The standards forced upon both men and women are unrealistic and unreachable. Our constant efforts to achieve those standards very often lead to anxiety and frustrations. When built up, these two powerful enemies of our confidence, joined by criticism, will eventually destroy what little confidence we have.
You shouldn’t allow for unjustly factors to shatter your belief in yourself and turn you into a faceless piece of machinery – you’re not that. The fact that you don’t seem to fit into those standards only means that you should look for a different type of metric system that fits your qualities. But, first thing’s first – let’s start from the beginning.
Talk Nerdy to Me
Psychologists don’t really agree on one single theory about confidence and what it really is, but they do meet halfway when it comes to certain terms. We should start by clearly distinguishing between the two terms – self-esteem and confidence; the more you appreciate yourself, the more will your levels of self-esteem grow and you’ll become confident.
That being said, you should further be aware of the fact that there’s not only one kind of self-esteem. They vary from how you feel about yourself as a member of your family, of your business team, in a relationship, as a member of society, etc.
The kinds of self-esteem should be on an importance scale, so to speak, because not every area of your life is a priority, right? Therefore, if you’re perhaps preparing a meal and it seems to taste awful, even after you’ve spent hours on it, you will be very frustrated if you’re a professional chef. On the other hand, if you’re an amateur, you might even have a few laughs over your burnt dinner.
A person’s self-esteem varies not only as a result of actions, but also because of many smaller factors, like waking up with a pimple, having a bad hair day and being complemented or not.
Another interesting fact is that narcissism isn’t considered to be the highest level of confidence. As the melodramatic kind, these people love spotlights and a lack of attention makes them incredibly frustrated, which leads directly to self-doubt. Being a narcissist is quite unstable, and their mood depends on their environment and the feedback they receive.
On the contrary, people with very low self-esteem don’t respond to positive feedback and negative feedback makes them feel even worse about themselves. When someone tries to show appreciation and make them feel good about themselves, they perceive this affirmation as a form of pity.
Obviously, moderation is the solution here. Those lucky among us who have stable self-esteem, which isn’t affected by minor turbulences, they are the confident ones.
Determine the Cause of Your Problem
I’m sure you have managed to recognize yourself in at least one of the situations mentioned up until now. Introspectiveness is a powerful tool if you want to have your confidence problems resolved, so you need to begin by finding the source of your instability.
Take some time off and spend it with yourself in order to find out which part of your life makes you feel generally miserable. Perhaps you neglected your friends and now you feel selfish and self-centered, or you might have missed your kid’s last few games or recitals, which makes you feel like you failed as a parent. You might have managed to miss a deadline or two in your office and that makes you doubt your skills.
Try to be a better friend, spend some quality time with your family and work harder – within a reasonable timeframe, you’ll feel better about yourself.
Embrace Your Unique Qualities
I’m sure you know at least one person that’s perfect; they get everything done in time without complaining one bit and they don’t even look tired – ever. Well, we can agree that people like that are born under a lucky star, but there’s one other thing you should be aware of; their abilities simply fit into today’s conventional standards more than yours.
Now, I’m not trying to suggest that there’s not any hard work involved; that’s not my point. My point is that it’s easier for them to fit into an average environment and resurface as brilliant, capable people; you just need to dig deeper and look harder for yours. After you embrace your qualities as such, finding the right environment to show them in will be easier.
Do Some Work on Your Body and Mind
- Confidence isn’t necessarily connected to general attractiveness; beautiful people tend to be more confident in some situations, but they also tend to be vain because they are used to special treatment.
Let me draw you a little picture; imagine two people who are equally attractive – one of them confident and another filled with self-doubt. The confident one has a positive attitude, their selection of clothes is more attractive and they are communicative, and all of that just because of higher levels of self-esteem. I’m sure you can assume that the second person will avoid any attention and that will be obvious through their behavior and appearance.
The second person isn’t a happy person, and all of that because of imaginary obstacles set by their mind. If you’re not satisfied with yourself, you should do some work on you – inside and out. Listen to your thoughts and try to recognize those negative and unrealistic ones and shut them down for good. Then, open your closet and get rid of those awful baggy clothes that make you look like a shadow. Go shopping and find flattery garments that express who you are inside.
Anything Is Possible
- I know this is a used phrase that’s constantly used, but that doesn’t make it anything less true, because anything is possible. It’s never too late to go parachuting, move to Africa, learn how to knit, become a painter – as a matter of fact, you can even grow taller. What you need for any of the things I just mentioned, all you need is the right mindset because with it comes determination and the will necessary for you to complete your goals.
The bottom line is that we all have our insecurities and that’s only natural. The difference between confident people and those who have a lack of it is in whether or not they allow those insecurities to get to them.