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:
Maria Lynch , Confidence Coach at Motivated Joyful Living
MC: Why is it that some women have a lack of confidence and self-esteem compared to others?
Asking “why me?” will not necessary provide or give comfort if you are experiencing low self esteem or lack of confidence as it will increase the unfair comparisons you mention : some people appear more confident on the outside but that doesn’t mean that they may have a strong healthy self esteem. It could be anything from personality types, family background, childhood or adulthood experiences… Unfair comparisons will keep you stuck in vicious thoughts and emotions that will not support you. Remember it is called SELF-esteem not OTHERS-esteem so the focus and attention is in our own personal development. The important thing to do is to take charge of yourself, make the decision that change is possible and empower yourself to take action to reconnect with your sense of self and who you really are .
MC: Tell us a little more about the process in overcoming the lack of confidence, is it step-by-step, is it a long process, etc.?
There is no formula, every person is different and comes with their own personal circumstances , it will depend on the willingness and commitment to change. Confidence ultimately is a feeling, it is the ability to trust and have faith in our own abilities. Self-awareness is key to start the process of reconnecting with your sense of self and building your confidence. Start Setting a positive intention for yourself.After awareness comes taking action towards your personal goals and with every action taken your confidence will raise a bit.
MC: How is having a lack of confidence a disadvantage to the 21st century woman?
You may miss out on really good opportunities that are meant for you. Remember if you don’t do something due to a lack of confidence somebody else will that might not have the same integrity or values that you have and you could be missing contributing in the bigger scheme of things. You owe to the world to shine, to excel and to use your talents and strengths. Confidence is having the trust to give it a go and apply for that job promotion, enrol in that new course, try something new, meet new people having the trust that if this came your way it is meant to be for you. Sometimes we are so quick to point the strengths of others, supporting them in making the best decisions,but we fail massively at championing ourselves. A healthy sense of self and real self-confidence starts with championing ourselves.
MC: Share with us some brief tips on how women can overcome lack of confidence in their everyday life (professional/social settings)?
It is extremely important to believe that you have something unique to offer, connect with your own strengths and with what energizes you and makes you happy. Start trying new things , start with simple things nothing to over -complicated or too emotionally charged so you can get use to change and sense of uncertainty. Set yourself up for success rather than failure so start small and increase as you gain confidence in yourself.
MC: How is assertiveness related to confidence and vice versa?
Assertiveness is a crucial life skill needed to stand up for yourself when you are experiencing disagreement, conflict or when you need to state what exactly do you want to happen during a negotiation or conversation at at any level or context. As with any skill practice makes perfect ! Confidence is a feeling. Both complement each other and can be developed . You can be an extremely confident person, great at your job and at the same time not be able to respond assertively during conflict or even worse withdraw from conflict altogether. It is important to develop both as you will be able to develop a stronger sense of self in the process.