Website owner: James Miller
For years I lacked confidence in myself, I had an inferiority complex, I struggled in self-doubt, and then I finally completely dumped the problem. With all this experience on the matter what can I say on the subject? I would say: - self-confidence is the main prerequisite to the easy, relaxed, worry-free, calm, happy mental state where you like yourself and the people around you. Self-confidence is the key. Lack of it causes worry, anxiety and unhappiness. It causes you to be dissatisfied with yourself and with everyone around you. - you can't really love your neighbor until you have confidence in yourself - you can't really relax and like yourself until you have confidence in yourself Thus we see that self-confidence is a very desirable thing to have. If we don't have it how can we find it? How can people get rid of that lack of confidence that they find hounding them? What gives confidence? What causes lack of it? Q. What is self-confidence? A. It is that general feeling that your powers for dealing with life, situations, etc. are adequate. It is a faith that you are adequate to cope with whatever life may confront you with; a general faith in yourself and your abilities and powers. It is a general belief, attitude and sentiment that you are "good enough", that there is nothing wrong with you just as you are. It is a general satisfaction with yourself, a contentment with yourself as you are (ability-wise). It is a positive attitude in regard to yourself. It is knowing yourself, knowing both your abilities and inabilities, your strengths and weaknesses, and just accepting yourself as you are, as God made you. It is a bias in favor of yourself, a tendency to ignore your inabilities and weaknesses and to focus on your strong points. It is an attitude of indifference with regard to any possible derogatory opinions other people might hold of you with respect to your intelligence and abilities. It is the belief and philosophy that love, friendliness, openness and warmth overpower all else in life and that everything else, especially intelligence and ability, is relatively unimportant. Q. What is lack of confidence? A. It is the general idea in your mind that your powers for dealing with life, situations, etc. are inadequate. It is fear --- fear of life and situations. It is a negative attitude toward yourself, toward your general intelligence, abilities and powers. It is a tendency to be critical of yourself, doubt yourself, be hard on yourself, put yourself down. It is a bias against yourself, a tendency to focus on all your inabilities and weaknesses and not to see your abilities and strong points. It is a dissatisfaction with yourself, a refusal to accept yourself. It is a tendency to regard yourself as defective and inadequate. In general, lack of confidence tends to be characterized by all of the following: - a negative attitude toward yourself - a fear of life, people and situations - anger with life and people - dissatisfaction with yourself - a tendency to withdraw into yourself and shut people out; to become introvertive - defensiveness - a tendency to feel that you are defective, that there is something wrong with you - a tendency to constantly dwell on your own inabilities, weaknesses, and emotional problems; to become "hung up" on your problems; to become lost in the small world of your own problems - unhappiness, confusion, frustration - emotional instability - a tendency toward emotional outbursts of anger - excessive concern with what the opinions of other people may be of you in regard to intelligence and ability; sensitivity to the opinions of others - a tendency to be "hung up" on the ideas of Intelligence, IQ, and Ability; to exaggerate their importance; to make them the sole measuring stick by which you measure yourself and other people (instead of judging according to goodness, kindness, and moral character) - a tendency to interpret everything against yourself, to construe everything as being evidence or proof of your own inadequacy, inability, etc.; to construe experiences and events in a way that puts you down - criticalness of yourself - standards for yourself that are just too high; a tendency to demand too much of yourself - a tendency to keep other people at a distance because you don't want your weak points and vulnerabilities to be exposed. Instead of being friendly and open, you close yourself up so others can't see you. - hostility - a constant fear that others are going to laugh at you, make fun of you, ridicule you, belittle you, or in some way put you down Q. What things can cause or lead to the problem of lack of confidence? A. The following: - sensing that people near you (especially parents) have a low opinion of your intelligence or abilities, are ashamed of you, regard you as stupid, etc.; (i.e. parents who want too much from you with regard to intelligence, ability, etc.; parents who are afraid you will embarrass them or bring shame on them; parents who can't accept you as you are.). It is a complex put into you by other people's negative response to you, by their backing away from you, etc.. - perception of your weak spots, of your inabilities, of your vulnerabilities, and allowing concern about them, fears concerning them, to take over your mind and rule it; allowing concerns about vulnerabilities to get out of hand; allowing them to assume too much importance in your mind - repeated failures - other people laughing at you, making fun of you, ridiculing you, or in some way putting you down Remedies for lack of confidence. - re-examine your basic values and priorities. Get the importance of intelligence and ability into its proper perspective as compared with such things as love, kindness, warmth, and character. Remember intelligence and ability are just one small aspect of your personality and they mean far less to other people than you think. Far more important is a nice disposition, warmth, kindness, goodness and moral character. - examine your personal goals and objectives. Do you have some that are just unrealistic and too high? Perhaps you should ask yourself if they are really so important. Perhaps you should consider just dropping them and forgetting them. Remember, you will never be able to be really relaxed, contented and happy with yourself until you can say to yourself, "I have achieved enough. I am now happy with myself as I am. I am just going to relax now and enjoy life as it comes. I will have no more goals." - read proverbs relating to "contentment" - realize that Intelligence and Ability have a multitude of facets; that, for example, there are many ways of being intelligent and many different measures of intelligence; that most people are intelligent in some ways and dumb in other ways, that if they have a set of strengths (intelligence-wise) they also have a set of weaknesses. Realize that the most important type of intelligence is something called "common sense". Realize that there are many kinds of abilities and no one has them all. We all have some and lack many others. - read about the lives of important people. Learn what their abilities and strengths were. Then learn that they had their weaknesses, inabilities, failures and faults. Learn that many of the world's greatest minds (Newton, Einstein, Edison, Churchill, for example) had difficulty in school, did poorly in school. - review the things you have told yourself in the past for possible sources of personal anger, hatred, hostility, etc. that you may be carrying. Remember that what you are is the accumulative result of all that you have ever told yourself. Then "unsay" any things that ought to be "unsaid" (what we tell ourselves "programs" us). - commit yourself to a life of principle and self-discipline (it will do wonders for your self-esteem) - put God first. Take the philosophy of looking for God's approval only, living according to the highest principles within you, and letting the chips fall where they may. Don't value too highly the approval of man, put the approval of God first. - remember that society puts a great deal of emphasis on success, achievement, intelligence, ability, etc.. Beware of these priorities and values of society and don't be intimidated by them. Ignore them and set your sights on God's principles of kindness, warmth, goodness, honesty, morality, etc.. Let no one else set your priorities and rules for you. Remember that God judges us not according to our intelligence or ability but according to our goodness. - if you lack confidence it is almost certain that you have some inabilities or weaknesses somewhere that are the source of your problems. Identify them, note them, accept them, and forget them. - make an inner decision to just forget all your angers and complaints against people and society and to just open yourself up and like people Mar 1982 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
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