In an ideal world, where there are no struggles and insecurities, man would live a serene and peaceful life because he feels safe. However, in the real world, there are struggles and there are insecurities, uncertainties and losses, all of which are responsible for our fears and feelings of vulnerability. Confidence is the result of being sure of your safety, security, and success in the real world. But can we be so sure of our safety, security, and success?
While there are uncertainties in life, to live with more happiness and peace will require choosing not to dwell on life’s uncertainties. For example, we all know that human beings are mortal, but thinking about the day we’ll die is morbid and unhealthy. There are indeed uncertainties in life, but the right attitude is to distant our thoughts from these uncertainties, and focus on positive thoughts. When we are able to focus on positive thoughts and desist from negative thinking, we build self-confidence.
Self-confidence is the product of healthy self-esteem, self-respect, and self-efficacy. A person with self-confidence believes that he or she is valuable, desirable, competent, and worthwhile. Because such person focuses on positive thoughts, he or she ventures cautiously, but often expecting positive results. People who lack self-confidence hardly take risks, have doubts in their abilities, and have negative expectations. You will know that you have low self-confidence if you experience anxiety before making a presentation, experience stage fright, have the fear of speaking to a member of the opposite sex, experience the apprehension of starting a business, or experience anxiety behind the steering wheels of a car.
So, why do people lack self-confidence?
Lack of preparation and proper research
It is only logical that if you are not prepared for a presentation or an examination, you are bound to feel ‘unprepared’. Feeling unprepared simply means you are not confident that you will give a fine delivery. Therefore, if you want to be more confident, then practice being prepared before a delivery. Learn to prepare and research before an event by developing an attitude of diligence and discipline. Know what to do and how to do it; take responsibility for your life. Remember that there is no better time to make a crucial decision than now; the best time to carry out a very important activity is this very moment.
A child who is used to psychological and emotional abuses ends up internalizing the derogatory remarks that have been made against him. Using such words as stupid, incompetent, worthless, ugly, or disgraceful are very diminishing and ruinous. A child exposed to these disparaging words grows up lacking self-confidence. Where self-confidence is lacking, happiness is not sufficiently experienced. Other people’s derogatory speech towards such child then become his reality, because he thinks they are telling the truth.
Although, you may be addicted to having negative thoughts, perhaps because of all the negative words you have internalized and reinforced for years. You might have been exposed to numerous destructive criticisms. These criticisms were harsh and corrosive, but they cannot define your true worth. You are always going to be a valuable and desirable person, regardless of your imperfections and past bad decisions. Choose not to focus on negative thoughts, but focus on positive thoughts.
History of past failures
If you have failed before, it is easy to think that you lack the ability to succeed. But experiencing failure while trying to achieve a positive course is not a good thing; and thinking that you can fail again is not helpful. Failure is not supposed to paralyze you; it is supposed to educate you. However, this is often not the case for most people, as past failures paralyze them.
You may have failed plenty of times, the right attitude is not for you to believe that you lack what it takes to succeed, but rather, for you to learn how to succeed and then keep trying to succeed. To stay down because you fell pretty bad is meaningless self-pity. It’s your major purpose in life to stand back up, however hard you fall to the ground.
Skeleton in the closet
You may not be proud of some actions you took and some decisions you made in the past. Maybe you were a fraud, you had numerous sexual partners, were raped, aborted several pregnancies, killed someone, ruined another person’s life, whatever it is you may have done in the past surely has the power to haunt you for many years.
But you cannot allow yourself to be eternally punished by your past mistakes and traumas. You can’t allow yourself to be punished by your deficiencies and losses. It’s time to embrace your imperfections and love yourself regardless. You don’t have to deny your unpleasant pasts or the imperfections that you have; in fact, the more you try to deny them, the more you remember them. It is wiser to accept that they are a part of your history (or a part of you), but you know they do not make you any less of a valuable and significant human being.