The Opposite of Confidence

“Don’t try too hard to fit in; you were born to stand out.” ~ Anonymous

Doubt. The bane of self-belief. Have you ever wondered why you’re less than 100% sure of yourself?

Most of us can recall times when we’ve felt insecure about ourselves. Maybe it was questioning your ability to do something. Perhaps it was feeling self-conscious about the way you look. It doesn’t really matter how these feelings present. What’s important is that we’re aware of our thoughts and how they impact our view of ourselves. Once we remember that insecurities are a normal part of life for everyone, we may find it easier to step back from uncertainty and take a more realistic look at ourselves.

Have you ever been guilty of trying to keep up “with the Joneses?” The desire to better ourselves is a natural response that arises when we begin to compare our lives to those of other people. You’ve been there, right? It might seem, for example, that we do not have nearly as much going for us as our neighbor, best friend, or coworker. In truth, what we think we see about another person is usually what they want us to notice. They may be putting on a mask, trying to make things in their lives seem better than they are. If we were to look at their lives a little more closely, we’d likely realize that they are human, covered with warts that make them who they are.

Unfortunately, it’s often our imperfections that we look at as unattractive, when instead, we could embrace our flaws as what distinguishes us. Consider for a moment what the world would be like if our character traits were cloned and no one had insecurities. Would it be a more interesting place?

What if when we felt our uncertainties begin to surface we took a deep breath, paused  to acknowledge our own gifts or talents, and in doing so – become more grounded? Rather than react and retreat, we could intentionally allow our own inner beauty shine forth.

You are special. You have much to offer. Why compromise your confidence by doubting yourself? How does sacrificing self-belief yield anything beneficial?

When you hold up a mirror to your life and weigh yourself against others, you cloud the ability to see things that make you truly unique. Giving yourself permission to appreciate and believe in what you’ve been blessed with will make you feel more secure about yourself. In turn, you’ll be able to use your gifts to the fullest. Wouldn’t that be an interesting prospect?

Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

18 thoughts on “The Opposite of Confidence

  1. Most definitely not barking up the wrong tree!
    I’ve always wondered how it would be to have a mirror that shows us all the good within us…or how it would be if we could allow ourselves to stop with the over analysis and just accept the compliments that people give us! That itself would be a start!

  2. Love this, Eric! The topic of insecurity has become somewhat of a passion of mine over the years. We judge ourselves so harshly, and often that overflows to our judgement of others. If we can appreciate how we look, who we are—work on the faults, but realize that everyone has them—and see ourselves as a beautiful, unique part of the world I think it would improve our families, our friendships, and the population as a whole.

    Such a good word. Thanks for sharing!

    • Why do we judge ourselves? Harshly? Rarely does it serve any useful purpose, right? It’s quite easy to love ourselves yet rarely do many. I agree with you completely. A little awareness coupled with a dab of conscious effort to be grateful for who we are and how we can contribute to others, would take a collective us in a beautiful direction. I appreciate your thoughtful share and positive view, Kaela.

    • I’m jazzed that some of my nuggets are aligning nicely with your personal situation. I like your subtle surrender. It likely is time to relax and appreciate yourself. I certainly appreciate your insights and thoughtful comments (as well as your posts!) Besides, wasn’t it a frog with warts that got kissed and then….

  3. “Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence”. — Vince Lombardi
    If you have no confidence in self, you are defeated even before you race.
    That said, there’s a thin line between confidence & over confidence. Do you think being self-conscious about that line is showing (slight) lack of confidence?

    • Agreed. There are lines between both under and over-confidence. To your question, I don’t believe that being “self-conscious” about either of those lines shows a lack of confidence. Rather, I believe it is a heightened awareness of such boundaries that allows us to both focus and have clarity about our confidence levels.

  4. I find it fascinating at the dance you and I are doing with similar energies. This was my topic I was reflecting on yesterday. For me it was about strength and confidence. It goes deep into my core about how weak it has been in my life. Developing confidence and understanding it more and more. If I apply it with building strength at the same time, it becomes manageable. THANK GOODNESS…

  5. Hi Eric, thank you so much for leaving such a beautiful message on my blog! I can see we are like-minded people, and I’m looking forward to having a good look through your wonderful blog posts! Have a great day! 🙂

  6. The appreciation is mutual, Julie. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I am hopeful you’ll find some of what is shared in Awakening to Your Story, to be helpful or thought-provoking. I look forward to your insights, as well. Good day wishes returned!

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