Confidence is defined a couple of different ways but the one that I want to focus on here is self confidence. This includes having a feeling of self assurance arising from appreciation of one’s own qualities or abilities. Having confidence impacts our lives in major ways. Whether it be having confidence at work, in relationships, as a parent, and so forth, it effects how you act in these areas. Being able to appreciate ourselves brings about positivity. But knowing this does not make it an easy thing to obtain. Many people struggle to be confident in themselves and finding the ability to be so can be hard.
Being confident has a significant impact on situations in our lives. I myself am the type of person who dances back and forth between being confident, to lacking this quality. It feels great to be confident but the struggles that come about when it just isn’t there anymore can feel devastating.
There is More than the just the Idea of Confidence.
My husband and I like to bounce ideas off of one another. As we were talking about confidence he stated that maybe the idea of confidence may be overrated. We could be in love with the idea of confidence but not willing to put in the work to actually be it. Who doesn’t love the idea of being a confident person. For those of us who struggle with confidence, we must ask ourselves, are we putting in the work to be so or are we just dreaming of being so?
It’s easy to know what we want or how we want to feel. But getting there is another story and one that we can have a hard time writing.
What happens without confidence
Low self confidence can be destructive and often accompanied by fear and insecurities. Its hard to take risks or go after the things that we want when we are paralyzed by fear. Staying in the safe zone becomes much more comfortable and this is where we miss out on opportunities. A lack of confidence affects all areas of our lives. It can get in the way of our jobs, how we act in relationships, and how we overall see ourselves.
It can be hard to know where to begin when we have been struggling with a lack of confidence. I believe that dealing with the backlash of not having confidence makes it tremendously easy to not take any action. And when we get in the habit of not taking action it is hard to get back in the right direction. So, essentially we are stuck and no doubt uncomfortable.
The thought of changing can be scary and like I mentioned, hard to even know where to begin. But, not having confidence is not a fixed thing. There are things that can be done to help gain more confidence and to feel good about where we are. It’s not something that we gain overnight rather a practice we do over and over again.
Celebrate small victories.
Setting small goals for ourselves is a great place to start building confidence. Achieving goals brings about a sense of accomplishment which feels good. I recently stumbled across and acronym for setting smart goals. SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound. Setting goals within these parameters can greatly help keep them within our reach. Naturally this is going to bring about positive feelings which can help us to believe in ourselves and our abilities. Remember one step at a time. Trying to take on everything at once will most likely not end the way we intended.
Avoiding a Shame Spiral.
Its a fact that we will not excel at somethings right away or that others are better at different things than we are. We are going to screw up that is inevitable. This has a large impact on our self confidence. And when this happens there is a tendency to be sucked into a shame spiral. The words that we start saying to ourselves can tear us down a great deal. We may be telling ourselves that we are not good enough and that we shouldn’t even bother, or that we screwed up and are noting but a failure.
A key aspect to staying out of the shame spiral is to stop ourselves in our tracks the moment we first feel that we are spinning. Dr. Brene Brown author of “Daring Greatly,” explains that self talk is essential in breaking free from the shame spiral. Self talk is the antidote for shame. We need to change the way that we are talking to ourselves. It will more than likely be hard at the beginning but the more that we practice positive self talk the less time we will spend trapped in a shame spiral.
There is a lot of anger involved in a shame spiral that we are using to beat ourselves up. Learning to use the energy in our anger to build ourselves up is an amazing thing.
Let go of unrealistic expectations.
Give yourself a break. Setting too high of expectations or unrealistic ones can land us flat on our faces. Remember we need to keep goals within our reach and within our abilities. It is easy to become too rigid on ourselves when our expectations are bigger than we bargain for. Besides being rigid on ourselves unhealthy expectations can lead us into that shame spiral.
Being a self confident person starts from the inside and then extends itself outwards. Acknowledging our assets and feeling good about them will help self confidence to build. We are all good at different things and each of us have different qualities that make us, us. It’s a fact that others will excel in areas that we will not, but this does not mean there isn’t something to love about our own abilities. So go ahead and try it! Find those things you love about yourself and focus on that. Highlighting our assets and not leaving room for self doubt is where we begin to excel.
Don’t be scared to become something or do something that you want. Gaining confidence is taking a step in the right direction to help achieve those things. Remember one step at a time.
That is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth on your path of becoming more confident individuals. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.