“True self-confidence comes from knowing and accepting oneself – one’s strengths and weaknesses”. – Judith Bardwick
As we meet our survival needs, achieve a basic sense of security, and feel loved, we associate our decisions in life with self-esteem. Unfortunately, most people do not have the faintest idea of what self-esteem is, because all their lives they have been chasing someone else’s version of it, that is, external sources of self-esteem.
For many, self-esteem, or self-awareness, is often seen as a function of what one achieves, accumulates, or draws from the world in the form of material goods, titles, trophies, or recognition. The need for external sources of self-esteem can make a person addicted. In adolescents, this need for respect from peers can lead to various forms of delinquent behavior. The problem is that the external cannot satisfy that need in any way, so people are frantically trying to fulfill the need with external reinforcements, which can only be fulfilled from the inside.
Self-esteem and self-confidence – what’s the difference?
As the word itself says, it is about self-respect, self-respect that comes from within, not from external sources. The more you lack internally defined self-esteem, the more susceptible you are to outside influence. If you are not “clear” with yourself, they can reach you from the outside and endanger your self-esteem. The effect of the world on visible self-doubt is like putting salt on an open wound. If you don’t love yourself, don’t believe in yourself and don’t accept yourself, you will try to find someone who will do it for you. A desperate search for that respect by someone other than yourself can have a huge impact on the choices you make.
Self-esteem is an attitude about one’s own value and significance, while self-confidence is faith in oneself and one’s abilities. We often condition our own value – “I am worth as long as I am successful in business, as long as I have a partner, friends”, however, we are wrong in that. Our value should not depend on our achievements, success, material goods, more precisely, to be conditioned, but by our very existence, we should value ourselves – “worth it as a human being”.
Self-esteem is gained through a relationship with parents – depending on the quality of that relationship, a level of self-esteem develops. At the earliest age, children accept the opinions that important adults have about them and adopt (internalize) them as their own. A parental attitude towards a child who is caring, warm, full of love and acceptance, consistent and fair, which respects the rights and opinions of the child, results in the child internalizing a positive and realistic image of himself, as well as a sense of competence. In general, it is considered that the feeling of self-esteem is built during the third year of life, as a feeling of pride, when a child does things in his own way. If the parents do not allow the child to explore the environment during that period, then instead of a feeling of self-esteem, a feeling of shame and doubt may appear. At the age of four to five, self-esteem takes on a competitive character, and approval by peers becomes an important expression of self-esteem affirmation. In that sense, the most important thing is whether the key people treated someone with respect, love and care or not. Emphasis is also placed on social miles as an important factor in self-assessment.
Self-confidence develops throughout life, through continuous investment, so if parents have failed to initiate development, we can do so with the help of significant people from the environment. It is built when we embark on something, when we gain experiences and on the basis of that experience, faith, self-confidence is born. Self-confidence is our experience of myself, as much as I believe in myself, my abilities, my skills. If we go through different life problems without significantly distorting the image of ourselves, we can say that we have stable self-confidence.
Self-confidence is based on a realistic and positive self-image. A realistic view of ourselves means that we are aware of our flaws and virtues – I realistically see the positive and negative aspects of myself. The next stage is accepting your shortcomings and weaknesses, aware of the shortcomings, we ask ourselves: “what can I do with it”?
A self-confident person is not perfect, we usually have an unrealistic idea of a person who has high self-confidence as a person who does not hesitate, who can do anything.
Although sometimes the loudest person in the room seems to have the most self-confidence, this is not always the case. In fact, she may be trying to hide her lack of self-confidence. A person who is confident in himself usually does not feel the need to make a lot of noise in order for others to see and hear him. A confident person only knows how much he does not know and works to fix it, to learn. A person who is not aware of his shortcomings cannot even correct them. She feels good in her skin, as she is, with her authentic needs that she strives to satisfy and behaves in harmony with them. A person who has optimally developed self-confidence, takes the risk and copes well with it. He believes that a solution exists in any situation, “I don’t know if I will succeed or not in achieving my ideas, desires and goals, but I believe that I am doing the right thing for myself or others”. It is adorned with persistence, perseverance and initiative to reach the goal.
People often overestimate or underestimate their qualities. Why is this important? If we underestimate ourselves, we are not aware of our qualities and abilities, so we will often retreat before challenges. Lack of self-confidence results in insecurity, doubt, not taking risks and giving up on one’s ideas. The person thinks in this way, “I didn’t understand what the boss was talking about, I must be incompetent or stupid”, the person assigns negative labels to himself and starts from the assumption that something is wrong with him. Otherwise, when we overestimate our qualities, we will take greater risks, so that can be disastrous for us. Of course, during various life crises, our self-confidence is not always at the same level. Sometimes we have more faith in ourselves, sometimes less – an occasional lack of self-confidence is a completely normal thing.
If we remember a situation when we were confident in ourselves, it can give us strength for some new challenges. When we approach a group of friends with whom we want to share something interesting, we are usually smiling, have a proper posture or even jump while walking. Such positive energy will be transferred to our friends who will be interested in what we have to say even before we speak. Use that feeling of excitement again in a situation where you know you will be nervous. So you can start to change your mood and transfer positive energy to others.
Attitude of self-confidence!
The body often sends a message about our self-confidence. When we lack self-confidence, we take a CLOSED ATTITUDE – we are hunched over or looking at the floor. When we are confident in ourselves, we usually walk or sit straight, look people in the eye and our body shows an OPEN POSITION with arms outstretched and shoulders straight. This is called body language. The way you stand or sit reflects how you feel, but body posture can also backfire your feelings. By changing your attitude, you can increase your self-confidence.
Choose the pose in which you feel best. Take that position before you do something new, when you are nervous about something or when your self-confidence is shaken. By improving your body language – through attitude, movement, words – it makes you feel more confident, stronger and generally more positive.
How much is the ring worth? – An instructive story!
One story tells of a young man who turned to a sage for help, telling him, “I am coming, Master, because I feel so worthless that I have no will for anything. They tell me that I am for nothing, that I do nothing well, that I am clumsy and quite stupid. How can I fix it? What can I do to make them appreciate me more? ”
His teacher, without looking at him, said: “I’m so sorry, boy. I can’t help you, because I have to solve my problem first. Maybe after… ”
He paused for a moment and added: “If you would help me, I would solve it faster and maybe then I could help you.”
“Very gladly, teacher,” the young man hesitated, feeling that he was devalued again and that his needs were neglected.
“Good”, the teacher continued. He took off the ring he was wearing on the little finger of his left hand and, handing it to the young man, added: “Take the horse that is outside and ride it to the market. I need to sell this ring because I need to repay the debt. You have to get the best possible price for it and don’t accept less than one gold coin. Go and come back with that coin as soon as possible”.
The young man took the ring and left.
As soon as he came to the market, he began to offer the ring to the merchants, who watched it with interest until the young man told them how much he was asking for it.
When the young man mentioned the gold coin, some laughed, others turned their heads, and only one old man was kind enough to explain to him that the gold coin was too valuable to get in exchange for a ring. Someone wanted to help and offered him a silver coin and a copper vessel, but the young man was instructed not to accept anything less than a gold coin, so he refused the offer.
After offering the ring to everyone he met at the market, and there were more than a hundred of them, crushed by the failure, he mounted his horse and returned. How only a young man wanted a gold coin, that he could give it to the teacher and solve his worries so that he could finally get his advice and help! He entered the room.
“Master”, he said, “I’m sorry. I can’t get what you’re looking for. I may have been able to get two or three silver coins, but I doubt I will be able to fool anyone about the true value of the ring”.
“What you said is very important, young friend,” the teacher replied. “First we need to find out the true value of the ring. Ride your horse again and go to the goldsmith. Who can know that better than him? Tell him you want to sell the ring and ask him how much he can give you for it. But no matter how much he offered you, don’t sell it to him. Come back here with the ring. ”
The young man mounted his horse again. The goldsmith examined the ring by the light of an oil lamp, looked at it through a magnifying glass, weighed it, and said to the young man:
“Tell the teacher, boy, that if he wants to sell it right away, I can’t give him more than fifty-eight gold pieces for the ring”.
“Fifty-eight gold coins?” exclaimed the young man.
” Yes,” replied the goldsmith. “I know that in time we could get about sixty gold coins for him, but if he sells it urgently…”
Excited, the young man ran to the teacher’s house and told him what had happened.
“Sit down,” the teacher told him after listening to him. “You are like this ring: a real pearl, valuable and unique. And as such, only a true expert can judge you. Why do you go through life wanting someone insignificant to discover your true worth? ” And having said that, he put the ring on the little finger of his left hand again…
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