For over 1 year, I have been working as an Internet Coach and have gotten to know many people on a personal basis. The people I have worked with are at many different levels. There are some who can be guided along and shown the steps to success and there are others who need to be pulled along. However, as I get to know people, I have gained certain insights as to the factors that stop success and one of those things has to do with a lack of Self-Confidence.
Building Self Confidence is something that doesn’t happen overnight, but it is often something that is overlooked in the context of improving one’s life. I would like to discuss this topic a bit and give some pointers as to how someone with low or no self confidence can start increasing it in order to experience more of what they desire.
First off, we need to understand that Self Confidence has to do with YOUR perception of yourself. Have you ever known someone who is overly critical of themselves, but if you were to ask 10 other people who know the person, you would get 10 different perceptions and most of them would not be as critical as the perception of that same person? How is it possible to have many different variations of perceptions when there is only one truth? This tells us that Perception Does NOT equal Reality. And when we start to feel negative about ourselves, perhaps a good question to ask would be if God would have the same perception. This helps to get us out of the inner drama that we have created and look at the situation from a higher perspective.
People who have a lack of self confidence are people who look at their limitations and translate those into negative emotions. Those negative emotions then affect many other areas of their lives because they feel “inferior” or “incapable” in some way. People who have self confidence know about their limitations, but they don’t allow their limitations to translate into negative emotions that affect their further growth. The fact is that everyone has limitations. Here are 2 examples of how a limitation can affect someone’s progress in 2 different ways:
I look too young, therefore, others will view me as not capable of holding any managerial or leadership positions.
I look young and youthful, therefore, others will have more respect for me because of my youthfulness and health.
The reason I use this example is because the former is a negative belief system that I experienced previously in my life. This negative belief system affected my self confidence. You can do this exercise for any limitation that you are experiencing. First, state the limitation, then add the remaining part of the sentence that describes how it affects you. In other words, I have this _______, therefore ________________________. After you have done that, then take the same limitation and find a positive statement that cancels out the negative. Notice that you are not removing your limitation, you are simply replacing your perception of the limitation to one of a more positive nature.
The other important aspect of Self Confidence involves Love of Self. I don’t mean this in an egotistical way that makes you want to have more and be more than others. Self Love does not involve comparisons. Stop comparing yourself to other people. If you get sucked into that, you will find that there are always people who are better off than you and there are always people who are worse off than you. You simply need to love yourself because you are YOU. You are the only YOU (and that is something special). God loves you unconditionally and you need to love yourself unconditionally as well. It doesn’t mean that you have to accept how things are, but that you need to not make your love of yourself dependent upon your success. Think about a newborn baby. That baby has done nothing of major significance, but yet the love you have for a newborn baby is so wonderful. That is unconditional love.
The next step in this process involves Gratitude. If you take every unpleasant situation and change your perception of it to something positive, then you will have self confidence. There is a silver lining in everything, even if it is simply to make us stronger or to teach us something, we can always find something positive. So start today to consciously make the change to think in a different way… in a way that truly brings you closer to God. By doing so, you will find greater self confidence and help you to experience more of what you truly desire.