It feels as though everyone around us has the confidence we’re lacking.
They make things look so easy—and that makes it feel like we will never, ever get there, that there is something wrong with us. It feels as though there is a huge magnifying glass aimed right at the area in which we lack confidence. It’s as if, when people look at us, all they can see is this hole inside where the confidence piece is missing.
It feels overwhelming. Things come at us so fast and it is hard to navigate our way through. We feel weighted by decisions and don’t even know where to start.
It feels all consuming. Everything in our lives comes back to lacking confidence. It starts to spread into other areas of our lives, and into our relationships, and how we view what we see in the mirror.
Confidence sucks, when you don’t have it. I know, because it has happened to me.
Wouldn’t it be great to just go to a confidence store and buy the dosage we need? Unfortunately that isn’t possible (unless you are choosing self destructive methods that only mask the lack of confidence for a short period), so where do we get our confidence from?
This can be a tough question to answer and it is one that will be different for each person.
Some can find confidence in focusing on the areas of their life they already feel confident in and then slowly bring that confidence into other areas—whether that’s at work, in their relationship, as a parent, or while being creative. Paying attention to how you feel when performing these activities and breaking down what makes you good at them will help you to take those qualities elsewhere. An example being, “I am fearless when I am running because I have put in the effort and learned from my mistakes. If I give myself permission to learn from my mistakes in my relationship, I will be able to grow in that area.”
Some people need to break down why they do not feel confident, getting to the root of the issue, and then take small steps each day to work through that area.
This is me and my need to understand myself. I like to figure out what message I received earlier in my life that has caused me to lack confidence in certain areas. It then helps me to figuratively speak to that younger version of myself and give myself what I needed during that time—such as love, acceptance and patience. Understanding that I am not that little girl anymore and reminding myself of what I have done in my life helps me see that my limiting beliefs are holding back. And I don’t have to believe them anymore.
Some people need to be reassured that they are supported from others. Some people need to feel love and know that regardless of the mistakes they’ve made, their loved ones will accept them fully. Leaning on others is vital for our survival. Talking about our lack of confidence releases its hold from inside us. Talking about it also allows us to see how real our confidence fear is. Others can validate that we don’t look like we are struggling in this area, that they also have the same fears, and they can encourage us to make small mistakes and continue to grow.
Some people like to use affirmations. They talk to themselves out loud or in their heads, saying, “I’ve got this, I can work through this, I am strong, I am confident, I am happy.” There is nothing more powerful than the words that follow “I am.” Turning those words into a positive is a strong step in the right direction.
Some people fake it until they make it. No—everyone fakes it until they make it at some point, and it’s often best to start when we don’t think we are ready. You will surprise yourself with how ready you are. The power of thought is incredible. Our mind can be our worst enemy but also our strongest ally. Believe in yourself (or pretending to believe in yourself) will move you forward.
Some people need to release it in the form of physical exercise or meditation. Get the negative emotions that are swirling inside you out. Release that energy in a way that works for you. For some that is running, biking, yoga and for others it is meditation and prayer. On the plus side, the more we do these activities the better we will get at them, which will further build our confidence.
Some people need to rely on faith or a higher power. Turning to something that is bigger than us allows us to get out of the smallness we feel with ourselves. Feeling that our faith is supporting us and guiding us to where we want to be will help build the confidence from within. Pray, go to your church, perform your rituals, talk to your higher power and have faith. You can get through this.
Some people need to do all of these things.
All of the above solutions can work and the reason they work is because these people are:
Owning it. Taking truth in it. Accepting it as a part of them.
These people know they have the power to take control of their circumstances, however they know they cannot control the time it may take to get there.
We all struggle with lacking confidence at some point in our life. How lasting these impacts of lacking confidence are is related to how we handle it. Masking, hiding, projecting, avoiding, freezing, or fighting our lack of confidence is only going to make it bigger and strengthen its hold on us.
Be patient and be kind to yourself. You are not less than because you are lacking confidence.
Confidence rocks, and you can have it.
Author: Shannon Dee
Editor: Catherine Monkman