We often lack the courage to speak or act. Lack of self-confidence can have several causes:
– Fear: used to protect us from physical danger (being eaten by predator), now fear has adapted and instead reacts to the stress of modern times which can trigger negative feelings such as shame, pain or fear.
– Low self-esteem: High or low self-esteem can be harmful, so it is important to find a balance in the middle. A realistic but positive image of yourself is often ideal.
Many would like to have higher self-esteem and boost their self-confidence. Self-motivation can help us to achieve this.
Here are my favourite sayings on this:
As soon as you trust yourself, as soon as you know how to live – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Recognise that we have skills: our life shows us that we could master difficult situations. We have learned skills that we have already used. If we don’t see where our strength lies, we should find it out.
I don’t know a sure way to success, but I do know a sure way to failure: trying to please everybody – Plato
Reality is subjective: each person experiences an action differently or interprets our messages from his or her perspective. For this reason, we cannot please everyone. We are only responsible for what and how we say something: how it is received by the recipient – not for that (see my book: Communication Square by Schulz von Thun).
Self-confidence is the first prerequisite for great undertakings – Samuel Johnson
To dare something new often requires that we face our fear. Humans are “creatures of habit” and prefer routine. The brain wants to use as little energy as possible… Being afraid is neither positive, nor negative. It exists and warns us of possible dangers. Considering a warning signal is always wise (so don’t bury your head in the sand, please) but in parallel we also have the choice to discover our possibilities: what can I do in the new situation? Where are my strengths and where am I weak? How can I avoid the dangers and already be proactive? How did I cope with similar situations in the past?
Those who are self-confident can also afford to show their feelings. – Unknown
Self-confidence is closely associated with self-esteem. An emotional assessment of one’s own worth. Guilt, shame, pride or fear: these, often unpleasant feelings, are no longer ignored. On the contrary, one is no longer “ashamed” of them or tries to hide them. One learns to deal with them and “steer” these feelings in the right direction. By processing such feelings, our self-esteem increases: a self-confident life becomes possible. One stands by one’s feelings and shows them (more on this: Feelings About the Self: Embarrassment, Shame, and Guilt)
It takes a lot of strength to show feelings that can be ridiculed – Germaine Madame de Stael
… one shows them, even if one meets with incomprehension or is laughed at….
And at the end, two more quotes:
Confess yourself courageously, that suits you better than deception and coercion. Basically, no one asks you to jump over yourself – Victor Blüthgen.
All human strength is acquired through struggle with oneself and overcoming oneself – Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Change often has its price: it requires hard, often long work on ourselves. It is a process that we cannot avoid. The process is sometimes more and sometimes less painful but, in the end, it is worth it: we can gain more self-esteem and self-confidence through it.
Much strength to it! 😊