Happiness comes from within and we all know, once we’re happy, it shows through from our words, our thoughts and our actions. Unfortunately, for many of us our self esteem and confidence seem to wax and wane much like the waves in the ocean … one minute you’re riding the crest of a wave of good self confidence and happiness; the next minute something might happen and you’re crashing back down into a sea of doubt. For some people it may even feel like they can never get back up again, but rather continually get pounded and start drowning in low self-esteem and poor self-confidence. This cycle all too often can lead to constant anxiety, self-loathing, and unhappiness with life. It’s not a very productive nor enjoyable way to live. So, what can we do to build a healthy level of self esteem and self confidence?
We talked to different professionals on different ways we can achieve an optimum level of confidence and self-esteem. Here’s what they have to say:
Joanne Hoo, Civility Master Trainer, Image Consultant and Impression Management Trainer
MC: Why is it that some women have a lack of confidence and self-esteem compared to others?
First of all, let’s us take a look at confidence and self esteem, because they are two different interpretations. Confidence is related to a skill that a person is good at, or the ability, if we have mastered a skill, we would feel high confidence about it. Self esteem is a self feeling about own value, “Am I a good person”, emotional-based, and it could be fluctuate all the time, normally low self esteem causes depression. For instance, a mother could be a good cook and is confident about cooking, but sometimes she feels lousy about her cooking especially when she tries out a new recipe. I would say based on how much skill you have to determine how confident you are, and how you feel about yourself most of the time, will determine the level of self esteem. In short, confidence is driven by self esteem.
MC: Tell us a little more about how etiquette academies and finishing schools can help in overcoming the lack of confidence, is it step-by step, is it a long process, etc.?
They certainly would help on how to present yourself whereby people feel good about you, and you feel good about yourself that eventually boost your self esteem and knowing what to do under certain social rules. Let’s use a North American Western Dining Etiquette, you learn how to use the utensils and follow the social manner that are the skill that make us feel confident to handle the situation, and focusing on interacting with the people around us, make them feel comfortable, get their attention, and taking care of, because you will happy when you see your guests are happy too, that makes one have a high self esteem. It’s not a process or step but rather an initiative to make things happen as we wish to.
MC: Share with us some brief tips on how women can overcome lack of confidence in their everyday life (professional/social settings)?
First of all, identify yourself, who are you want to be, what are your values, get a person that you can look up to, e.g.: Princess Diana, for how the society looked up to her, the way she walked, her smile and dressing , and the way she carried herself. Then start to work within, and learn or attend a class that could enhance your skill toward your dream.
MC: In a Malaysian context, how would you say the women here are. Are they introverts in general compared to Western counterparts, etc?
Compared to the Western countries, we are. However, compared to the past 10 years, I feel things have definitely changed, Malaysian women are more outspoken, aggressive and dominant, I would say this is a positive progress as it shows that our awareness in self value has increased.