Do you know what’s a risky thing to do? Allowing someone else to dictate how you feel about yourself. So many of us, without even realizing we’re doing it, look for validation from others in order to feel good. This validation or lack thereof, shapes how our day goes. We want our own mothers to approve of how we’re parenting our smallies. We want our boss to tell us we’re doing a great job. We want our partner’s to tell us we look good. But what happens if we don’t get this validation? Or what happens if their opinion changes from one day to another? Do we then feel bad or unsure about ourselves? Sure, it’s nice to give and receive compliments and I’m not suggesting this should stop, but when getting those compliments becomes necessary to feel good, then you may be in risky territory. Confidence and high self-esteem are so important in order to be happy and in order to make good choices. It doesn’t mean you will always make the right choice, or you won’t make mistakes, but having an innate sense of who you are, what your values are, how you want to live, behave and contribute, has a big impact on how you feel about yourself. It means your confidence levels are in your own hands, not at the whim of someone you have no control over.
Next time you feel doubtful of your ability to achieve something, consider spending some time reflecting on why you feel this self-doubt and what you could do to move past it. Has someone planted a seed that you’re not quite able or ready? Maybe this seed was planted a long time ago and something has triggered it to resurface, or maybe it’s a recurring theme for you. Objectively explore what has led you to feeling uncertain. Is it a long standing belief that is no longer relevant for you today? If that’s the case, would you consider letting that belief go and allowing a new belief to take its place, one that encourages you to go for it, rather than one that makes you hesitate? Or is it a genuine fact that you are currently unable for the task? Even if that’s the case, could you look at it from a different angle? Could you see it as an opportunity to widen your experience, learn from a mentor, or gain a new skill? Investing your energy in looking at it positively has the double advantage of learning something new but also building your self-confidence when you master the task. And the next time you’re feeling self-doubt, you’ll know that you’ve already experienced that situation and worked out a way around it.
Confidence is not a fixed state. So the good news is it’s in your hands. What action can you take today to make a deposit in your confidence bank?