I did the research on self-confidence, but most importantly, I finally found why “I don’t have self-esteem” belief is a mere illusion that prevents us from pushing harder pursuing whatever we are going for.
We all have fears, this doesn’t mean that we have to sit still being overtaken by the mould of inaction whilst fear keeps progressing in holding us back from taking action.
It is irrelevant how tall that firewall of fear might be – we can and will break through. We will build our self-confidence brick by brick. And every little achievement on that journey will reinforce new achievements, therefore, new self-confidence to move on and beyond what we aspire to or think is possible.
What is Self-Confidence Really About?
To say that you “Don’t have self-esteem” is sort of like affirming that you don’t exist at all which is absurd because you can read this. Though, whether or not your self-esteem high or low – that is a completely different argument.
Have you ever run out of gas? I’m sure some of you did. Was your tank COMPLETELY dry? No.
Same goes to self-confidence. It’s that fuel that gives you the drive to go for miles in order to get something you want, to make something happen, to achieve something that matters to you.
Self-esteem (self-confidence) derives from past experiences where you achieved something, felt good about yourself and received a wide acknowledgement from your family, friends, and supporters.
I see self-confidence as that invisible, yet formidable safety net knitted from your past achievements that are spread under you whenever you aspire to jump into something new and KNOW FOR SURE that you CAN DO IT.
“But what if my achievements aren’t that great/BIG?” – someone might ask. And I will ask in response: Compared to what?!
Think about the things you did great in the past, even the tiniest things like learning to walk, to read, to drive a car, learning another language or even starting and running your own business successfully. Probably you traveled around the world and discovered places that other people would only dream about?
Think about the little things that made you feel great and reinforced to do more, be more creative and jump over all fears that you faced once in a while.
Why I Would Have Never Learned How to Ride a Bike…
I remember playing on the playground with my friends on a sunny afternoon many years ago. I remember how badly I wanted to learn to ride a bike. I remember the horror I went through when I saw other kids flying off their bikes trying to gain balance before moving anywhere. I WAS PARALYSED WITH FEAR when it was my turn to learn how to ride a bike.
Thereafter my grandfather took extra wheels off my bike leaving only two instead of four. He looked proudly at me and gave me the bike while giving me a theoretical tutorial on balancing and all other things I couldn’t comprehend because of my fear. All I know is that I was standing there with my fists clinging on to the handlebar crying.
My grandpa asked: “What is it, sweetheart? Don’t you want to give it a try?”
Me:“But I’m afraid I going to fall… I will never learn how to ride a bike”
Did you see it? There it was. That FEAR OF FAILURE that arises when we attempt to try anything new. Yes, there is a risk in everything… Life is risky, but the popularity of living never decreases.
My grandpa could have bubble-wrapped me (like my grandma used to do almost literally), but he took another approach. He just believed in me and REINFORCED HIS BELIEF that gave me that extra kick of confidence to try…
“You can do whatever you set your mind to… just give it a try. Yes, you will fall. Many times and even more so… But that’s the beauty of it – learning and standing up again and again”. – I remember him saying.
Yes, I fell on the ground many times that day. And I fell on the ground many times in the years that followed. I had so many bruises that my scarred knees are silent witnesses of that LEARNING PROCESS. But that taught me one thing: fear is a matter of choice, it depends only on me… So I chose to let it go and kick it with some action instead.
Fear speaks producing “stories” that we call limiting beliefs. Those beliefs are preventing us from moving forward. The positive side of that is that we choose away from motivation: away from pain. That is why our fear craftily comes up with new ideas “why you cannot do” certain things in order to protect us.
DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO LISTEN to that chatterbox? Again, it’s up to YOU how loud or quiet the voice of fear can be.
Two Simple Things to Remember
1. See things through positive glasses
When we are bitter about things that didn’t turn out quite right in the past, guess what, we get more of that stuff in the present and the future because we are focused on the negative side of the situation. But everything is a matter of perspective. We cannot possibly change the past, however, we can change the way we see it.
It’s still challenging for me to adopt one simple idea: there is no such thing as a negative experience, there is an experience. There are ONLY EVENTS as they are. It’s up to us to add some colour to the picture.
Any experience is an experience and if we have learned from it, it was worthwhile.
2. Supporting network matters
I used to underestimate the influence of people in my life. I didn’t understand why after talking with someone I felt depressed and drained and, on the other hand, others made me feel energised, positive and all sorts of jazzy.
I used to have a friend back in high school. I liked hanging out with her but the more I did the worse my outlook on life was getting. She never seemed to like anyone or anything. She used to ridicule people, myself included, almost for the way they breathed. I didn’t understand why I was friends with her, though, letting her go wasn’t easy. I guess I had to learn a lesson…
After all, every person we meet knows something we don’t.
Long story short… even though I believe that every person has something good in their soul, sometimes their vision seems to be clouded and it’s ok if you choose not to allow those clouds escaped from their rainy picture to come to your sunny meadow.
I felt guilty for letting go of certain people in my life. Some of them were my relatives. But some people are like clouds – when they go away the day becomes brighter. I don’t know…
It is vital to surround yourself with people who believe in you, who don’t transfer their fears of failure on you and who can say YOU CAN DO THIS when you feel uncertain. And that gives you wings, that gives you the much-needed top up of your confidence tank.
When we feel loved and worthy and give back our kindness, the circle of love energy reinforces us and makes us believe that we are capable of doing great things.