Recently I saw a Snapshots poll in USA Today. The newspaper publishes one of these every day on various topics. This one really made me pause. Women were asked to respond to the question: “What makes a woman beautiful?” The results follow: (1) Self-confidence, 87%, (2) Positive Outlook on Life, 82%, (3) Upbeat Personality, 79%, (4) Healthy/shiny hair, 65%, and (5) A great figure, 57%.
I was glad to see that the women in this poll valued inner strength. Helping people grow their self-confidence is a big part of my life’s work. Since this will be an ongoing topic on this site, I’d like to start here with us thinking about what confidence is and how to get it. By the way, there are other terms that mean roughly the same thing: self-esteem, self-worth and self-respect. You’ve probably heard all of them many times.
What is self-confidence? At its core it’s the way you think and feel about yourself. For an image, you might think of your self-confidence as an in-your-tummy pot filled with your feelings and your thoughts about yourself. Your level of energy is important, as well. If the thoughts, feelings and energy in your pot are positive, like “I Can Do It,” whatever “it” is, you have good self-esteem. But, if the thoughts and feelings are mostly negative, and your energy is lower, like “I Can’t Do It,” your self-confidence isn’t so high. Your “I Can” or “I Can’t” attitude plays itself out everyday in your actions. Just observe yourself. You’ll see.
You might be thinking: how did this pot form? Actually, all very young children form their ideas about themselves, others and how life works by the time they’re five years old. Including you and me; UNconsciously, of course. There’s a big idea.
Since this is a huge topic and there’s a lot more to say, let’s stop here for today. We’ll take this subject in little pieces.
But, would you do a bit of “homework” about this “pot” idea between now and when we get together next time? As you go about your life in the next few days, tune into your mind to hear what it is saying. Whatever it is, those are some of your core beliefs about yourself and how you should live your life. You act these beliefs out every day. If you listen well you’ll hear these thoughts over and over.
As your personal “mind CD” plays and you can hear your thoughts, tune into your feelings. Try to label them.
If you’ve never done this before and are willing to try it now, that’s great. You’re already starting to grow your self-confidence. Personal power comes from knowing ourselves well.
Or, if this seems like too much, start by just observing your behaviors. As you observe, ask yourself why you’re doing them. Also, ask yourself “what does it get you.” We don’t do a behavior unless we get some sort of “payoff” from it.
That’s enough for now. But eventually you’ll want to decide if the behaviors you’re using are positives in your life or if they result in negatives for you. As you eliminate those negatives, you’ll see your confidence go up. That’s definitely a plus and a very good start.
My best to you until next time,
Thanks so much for reading. And, if you think anyone you know would like this blog, please forward it.