Self-confidence is a funny thing. It resides in the mind / thoughts and corrodes the core of our very being when it’s lacking; rotting us from the inside out as it insidiously moves from leaf to root. The leaves in this metaphor are our thoughts, the root is our core (whether we are acting out of love or fear/ego/self). But what informs our self-confidence or lack thereof is, in fact, the root of our very beings. That thing deep inside you – our emotions, for that is the direction that we go.
Emotional responses often happen to be our very first and sometimes only clue that we are struggling with self-confidence.
What do I mean by fear, ego, and self?
Fear – Fear of people, being hurt, economic insecurity, etc. Also fear of not getting things that I want or things society tells me I should have.
Ego – Thinking that I should be further along, am better than, or would do better “if”.
Self – This is the opposite of ego, thinking I’m less than, not good enough, or could never be “better”.
It’s my experience that there are only two places that we operate from: love or fear / ego / self.
There is no third option. That means I have to find a way to get out of the negative and into the love at my very core. But if my mind and thoughts are saying “no no no” how do I change them to “love love love”?
It’s my experience that I can’t think my way into good living but I can act my way into good thinking. Caught somewhere in there is the root of our being, and over time I’ve found that it will get on board with our actions too.
You see this isn’t linear – no line at all, really. These are cycles we’re breaking here. And I know because I’m one of the aliens breaking cycles of negative self talk, low Self-confidence, and fear riddled decision making.
The ‘if only’ fallacy
“If only I had this thing then I’d be confident” | “If only I felt this way then I’d have Self-confidence” | “If only they said this then I’d have more self-confidence”
Ever find yourself saying something like that? I do. Even today, amidst a period growing as a person and valuing myself more, I find myself sometimes saying those things. I can understand how to be better but still require or seek external validation. That’s why the root of our little tree, and self-confidence, is so important; just knowing isn’t enough. Thus we have to pair knowledge of this fallacy with still more action. We must challenge the “if only” thoughts through experiential sharing to find the root, take action, and gain self-confidence.
I deeply understand how painfully frustrating these thoughts are. We live in a transactional world that also signals to us that we ought to have self-confidence, and also to have all of these “things” – like money, partner, clothes, jewelry, car, etc. So what comes first? Well, in my experience, it’s usually very little about the “things” and 100% the lack of Self-confidence.
When I aim for external validation and worldly possessions, they often don’t bring me self-confidence, but what does happen is my self-confidence falters because I’m tying my self worth to circumstances.
When we address the symptom rather than the core of our problem we miss both our actual needs and the demands of the world around us. Our friends and family need us to be present in their lives – if I’m caught in my own “self” then I won’t be able to meet their needs. I need to be capable of a sufficient life existence, of which I’m incapable of when battling low self esteem and low self-confidence.
How fear, ego, and self relate to self-confidence
First and foremost it’s my experience that all negative, harmful, and destructive behaviors and thoughts come from this root. That means on the path to self-confidence we’re battling these three things – fear/ego/self. And I need self-confidence if ever I’m to continue breaking cycles. So where to start? Right here:
Love. Yes, we don’t have to walk in fear / ego / self. Our core can instead choose love, which is the antithesis to fear / ego / self. On the path of love we find Self-confidence that enables us to still greater opportunity. We do this by addressing the root cause rather than the symptom. Look inward through experiential sharing and take actions with those you share with to give yourself a chance at operating out of love.
How to embrace love practically
The million dollar question. While this answer will be different for everyone here are a couple of things that helped me: Build – Love – Listen.
- Build relationships with people and share myself with them
- Love others as I’d want to be loved myself
- Listen when others give me love… eventually one will stick
Mental health in its varying forms is made up of cycles – but often we find ourselves talking in linear terms; if I get this then I’ll do this.. and then I’ll have this result. I’ve come to find that instead of searching for things external to free me from my own internal prison, I must take control of my destiny through action.
Our roots inform our actions – our actions inform our choices, and our choices inform our thoughts. This is the cycle. How to break the mental health merry-go-round? Well, I’ve come to believe that I can’t force my root (emotions) to change – nor can I force my thoughts (lack of Self-confidence). The thing in the middle of the cycle, my actions, are what I’m most in control of and have the agency to affect.
How do you become more self confident?
Taking actions is the path. To gain Self-confidence, I give self-confidence to others in how I treat and approach them; supporting them with words of encouragement and actions that benefit them. This isn’t an overnight matter, as my self-confidence isn’t immediately impacted – but over time a shift occurs, and with practice and repetition the time to inner success occurs more quickly than before. Specifically, here are actions that I take to nurture my own self-confidence:
- Compliment other people
- Ask my friends about their lives, so that I can encourage their successes
- Share myself, my inner thoughts and desires with strangers
These three things nurture self-confidence partly because I see the reaction in others. I see in them the self-confidence that I want for myself, so instead of seeing the negatives I begin to see the positives and as that mirror of self-confidence is held up to me more and more by my own actions of giving it to someone else, it begins to root within me. I see myself in them, and then I become them. The healing circuit continues.
Let’s go back to those thoughts – are you thinking to yourself that there’s absolutely no way to overcome them? Are you thinking about how maddeningly difficult it is to act in the face of such horrible self doubt and self loathing? I did too. For a long time. If having read this you’re still having these thoughts then welcome, you’re in the right place, because I am too. I had the same belief that there’s no way my actions could change my emotions or my thoughts.
The road to wellness is paved with self-confidence through
When I think so low of myself, I wonder what I even have to offer others. When I think negatively of my own inner and outer self I become crippled by indecision. That suffocates me as the self-confidence awaits on the other side, with wellness still waiting for self-confidence to enter into my existence so that I can join the living world of freedom.
No government or society can levy freedom, only you can give yourself freedom. You’ll find your freedom on the other side of the darkness that the lack of Self-confidence creates. I can’t promise this to be an overnight fix, but I can promise that it has worked for me. I am one of you – the self loathing, self hating, fear riddled human just begging for something to change. And it will change… When I change my actions.
How I embrace love to build self-confidence
By first giving love, it comes back to me. And by continuing to give it, I find people who will love me until I’m ready to love myself. You see I can’t make myself feel love or have self-confidence – but I can give away what I want for myself. And in turn it comes back to me. This is the healing circuit. And real relationships begin.
Through honest and deep relationships still greater love is found. And after a time I’m able to look back on these moments of unconditional love by people who had no logical reason to give me love. It became harder and harder to deny the love, and eventually there was a breakthrough.
These deeper relationships enable me to better listen to others and hear their stories. As I better understand them, I learn about my own truths and enjoyments. Then I can take action for myself, such as choosing to paint my nails or wear a different type of clothing. Now I’m being the change that I want to see in others because they taught me something about myself when I took the time to hear them. They gave me permission to be radically me, and in turn I put it to use.
If you find yourself alone with no one around and searching for self-confidence I encourage you to remember those who have shared with you. How do they employ their own uniqueness? I find courage in the example of others, and doing as they do. That’s how I found that painting my nails and wearing girl pants give me self-confidence. I believe the self-confidence is actually derived from being radically and authentically myself – and I find myself by listening to others, and trying things that they do. Trial and error lead to my very own authentic “me”.
Embracing love was, and sometimes still is, the greatest mystery of my life. I would discount the love that people gave me. Discount the little bits of self-confidence that I’d find within myself, offering rational reasoning to their irrational acts of love.
As the love became unavoidable I became like a blank canvas – capable of feeling, seeing, and hearing all sorts of new things. self-confidence is one of those things. And while this is a daily practice of varying degrees of success, the results are undeniable.
I write before you as a person who once hated himself more than anything else on earth. And today I am confident in my ability to build relationships, give and have love. The healing circuit that breaks cycles of pain, hate, and lack of self-confidence.
What’s Next On My self-confidence Journey?
When I use time, quantity, or quality standards I don’t grow in the results that I’d like to. So I use sincerity as my guide for standards; Am I becoming more sincere in the actions I take? Am I becoming more sincere in my service of others, self-confidence to others? As I grow in sincerity I notice an uptick in the inputs, leading to more consistent self-confidence because I’m taking the daily, weekly, monthly, or even hourly actions. These actions and the prevailing sincerity are my medicine and dose. Increase the dose for still improved results.