Genuine confidence is a rare gift that we give ourselves. Psychologists say that the only way to achieve it is to be yourself. Role-playing and pretending to be someone you’re not, to gain recognition or social acceptance, erodes your confidence because you are constantly afraid that others will discover your pretence and deceptions.
Great Beginnings-Early Impressions
In childhood, you start out with a great deal of confidence and self-assurance. However, if the people in your life and environs are not supportive, but are judgmental and critical, you quickly begin to doubt your worth, lose self-belief, and begin to seek approval by trying to change the parts of your behavior that are targeted by the negativity of others. Being impressionable and vulnerable in youth, your fear of rejection sets in and you seek approval through role-playing; striving to convince others that you think, feel and act as they do, in order to fit in and be accepted.
Where did YOU Go?
Constantly controlling your real feelings and behaviors and repressing them, eventually leads to a build up of stress, unhappiness and anger. These emotions can affect your health and happiness; which is why it is critical to your well-being that you re-connect with yourself, and make a conscious decision to be true to your own feelings, desires, interests and needs.
Asking Yourself Tough Questions
The best way to regain and rebuild confidence is to re-discover the real you and find your self-belief. To do this you have to become aware of your good qualities and traits. Keeping a journal of what you like about yourself is a great first step. Being introspective and really examining your own unique qualities is not easy. Include the observations of people you care about and trust, in your journal. What do your friends and family admire about you and give you praise and encouragement about? Do you get all of your personal validation from external sources? How often do those external sources really bring satisfaction and lasting happiness to your life? Rarely, is how most of us would answer that question. It’s time to start finding real reasons to love yourself as you truly are, at this moment in your life.
Celebrate your strengths and accept your weaknesses because everyone has both positive and negative attributes. Don’t dwell on what you perceive are your failures. Keeping positive is essential. Remember that every person is much more than just the sum of their successes and failures. Life and the human beings in it are complex and unique. Describing anyone as either good or bad, is just an over-simplification of the human condition. Each person has worth and brings all kinds of priceless qualities to this world. You may be a very creative, funny, charming and trustworthy person. Perhaps you are highly educated and have a need to nurture others, and make a difference in the world. When you focus on who you are, and what you do that is well done and valuable, as well as, what you truly enjoy; you begin to be subjective, and find your own authentic-self.
When you focus your attention on the worthwhile and positive attributes that you possess, without apologizing for what you perceive are your failings and shortcomings; your self-doubt will begin to diminish. Focus on liking “you” and surround yourself with encouraging relationships, as often as possible. Take time every day, just a moment, to remember what you value, and the source of your inspiration, in life.
Confidence comes into your life when you hold yourself in high regard and project a realistic and positive image that you truly believe in. Getting comfortable with the real you, will be freeing, and will release the anger and frustration you felt when you tried to hide your authentic self. There is a great deal of happiness in life, and when you are true to yourself, happiness and contentment will follow.
By: Sara Carrol