Hard as you may find it at times, actively encouraging confidence in yourself is a matter of self preservation. There’s no one who can tear you down, like you can do to yourself! We’re our own worst enemies because ‘the bully’ is in our own heads.
That endless, nagging voice that tells you that you are of little value or that you aren’t pretty. Or that gives you the feeling that competence (in anything) isn’t one of your virtues, so what point is there in you trying to reach for the brass ring. The voice that says, “why try something difficult, different or potentially beneficial because you’ll just fail anyway”. Or perhaps you tell yourself that you aren’t an interesting person, so who would want to listen to you?
Is Low self-esteem threatening to drown you?
Low self esteem is like a hidden spring that burbles up constantly in our minds. It’s the cause of a steady, overflowing river of grey, dreary thoughts and deeds. All thought of encouraging confidence in yourself is submerged if you’ve developed the habit of talking badly about yourself. It’s like you get swept along by a current that will eventually drag you under. It’s hard to pull yourself out, hard to survive.
Tulip Fields and Words of Encouragement
Yesterday the sky was blue beyond belief and it finally feels like spring has arrived. And with the tulips being at their peak right about now, we decided to spend some time in the sunshine and make a visit to a nearby tulip farm. The owner of the place has run the Chilliwack Tulip Festival on his place for the past few years and besides ‘sharing’ all that gorgeousness with the community, he also had cut flowers and pots of forced tulips, hyacinths of all the colours and narcissus for sale.
When we were standing there on the rise coming into the farm, glorious ribbons of colour stretched out before us. So brilliantly beautiful, it kind of filled my heart to the brim with joy. The sun shining through the petals made the red ones seem redder, the purple ones even more intensely purple and the yellow and orange flowers, like bands of fire.
Ribbons of colour that hide the mud below
Even without the tulips, this end of the Fraser Valley is a beautiful place on such a glorious day. Beyond the limits of those fields, the valley feels secure in the embrace of snow tipped, jagged mountains, pointing up to the endless blue sky. That day, with the sun shining and the sky so clear and clean, the colours and clarity of all that beauty were something wonderful to behold. If you could have been there with me, I guarantee, it would have taken your breath away. And with the eagle circling high above all of that beauty, well that was like the jewel on the top of the crown!
But as we got closer to where the rows begin, you could see that the leading edges of the solid waves of brilliant colour began to break down. I started to notice the individual flowers, mud splattered, some with broken petals and standing separately from each other.
ENCOURAGING CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF HAS AN EFFECT
While there are any number of reasons and causes of a loss of self esteem, the one that is the most accessible to you wrecking your own confidence is so close at hand, that it’s the place to start.
How we talk to ourselves, from moment to moment is like those tulip fields and the mud. To the casual observer and from a distance, it can look like it’s all good and you’ve got it all ‘going on’. You’re doing well enough that encouraging confidence in yourself doesn’t seem to be an issue for you. But closer inspection might show anyone watching, that your words too often are an assortment of seemingly casual remarks that are actually pretty self defeating. Comments like, ‘I could never do that’, or ‘I’m not smart enough to work in that kind of job’. Those are the ‘mud’ in your conversations.
Are you betraying yourself by your own words and actions?
Or maybe it will be your subtle attitudes that are betraying you and closing the door on contentment. Like when you protest too loudly or too much that the gift that’s being offered is not necessary. Stop the declarations that you’re not worthy, that folks shouldn’t bother with your birthday, blah, blah, blah.
And here’s a thought that I just want to stick in here for you to think about. When we carry on like that when someone wants to give us something, you know, refusing it or accepting it begrudgingly, not only are you sabotaging yourself with your own words, but you’re actually stealing a moment of joy from whoever is giving it to you! In a sense, the subliminal message to them is that their thoughtfulness was pointless and unwelcome. So think on that for a moment if that’s how you act when you get a present or somebody does something for you. Maybe one day I’ll tell you about how I came to that realization. It was definitely a ‘growing’ moment for me, let me tell you.
How you talk to yourself is so important and sets a tone for all of your life!
Anyway, that’s when you need to be reminded, that how you talk to yourself matters. At least it matters if joy and success in life are your twin goals. The things we do might be different from person to person, but at their most basic, it’s all about joy and success at whatever it is that that you chose to spend your days and months and years on.
What! Another bad habit to work on?
Just as you can develop a bad habit of smoking or chewing your nails or even waking up at 3:00 AM every night, you can make a habit of talking to yourself in a disparaging way. Probably a psychologist would tell you that you’re doing it so that you can ‘keep your power’ by being the one who says it. Instead of someone else telling you those things in an effort to make you feel bad, you head them off by saying it first. When they say it, the ‘hurt’ is immediate, whereas when you’re doing it to yourself, it doesn’t feel like an emotional wound. The problem with that is that no matter who says it, ultimately you always feel bad.
It’s not just Interest that compounds!
Unfortunately too, the effect is cumulative and the results are predictable. Say those words often enough and you begin to believe your story of unworthiness and incompetence. And when you believe you’re unworthy or inept, you quit trying. And let’s face it, when you quit trying, your life goes downhill pretty darn fast.
Companies pay lots of money to marketing experts to make up your mind or change your ideas about their products. Isn’t it time you appropriated some of their time tested techniques and used them on yourself? What cause could be better than encouraging confidence in yourself so that going forward, your life is improved?
6 WAYS TO START ENCOURAGING CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF
- Recognize that you are unique and have a unique story. Understand that you do have something of interest to say to the world because no one else has lived this life in the way that you have.
- Accept that sometimes you might fail at something, but that’s not a reflection on you. It’s just you finding out what doesn’t work. Then look around for a new way to try.
- Start encouraging confidence in yourself by changing the other things you say to and about, yourself. Use language like ‘yes I can’ and ‘I am worthy and competent’ instead of “no I can’t” or “you shouldn’t have (because I don’t deserve it”).
- Quit saying ’no’ to challenges. Replace it with “I’d love to give it a shot”.
- When someone gives you a gift or does something for you, just thank them. They see something in you that makes them want to do you a favour. Don’t argue with their perspective, simply appreciate it and love them right back by acknowledging their gift graciously.
- Start taking note on a daily basis of the things in your life that you’re grateful for. It’s amazing how encouraging confidence in yourself can happen when you just change your perspective about the things that come up in life. There is always some kind of ‘silver lining’ if you look hard enough. Don’t just see the closed door. Start looking for that hidden passage that leads to freedom.
I would love to hear any thoughts you might have or instances where you’ve had your confidence shaken but have found a way to bring it back to face life anew. Remember, they always say that mistakes are good for us because we can learn from them. But it’s a lot more pleasant to learn how to deal with stuff because someone else ‘made the mistakes’. So please do share with us and leave a comment.
Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!
As always, I remind you that while I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health, I’m not a medical doctor. What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts! Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.
My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life. I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.
I also advise that any changes that might affect your health status be checked with your accredited physician. This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.
As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.