Manifesto of Confident People Series#3
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
Did you even realize that someone stole your self-confidence? Every day, we deal with a lot of challenges that brings us into some emotional roller coaster. Some people deal with it. Some people escape it. Some people get miserable with it.
Which one are you? Regardless, you still get this freaking feeling of what could have been if only you did this or you did that. Or blame someone else.
As a result, we become a changed person every single day (for good or bad), with all our self-confidence wealth deep inside us drained down by these experiences. We lose some and we win some. But do we really need to lose what we already earned?
There’s no way to do that unless we find out who the culprit is. Let’s play ‘whodunnit’ once again in this drama of suspense-thriller called life.
1. Our Past
Bad things happen. Sad experiences come. They haunt us every now and then when we face difficulties or challenges in our lives.
What is it in the past that keeps haunting us? We need to come in terms with the past and face the present. Step forward and make this move.
Dr. Nathaniel Branden in an article in EsteemedSelf identified one pillar of self-esteem as self-acceptance. He says that self-esteem and self-acceptance are so close together that one is confused with the other. However, the difference is that ‘self-esteem is something we experience while self-acceptance is something we do. ‘
2. Our Superiors
People identified to be our ‘superiors’ are those whom we have the obligation to respect as authority in some areas of our lives. Our parents, teachers, bosses and leaders in any group we belong to are our superiors.
They say that we can choose who our friends can be but not our parents. As such, we should be most thankful to them for bringing us in this life. We do not intend to take this part away from any of you. A healthy relationship within the family is most helpful in bringing a healthy attitude to our lives.
A big part of what we are is made from what we learned at home with our family. Having a bad parent is clearly out of question. But more than that, every family has their own ‘way of doing things’. Without any bad intention, we may have picked up something from our parents that may have worked for them or for their generation but not for you.
Listen to these words:
- Don’t interrupt an adult conversation.
- Got to your room, we have an important guest.
- I will be the only one who has the last say.
Sounds familiar? These may have left some remnant of the thought ‘we are only children.’ Hence we still have our unconscious thought that if someone else is in charge, we do not need to do anything. Or that we cannot talk face to face with a very important looking person. Or we are too polite we cannot stop someone from bullying us.
We get similar experiences from our present-day superiors- teachers, leaders, bosses- who have an authoritative and dictator like style of managing. This style can be right or wrong depending on the circumstances but this should not stop us from being ourselves.
Falling into this trap of following blindly or unknowingly what has been instilled in us by these authority figures, Dr. Marilyn Sorensen of Self Esteem Institute mentioned that we end up doubting our ability to make good decisions and not being able to size up the decisions on our own.
Get away from the shadows of these superiors. Be thankful for what you learn from them. But find your voice.
3. The Media
From television to social media, we have regressed in terms of bringing out the best in every one. Self-confidence is portrayed as being beautiful, wealthy and successful. With the social networks around, you have more access to your friends’ information- how they look, how they stand in society and places they go to. We may take this as getting behind their achievements if we do not catch up.
According to psychologist Mudra India Mukesh, you should only have 354 friends on Facebook. He stated that while you get a lot of endorphins when you add new friends, seeing their ‘happy’ updates may cause you feel depressed.
We have to be conscious how we take the dictates of media. Instead of falling into the pit of self-destructive thoughts and habits, we have to face to the challenge of living a happy and contented life amidst a vain environment.
4. People around us
They are the people who fuel your thoughts with how we should conform to everyone else’s expectations and those who try to make a face that they are more brilliant and smarter than you.
Again, like any good meaning spirits, your friends and peers talk to you about great achievements, exciting travels and vanity products. It’s alright to get your piece of news among these subjects. But do not be carried away.
As trusted confidants, your family or close friends could be giving you the same negative thinking patterns that they may have when providing you a well-meaning constructive criticism. You need to put a caution on the limiting beliefs that these people pressure upon you. Always take advice with a grain of salt.
And how about the villains in your life? They make your life miserable. They take advantage of your nice personality because you could not say no. They step on you because they have to fight for their own survival. They use politics as a way of life. Do you allow them to make your self-confidence retract?
Do a balancing act to leverage the things that come in and out of your mind. Be wary that even good friends can lead you to lose an inch of self-esteem. Have the courage to face your enemies always hounding to eat you alive.
Between friends and enemies: Learn to be assertive. Know when to say ‘enough’. Be prepared to confront. Know what to say exactly. You don’t always have to conform.
Yes, you are the primary suspect of stealing your own self-confidence.
When you allow the past to scare you to face new challenges; When you won’t let go of those old habits you acquired from authority figures; When you get carried away by the misery of ‘not having’; when you indulge in self-destructive thoughts that you are ‘nobody and have no right to stand up for yourself’…
My favorite personal leadership guru, Stephen Covey preached this many times: Between the you and the world is a response. You have a choice how you will respond to the world. You can take responsibility.
Who’s the culprit for you? Can you add anymore? Share us your thoughts.
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