Advertising
Advertising

Confidence Problems? Learn How to Be Satisfied with Yourself

Confidence Problems? Learn How to Be Satisfied with Yourself

The standards forced upon both men and women are unrealistic and unreachable. Our constant efforts to achieve those standards very often lead to anxiety and frustrations. When built up, these two powerful enemies of our confidence, joined by criticism, will eventually destroy what little confidence we have.

You shouldn’t allow for unjustly factors to shatter your belief in yourself and turn you into a faceless piece of machinery – you’re not that. The fact that you don’t seem to fit into those standards only means that you should look for a different type of metric system that fits your qualities. But, first thing’s first – let’s start from the beginning.

Talk Nerdy to Me

image01

    Psychologists don’t really agree on one single theory about confidence and what it really is, but they do meet halfway when it comes to certain terms. We should start by clearly distinguishing between the two terms – self-esteem and confidence; the more you appreciate yourself, the more will your levels of self-esteem grow and you’ll become confident.

    Advertising

    That being said, you should further be aware of the fact that there’s not only one kind of self-esteem. They vary from how you feel about yourself as a member of your family, of your business team, in a relationship, as a member of society, etc.

    The kinds of self-esteem should be on an importance scale, so to speak, because not every area of your life is a priority, right? Therefore, if you’re perhaps preparing a meal and it seems to taste awful, even after you’ve spent hours on it, you will be very frustrated if you’re a professional chef. On the other hand, if you’re an amateur, you might even have a few laughs over your burnt dinner.

    A person’s self-esteem varies not only as a result of actions, but also because of many smaller factors, like waking up with a pimple, having a bad hair day and being complemented or not.

    Another interesting fact is that narcissism isn’t considered to be the highest level of confidence. As the melodramatic kind, these people love spotlights and a lack of attention makes them incredibly frustrated, which leads directly to self-doubt. Being a narcissist is quite unstable, and their mood depends on their environment and the feedback they receive.

    Advertising

    On the contrary, people with very low self-esteem don’t respond to positive feedback and negative feedback makes them feel even worse about themselves. When someone tries to show appreciation and make them feel good about themselves, they perceive this affirmation as a form of pity.

    Obviously, moderation is the solution here. Those lucky among us who have stable self-esteem, which isn’t affected by minor turbulences, they are the confident ones.

    Determine the Cause of Your Problem

    image02

      I’m sure you have managed to recognize yourself in at least one of the situations mentioned up until now. Introspectiveness is a powerful tool if you want to have your confidence problems resolved, so you need to begin by finding the source of your instability.

      Advertising

      Take some time off and spend it with yourself in order to find out which part of your life makes you feel generally miserable. Perhaps you neglected your friends and now you feel selfish and self-centered, or you might have missed your kid’s last few games or recitals, which makes you feel like you failed as a parent. You might have managed to miss a deadline or two in your office and that makes you doubt your skills.

      Try to be a better friend, spend some quality time with your family and work harder – within a reasonable timeframe, you’ll feel better about yourself.

      Embrace Your Unique Qualities

      image03

        I’m sure you know at least one person that’s perfect; they get everything done in time without complaining one bit and they don’t even look tired – ever. Well, we can agree that people like that are born under a lucky star, but there’s one other thing you should be aware of; their abilities simply fit into today’s conventional standards more than yours.

        Advertising

        Now, I’m not trying to suggest that there’s not any hard work involved; that’s not my point. My point is that it’s easier for them to fit into an average environment and resurface as brilliant, capable people; you just need to dig deeper and look harder for yours. After you embrace your qualities as such, finding the right environment to show them in will be easier.

        Do Some Work on Your Body and Mind

        man reading book in park
          Confidence isn’t necessarily connected to general attractiveness; beautiful people tend to be more confident in some situations, but they also tend to be vain because they are used to special treatment.

          Let me draw you a little picture; imagine two people who are equally attractive – one of them confident and another filled with self-doubt. The confident one has a positive attitude, their selection of clothes is more attractive and they are communicative, and all of that just because of higher levels of self-esteem. I’m sure you can assume that the second person will avoid any attention and that will be obvious through their behavior and appearance.

          The second person isn’t a happy person, and all of that because of imaginary obstacles set by their mind. If you’re not satisfied with yourself, you should do some work on you – inside and out. Listen to your thoughts and try to recognize those negative and unrealistic ones and shut them down for good. Then, open your closet and get rid of those awful baggy clothes that make you look like a shadow. Go shopping and find flattery garments that express who you are inside.

          Anything Is Possible

          Advertising

          Woman Kicking Leg Up In Front of Graffiti Wall
            I know this is a used phrase that’s constantly used, but that doesn’t make it anything less true, because anything is possible. It’s never too late to go parachuting, move to Africa, learn how to knit, become a painter – as a matter of fact, you can even grow taller. What you need for any of the things I just mentioned, all you need is the right mindset because with it comes determination and the will necessary for you to complete your goals.

            The bottom line is that we all have our insecurities and that’s only natural. The difference between confident people and those who have a lack of it is in whether or not they allow those insecurities to get to them.

            More by this author

            Being Asked a Tricky Interview Question? Give These Skillful Responses to Earn Extra Time 6 Useful Gadgets Every Proud Workaholic Should Own How Not to Get Ripped Off When Buying Your First Car How to Show Affection without Looking Needy or Being Clingy When Things Get Serious: How to Go from “Single” to “In a Relationship”

            Trending in Brain

            1 How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly 2 11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind 3 4 Ways to Develop a Flexible Mindset 4 What Is Creative Thinking and Why Is It Important? 5 How Systems Thinking Makes You a Smarter Person

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising
            Advertising

            Published on November 23, 2020

            How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

            How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

            Your neighbors downstairs are playing loud music. Again. How do they not get tired of partying? And why do they choose songs with such a heavy downbeat that the glass in your cupboard is vibrating every two seconds? What can you do to get some peace that you deserve? What should you?

            Human mind tends to go in circles whenever faced with a problem without a clear solution. It becomes easy to forget the big picture and get lost in anger and self-pity, wasting our precious time, energy and enthusiasm.

            Would it not be nice if we always remembered to put things in perspective?

            Would it not be more efficient to face all kinds of problems, from tiny annoyances to life-changing emergencies, with a calm demeanor, sharp focus and fearless determination to promptly take the most efficient action possible?

            Alas, humans are not like that. All too often we let anxiety or greed get the best of us and make a rushed or shortsighted decision that we quickly come to regret. Other times, we spend weeks or months at an impasse, rehashing the exact same arguments, unable to accept the compromise required to move forward with any of the available options.

            Buddhists talk about getting lost in the “small self.” In this state of mind, we literally forget the big picture and focus on the small one. We start taking our daily problems too personally and, paradoxically, becomes less capable of solving them in an efficient manner. And this is the opposite of big picture thinking.

            Let me share with you a story related to big picture thinking…

            In 1812, the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia.[1] After a decisive Battle of Borodino, the capture of Moscow and therefore Napoleon’s victory in the war seemed inevitable.

            Unexpectedly, the Russian Commander-in-Chief Mikhail Kutuzov made a highly controversial decision of retreating and allowing the French to capture Moscow. Much of the population had been evacuated taking supplies with them. The city itself was set on fire and large parts of it burned into the ground.

            Advertising

            After waiting in vain for Russia to capitulate, Napoleon had to retreat in the middle of a bitterly cold winter. He won the battle but lost the war. The campaign ended in a disaster and the near destruction of the French army.

            What can we learn from this historical lesson?

            1. Focus on the Consequences

            Napoleon focused on the important part: capturing Moscow. Nobody could accuse him of thinking small. Yet he overlooked that the Russian army could still fight even after giving up the country’s most important city.

            So was Moscow not an important target after all?

            Success expert Brian Tracy has a litmus test: things are important to the extent that they have important consequences. Things are unimportant to the extent that they have no important consequences.[2]

            When faced with a choice, ask yourself, what would be the consequences of each option?

            • Want to spend an hour studying or watching the new series on Netflix? What would be the consequences of each option? Netflix can sometimes be a better choice, but it helps to put things in perspective.
            • Want to maintain your apartment by yourself or to pay a cleaning service? Would would be the consequences of each option?
            • Want to meet up for coffee with this acquaintance of yours or catch up on your work instead? What would be the consequences of each option?

            The choice can be different for different people. An aspiring filmmaker may have a legitimate reason for choosing Netflix. Personally, cleaning your own apartment can be relaxing and nourishing even if the economics of hiring a cleaner looks compelling because you are earning a high hourly rate.

            This is where you will need a basic idea of who you are — what are your goals, values and aspirations.

            2. Flip Defeat Into Victory

            Kutuzov managed to turn Russia’s defeat into a historic victory by recasting the problem in a wider context: losing Moscow need not mean losing the war.

            Advertising

            Despite the symbolic meaning attached to the Kremlin, the churches, the priceless treasures that had been stored in the city for centuries, the outcome of the campaign was ultimately determined by the strength of the remaining armies.

            If you can adopt this result-oriented perspective, many of your personal defeats may be flipped into victories as well. Few events in a human life are absolutely good or absolutely bad, and it usually takes many years to recognize in retrospect, what role a particular encounter did play in your story.

            Therefore we have every reason to look for the good in the things that happen to us.

            This is a very practical attitude, far from baseless “positive thinking.” After all, if something unfortunate has happened to you and you find good sides in this circumstance, you will then be better positioned to take advantage of those good sides.

            Say your noisy neighbors are affecting your productivity. What if it is a blessing in disguise? How can you turn this defeat into a victory?

            • Perhaps you are too serious about life and could learn how to have more fun. Join your neighbors or go out for a walk instead of working;
            • Perhaps you only wanted to be productive while instead procrastinated on social media. Now that your procrastination has been interrupted, stop and acknowledge this much greater obstacle to your productivity;
            • Perhaps you are too sensitive to interference. Take this opportunity to practice ignoring the noise and doing your best anyway;
            • Perhaps you have a victim mentality and the feeling of unfairness drains you more than any actual nuisance your neighbors might have caused. Try accepting this lapse in your productivity the way you would accept bad weather.

            Get used to finding opportunities in your problems. This is the quintessential big picture thinking.

            3. Ask for Advice

            Both Napoleon and Kutuzov had trusted advisers to discuss their affairs with. In general, getting a different perspective — or several — can only help inform your understanding and lead to better decisions. Just ensure that the people giving you advice are competent in the particular area where experience is needed.

            Paying money for advice can also be a wise investment. Lawyers, tax accountants, medical doctors spend years learning how to assist people like yourself in living more successful, more fulfilling lives.

            A quick legal consultation can save you a fortune down the line or even keep you out of big trouble. A medical check-up can uncover potential issues and help keep you healthy and active for years to come.

            Advertising

            Even big, complex dilemmas at your job or in your romantic relationship can be tackled more effectively by partnering up with a coach or a therapist or, of course, with the help of a wise friend.

            4. Beware of Biased Advice

            Many imperfect decisions occur in response to an imperfect piece of advice that you choose to act on. This advice often comes from a biased party.

            For example, we are often encouraged to buy something that we supposedly need:

            • Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by using a special lotion.
            • Fortify your health by taking multivitamins.
            • Connect with your friends by sending them elaborate gifts.
            • Brighten your weekend by consuming a delicious pastry.
            • Become more productive by getting a faster computer.

            However, most purchases are unnecessary.

            Some, such as the sunscreen, do have legitimate benefits when used properly.[3] Others, such as multivitamins, only make a difference for a small group of people.[4]

            Advertisers of those benefits inevitably want to narrow your focus in order to overstate the importance of their product. They frequently present it as the only solution to your problem, whether real or imaginary.

            After all,

            • Skin can also be protected from the sun by wearing appropriate clothing.
            • Health can be better fortified by consuming a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
            • Spending time or talking on the phone with your friends is the foremost way of connecting with them, and it is virtually free.
            • Your weekend can be brightened by doing something that you love.
            • You can become more productive by focusing on the tasks that have the most important consequences. A faster computer can, in fact, decrease productivity by making it easier to multitask and by enabling your favorite distractions.

            There are other sources of imperfect advice. Politicians also frequently want us to focus on a particular “big picture,” to the exclusion of the alternatives.

            Even loving parents can be guilty of the same. They can advise their children to pick a career path that is safe and respectable, based on their “big picture” that in life one has to make a living. A child may disagree, however, based on another “big picture” that one’s life has to have meaning and fulfillment.

            Advertising

            Bottom Line

            It is human nature to make rushed, emotional decisions based on incomplete information, then regret those decisions later on.

            You can protect yourself from poor judgment by striving to attain the big picture when careful consideration is called for.

            Focus on the consequences of your decision before considering how you feel about it.

            Play with the cards you’ve been dealt, but look for opportunities in each situation and you will find them.

            Ask knowledgeable mentors for advice, but beware of biased people who have an opinion, but do not necessarily have your best interest in mind.

            Yet remember, true big picture thinking comes from hard-won experience. Legendary military commanders Napoleon Bonaparte and Mikhail Kutuzov were both injured on the battlefield.

            Clear thinking comes from putting your big picture to the test of reality.

            More Tips on Thinking Clearly

            Featured photo credit: Haneen Krimly via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Wikipedia: French invasion of Russia
            [2] Brian Tracy: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline
            [3] American Academy of Dermatology: Say Yes to Sun Protection
            [4] Harvard Medical School: Do multivitamins make you healthier?

            Read Next