How to have confidence in yourself and enjoy life
In psychology , the topic of self-confidence is very much felt. The healthy self-esteem gives many opportunities because it allows you to dare. On the contrary, those who do not have confidence in themselves will tend to assume a renouncing behavior and foreclose a large number of possibilities.
Self-confidence is not a gift that falls from heaven. The self-confidence is something that should be “inculcated” since childhood, however, who has not had an optimal development, has been unable to develop a healthy self-esteem and so does not have confidence in their own resources because it probably does not even know them.
How self-esteem is born
Underlying self-confidence is healthy self-esteem. Self-esteem is a subjective and lasting process that leads the person to evaluate and appreciate himself through self-approval and the recognition of his own personal worth .
Self-assessment that forges self-esteem revolves around three fundamental processes, such as:
- The perception of the judgments of others , both directly and indirectly. This is the so-called ‘social mirror’: through the opinions communicated by significant others we define ourselves. The first self-definition is accomplished in the relationship we build in childhood with our parents. This first self-evaluation becomes crucial in marking how much we will be able to believe in ourselves . One of the deepest roots of self-esteem is, therefore, the education and care style of our parents.
- Social comparison: that is, the person evaluates himself by comparing himself with those around him and from this comparison an evaluation arises. Again, we may be able to confront ourselves positively or negatively based on what was passed on to us in childhood through the attachment-care bond with our parents.
- Self-observation process : the person can evaluate himself self-observing, examining his own behavior and identity.
Those who do not believe in themselves tend to have a negative view of their resources. Such a vision can take root in childhood.
As children we undergo a form of imprinting, early learning who we are and what we can and cannot do based on how our parents make us feel and the limitations they place on us. From our childhood on, we assign self-blame that we don’t really have. Those who do not believe in themselves live in the legacies of the past and are afraid of doing wrong things that would be frowned upon.
How to have self-confidence
We have seen that self-esteem revolves around three fundamental processes: the social mirror, social confrontation and the process of self-observation. To have self-confidence you can control these three processes.
The social mirror
As for the phenomenon of the “social mirror”, the destructive criticisms experienced up to now cannot be canceled. Those who grew up with parents who have not been able to value them, those who have been bullied or marginalized in school, can do nothing to change what they have been. He can take note that these are experiences to be confined to the past and begin to surround himself with people who are able to appreciate it.
In the present, it would be advisable to surround yourself with motivating, stimulating and above all people able to build relationships based on mutual esteem. The quality of the relationships we have with others has an impact on our sense of identity.
If in the family or work environment we are constantly discredited or derided, it is natural that our self-esteem can falter. In this context, to believe in oneself, it is appropriate to learn to mark healthy boundaries , to put the brakes on what we can and cannot tolerate.
Tip: Analyze how others make you feel. Do they make you feel guilty? Do they make you feel wrong? Do they diminish your feelings? Try asking yourself, is it they who make you feel this way or is it you who feel this way regardless? Try to trigger a functional internal dialogue and identify which relationships are to be valued and which can add quality to your life and to your person.
The social confrontation
Social confrontation is not what happens on Facebook, browsing the message boards or Instagram photos of others. This type of confrontation is dysfunctional and destructive. The ability to confront is not for everyone. Those who are extremely touchy and sensitive to criticism, for example, cannot tolerate comparisons and sometimes feel the need to belittle the other in order to remove a threat to their thin self-worth.
A healthy comparison is had with different people, from any social background and above all using a much broader vision. By focusing on details or partial images of the other, we generate a completely false one-dimensional comparison.
Tip: if the social confrontation with you does not work, because everyone seems to have achieved important goals except you, avoid any kind of confrontation! Social confrontation is healthy only when it starts with the right conditions. In the complete absence of self-esteem, confrontation can trigger a vicious cycle that will make you feel less self-confident. You will only be able to experience this point when you have learned to compare yourself to others without competing .
The self-observation process
For the self-observation process, you can follow a simple exercise to build self-confidence . The exercise aims to work on the daily perception we have of ourselves.
At the end of the day, when we are in bed, we can think of three good things we have done during the day. You have to focus exclusively on the successes, big or small. Following this path, it is possible to create a sort of “success diary” where you can write down the small challenges that we overcome every day.
By challenges I don’t mean big companies, but those very small advances that we generally tend to underestimate precisely because we don’t believe in ourselves. By valuing our small businesses, we only increase our sense of personal trust.
Tip: Don’t wait for big things, write everything down in your challenge journal. For example, you can write when:
- You made a good decision
- You took care of your body
- You ate healthy
- You have been indulgent with yourself instead of condemning yourself for a mistake you made
- You took an initiative
- You managed to meet a goal of the day
- You have been reflective instead of acting impulsively
There are an infinite number of things you could write down in your challenge journal, whenever you show courage, learn from your mistakes, or just feel good about yourself. Life is made up of little things, learning to recognize them and associate them with value means giving value to yourself. By increasing your perception of self-worth, your self-confidence will also increase.
Learning to believe in yourself is not easy but making the effort to do so is really worth it. When self-confidence is lacking, one’s behavior lets itself be governed by the expectations of others. Basically we act on the basis of what might surprise others and not on the basis of what we really want.
Lack of self-esteem confines us to our comfort zone: fearing failure we prefer to stagnate in routine rather than dare.
Having confidence in oneself means accepting one’s mistakes and learning from them, it means investing energy to solve problems… On the contrary, when this confidence is lacking, we invest too much energy to condemn ourselves for what we are not!
So how do you get self-confidence?
In addition to working on the processes seen above, it is possible to adopt these simple strategies which, in the long term, can make a difference.
- When communicating, learn to look each other in the eye.
- Turn your attention away from yourself and focus on your surroundings.
- Face short-term challenges, postponing commitments makes your perception of yourself worse.
- Build a fulfilling routine and do it by introducing “micro-changes”.
- Don’t ruminate.
- If you are having problems with your past, try to direct your memory by looking for episodes of joy, in which you felt fulfilled and satisfied with yourself.
- Use positive affirmations when learning about yourself.
At the basis of self-confidence is internal dialogue. When you talk to yourself do you do it self-accusing? Mulling over? Blaming yourself for failures? If so, I advise you to read the article dedicated to “inner dialogue that heals”, it will make you completely change the perspective you have of yourself.