20 Jul Growing Our Self-Confidence
Most of us go through our lives doing. We do the job, the marriage, and the kids. We just keep doing the doing like mindless creatures. Extreme doers may be called workaholics. Those who can’t say no and double book themselves are trying to do more than one thing at time, and they don’t know how to relax or just “Be”. Some doers even worry about who will do their “Things to do list” when they die. After all, it just has to be done!!!
When we do and accomplish things; we are growing our self-confidence. When we know that there are goals we can accomplish and projects we can finish, we build our self-confidence muscle. But some of us accomplish so much that we become muscle bound and end up eventually asking ourselves what it was all for. We may have great self-confidence with respect to our accomplishments, but have low self-esteem. Our self-esteem, however, grows when we define ourselves as lovable. Our self-esteem grows when we believe that we are terrific whether we are doing something or not; when we can just be. Therefore, our self-confidence comes from doing and our self-esteem comes when we can hold ourselves in high enough regard to just be who we are. That is, to accept our self the way we are. The Oriental philosopher, Chu, says those who can be criticized and not take it personally, because they hold themselves in such high esteem, have a thick face. They can see the wonder and power in their own reflection as one of God’s creatures and so they see themselves as magnificent, no matter what someone else is saying. When they see themselves, they see the face of God. There is power in loving ourselves unconditionally in this way. Power is love and love is power when we see God’s nature within ourselves.
Power is not the ability to get things done, to be an authority, or to have position. It is when we love ourselves unconditionally that we become powerful. We cannot give what we do not have, and we cannot give love if we have never experienced it for ourselves. But yet we criticize ourselves more than anyone else; we take it as the truth and believe it and then we take the power of who we can be away from ourselves. When we don’t love ourselves enough to take care of our health, or give ourselves time to relax, or even feel deserving enough to have the things we want, we do not possess high self-esteem. The trick is balancing the being and the doing, and realizing that you are not defined by what you do. Rate yourself on the esteem and confidence scale. How do you rate: Human being (generally accepting of the greatness within), or, Human Doing (the robot)?
When we possess high self-esteem and high self-confidence, we feel deserving of life’s gifts. When we have low self-confidence and low self-esteem, we feel
undeserving and live in fear. It is this fear that stops us from having what we want. And fear is the villain that sabotages the things that we want and deserve.
Whatever we focus on expands, so when we focus on our fears we not only increase the intensity of our insecure feelings, we actually bring about the very
thing we fear.
For example, we may try to lose weight, but to no avail. Perhaps we fear intimacy and so we gain weight to keep people away. Losing weight can only be
accomplished when we face and move through the fear of intimacy. And it’s ironic that just when we find someone who will and does love us, and wants to have an
intimate relationship with us, we gain weight. We give strength and energy to the fear and sabotage our dreams, because we feel undeserving of having them come
true. It is like the pot of boiling water that is too hot to handle. The water and steam are very fierce as we try to cool it down, but if we could look at the total
picture, we’d see that all we had to do was stop putting firewood under the pot. So, the problem was not the water, but the wood. We must find the fear that is at the bottom of our out-of-control pot of water and do something about it. Then we will begin to control our fears.
How have I chosen to sabotage myself so I don’t have to face my fears? Do I eat, not get up in time, and not finish what I start? Am I a spendahlolic, or do I have
other obsessions? Do I become sad and depressed, become a people-pleaser, or am I controlling? What am I afraid of? … Loss of security? Intimacy? Being the center of attention? Not being the center of attention? Rejection, abandonment, success, failure, or all of the above?
Remember, what you focus on expands. Move through your fears. According to the author of the book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, “pushing through the fear is far less frightening than the fear that comes from the feeling of helplessness.” After identifying our fears and realizing how they sabotage us, we can feel free to ask for what we want, and then give ourselves permission to have it, because we deserve it!
“You gain strength, courage, confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face … you must do the thing you think you cannot,” ~Eleanor Roosevelt.