Confidence is the feeling or belief that we can rely on someone or something. It is firm trust, and trust is at the center of every relationship. Trust is what allows us to be open, vulnerable, honest and interdependent on others. Self-confidence is the belief that we can rely on our own abilities, it’s really trusting ourselves. When we trust ourselves we are at peace, we can be open and honest with ourselves, free to experience, learn and grow. When we lose self-confidence, we stop our growth, expect failure and ultimately lead unfulfilling lives.
What takes our trust from us?
Think back to a time that you can remember where you didn’t trust in yourself. Maybe you wouldn’t apply to a job because you didn’t feel you would get the position. Maybe you didn’t try out for a team or a part in a play because you didn’t feel you would make the cut. Maybe you didn’t go back to school because you didn’t feel smart enough, good enough or worth it. Maybe you didn’t start the business, or climb the mountain, or compose the symphony, all because you didn’t trust yourself. What causes us to doubt ourselves? Where do we lose our trust? How can we build it back up?
Just like other beliefs and habits, self-confidence (or the lack there of) is something we learn from an early age. We experience situations that build or diminish our trust in others. Likewise, we experience situations that build or diminish our trust in ourselves. As children we are taught that we are good or bad depending on our behavior and our accomplishments. We look to the adults around us for validation. If we aren’t validated by adults, we can experience a shattering of self-confidence and start a cycle of looking outside of ourselves for confirmation of our worthiness.
Maybe you experienced the shattering of trust at an early age, like me. Maybe it happened later through a divorce, a “failure” or the loss of a loved one. Maybe you just aren’t using your gifts so you don’t know how great you really are. Either way, in order to regain our confidence and keep it, we must identify the vices that take our power from us. We have to be transparent with ourselves.
Once we have identified the situation(s) that broke our trust, we have to take our power back. We have to realize the only power that fuels our confidence is an authentic power, an internal power. It is the God-given talents and gifts inside us that allow us to realize our worth and our potential. EVERYONE HAS GIFTS, TALENTS, WORTH AND POTENTIAL. We have real power that is not based on physical things like money or people. It’s not even based on our experiences. These are all examples of external power (power outside of ourselves, power that we could lose). We have to connect with a deeper sense of who we are, have trust in ourselves and know we are worthy, simply because we are.
When we understand our power lies within, we must exercise our trust, just like we exercise our gluts. We have to think of our self-confidence as a muscle, the more we work it, the stronger it becomes. Here are a few ways to get a butt-kicking mental workout that will get you through your lack of self-confidence and begin the healing process to authenticity.
Connect to your Higher Power.
Our trust is usually broken because we place our self-worth and expectations in the hands of others. We feel disappointed in ourselves for things we can’t change. Connecting with a power higher than ourselves allows us to understand that we cannot control situations or other people. This helps us to build up our confidence on solid foundation. We can find the peace that surpasses all understanding by letting go of things we never had control over and by releasing the judgement that comes with it. God got it, and karma always sees freewill.
Recognize yourself for your hard work, AND be your own coach (not critic).
Oftentimes we criticize ourselves but there is no real coaching involved. A coach does not merely criticize but corrects, teaches, guides and encourages. If we notice something we would like to change about ourselves, we cannot stop there. We have to work with ourselves to find a solution, teach ourselves in love (or seek teaching from others), guide ourselves by being disciplined, listen to our spirit and encourage ourselves to no end. Speak good things over yourself, no matter how small. Just finding things you like about yourself is a great self-confidence exercise.
Watch your circle.
In order to build up our confidence we have to make sure we are not around people who tear down the progress we make. We can be the most confident people in the world, but as we consistently spend time with people who lack confidence in their abilities, a transfer of energy ALWAYS happens. When people are unhappy with themselves, they are more likely to criticize you. We have to make sure we are transferring energy with like minded people, people who trust themselves and are trust worthy. You are not only what you eat, you are who you spend time with.
Keep clear of distractions.
We have the ideas, the gifts and the means to reach our goals but we are distracted before we can even start. We expend all our energy on distractions (like people, drama, and for many of us, social media) and then end up breaking our own trust because we don’t follow through. This causes serious depletions of our self-confidence. When we don’t follow through with our promises to ourselves, we tell ourselves we aren’t worth it. We literally break our own trust. We have to take ourselves serious and make ourselves a priority. Take care of yourself, develop healthy boundaries and learn to say no (I promise it won’t kill them!).
Use fear to your advantage.
Sometimes we lose confidence in our abilities because we never use our abilities! That’s right, fear halts confidence just like a lack of confidence halts production. This is where being real with ourselves comes in. If we know we have the abilities and gifts but aren’t even trying to reach our goals, we are killing our confidence. A lot of times this happens because we feel fear and we stop. Sometimes fear lets us know when we are going to get hurt, but oftentimes fear is the thing that lets us know we are about to break through! Learn the difference between the two and you can use fear to your advantage.
Balance is a key to confidence. We have to balance our lives in all aspects because a healthy us is a confident us. Remember to have fun, live and save room for happiness. Meditation is a great way to stay balanced; it quiets your mind and allows you to be present. Other ways to stay balanced are: spending time with those you love, being grounded in prayer, writing in a Gratitude Diary, going out with friends, spending time in nature, starting a new fitness class, or watching a good comedy! However you get balanced, do more of it to stay happy, strong and confident.
Remember, confidence is something we consistently have to practice. Fear, self-doubt and temporary setbacks staged as failures will always be around. We have to work through them. Everyone, no matter how successful or well-known they are, will feel a lack of confidence at some point. The difference between feeling low on confidence and building it up is continuing through the setbacks. Remember the breath thats in you has the power to move you towards the finish line, just don’t stop!
Feel free to share your thoughts, comments and questions (I take virtual hugs as well). Like what you read? Share it 🙂
Sending love and positivity always,
Angela Christine Davis