Many people today believe that having self-confidence has something to do with ones accomplishments or societal status. Others think it has something to do with having a certain kind of body, the way one looks or even how popular they are with friends and society in general. The idea of self confidence is perhaps one that women need a lot of clarity on because often times we see promotions on what new thing to get, which make-up to use and which "fix you up" products that are all supposed to magically give you an increased sense of self-worth and greater confidence. But does any of this really work?
Personally I know it doesn't work at all for I started off trying to get rid of my insecurities, self-loathing and criticism by buying all the best things I could find to enhance my beauty and confidence.
What experience has shown me, which numerous researches conducted can now confirm is that nothing can increase your self-esteem and self- confidence. Your happiness, fulfillment and overall well-being is very much limited or expanded by your level of confidence and self-esteem. No external thing therefore can truly bring you joy and fulfillment or that sense of deserving except a belief in your own value, which is always determined by your level of inner confidence, and belief in your own Self.
In our modern and rapidly developing society where material possessions are considered a standard measure of value, more and more people are secretly battling with this idea and try to mask whatever emotions they might have by working harder than ever to get more stuff, bigger accolades and more social recognition in the hopes that this will in some way fill the inner void that continues to brew.
This is the worst way to build your success or your self-esteem because none of the outer possessions no matter how good will ever satisfy you or even last very long. They aren't meant to add or complete you where you feel a lack, when we use them for such, we welcome all the evils that divine teachings have warned us against.
What is self-confidence and where does it come from?
Confidence is defined as the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on something or someone. Self-confidence then is the feeling or belief that you can have faith in and rely on your Self.
It all comes from the Self and the error we have made far too many times is in making our capacity, abilities and sense of worth dependent on something other than self. Which brings me to the first point I wish to drive home, the self is the real, infinite and eternal you. But that self-experiencing your current life is under a certain belief, idea, concept about who and what it is. This idea is called self-image. It is the image of self that your mind has believed and defined as you. If this image is healthy and built or a right foundation then you have a great thriving lifestyle because your confidence is booming which means you're deliberately designing and generating the kind of conditions rolling out in your life. However if for one reason or another you didn't form a healthy and true image of self, then real confidence and belief in yourself is something you struggle with which naturally reflects on the quality of life you get to experience on a daily basis.
For the most part, we see all the erred views on self-confidence and self-esteem stemming out of this false paradigm and approach to the self, which causes people to look to the external rather than to the self for a strong, confident and a high sense of value and worth as human individuals simply from just "being" instead of doing or having a particular thing.
The difference between a person who's got a good healthy self-confidence and one who doesn't isn't about how they physically look, what they have or the kind of accomplishments they've made. It's a deeper more profound knowledge and understanding as well as complete appreciation and embracing of all that they are. One of the question's I get asked the most is: What can I do to increase my level of confidence? Here are a few ways:
1. Disentangle your real Self from your conceptions of self
The great endeavour we all need to frequently do as we often get lazy and get pulled back into mass kind of thinking is to disentangle the real Self from the beliefs attached to the self. The "I" in you is the real Self and is not the idea of you that you've formed throughout your lifetime. Your real Self is independent of all the conditions, labels and attachments you developed while on earth. It is this self that gives you life and makes it possible for you to even read this now.
This same self is the one you must learn to believe in, have faith and rely on implicitly. But since many people have no idea how to access or live from this self, the outside alternatives have continued to be promoted because humanity has long gotten used to the idea of looking for power outside in the world of effects. We find it difficult to trust in what is beyond our intellect and yet we can feel that all things tangible are limited. Your self-confidence will increase greatly when you learn to tap into your real Self and live from that authentic and infinitely powerful aspect of your existence.
2. Learn the truth about perfection and imperfection
Mankind has gotten so used to the idea of being imperfect. It's drilled in almost all schools of life and the idea of perfection has been given such a bad humanistic and almost vain taste that stating it here I know will arouse the criticism of the uninitiated minds. But the truth always stands and it is that you are perfect! You were born perfect and that's why you innately feel as though you need to express it.
Because you are spiritually perfect, there is no need to ever believe that something needs to be added or fixed. No need to ever believe that you need to seek it because being already perfect, the process of human living is the progressive unfolding and evolving of that inherent perfection. Start viewing yourself as such and life will show you just how perfect you can be as long as you continue progressively moving forward with ease and confidence in who you really are.
3. Discover the biggest war zone in the world and heal it
This is a big one for most people everywhere. Do you know that one of the biggest and hardest habits to break for the human being is that of self-judgment? Neuroscience found this to be one of the most detrimental habits most people indulge in almost unconsciously.
Within your mind is an ever on-going conversation about everything you are experiencing and especially about yourself. This conversation needs to be guarded and reshaped to reflect the kind of lifestyle you wish to manifest before you can hope to have it as your reality. If that conversation is only fault-finding, blaming, arguing and criticizing it will be very difficult for you to ever feel good enough or worthy of a good life. People spend so much time worried about the outside world while if only they could go quiet and listen in, they would soon discover a similar war going on internally.
4. Learn to embrace
Embrace all of you. Not just the good parts but all of you... Ambiguity is natural to you because you exist as Body - Mind - Spirit. When you discover the kind of image you have attached to your "I", it's probable you'll even feel ashamed that you attached such a disgraceful belief to yourself and let it define who you are. We all experience that - but what you need to know is that it doesn't really matter anymore as long as you're now awake and ready to take action and create an image that truly reflects the kind of person you want to be. Hiding, feeling ashamed or guilty over the things you discover from your old beliefs and mindset does nothing except harm you and keep you stuck.
Don't forget these are just a few tips on a very deep topic that every individual needs to work on intimately because it makes all the difference in the quality of life. I have a lot more on this topic and you can have more access in greater details of ways to help you recreate your self-image.
Above all else, understand that changing your self-image and improving your confidence requires time and consistent practice because it's a major factor in mastery of self. As with all things, the mastery requires certain consistent effort and practice to be invested before the great harvest can be enjoyed. But every step along the way will already move you closer to your ultimate goal and small manifestations that help you track your progress will always be noted so keep working at it, start with these simple ideas and trust that you are all it takes to be this new you that you want to bring into physical reality.