Good morning and welcome back to Inspiration Corner! Today we’re going to talk about self-confidence. I see a lot of readers—and friends—struggling with this issue all the time.
While it may seem that some people are born with it, the truth is that most people have to build their self-confidence and self-esteem throughout their lives. Self-confidence is like a rose bush. You have to nurture it for it to grow, and you have to keep taking care of it in order for it to keep on growing. You can’t continually beat yourself up and expect to radiate self-esteem and self-confidence.
One thing I like to ask people is this: Would you treat a friend the same way you treat yourself?
Chances are, they say “No.”
What do you think would happen if you told your best friend, “You know, you really should lose about 20 pounds before you can ever expect to be happy!” “Why would anybody ever fall in love with you?” Or, “You know, you’re just too stupid to get the job you want, so why bother trying?”
If you talked to a friend like that, I’m pretty sure that, not only would they cut off the friendship, but they’d feel pretty bad about themselves. So, if you wouldn’t be cruel to a friend, why the hell are you being cruel to yourself?
In my experience, people will mostly treat you the way you treat yourself. Treat yourself like you’re an idiot, and pretty soon you’ll believe it. Constantly berate yourself and tell yourself how ugly you are, and you’ll be walking around, wishing you could hide from the world. Believe you should be grateful to get attention even from someone who abuses you, and pretty soon you’ll attract abusers by the score and you will sit there, taking it.
Nobody else can give you self-confidence. If you rely on other people’s opinions to shore you up, you’ll constantly be running to them to fill your well, because their compliments aren’t rooted in your belief system. You have to become the source from where your self-confidence springs.
Another myth a lot of people seem to believe is that people who are self-confident are that way one hundred percent of the time.
Not true. Everybody has doubts. Everybody has days where they look in the mirror and cringe. Everybody looks at their work at some point, asking, “Why can’t I do this better?” or “Why do I work so hard, yet xxx is getting ahead of me?”
It’s human nature. But…and this is a big but: We can’t let ourselves wallow.
Feel the emotion, acknowledge it, validate the feeling but recognize that it’s probably not based in reality, and then begin to look for the positive.
Another important factor to remember is that every single person on the face of this planet has their own problems. Behind all the glitz and glamour of what you think is a perfect or magickal life, you’ll find people whose feelings get hurt, who have medical issues, who have relatives who are hurting, who have children who need special care, and so forth.
When you strip away all the veneers, we are all human. And we are all subject to self-doubt. We are also all subject to the possibility of greatness. Poverty, health issues, abuse, these cannot take their toll. But, we can rise above them and not let our problems define us.
Stand tall. Be proud of how far you’ve come, even if you feel there’s a long ways to go. There is no endpoint in this journey we call life, except for the final endpoint—death. Everything is part of a life-long journey.
I challenge you: Go through this week without saying a single negative thing about yourself. Pay attention to your inner thoughts. Every time you veer toward self-doubt or self-loathing, force yourself to take a fork in that path. Think of something good you have done and celebrate it.
I also challenge you, in the comments below, to tell me three things that you are proud of—about yourself. Not about your spouse or kids or siblings. I want you to tell me three things, without qualification, that you have done well. If you can’t think of three things, try again. NOBODY is without positives. Nope. Won’t buy the “poor me, I’m so deficient” attitude. I want three things. Now!
And every day, before you go to bed, write down three things that you did that day that you’re proud of. I don’t care whether it’s the fact that you stayed on your healthy eating plan, or that you made a wonderful cake, or that you went to visit your neighbor who’s a shut-in, or that you actually finished writing a blog post.
So when you think about self-confidence, remember — it begins with you.
15 thoughts on “Inspiration Corner: Self-Confidence”
You would think that 3 things wouldnt be so hard! Ok. I am very self aware. Or at least i strive to be. I know and admit to most of my faults. Im extremely loyal. Its taken me years to turn this into a good thing. Loyalty can be misplaced and i had to learn how to recognize those who deserve it. I also have a good sense of humor. Im shy a lot of the time but ince i loosen up I love to laugh.
Ok, three things..
1. I’m a great mother, my kids tell me that all the time and I think I did pretty good on how they’ve turned out so far. (Two teens without much drama)
2. I can cook pretty darn good. Have been asked by friends, family, and some strangers to start a restaurant. Cooking was something my granny passed down to me, and she did own a restaurant.
3. I don’t let my Crohn’s and fibromyalgia win… they may get a day every now and again, but they will not will the war. I don’t want memories of being in bed or sick all the time. So I take of myself and do what I’m suppose to do. It’s hard and painful, but I’m stronger.
I woke up one morning with my hands so swollen from arthritis (I didn’t know I had till then). I was told I’d never use them properly again. I got on medicine,and went to therapy, I can use them again and exercise them daily.
We have in door 7 indoor furrbabies , and 3 outdoor, they all get plenty of care and affection everyday.
Last but not least I love my family and try to support them in every way.
I am always there for my friends and family when they need me to listen or be a shoulder.
I am good at solving problems and finding the solutions to a situation.
I am very good at always getting my work done on time and often early.
I finished my Master’s degree and started a new career 4 months before my 50th birthday.
I have lived alone for over 30 years and have been very happy in my independence.
I became my Dad’s caregiver after my Mom died, and cared for him until his death over 2 years later.
Congratulations on your new career–and being alone sure doesn’t have to mean being lonely. 🙂
It sounds like you are a good friend and a reliable person. Wonderful qualities.
I finished my first round of medicine for a nasty illness I have.
I stayed by myself doing this because my husband had to go out of town for exams for his job
I am dependable and try to help all of those that I can.
Get well soon! And thank you for commenting–for finding positives about you!
I have not only survived cancer twice but that I am not afraid of it happening again. I refuse to let the monster make me live my life any differently than I did before
I kept on learning, throughout my life I returned to studies to and kept myself open to new ideas and opportunities
I am proud and happy to be the age I am. I have no regrets about being older. I never think about going back and being younger or skinny, or having perfect eyesight or no lines on my face. I am proud of my experiences and what age alone taught me!
We are the sum total of all that has happened to us–both success and challenges give us the opportunity to grow. 🙂
I am a loyal person. I am a very talented lighting designer. I am a dedicated gardener.
Thank you for this. It’s a challenge to not give in to the negative self-talk, but I am getting pretty good at shutting that down!
Good for you! It’s important to focus on our strengths and not just bash ourselves.
But I’m very good at my negative self-talk!! Oh wait. LOL.
Okay, 3 real things that I’m proud of, both large and small:
I took great care of my parents – for 10 years.
I applied for a graduate degree, got in, and went (w/thanks to a good friend who pushed me).
I read books this weekend in time to return them to the library tomorrow.
Thanks for this!
Your friend may have pushed you, but YOU did the work. Take credit for that! 🙂