You hear people asking questions like ‘How can I increase my self-worth’ ‘How can I think better about myself?’ ‘How can I project more confidence at work’, and the answers you get are staggering.
> Don’t talk down or think less of yourself.
> Speak affirmative words to yourself daily.
> Ask people what great features you have and hold on to them.
> Play the ‘we are all different and so therefore unique’ card.
et cetera…et cetera.
These and lots of other incredibly funny stuff are things you see on the internet as ‘steps to being more confident’. If you perceive that list, it translates to simply think better of yourself and do not seek validation from others. Believe what others say and therefore use that as a token to think better of yourself. Something as huge as self esteem and confidence, nothing remarkable is what you should do. I’d be suspicious if I were you.
They are invariably saying, if you want to think more confidently about yourself, then…think more confidently about yourself. I am quite confused about this sort of thinking, and you should be too.
Not only is this counter-intuitive, it is very unhelpful and quite dangerous. If they could simply, by thinking of themselves more confidently be more confident then they wouldn’t have to be searching for ways to be confident. I mean…that’s just a puzzler.
And for those who say ‘ask people what they think about you’. What happens the day no one has anything good they fancy in you? Do you then go around with no confidence or self-esteem in yourself? I rather think we have agency for our lives and as such are in charge of defining our own self worth and self esteem.
So what are we to hold on to?
Make no mistake, thinking highly about yourself is great, but it is an aftermath of confidence, not the foundation upon which your confidence should stand.
Like Kris Gage said in her article How to build confidence: “To be healthy functioning individuals, we need to feel good about ourselves. To feel good about about yourself, understand how to spend your time and energy meaningfully. Meaning is the fuel of our minds. When we run out of it, everything else stops working”
Confidence comes from doing. Not from standing in mirrors and telling yourself you can do it if you tried.
Please read careful now! Your confidence doesn’t come from accomplishment either, because if that is taken away from you, then that would mean you have nothing, and perhaps are nothing.
The way to grow confidence is by making decisions and acting on them over and over and over again until it sinks into your subconscious that YOU HAVE ABILITY.
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How To Be More Confident
Want to be more confident at work, don’t try to look confident, get work done. Build capacity. You are subconsciously telling your mind I’m good at this, and your mind then transmits to your whole body that if you are good at this, you are probably good at other things you haven’t even tried before.
The reason why you are scared of taken on that new challenge is because you have never taken on any challenge in your life, and your mind is constantly transmitting ‘YOU ARE INCOMPETENT’ to you.