Do you feel confidently appropriate to life? Or do you feel like you are playing a role and showing up for society, but you feel unworthy to show up for yourself when you are away from the public eye?
The thing is, nobody wants to admit they have low self-esteem and self-confidence. In fact, could that be the first question that pops into your head right now? ”How do I know I have low self-esteem?” I mean, maybe you act with confidence in social circumstances, always surrounded by people, exuding strength to the outside world, but how do you feel inside? Maybe you find it easy to talk to strangers. You might even come across as arrogant in some situations. But what goes on inside of you?
Could it be that your need of always being surrounded by people and getting all the attention in the room is actually your insecurity, your attempt at validation? Could it be that your so-perceived arrogance is actually a wall that you put up in order to avoid being hurt, in order for you to hide all your fears? Could it be that you play a game of pretending that you are this amazing popular person, when in fact you go home and cry yourself to sleep or blame yourself when looking in the mirror?
Listen to the voice within
Just like removing your make-up at the end of the day, people with low self-esteem give up their mask when they are at home, alone, as they start hearing the voice from inside speaking to them. “Why did you say this?”, “How could you do that?”, “You are so stupid”. If all this goes on in your head the second you look at yourself in the mirror, this is a sign of low self-esteem. If your level of self-esteem was at a healthy level, you would be confident in your own abilities and would not need to question yourself and your actions.
Are you a victim of fear?
Another sign of a lack of self-worth is holding yourself back from opportunities, from doing things you are passionate about, by letting your excuses kick in before you make a decision.
Again, always trying to be surrounded by people, never giving yourself a break out of the fear that you will actually start hearing what goes on inside your head, is a sign you are avoiding what you actually feel. Fear of your emotions means disconnection; a disruption between you and your inner self. And I’m sure you already guessed where I am getting at. If you are disconnected from yourself and you want to keep things this way, then your self-confidence is not at its highest.
You choose self-sabotage
If “What will others think?” is the most used phrase in your vocabulary, either in spoken language or in your inner dialogue, this means that you are judging yourself from the perspective of the people around you. There are two reasons why this is more than an obstacle, it is self-sabotage in itself.
First of all, judgement is unhealthy, be it towards others or to yourself. You cannot really control what others think of you, but you have the power over your thoughts and the way you talk to yourself. Choose kindness over judgement. Choose compassion over self-sabotage. Your strong self-esteem will know and trust your abilities that you are doing great, no matter what others think. Which leads me to the second reason of self-sabotage, since people will see the situation through their own filter of life. You and your friend may be in the same room when something happens, but at the end, you might both have different opinions and perspectives due to your different experience of life and filters of how each of you sees the world.
CONFIDENCE IS IN YOUR POWER OF CHOICE
For me, self-confidence is most of all about trusting your everyday choices and always trusting to choose instead of waiting to be chosen. Confidence is:
• Showing up ready to face whatever comes
• Looking the world in the eyes
• Saying yes, saying no
• Saying “I don’t know” when you just don’t know
• Being authentic with no fear of judgement
• Speaking up with courage
• Choosing and trusting your decisions
You see, I grew up as a shy kid. I talk in my book about the moments when I was little and I would hide behind my mum’s skirt when she spoke with acquaintances on the street.
I was always the quiet one, and I would rarely put my hand up to answer the teacher’s question in school. Not because I didn’t know the answer, but because I felt like my words were stopping in my throat and I didn’t have the courage to speak out loud.
Luckily, my teachers could see beyond my shyness and acknowledge my intelligence. But some of my classmates would still make fun of me. It was hurting me, but it didn’t make me change. I stayed true to myself because my gift was to listen and observe. And I could see, I would write in my diary or have endless conversations with myself in the mirror. I just didn’t have the courage to speak up…
It took me until my mid-20s to find my voice and to realise it’s actually fun to be confident. It’s actually fun for people to pay attention to what I am saying. And most importantly, it’s actually fun to make choices and own them with confidence. Because no matter if it is a good or a bad choice, I am fully responsible for the consequences and I trust that I will learn something from it. It’s more important to be active and make choices than be passive and wait to be chosen.
So according to all this, can you really tell now if you have a high or low level of self-confidence?
Are you able to speak up and look the world in the eyes too?
Do you feel confident about your choices?
How could you be the one who chooses and not waiting to be chosen?