If I'm her I'm saying to myself "What's the worse that can happen?", "I made it this far!".
One thing that gets in the way of people becoming more confident is the need to be like others. This is a classic misstep. Trying to be like someone else will always end in failure. Trying to live up to someone else's standards or ideals is a tragic journey with very little success. What do I mean by this you might ask? We all have heard or seen the story of the star quarterback and his coach, the father. He's never good enough in his fathers eyes, so he tries harder and harder. Still his father is harder on him than the other kids. This is a real life, everyday scenario that doesn't relegate itself to sports. It permeates through all genders, colors, and roles. We are always trying to prove ourselves to someone else. The only person you need to prove yourself to is YOU.
This issue is a big powerful locomotive and it's hard to stop it. In many of my conversations with people, they talk about some event or many events in their life that cause them to not be sure about themselves. One bit of advice I give them is focus on the good things you have accomplished in your life. Everyone has success stories to tell. So I tell people say to yourself "I did it once I can do it again!", even if it's something totally different. The point is that you were successful at something, not what that something was. We tend to get caught up in the act itself, instead of the fact you actually were successful at something.
My advice to those that know they have self confidence issues, is to seek out a coach or mentor. This person needs too be someone that you have confidence in. This person should be someone you can talk open, honest, and direct with. Someone that shows and exhibits confidence. Ask this person if they are willing to partner with you, to help you understand what having great confidence is all about. Now you may have difficulty finding this person and even more difficulty opening up. You don't want to let that stymie your quest for improvement in this area. Like in previous posts you need to break the cycle, you won't improve this issue by letting it sit there. What I'm suggesting is thinking outside the box. Life is short, making yourself happy and being confident about yourself is paramount. Try going against the grain, it's a good feeling.
We must always believe in ourselves, otherwise what is the point??? Life is lived individually, then in groups, not the other way around. Seeking acceptance from others will only serve to deepen the strangle hold low self-esteem has on you. Seeking someone to say they like what you're wearing doesn't make you feel good. Think about it, you reached out for another's opinion because you already have doubts. Their approval is superficial and only serves to mask the underlying issue. Whether others agree with you is irrelevant, you must find the will to believe in what ever is in your head. We worry too much about what society thinks about our ideas, appearance, actions, etc... Society can very well have an opinion, this however can't be your source of approval for your life. Confidence can be gained through the success stories of your life, not through the approval of others. That approval will be short lived and not sustained in your mind or soul.
The first thought in most people that have low self-esteem is they will fail. Failure is a part of life, once you embrace it, you can use it as a tool. This is a powerful tool that can go a long way in, removing those mental barriers that prevent you, from performing at your peak in all situations in your life. The purpose of all this is to get you to find positive opportunities in all aspects of your life. There's positive in good as well as in bad, striving to find that good will open new doors and remove obstacles.
The key takeaway when talking about confidence is, you have to trust in you. This must be done before anyone that exhibits trust in you can prove effective for you moving up the self-esteem ladder. Everything has and will always start with you....