Self-Confidence: How Can I Get It?
How many times have you been in a room full of people and, out of all those people, one or two people seem to stand out from all the rest in their sureness and “at-homeness” with themselves and their situation? And how many times have you thought you’d like to be more like them in some way, and wondered what it was that made them beam with confidence?
Do You Feel Wishy-Washy And Full Of Self-Doubt?
Do you feel like you are too easily influenced by what others think? Do you feel one way about yourself and the world when you are with one person and another way when you are with another person? And still another way when you are by yourself? Do you feel as if you lack a solid anchor and that you just drift with the wind?
Do you try to alleviate your self-doubt by trying to please or “go along” with others — and end up allowing yourself to be controlled by others? Or do you try to alleviate your self-doubt by trying to get others to please or “go along” with you — and end trying to control others?
A Confident Woman Does Not Try To Control Others — Nor Does She Allow Herself To Be Controlled By Others
A confident woman does not need to turn to others for her feelings of self-worth. She is self contained and self-assured. This can come across as “arrogant” to people who lack confidence in themselves. Many people who lack confidence feel envious and think that it’s “not fair” that someone feels self-worth when they don’t. They don’t realize that they, too, can feel confident. But it doesn’t just “happen.” You have to take specific steps to gain self-confidence.
Where Does Confidence Come From?
No one is born confident. Let’s face it: a newborn knows nothing and is absolutely helpless. If that state of affairs doesn’t improve according to a child’s abilities during the child’s growing-up years, severe self-doubt can result. If you stay forever ignorant and helpless because you are unwilling to learn, you will never acquire the knowledge and skills to take control of your life, which will rob you of both self-respect and confidence. You will be dependent on others to make your decisions for you, and you will place your “confidence” in those others.
Being grown up means being able to direct your own life. In fact growing up is the process of moving from being ignorant, helpless, and dependent to becoming knowledgeable, capable, and independent. When you think about it, the biggest adventure in life is striving to improve our lives by becoming ever more wise and capable.
As you become wiser and more capable, you develop conclusions about the world, yourself, and other people. Without even knowing it, you develop a “Recipe For Living.” If your conclusions match the facts of reality you end up with a healthy Recipe For Living. If your conclusions contradict the facts of realty, you end up with an unhealthy Recipe For Living. The foundation for building your confidence comes from having a healthy Recipe For Living, and living by it. It comes from staying true to your your honest sight of reality in your relationship with yourself, the world and other people.
However, confidence requires more than just having a healthy Recipe For Living. In order to have a fulfilling life, you have to have goals and dreams for yourself. And your goals and dreams must be realistic, healthy, and achievable by YOU. You may have observed that people who have unrealistic goals and dreams experience lots of frustration and self-doubt, but that people who have healthy goals and dreams have an enthusiasm for life that other people don’t have. This enthusiasm helps build the confidence that living your life will be worthwhile.
But to have full-fledged confidence, having realistic goals and dreams still isn’t enough. You must TAKE ACTION to make your goals and dreams come true. You will be amazed at how your confidence blooms and grows with every little step you take to make your dreams come true.
Three Ingredients For Self-Confidence
You can see that there are three main ingredients for achieving self-confidence:
- Having a healthy guide (or “Recipe”) for living
- Having goals and dreams that are realistic, healthy and achievable
- Actually striving to make your goals and dreams come true
You Have A Choice
Everyone experiences a faltering self-confidence every now and then — especially if they are tackling something new. But you have a choice. You can either let your feelings of self-doubt overwhelm you, or you can turn to your deepest convictions (your Recipe For Living) to carry you through periods of a faltering self-image. If you are wishy-washy in what you stand for — or if what you stand for is at odds with nature’s requirements for living a healthy, fulfilling life — you will experience conflict, confusion, and guilt. This leads to big-time self-doubt. And if you have goals and dreams, but don’t take any substantial action toward achieving them, you will never achieve self-confidence.
Everyone Can Develop Self-Confidence
The key word here is “develop.” Development is in three steps.
STEP ONE: Discover a Healthy Recipe For Living
Step One builds your confidence by helping you discover a healthy, reliable Recipe For Living to use as a guide for living your life. Your current Recipe is made up of your answers to the five basic questions of life:
1. What is my view of the world in which I find myself?
2. What is my view of myself?
3. How can I acquire knowledge?
4. How should I conduct my life?
5. How should I relate to other people?
The way you answer each of these questions makes all the difference in the level of confidence you have in yourself and your relationship to the world and other people. That’s because your answers to these questions are the “ingredients” for your current Recipe For Living, which determines your approach to life and guides your actions.
You may find you have answered these questions automatically according to how you’ve been raised. To be sure your answers are a worthy guide for conducting your life, you will want them to be harmonious with the facts of reality and to reflect the nature of things, including human nature. You will want them to honor nature’s requirements for a healthy, fulfilling, happy human life. This is how you make your current Recipe For Living a healthy Recipe For Living. For help with this step, listen to my CD Program (8 Steps For Reclaiming Your Life from Conflict, Confusion and the Control of Others) or read my upcoming book (This Is Your Life: No Apology Needed) which take you through these five basic questions step by step to help you come up with your own answers.
STEP TWO: Write Down Your Goals And Your Dreams
This step builds your confidence by giving direction to your life — not just any direction, but your life’s most fulfilling direction. When your life has a plan, and the plan is something you are excited about, you become motivated and energized. And that enthusiasm feeds your confidence.
- Without censoring yourself, write down your goals and your dreams — all of them. Write down your wildest goals and dreams as well as your tamer goals and dreams.
- Decide which goals and dreams are the most important ones — to YOU. List them in order of importance.
- Be sure each of your goals and dreams are realistic, healthy for you, and do-able by you. Scratch off the ones that are not. The ones that are left are the ones you will focus on first and foremost in making your daily TO DO LIST.
STEP THREE: Take Action Toward Your Most Important Goals
This step builds your confidence by giving you a way to see that you CAN achieve your goals.
- Write down which goal you want to strive for first
- Write little tiny baby steps you can take to achieve that goal
- Take one of those baby steps
Going through these three steps will make you feel full of confidence. You will feel GREAT about yourself. You will be on your way to making your life meaningful and fulfilling. And with each baby step you take, your confidence in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals will grow by leaps and bounds.
Some Common Misconceptions About Confidence
Some people think you have to KNOW all there is to know in order to be confident. But in fact, you don’t have to know “all the answers” in order to feel confident. If you did, no-one could be confident. Part of being confident is being comfortable with the things you don’t have answers to. If you pretend you know answers that are based on your own imagination, wishful thinking, or other people’s say-so, you will lose your self-respect and your confidence. Confidence comes from having a solid foundation for your knowledge, based on the things that you understand. Your confidence comes from being honest with the facts of reality, and is based on what you DO know, not on what you don’t know.
Some people think you have to be able DO everything in order to feel confident. But in fact you just need to be able to do enough to achieve the things that are most important to you. And in an advanced civilization you can earn the money pay other people to do the things you can’t do yourself.
Some people think that OTHER PEOPLE have to think highly of them in order to feel confident. But, as you have seen, your confidence is independent of what other people think. Some of the greatest discoverers and inventors were thought of as crazy, but that didn’t dilute their confidence in themselves and their search for new knowledge. So long as you know where you want to go, and you have a good guide, and you take action you will have all the confidence you need to achieve the things you want in life.
Some people think confidence is a STATIC thing. But in fact it’s an ongoing process of being honest with reality and being true to your convictions, goals and dreams in your everyday actions. You have to earn your reputation with yourself — and your confidence — every day.
Having Confidence Is A Life-Long Reward
Having confidence is a major achievement of character. It requires honesty, effort, and action. And this makes a vast improvement in your quality of life. Finding a healthy Recipe For Living changed me from a meek, self-doubting, immature woman to a joyful, confident, mature woman. Instead of being a stranger to myself, I learned to know myself, and to become my own best friend. It made me feel confident enough to achieve my goals and dreams. Instead of giving in to my self-doubt and betraying my dreams, I stayed true to my highest vision of myself and achieved my dreams. I found that striving to achieve your most important goals and dreams makes your confidence an ever-growing glorious feeling.
And here’s a real bonus: not only does confidence make you FEEL good, it also makes you LOOK . And it makes other healthy, productive people want to be around you.
Here’s wishing you a fascinating journey to a more confident, happy YOU !