Many times we live in the dark about ourselves. We see what we want to see. That includes our health. We want to see ourselves healthy, therefore we are healthy, right? Nope.
Let me start by saying that this is not easy. Those who suffer from lack of self-confidence didn't get there overnight. It took time to get there. That means it will take time to get it back.
What is self-confidence? We use the term a lot, but do we really know what it means? According to Webster, self-confidence is "confidence in oneself and in one's powers and abilities". Self-confidence gives you the ability to try new things and face uncertainty.
How It is Lost
Okay, so we are all on the same page as to what self-confidence is. Why do people lose it? That's a good question with no one right answer. Everyone has their own reasons, but they can be summed up in a few large categories.
Lack of Positive Support Growing Up
This is a big reason many of us have trouble generating self-confidence. Our formative years are a big reason we are the way we are today. Support we receive develops our self-confidence. Lack of that makes us feel unworthy and unable to achieve things. It can lead to co-dependency and depression.
While I received a ton of encouragement, I found myself highly criticized growing up. Yes, my parents were proud of my good grades and let me know it, but they had to be good. Bad grades garnered disappointment and lectures. My self-confidence was non-existent and dependent on making others happy. I was never quite good enough.
When we fail at something, self-confidence starts to fade. Sometimes it takes several failures in a row to see the depletion of our confidence. We see failure as a sign we aren't good enough. That is how society has conditioned us.
Instead of encouraging when one fails, society has pointed out only the failure. In a sense, society has created our lack of self-confidence.
Treated as a Doormat
If one was treated as a doormat growing up, they will struggle with self-confidence. They are taught that they are worthless and deserve the harsh treatment. These domineering people want control and will get it when self-confidence is at a low.
Too many people are brought up being treated as doormats. They are dictated to and not taught to stand on their own.
Tips on Increasing Self-Confidence
So how do we overcome all these obstacles? It has to be done deliberately without expecting results overnight. Here are a few tips to help you.
- Find things you excel in. You should focus on these and improve your abilities. These are things you can't feel like a failure with, and any issues are minor which you can overcome easily. For me, that is crocheting. I know I can do a good job at it so it is something good for my self-confidence. If I make a mistake, I shrug it off and fix it because I know it is nothing. I'm good at it so I don't lose my self-confidence.
- Step away from toxic people. These people want to bring your confidence level down. They are downers who will not give you the support you need. You do not need them as they will strip away any self-confidence you might have. Yes, it might be easier said than done if they are family, but you can keep them at arms length.
- Find encouraging friends. Who you surround yourself with impacts how you feel about yourself. They will boost your self-confidence and help you laugh even at your mistakes. They become your support group.
- Keep trying. Never stop trying things you "fail" at. Remember that failure is not bad. It is only that you learned how not to do something. You are learning from your mistakes so you can help others later who do the same thing.
- Read inspirational material. Do you see those cool quotes that are inspiring to people? They can be great to read throughout the day. While they aren't going to change your self-confidence levels, they do give you a pick me up and also can stick with you throughout the day and beyond.
Self-confidence will take time to build back up. You have to want it and continue to strive for it. You also need to find a great support group to help you. Trust me, I've been there. My self-confidence still struggles, but I find when I have great support that I can find success.
Fear is a strong force. It can cause us to turn from our loved ones and even push us to face death too soon. Its power is strong to bring down the biggest man and the largest army. It is what is stopping you from reaching your full potential. Face your fears.
Yes, I know it is easier said than done. We all have fears. We all struggle with them. Yet each of us face them differently. Some of us don't want to face them at all. Some of us need help in facing our fears and overcoming them. There is no one thing that will work for every single person. But you can at least try a few.
Here are a few ways that have helped others face their fears and move on. By overcoming their fears, they have managed to achieve great things and live life to its fullest.
Talk to a Trusted Confidant
This is always a wise thing to do. Talking out issues is a very healthy way to deal with them. It allows you get your deep feelings out where you can handle them correctly. It is really important that you find someone you can trust. They need to keep your confidence and not tell anyone else what you say. They also need to not be critical of you and your feelings. They need to listen more than anything and give you support instead of condemnation.
Get Familiar With Your Fear
You might think you know your fear very well, but you only know how you feel. What your fears really are can be rather different than your emotions. You need to examine the fear more closely. Learn why you fear it. You might discover that there is nothing to fear after all.
Journal Your Feelings
Writing out your emotions can be as powerful as talking to someone. You express what you feel and give them concrete existance so you can deal with them properly. Many people find that journaling is a great way to get things off their chest and deal with situations they are facing.
This cannot hurt you. It is a great way to relax and clear your mind. It can help clear the clutter your fear creates within you. This might not be the means to conquer your fears, but it can be a weapon to assist you. There are many different ways to meditate, but it all comes down to removing all the distractions in your life. That means you need to have quite around you. Focus on nothing or on a scene such as a beach. Rid yourself of your worries and fears so you can build yourself back up to face them.
Laugh At Your Fear
Have you heard how laughter is the best form of medicine? It really is. Laughter relieves stress. It eases your midn. It helps to push worries aside. It also gives you power. Laughing at your fear gives you power over it. Only when you are afraid and letting the fear prevent you from achieving success does fear have power over you.
Okay, the best way to face your fears is to just face them. Stand up and don't let them rule you. Use these tips to help you face them and grow stronger as a result.
Too often we get in a rut when it comes to improving our health. It tends to be whatever the media is pushing toward us. Whatever the latest fad to get more money in certain pockets will be what you see promoted to help you improve your health. What you don't see are the easy ways to improve your health that won't have you taking out a loan. Let's look at your hobbies as an example.
Why We Have Hobbies
Hobbies reflect our interests and our pleasures. If you enjoy being outside, you will have hobbies that reflect that. Each one of them are ways our bodies and minds reach out to relax. They are outlets to relieve tension. They are a great way to improve our health.
Our hobbies are where we let stress flow free. My father was an avid fisherman. He travelled with his job from Monday through Friday. On the weekend, he fished. That was how he unwound from the stress of his job. That was his main hobby. He used it to easy the stress and to get away from what pulled at him so much.
When I'm really stressed, I find that my crocheting helps. I focus on the stitches and what is being produced in my hand. Any stress I has starts to ebb away.
The same can be said for runners who take to the pavement to relieve stress. Others put on boxing gloves. Some focus on watching movies and baking cookies and cakes. Hobbies help us tackle emotional problems which can lead to physical problems.
Negative Impact of Stress
Stress is very powerful. It can cause havoc in every single area of your life. Stress puts pressure on your body. it can cause indigestion, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and even migraines. By looking to your hobbies, you can work to prevent a stroke or bleeding in your stomach. Hobbies can also be a way to fight prescription costs by not needing meds when hobbies can do the healing for you.
Stress also can cause you problems at work. When you are stressed, you act out. You snap at people. You also start to make mistakes you normally would not. This means you might have issues with HR and your employment status.
Stress can cause problems at home. Relationships can be strained. Divorce has occurred due to stress in one or more people. Sadly, it has also led to suicide or harm to loved ons.
Stress is powerful.
Look to Hobbies for Self-Improvement
Hobbies can do a lot to help us avoid the disaster stress can bring with it. They are as good as an apple a day to keep the doctor away. They allow our bodies to rest from being attacked and give our minds a chance to recover from the endless pounding stress puts on us. It is a great medicine for dealing with stress and improving ourselves over all.
What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing? Keep your hobbies handy if you face a lot of stress. Keep a book with you to read, crocheting or knitting easily accessible, a pair of running shoes near by, or even earbuds if you need to listen to music.