Self-confidence is a fickle thing. While it seems like some have it in tremendous amounts, and others barely have any at all, the truth is typically somewhere in the middle. Those who exude self-confidence, or cut others down, are often doing it to try and make others believe it, as well as themselves. Those who seem to have very little self-confidence, often possess a strength that they are not aware of, or do not give themselves credit for. They believe they are weak, they have been told they are weak, and they start to convince themselves that they are weak. However, there are things that we are doing that strip away from the confidence that most of us do have, and that we need to change as soon as possible to embrace the strength that is within each of us.
1.) Social Media living
I cannot say how many times that people have told me what disappointing lives they have compared to their friends on social media. When I delve deeper into what they are talking about, I find out that they are comparing their lives to this portrayal that people are putting on social media. The most romantic relationships in the world, the best kids you could ever find, or success after success. Once I explain to them that people are only putting their very best moment for others to see, that they are not showing themselves in sweats on a Netflix marathon, or a fight with their partner, or their kids marking the walls, they start to understand. They understand that the people are actually painting a false picture of themselves, and not what their everyday lives are like. That their everyday life is actually much more like your everyday life. This is comforting, and this rings true.
2.) Negative Thinking
When we stop and think how many times per day we feed in to negative self-talk, we are astounded. When we look in the mirror when we wake up and criticize the bags under our eyes. When we tell ourselves we look fat in the outfit we put on. When we say that the report we turned in was not good enough that the presentation we gave could have been better. That we are not going to ask that person out to coffee because they will just say no. Most of us have been using negative thinking our whole lives, so it takes time to change it. We have to replace the negative thinking with positive and realistic thoughts. We have to catch ourselves saying something negative to ourselves, and then challenge the validity of that thought. If it holds no merit, replace it, or let it go. You will be feeling more positive in no time!
Somewhere people got the idea that they need to be, and everything they produce needs to be perfect. They are not able to stop and look around and realize that true perfect does not exist. It is putting a completely unattainable level of pressure and burden upon themselves. People get the idea that they have to look perfect, work perfectly, and act perfectly at all times. This creates a situation where people are exceptionally hard on themselves when they do not achieve this level of perfection. They take a huge hit to their self-esteem, as they consider anything less than perfect a failure. They believe they are not worthy because they are not perfect. Once the individual learns that there is no such thing as perfection, and that no one expects that of them, they can gain a more realistic image of themselves, and start to build their self-esteem.
4.) Giving our power to everyone else
Many people are guilty of believing that they have no control over their own lives. When we feel like we have no personal control, we have low self-confidence. The person believes that their supervisor holds all the power, and therefore feel helpless at work when they are being treated poorly, or not being given opportunities. People believe that their families should make all their decisions for them, as they have been told they make bad choices for themselves. People stay in unhealthy and abusive relationships, as they have low self-confidence, and this person has convinced them that they cannot do any better than them. That no one will care for them except for them. The truth is, if you are being treated poorly at work, you have options. If you would like new opportunities there, sometimes all you have to do is ask. Despite what your family has told you, you are capable of making excellent decisions, and the right decisions for yourself. When it comes to relationships, you do not have to be with anyone who treats you poorly. We attract what we put out. If we work on our self-confidence, we will attract people who are worthy of our affection.
5.) When people feel they have nothing to add to a conversation
This is one that I hear a lot. Whether it is at work or a social event, many people will not interject in conversations, as they believe they have nothing of meaning to add. They have such low self-confidence, that they think people will be bored, people will think they are not smart, or people will make fun of what they have to say. The fact of the matter is that this is simply not true, it is a story that people have told themselves, especially people with a combination of low self-confidence and social anxiety. We all have something to say, we are all capable of keeping up with current events, and we all know what is deeply humorous. If we can learn to feel and act at ease in conversations, we will be surprised how welcoming and easy it is to become an active part of a conversation. We are all unique individuals, and we all have something to say that is worthwhile.
Low self-confidence is an all too common thing. However, there are obvious things that we are doing that impacts it in a negative way, and there are things that we can be doing to help increase our self-confidence. We can be more realistic about our lives compared to others. We can work hard to change our negative thinking to more positive and realistic about our thinking. We can fully accept the reality that no one is perfect, so we do not need to be. We can learn that the only person that has the ultimate power over our lives and our decisions is us. We also need to learn to believe that we have something meaningful to say and to add to the group. We are a unique and engaging person, and we will be surprised if we take the leap in groups. It can take a lot of work in the beginning to work on all these things at once, but it will become second nature once you have. You will feel better about yourself, and you will be living the live that you want and deserve. It really seems worth the effort.