“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up”.
Hello, young Padawan
Memento mori, “In memory of the dead” – to better remind you that one day you too will die. Today we are going to talk about self-confidence. Can’t you see the connection? Of course, you do: life is too short not to have self-confidence and not to realize your life projects.
To have self-confidence is to know yourself, to be aware of your abilities and of your areas for improvement. The lack of self-confidence is, among other things, related to the fear of failure. Not daring is a life spoiler. However, failing is okay, it’s even healthy because it proves that you have managed to get out of your comfort zone. Only fools and lethargic will blame you for this.
Indeed, it took you some guts to talk to that girl you find pretty or that cute boy, to your manager to get a raise, or pass that job interview. Often we contemplate, but we give up. The theory of courage is one thing, but living this moment is another. How many of us gave up at the last minute?
The important thing is not to get it right the first time, but to learn from your mistakes. If you understand this, you have never been so close to success.
– We are not born “confident”, it is first and foremost your education that induces it or not.
If you had a patient, indulgent, rewarding, tolerant, and attentive education during your childhood – if your parents did not compare yourself to the little buddies who did better than you, for example, and if you had a right to fail – if they valued your successes, encouraged and guided you in that direction, see you next week, lol. Otherwise, it does not matter, it can also be acquired in adulthood.
Speaking of adulthood, if it is important to surround yourself with people who point out things to you when you do something stupid – for that we have thousands of them around us, lol – it is also imperative, when you do something good, to have those in your circle who compliment you about that. And that is very rare, so if there are any among your friends, kidnap them and put them in your garage. Humor. Don’t do that, let go of the lady, she didn’t do anything to you, lol. And it’s also up to us to loosen up and point out to people their abilities, their qualities, their cool stuff. Education through mutual aid and example, in short, from childhood to adulthood.
-The easiest way to avoid the fear of judgment from others is to stop comparing yourself. Then, accept that the negative judgment of others generates negative emotions inside you, and protect yourself from it by being sure of your values and of who you truly are. So when judgment or criticism comes, you won’t care.
-Train with the look of the others. The look of the others is not what defines you as a person. The people who judge your behavior or actions are the same who have little self-confidence and seek through your mistakes or faults to reassure themselves about theirs. Thus, a person who points the finger at you should not impact your own self-esteem.
Do not forget that we cannot please everyone, that when the personalities are too far apart, they cannot match, and finally, that when we point the finger at someone, three others are pointed at us.
-Do not seek the validation of your actions through the eyes of others. Why do you want recognition, why do you want to be loved by others? Remember not to waste time worrying about what people think about you because they are too busy worrying about what you think about them. And work on it, if necessary with a shrink.
-Do not forget that when you are well in your body and your mind, you don’t criticize others, because you are too busy living your life. If you yourself tend to look at your fellows and judge them, maybe a little check-up of your life and what you could improve there will help you move forward on the right side of the path: being a happy human being who wishes the best to his human buddies.
Indeed, criticizing is a way of projecting one’s own insecurities or discomforts on others, but you can’t make them carry your burden.
Like the famous quote: “Judging others satisfies the ego, loving others satisfies the soul.”
Our own judgment
Big file. In any case, it is that of your faithful servant.
First mistake, not trusting yourself and asking others for advice. Why? Because they project their own anxieties on you. What has harmed me the most in my life is this chapter. When I was younger, when I didn’t dare, I asked others for advice to find the courage to get started, and, of course, I found quite the opposite. I was even given anxieties that were not mine, until I ended up not embarking on a project that was finally realized by others and turned out to be a success. Ay caramba, or how to dig your own grave, get in it, and put the earth back on top. Learning from my mistakes, today I say as little as possible, and above all, when it’s already done.
-No one knows you better than yourself. Only you know your real abilities, knowledge, talents, and above all, you alone live your own life. So it is better to go for it 100 times and fail 99 than to spend every day you have left to live, regretting not having lived as you wanted.
-There is also the impostor syndrome, for that, I leave you with the wiki pal: “Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve all they have achieved. Individuals with impostorism incorrectly attribute their success to luck, or interpret it as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be.” Source, Wikipedia.
If that sounds like you, take a trip to the shrink to work on it and you’ll be like new.
The best way to have less and less self-confidence
-To tell yourself stories that you are a person “like this”, or “like that”. For example that you are “someone who does not have confidence in yourself” is the first step not to evolve, and to have no chance to give yourself credit.
-Trying to be a chameleon that everyone will love, you will lose yourself. You can’t please everyone, trying will make you lose who you are, including your self-confidence.
-Comfort. Stay in your comfort zone, no longer challenge yourself, to the point of lethargy, until you can no longer do everyday things, get stuck, and suffer your own life. Pause mode is good only for DVD players.
-Stay in touch with the toxic people in your life. Whether on social networks or among friends, family, … “Good luck” to have confidence in yourself in this case.
-Humans are programmed to avoid fear. Indeed, at the time when we were all naked in the woods eating blueberries (it’s been a long time, ed), our body warned us of the dangers by producing hormones like adrenaline, which allowed us to flee quickly. In other words: I eat raspberries, I hear a twig breaking behind me, then I recognize the sound of a boar, adrenaline rush, and run. A very effective survival mechanism. In any case, much faster than a ten-page argument to prove to yourself that a wild boar charge can be potentially dangerous. Today we are hormonally made up exactly like our cavern ancestors, but with radically different lives. We must no longer run from the predator, but face our fears to realize ourselves in a society of sharks. Or wild boars, it’s up to you. Choosing comfort and avoiding fear are the best choices for not having self-confidence.
-Food plays on self-confidence. A diet that is too sweet or too fatty has a negative impact on your mood, energy, and mental health. For a good mood: see my article here on the anti-inflammatory diet.
The best way to gain more and more self-confidence
-The limbic part of our brain does everything to avoid suffering and seek pleasure. Most of the time, it is not the situation itself that makes you dare not, but the way you perceive it. We perceive more advantages in not getting started than in daring, so we do not dare, because we start an inner dialogue that limits us. The famous little voice, that puts everything that could go wrong with us in perspective. Streamlining a situation is what keeps you from getting started. So: don’t over-think.
-The pleasure being materialized by what the brain knows and the suffering being materialized by what we do not know, a person who has not had many different professional experiences will be terrified of having to find a new job, and conversely, a person who has known more than 5 or 6 different companies will change jobs with relative ease.
The solution is therefore simple. The more we challenge ourselves and the stronger we are, the greater our comfort zone and the less we are worried about new situations. By gradually moving out of our comfort zone, we open up to a bigger and bigger world, we open our field of possibilities.
-If all goes well, the more time passes and the more we have self-confidence, but the difficulties can put us to the test. It is then necessary to give yourself exercises when you feel that you have taken an uppercut (see below).
Indeed, a failure on something that is close to our heart or a difficult ordeal can cast doubt on our self-confidence. In this sense, it is essential to analyze our fears, our blockages, and find the positive. If you don’t find any, you can always thank your failures which have helped to expand your comfort zone. You see, there is always something positive.
-Self-confidence is a work, like the top athletes, you have to work on your mind and change your emotions through mental representation. Through media such as images, photos, videos, positive or motivating books. Like this little text, for example:
« One morning you’re going to anchor in a harbor just in case the ship doesn’t drift somewhere. Which is great if you want to be safe. But if you’re in a goddamn boat, it’s because you want to sail, so if you keep putting 5, 10 anchors, obviously you’ll be safe, but you’re never going to sail. So you have to make up your mind. Do you want to be safe or do you want to sail?
When you have nothing to lose and nothing to gain, you can do whatever you want.»
An anonymous Buddhist.
-To increase your self-confidence: give yourself lots of small goals to achieve on a daily basis. Like a to-do list that boosts self-esteem when you check it off, every day. Start with the easy, go gradually, increase the pace or the difficulty when you feel that you are stagnating. Little by little, the baby cat becomes a tiger. Overcome your fears, kick yourself in the ass to be proud of the things accomplished that you were afraid of, that you didn’t know how to do, that you thought yourself incapable of doing.
-Four simple questions to restore self-confidence when you hesitate to start a new project, write down the answers whenever doubt arises:
Why not me?
Why not me now?
-Speaking in public. Simple. At least for me lol, indeed, everyone has their Achilles heel, if it is one of yours, two tips: less ego, and more humor in self-mockery mode. I have always used humor to get out of difficult situations because I realized that it made situations less dramatic on the one hand, and that self-deprecation brings the other back to its own moments of loneliness. Thus, joking about the step that you missed before starting your presentation is always better received than being terrified by your misstep. Less ego, because everyone stumbles, stammers, there is also no drama of not being the most beautiful, the tallest, or the best dressed, the important thing is the message. So, with all your heart, pass on your information, your arguments, your position, and for the rest, we are all in the same boat.
Posture is also important: If you adopt a submissive posture, round back, tucked shoulders, look in the shoes, you will have less confidence in yourself than if you straighten your bust with a straight back, open shoulders, high chin, and gaze all about the audience. This posture also helps with breathing, which is essential, and your voice will be more audible. If watching the audience is too much for you, remember that the most important thing is to sweep three strategic points when speaking (left, center, and right) to capture and hold the attention of your audience. So, in this case, you can look at the wall on the left, in the center, and the one on the right, nobody will see that you are not looking at people, the important thing is to switch from right to center to the left, regularly, throughout your speech. And do not forget to mark one or two seconds poses to support the strategic points of the message you want to convey, but also to catch your breath and place your voice (for those who tended to shallow breathing during this kind of exercises, it helps, ed).
-An important meeting: Knowing your file and being well prepared allows you to eliminate many fears. Learn to breathe. Do you have a trembling voice? Get more air than you need, before and during your meeting. Beautiful, long, slow breaths at the top of your lungs. If you breathe properly, your mind will calm down. Slow and deep breathing helps tame stress, relativize and manage an unprecedented situation. If you want some tips to learn how to manage your mood and not get overwhelmed by the daily grind, you can take a look here.
Do you have your hands shaking in this kind of situation? If you are uncomfortable with it, place them on the table, or on your knees, in short, put them down and start your speech, you will see that it will stop after a few minutes.
-As the Anglo-Saxons say “fake it until you make it”. That is, adopt a posture, embody that person you want to be until you have achieved your goal.
Yes, self-confidence is a discipline, an everyday job. It is not innate, it is learned, from childhood until our last breath, through trials and successes. Working on our weak points allows us to expand our comfort zone, our range of possibilities, until we reach our goals. We are our own best friend, so let’s talk to ourselves in the way we would advise our best friend, with love, respect and tolerance.
I hope to have lit one or two lanterns, or at least to have persuaded you that it is never too late to work on your self-confidence, and to carry out your goals.
To the best of my mind,