I’m currently reading Stop Self-Sabotage, a book by Pat Pearson about pitfalls that appear to be holding people back and step-by-step strategies to help conquer the limiting beliefs and feelings that can get in the way of your happiness. The section on self-esteem and self-confidence is one I would like to explore- because I believe it’s important to have both to have a balance in your life.
Self-esteem according to Pat is unconditional acknowledgment for your own worth and lovability. Self-confidence on the other hand is conditional acknowledgment for your performance. You in other words can feel worthwhile as a human being but fear being able to accomplish a certain task- or conversely you can have a hard work ethic and push yourself based on your beliefs about the subject at hand, yet not feel like a worthwhile, capable human being.
When it comes to my own life, I feel like I have loads of self-esteem and have been a consistent work in progress when it comes to self-confidence. I know I am loved and appreciated from my family, my friends, my co-workers, my teammates- yet I struggle when it comes to the confidence to accomplish many of my bigger tasks.
It was easier to play the victim role or the jealousy card rather than focus on my own road and see what I needed to do to accomplish my dreams. Why is he or she a great writer and the professor believes I don’t have a chance to make a living at this? How come certain individuals who have only been bowling a few years have a number of honor scores and it took me 28 years to accomplish my first 299 game, and 30 years to throw my first sanctioned honor score? Why are all my friends getting married, and I continue to be the third wheel when we go out for social functions?
It’s easy to let doubt ruminate in your brain, magnify itself in terms of intensity and then you almost talk yourself out of accomplishing what you desire. For years I did the same thing when it came to relationships and dating. I wasn’t willing to step outside of my comfortable shell, and instead I would date people that were either unattainable or I knew didn’t fit my ideal mate, so then I could go back to my friends and say, “see, it doesn’t work out!”.
I believe for me developing my abilities to share, listen and talk have improved my self-confidence, which in turn has boosted my self-esteem. Receiving feedback through my co-workers, family and friends helps me when it comes to small or large course corrections that I need to make in my life. I’ve learned within my children to allow ample time for discussion, as my daughters often fly high with emotion and aren’t ready to assess situations until they feel like they’ve been heard and understood.
So I suggest that beyond telling people that you love and appreciate them, you need to show them they are appreciated- with acts of kindness, complimenting them when they do something well, and reminding them of their awesome gifts and talents they bring to the world. Hugging your children spontaneously, complimenting them when they do a good job in school or with their chores around the house, noticing their talents, even something as simple as attending their school or sports functions- that’s big to self-esteem and self-confidence.
We are never done building both of these table-setters in life. We all need a boost from time to time- and if you aren’t sure your friends or family can provide that boost, find your favorite activity or seek out additional support from therapists and clinicians. I wish you a good day and I’m grateful for all the love and support I receive through your comments and insight.