What is self confidence?
I once read that our self confidence is highly affected by the five people closest to us, meaning that the five people we spend the most time with, have a particularly large effect on what our confidence is like. I’ve thought about this angle a lot lately and it’s surprisingly true! When you surround yourself with people that lift you up and inspire you, your confidence will sky rocket. On the other hand, if you spend time in an environment where you’re not supported or understood, it will have a negative effect on your confidence. When you constantly spend time in the wrong environment, you always have a feeling of not being enough. Who do you spend your time with?
Confidence is an interesting subject in general. Even when someone might look confident on the outside, their inner world might be something totally different. The friend who is always lifting others up and flies through every situation looking super confident might be the one to break down in tears at home for feeling worthless. I admit that when I was younger, I made a lot of assumptions about people by how they looked and acted. Those assumptions turned out to be wrong more than once, so nowadays I try to have an open mind until proven otherwise. You can never know what someone’s story is and however cliché it sounds, each one of us has a life that’s wrapped around so much history. Nothing is as black and white as it seems.
We often view a confident person as sociable and talkative. I don’t think that’s the definition of confidence. I think confidence is being true to who you are – whatever that may be. Confidence is the feeling of not needing to apologize for your existence even if someone says or thinks something less of you. It’s a true feeling of being enough with your strengths and weaknesses. When you live a life that reflects your values and is you, confidence will automatically follow, since you’re being true to yourself. Confidence doesn’t mean arrogance. It’s having an open mind to accept others the way they are, as well.
Uncertainty is usually formed when we imagine what other people think about us being ourselves. We try to avoid getting hurt so we build a barrier. We feel anxious and uncertain, because we’re afraid that our real self will be seen from under the barrier. In reality there isn’t really anything to be afraid of: if someone doesn’t like us, we just need to find other company. There is no point in staying and trying to please someone, because there will always be people who you won’t get along with no matter how hard you try.
It’s fascinating how you can see your confidence rising if you stop to analyze yourself. I feel like my confidence has gotten a lot stronger this past spring. It’s mostly due to the fact that I’ve started to do more things I enjoy, without worrying if other people will understand or accept them. I’ve made my values clearer and learned to say no. All this combined has led to the fact that it’s physically easier for me to breathe. The fun part is that I’ve always had quite bad posture, but now I feel like my posture is getting better every day. Our mental state has a huge effect on our physique and how we carry ourselves!
How can we grow our confidence? I think the most important step is to learn to know who you are. Even though we are with ourselves every second of every day, not many of us can honestly say they know who they are, what their values are and what their deepest thoughts are. This spring has probably been the first time in my life that I’ve stopped in front of these questions about myself. Before I’ve sort of just gone with the flow and not really thought about why I’m doing what I’m doing. Knowing who you are is a good base for a healthy confidence, and without it it’s nearly impossible to succeed.
When you’ve learned who you are, it’s important to learn to accept yourself. No one is perfect, and we might have some traits that we hate about ourselves. Instead of denying those traits exist, it’s important to accept them, or you will be stuck in a bucket of negative energy. Accepting yourself doesn’t mean you should stop improving yourself or working on your undesired traits – quite the opposite! When you accept who you are, a ton of positive energy is released for you to work with.
What kind of thoughts do you have related to confidence and self-esteem? Are you confident about yourself or is it still a working progress?