Confidence and Self Esteem

21 July 2017

LOW SELF CONFIDENCE and low self esteem often go hand in hand. With low self esteem, a person depends excessively on the approval of others in order to feel good about them self. They tend to avoid taking risks due to a fear of failure. Even when perfectly capable of performing a task or making a good decision, those nagging self doubts creep in and they tend to hold back, leaving somebody else to do it and take all the credit.

It’s just not fair...

This is detrimental to building self confidence because to feel confident you need to experience progress and achievement.

You need to take action and do something!

Lack of achievement and fulfilment leads to feeling even more worthless and inadequate, making it even harder to take the risks needed to build confidence. It’s a vicious circle.

It’s unclear which comes first, but low self esteem, in my opinion, is often at the root of the problem. Maybe not the initial cause, but once there it provides the underlying fuel that maintains low self confidence and keeps the whole cycle going. In fact low self esteem is responsible for so many different psychological problems a person may be experiencing in life.

With low self esteem, a person generally doesn’t expect to be successful. They may ‘want’ to be but they don’t ‘expect’ to be. They often put themselves down and tend to discount or ignore any compliments paid to them. Having little faith in them self and their abilities erodes self confidence.

I am a human being

Remind yourself, “I am a human being, not a human doing.”

The things you are ‘doing’ don’t equate to the person you are ‘being’. Separating who you are from what you do allows you to see things more objectively. If the situation didn’t go quite as intended, you yourself are still a good and capable person. It was simply something you did that wasn’t quite right.

Who you think you are

A fundamental component of your self esteem, and one that plays a huge part in self confidence, is your ‘self image’. How you see yourself; the person you ‘believe’ you are. This is usually an inaccurately negative view of yourself; nonetheless, you believe it implicitly and live your life accordingly.

This negative self image is something to be intensely ashamed of; something to keep hidden from the world at all cost. Trying something new and failing – or simply not doing it well enough – would reveal that useless incompetent ‘you’ to everyone (eek!) and that would be an unimaginable disaster! It certainly wouldn’t be worth the risk.

The confidence formula

The interesting thing about self confidence is that it’s related to the difference between the person you believe you are – your self image – and the person you’d like the world to think you are – your fantasy self. The greater the gap, the lower your level of confidence. It’s due to a belief that you won’t live up to the expectations of that fantasy person you want the world to see.

Confident people hold far more realistic opinions of themselves; the person they believe themselves to be is much closer to the person they’d like to be seen as. Their beliefs and expectations about themselves are more closely aligned.

That doesn’t necessarily mean believing you’re super human though. A person can be very modest yet still have great confidence. The important thing is, who they believe they are and who they would like to be seen as are one and the same. Their abilities perfectly match their expectations, and they feel confident.

Actually, they don’t feel confident; they simply don’t feel ‘unconfident’. Confident people just are.


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The trouble with doing nothing is that you never know when you’ve finished.

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