Low self-confidence – a major problem among the younger generation. Even KMAG had conducted a survey asking its followers to anonymously tell what is their biggest weakness and most of the respondents were mentioning lack of confidence being their biggest weakness.
Self confidence in simple term is the feeling of trust in one’s own abilities, qualities and judgement. It is a state of being certain in your own skills and abilities. It means you accept and trust yourself and have a sense of control in your life. You know your strengths and weakness well, and have a positive view of yourself. You set realistic expectations and goals, communicate assertively, and can handle criticism well.
On the other hand, low self-confidence might make you feel full of self-doubt, be passive or submissive, or have difficulty trusting others. You may feel inferior, unloved, or be sensitive to criticism.
Feeling confident in yourself might depend on the situation. For instance, you can feel very confident in some areas, such as academics, but lack confidence in others, like relationships. Self-confidence is said to be heavily based on a person’s past experience. If you had good experiences, you are more likely to have high self-confidence, and if you had some negative experiences than it is likely to have contributed to the lack of self-confidence in you.
Where does lack of self-confidence come from?
From a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) point of view – it comes from one main limiting belief “I am not good enough”. This belief comes from your own negative experiences, repetitive suggestions from your own thoughts or others or constant comparison with others.
Let’s take a closer look into this.
It starts right from your childhood. Most people who lack self-confidence had way too high expectations from their parents, teachers and other significant people around them. If your performance was not to their desired standard and they were extremely critical of you, you might have lost your confidence as a result. And you carry that behavior into adulthood.
For instance, you were most likely not the most brilliant student in your class and your parents or teachers were quite critical of you for the performance. You were not good enough in their eyes. This culture of having too much expectations from children, right from a very young age is a contributing factor to the lack of self confidence in our youths.
Comparison is what kills your confidence. It is so natural and common to compare yourself to others, but as you probably are aware, it often makes you unhappy. It feeds your ego the lack and separation, even if you have enough and should be happy with what you have. Whether you are comparing yourself to someone else you think is better than you or someone else makes a judgmental comment to you based on the comparison, either way, it has a massive impact on your self-confidence when you feel that you are inferior.
As a kid, you compared yourself to the kid who always came first in the class and was the favorite student of the teachers and you asked yourself “Why can’t I have that kind of attention?”
So, what can you do to increase your self-confidence?
Stop comparing yourself with others
The only person you need to compare yourself with is your old self, no one else. You see, everyone has their own journey in life. You cannot walk someone else’s journey and they cannot walk yours. So acknowledge and accept who you are and where you are in your life.
So, the first step to overcome comparison is to become aware of your habit. Once you realize you’re comparing yourself with others, give yourself a break. Don’t berate yourself or feel bad — just acknowledge that it is just a thought, and gently change focus. Focus on counting your blessings. Think what you do have, what you are already blessed with. Express your gratitude to those things that you already have.
Change your focus
What we focus on expands. It has a huge impact on your personality. Your self-confidence is low because of the negative emotions you have associated with self. Changing your focus to the positive side can provide a boost in your self-confidence.
Make a list of your strengths and achievements so far. Paste this list in a place where you can see it every single day, preferably in a place that you see it early in the morning. And refer back to it every single day. When you start your day with positive energy that drives self-belief, you shift your perspective and treat your mistakes as passing events in your life that teach you something new.
Set an intention for the day and plan ahead
The best way of gaining control of your day is by planning out your day and starting it the way you want to. We feel good when we feel like things are under our control. And this has everything to do with your confidence! Start your day with an intention. Tell yourself how you want to feel today. Do it first thing in the morning, after a shower or during meditation. Visualize how you want this day to unfold. When you prepare yourself in advance for the day, you act from a responsive state instead of reactive state throughout the day. The day is in your control and not the other way round. It is important that you keep your intention alive in mind throughout the day. It really causes a massive difference in your state of being and ultimately your self-confidence.
Hang the monster – the inner critic
The voice inside your head, the inner critic can become a harsh demon if unleashed. At times, this little voice can be helpful in keeping you motivated towards your goals. But if that voice gets more negative than positive, then it can be more harmful than helpful. Negative self-talk is that inner dialogue you have with yourself that limits your ability to believe in yourself and reach your highest potential. It is any thought that diminishes you and your ability to make positive changes in your life. In order to keep these thoughts in check, first you need to become aware of it. Observe your thoughts when you are being self-critical. Then, remind yourself that these thoughts and feelings are not necessarily true. Neutralize the negative thoughts by changing the language you use and use positive words instead of negative words that empower you. When you have empowering thoughts, your self-confidence returns.
Face the fear and do it anyway
Fear is another major factor for diminished self-confidence. In order to get on top of it, you must face it and take the action. There is no other way around this. When you try new things, you open up to new experiences, you grow and your confidence increases. The positive feeling of accomplishment and progress you make proves your inner critic wrong. You also realize that the voice that said – “You are not good enough” was in fact wrong. This change in your perspective provides a massive boost in your self-confidence as you start trusting in your abilities again!
So, do that one thing that you have always wanted to do but were scared to take
action, one step at a time, to build that confidence.
Let go off perfectionism
Perfection does not exist! We all know that intellectually, but emotionally we seem to feel bad when we don’t reach perfection. You aren’t perfect and you never will be. If you look at it in a different way, that imperfection is what makes you who you are, you are unique and special in your own way. So learn to embrace your flaws and be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for making mistakes or not knowing things. Remind yourself that you have the ability to improve in what you aren’t good at and learn what you don’t know.
Learn to embrace enough
“I am enough/ I have enough”
If you always chase material things, you will never have enough. You will always want more. That’s an endless cycle, and chasing material things like that will never lead to happiness. No matter how much money you have in your bank account, no matter how many houses you own, no matter how many fancy cars you acquire … it still won’t be enough for you. Instead of constantly chasing these things, focus on what really makes you happy from inside. Go inwards. Learn to realize that you are enough and what you have is already enough.
That’s it. There is actually more to it if you low confidence issue is much deeper and complex, but in generally what I wrote above should be enough to guide you through in overcoming your low confidence issue.
You are awesome. Keep rocking.
About the writer:
Reshma Baral is a life coach who specializes in helping people build their self-confidence and excel in their careers. Originally from Nepal, she currently resides in Australia. She is a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming & Hypnotherapy and knows how people’s beliefs and values shape their lives.
Besides that, she is also a Chartered Accountant and works full time in that capacity.
Life Lesson Learned: How not to be single
I don’t remember ever being single since I crossed my teenage. It’s not that I am handsome or rich, but there was something in me – the certain traits and attitude – that made it possible for me to never experience singlehood or lonesome.
I am not trying to brag. There is nothing to brag about actually. I have been in and out of some close bonding with amazing souls. Some of those relationships had name, some never had any name but nevertheless was a beautiful togetherness. Whatever I am today, there is a touch of those amazing souls, who inspired and influenced me by carving me through their warmth and love. I was a mere canvas.
Looking back, I think I know now what I did right. The followings are the things:
Know to value who likes you as you are
In everyone’s life, there is always someone interested, regardless of how you look or who you are and you should know to value that. Out of so many people, if someone wants you then you should be taking that as a blessing and without caring anything, embrace the person if you are available. You should know to love and care even if you are not falling in love and know to genuinely be for that person till together.
Don’t look for spouse
Never look for “spouse” in those souls. What’s important is having someone in life, at that point in time, who genuinely likes you, wants you, and makes you feel warm and special. You never know where it would go. Journey should be important and not the destiny. Whether together for a night or week or month or year, just be true to the person and cherish the moment. Some relationship ends up in marriage and some before itself and that’s okay. Even the relationship that ends up in marriage can’t guarantee the togetherness till the death, so why look for spouse and cut off everyone that doesn’t seem like spouse material?
Don’t look for approval from others
Never look for anyone’s approval or wonder if your relationship with the person looks normal and usual for others. If the other person is happy and you are happy to be the reason for his/her happiness, why care if it fits into the socially-constructed narratives? Age, race, gender, etc are socially-constructed idea, and it’s obvious people will frown if you don’t fit into the idea of “perfect couple.” Your friends have their own taste and perspectives, and it’s obvious for them to disapprove of your taste and choice if it does not match with theirs. Many people are left single because the person that they could be in relationship with didn’t match with their friends or society’s tastes and preferences or ideas of ‘perfect match.”
Don’t overthink about the person
In the end, every good relationship is nothing but a good friendship, and just like how you don’t overthink over your friend, don’t overthink over anything with the person that you are happily involved with. Just go with the flow, make memories, make stories, be there for each others. In this ride, some times, you fall in love or the other side fall in love or other weird things happen, but looking back, you will realize those experiences were amazing feeling, a process set by nature to shape you, carve you, mature you. Universe works very mysteriously. Some people are sent to settle with you, and some people are sent to prepare you for someone else to come to settle with you. You never who is the person right next to you, so don’t overthink. Either way, universe is working on you.
People who are single despite been looking for, there is a high chance that the person walks with a check-list; they look for that One to settle with; they are overtly concerned about what others would say. That others may be their family, their friends, or relatives or colleagues or society. They want others to be proud of their pick, others approval over their choice made. “Chya kasto manche khojeko” hurts them and they look for someone that others don’t judge. If only life would work that way. You never know who you are going to settle with and you can’t go around screening everyone to see if fits in your check list and then only decide if to get involved with. When the time comes, you are going to settle with somebody anyway. Until that time, live your life. Out of 7 billions human, someone is choosing you. Value that. Know to give love, know to adore. Be respectful, be trustworthy, make the person feel safe around you, feel secured and cared; share love, make love, helping each other to learn and grow and get better every day. When you develop that pureness attitude in you, love is all around you. There onward, Singlehood or lonesome will only be choice made and not your fate.
Self-Motivated: The highest form of motivation
Life without motivation is a sheer living dead – you are alive but you are just a breathing log with no energy to move on your own. You can’t dream, you can’t plan, you can’t think, you simply can’t do anything that requires effort and intelligence. For a motivation-less person, everything they do is either for a sake of doing or because they are asked to do it. Everyone has at one point in life had been through that state so you know what does it feel like to live a life without motivation.
That’s why we long for motivation every now and then. We long for motivation to subscribe to gym, we long for motivation to dress well, we long for motivation to study, to read, to go out, to almost anything and everything, because in motivation, we move with energy, we bloom, we spark, we feel purposeful, happy and endured. Different people have different source of motivation. For some, motivation comes from desire to take the crush for date. For some, motivation comes from rewards and money. For some, motivation comes from a guarantee of a better future and growth.
Everyone has their own source of motivation. That’s why we all long for the source that motivates us. A desperate single long for a partner to finally get the motivation to stay fit, look good. A confused student longs for an exciting opportunity to pick the books and study. A dull employee longs for a lucrative offer to work hard and give the best and so on. However, those are basically extrinsic motivation. The problem with it we don’t have control over external factors, which means the moment the external factor dries off, you are back to our Zombie state. Think of this. You joined a gym because you wanted to have that hot body to impress your crush but you found out that your crush is getting married to somebody and you never gonna get a chance to even take her out. Will you still have the motivation to go to the gym? Probably not. Or say, you were designing a project to win a promotion but you learned that you are not going to get the promotion. Will you be still working on the project?
Though extrinsic motivation has its own perks, in real world, people generally don’t prefer the kind who can only be motivated by external factors. You must have seen that typical line in every job vacancy. “Looking for a self-motivated individual...” You know why? Because it’s much easier and fun to work with a self-motivated individual than those who can be only motivated through external factors.
Self-motivated means “motivated to do or achieve something because of one’s own enthusiasm or interest, without needing pressure from others.”
My job and work get me to meet lots of people – at home, at office, at streets; in HR table and coffee table. Based on my observation and experience, what I have found in people who lack self-motivation is that:
Those who are not self-motivated have bipolar mood patterns
People who lack self-motivation rely heavily upon external factors to get the excitement and energy hit. For them to function happily and in a cheerful manner, they need to be shown the reward in return for doing the job. The moment the reward promise is not met, they will fall back to despair. This creates huge mood swings exhibiting bipolar mood patterns in them.
Those who are not self-motivated are mostly in sad and low mood
Life is not always full of surprises and rewards. It is mostly mundane routine and uncertain attempts, which means most days are without external motivation. For people who are not self-motivated, most days are gloomy days with no energy or wants and desires, and thus are mostly in a low mood.
They waste their time over unproductive but easy-to-do activities
Whatsoever, they too have the same number of hours and they need to kill it somehow anyway. They do so either by sleeping or scrolling social media for hours or watching videos or gigs for the kick. At work, you can find them wasting their time over unproductive thing if they are not assigned any task, as they can work only under pressure or command; reward or fear.
If no one is watching them, or no pressure or check in place, they live in mess
When they are alone and unwatched, the beast in them gets unleashed. They are now only limited to must-do daily activities. All other activities get on hold. They need visitors to get their house clean and arranged properly. They need social gathering to look great. After all. they can’t function without external motivation.
They don’t put an effort to find answers, research, or learn new things and new ways
Who search for answers? The curious minds. Why some people are curious? Because they see life as an opportunity to explore, understand, and excel. The self-motivated people are a traveler to unknown, whereas those who lack self motivation are traveler to known and certainties. They have no interest to look for answers for sake of knowing. Their psychological construct is as such that they are not here to explore on their own.
Motivation, be it intrinsic or extrinsic, is the engine that moves us. However, intrinsic motivation is the highest form of motivation because you carry the engine inside you. It’s not that self-motivated people don’t care about rewards. It is just that rewards to them is secondary. Process is what they enjoy. They do it for their own well being, for their own long-term goals and purpose they are driven by. They are here to serve their own life. They maintain their house for themselves and not for visitors. They join gym and stay fit for themselves and not to show others. They take up projects and give their 100% not to please boss hoping for better paycheck but because they want to leave the legacy for themselves. They study not just to crack the exam but to pave their path to being expert on the subject. That’s why it’s fun to be with self motivated people and why they are preferred in job, preferred in relationship or partnership of any kind. You don’t need to constantly feed them motivation and still they do their part.
People lacking self-motivation are trapped between looking depressed but not suffering from depression, acting bipolar but not really bipolar, constantly searching for hits and sparks to find the reason to remain joyful, look normal. For them to function in a healthy manner, they need new set of motivation everyday and it’s tiring and frustrating, whereas for self-motivated people they wake up motivated everyday because they don’t need to search for a motivation. Motivation is always inside them. Self is the motivation enough to put them in shoes and make them run with joy.
What happens after marriage
Warning: This post may tempt you to get married.
Other than lots of sex, it’s like your best friend with you forever.
You have a friend to watch movies together with.
You have a fashion designer to suggest to you what looks good on you. You have a chef to treat you with different tastes.
You have a mirror to see you at your worst and at your best. You have a diary to pour your heart out or express your frustration out from work. You have a lap to lie down when too tired and down.
You have a ride to go for a shopping.
And you have another family and relatives that comes along with your marriage, who love you, like you, respect you unconditionally because now you are part of their family as well.
Basically, after marriage, you always will have someone to count on any activity that makes you happy. Of course, it’s not always rainbow and sunshine. There will be times when you will fight dog and cat, but unlike gf-bf fight, being husband-wife means end of the day, you have to share the bed where after some drama, things will get back to your loving and caring mode. No fight goes beyond 24 hours.
There will also be days where a third person from the family will make things unpleasant, will ruin moods, but you always find a way to deal as a team and get through it like a team.
In all these things, you will grow more; you will feel being ready for your own child to bring to this world. Together, you will start seeing your own house from the future, where you will be having your own junior versions and maybe a dog, just like in the movie. You start becoming more serious about earning, serious about life for the child you plan to bring.
For all that to happen though, you should marry your best friend that you are in love with and vice versa. If you compromise and marry for sake of marrying, you gonna miss all the things mentioned above.
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