Professional Development

Can you describe what self-confidence and a healthy self-esteem feels like?

LogoSelf-confidence means different things to different people but one thing that appears obvious in today’s busy world, feeling good about ourselves can become a serious challenge.

Do you wake up some days, bounce out of bed, feeling fully in control of the day, thinking that I am going to totally master being ‘me’.  Other days, you may think to yourself, “How long until the whole world figures out I’m a fraud?” .

When you are still building self-confidence and a healthy self-esteem it’s easy to be pushed and pulled by events going on in your life and it makes sense that when things are running smoothly, you tend to feel more confident but when things are total rubbish, It affects your perception of the day, and more importantly, it affects your confidence. 

So how do you stop your life from feeling like a rollercoaster ride?  Do you really want other people to control the events of the day and how you react to them.  Should how you feel about yourself be decided by someone else? 

For me, the quest for self-confidence has become more about discovering who I am and learning to be comfortable with that.  Feeling deeply comfortable about who you are and what you stand for is a bit like building muscle.  The stronger you feel and the easier you are able to flex your muscle, the less events around you will impact your day.  So here are some ways in which you can build your self-confidence muscles.

Take some time building knowledge about who you are.  Reflect, research and regularly revisit with questions like;

  • What do I love to do and why do I love to do it?  It’s likely that you’re good at it because what you love to do reflects who you are as a person.
  • What do people tend to compliment me about in my life?  Other people see things in us we don’t see in ourselves. If you can’t remember or you’re blocked on this one, ask someone who treats you well.
  • What I have recently accomplished?  This doesn’t have to be big. Actually, a growing pile of small wins is easier to recognise. Small wins also add up to big wins, done consistently and over time.  Be kind to yourself, go on list them all.
  • What do I already know how to do?  Don’t say, “nothing.” It’s not true. Keep looking until it comes to you even if you think it’s simple and irrelevant.
  • What am I envious of?  Often we are envious in an area where we have desire to expand our lives. Being envious tells us what we want more of. Identify your envy, it will motivate you towards achieving a desired goal.
  • Where do I have momentum?  We tend to focus on areas of our lives where we feel inadequate and neglect to acknowledge other areas of life, where we are actually managing quite well.  List the areas of your life where you are doing ok or even doing quite well at.  Once again, list the small things as well as the big, they all add up!
  • Am I in touch with my inner voice?  I saved the best for last….When we base everything completely on our everyday “self” (some call it our ego) and that “self” feels low, we don’t have help to climb out of that hole. But if we take the journey from our minds to our inner being, we’ll sense a knowing within us, often described as our intuition or instinct and it is this inner being that offers us answers to our questions and a way forward if we’ll listen. 

It takes time to get to know your inner being; to learn to appreciate the value of your inner wisdom and trust that you know the path forward for yourself.  Sometimes we think that our intuition gets it wrong and then we begin to mistrust our wisdom; not realising until much later that the journey travelled has bought powerful lessons that have strengthened our resolve and the sense of who we are.  You may still be in that place of learning. Maybe the lesson has not become obvious to you yet.  Maybe you haven’t done the work required to see the value or perhaps you are fighting your lesson, not listening.  If so, that is fine, acknowledge that is where you are for when you are ready to move on, you will find the strength to do so. 

Remember – feelings will come and go.  Treat your emotions with respect; acknowledge how you feel without letting them affect your self-confidence or dictate who we are.  I invite you to go on a fact finding mission, ask the questions above (and lots more) and discover who you are and who you wish to be.   Let that guide you on those days when you would otherwise faultier and take a hit to your self-confidence.  Over time you too will know what self-confidence looks like as you learn to sit comfortably with the essence of ‘you’.

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