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Are Low Self-Esteem and a Lack of Confidence Holding You Back?

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Have you ever had an idea that you thought would be great, only to stay silent and watch a disaster unfold? Perhaps you’ve been agreeable for so long that you feel unable to stand against something, even though it’s causing you distress. Now try this; close your eyes and think of the most successful person you know. How would they have dealt with your situation? Got that scenario clearly in your mind? Good. Now answer this without thinking; why didn’t you do that? 

Why didn’t you act in the way that person is acting in your mind?

Think about how the person handles the situation, and identify what they would do that’s different from you. Chances are that you see this person as confident and self-assured, qualities that you can’t see as well in yourself.

Confidence manifests in different ways in different people, so don’t think that just because you lean towards introversion that you’re lacking in some way. In fact, as William Shakespeare wrote in act 4 of Henry V, “The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.” Sometimes, the people who make the most noise have the least say. They act boisterously to hide the parts of their personality that they don’t like or to detract from their lack of substance. A popular phrase amongst Texans illustrates this even more perfectly; “The rooster may crow, but the hens deliver the goods.”

Being confident doesn’t always mean being loud or forceful, sometimes it’s enough to just know that you’re right. Take my friend for example; she didn’t correct the men who told her “Well, actually, I think you meant to say Cro Maga, not Krav Maga.” Nope, she just smiled, secure in the knowledge that they’re out in the world making fools of themselves when they talk, incorrectly, about an Israeli self-defence system.

“Well that’s all well and good, Alexis, but how do I improve my confidence? Reading the last four paragraphs explains the concept well enough, but how do I apply that to my life?”

Well fear not, dear friend, because I’m about to drop a knowledge bomb on you below:

1. Check the Facts

If ever you catch yourself doubting your abilities or reverting to negative beliefs, look for evidence and check the facts. If your low self-esteem is telling you that you never finish anything, list all of the things that you’ve never finished. Then list all the things that you have.

They don’t need to be big things, they can be as small as “I watched all eight seasons of Game of Thrones, even after everyone said not to bother with the last one.” It could be “I entered all of my expenses into QuickBooks and filed my tax return on time.” See? You can finish things, can’t you?

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

2. Prepare for the Worst

Got an impending task or engagement that’s filling you with dread? Why not let your imagination run riot and think up the worst possible outcomes? You can’t stop there though, you have to follow up by thinking of solutions should the worst arise. Chances are, the worst things you can conjure up have no possibility of happening, but anything that does crop up will seem minor compared to your catastrophizing, and you’ll handle them like a champ.

3. Be Your Own Cheerleader

If you feel in a slump and you want to hide on your couch, away from the world where it’s safe and familiar, try some positive affirmations. “Hosting a dinner party for ten people was really knackering, but my guests had a great night.” “I doubted that I would hit my deadline, but I actually submitted my work early.” “Coaching the kids’ football team can be so frustrating at times, but seeing their faces as they work together makes it all worth it.” List your achievements and be proud of them. Yay, you did the thing!

4. Be More Yes, but Also More No

Agree to things before you can talk yourself out of it and open yourself up to new experiences. Do things that terrify you and you’ll be amazed at what you can do. But don’t forget the power of NO. 

If you don’t want to work late finishing a group assignment on your own so that your colleagues can go out on the town, tell them so. If you don’t want to sit around gossiping behind someone’s back, walk away from the conversation or ask to change the subject. Follow the example of Phoebe from Friends; “I wish I could, but I don’t want to.”

“Put all excuses aside and remember this – you are capable.” – Zig Ziglar

5. Flip the Script

The language we use about ourselves, both internally and with other people, has a significant effect on the way we see ourselves. I’m going to paraphrase something that has stuck with me from Hannah Gadsby’s stand-up comedy show Nanette to illustrate this; self-deprecation is self-humiliation, and I’m not doing it to myself anymore. There’s a bundle of nerves in our brain stem, the reticular activating system (RAS), which works to filter out unnecessary information so that we can focus on what’s important. By using negative-self talk, we unwittingly tell the RAS to look for information to back up the belief that we’re stupid/incompetent/unloved. Simple changes to the words we use have a huge impact.

Instead of:“I’m really struggling to cope at the moment.” 

Try This:“I’m experiencing many challenges at the moment, but this feeling is temporary, and by getting through it, I’ll have learned skills that I will use again in the future.”

Instead of:“I’m still single and it must be because nobody finds me attractive.”

Try This:“I haven’t yet met the person who is deserving of my time and wants me for who I am. I’d rather be on my own than with somebody who makes me miserable.”

What are some ways people can improve their self-esteem and confidence? Share your thoughts with us and the readers below!

Would you like to learn how to smash through your blockages and achieve your full potential both as an entrepreneur and even as a woman? Alexis Jane is an uplifting and inspiring coach and best selling author, who specialises in helping women to stand in their power. Working with clients on issues of blockage, hesitation and procrastination, Alexis gently helps them to shift their mind-set and break through blockages, often with a dramatic effect on their business and personal life. Alexis recently contributed to an inspirational book entitled “Change Makers” – 20 Stories of Inspirational Women”, that details the personal journeys of a variety of female entrepreneurs.

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Life

Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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