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CONFIDENCE VERSUS SELF-ESTEEM
By Bahar Alexander
What is confidence?
Confidence is an attribute we built sequentially. It is our self-appraisal about how the outside world views our performance. The better we perform, the higher the confidence level. As performance varies, so can confidence.
By virtue of skill being built in phases, at the level of conscious incompetence (second level of learning according to NLP), the individual will suffer wavering confidence. As you move into conscious competence, confidence begins to grow.
The state of “conscious competence” (the 3rd level of learning), which emphasizes “Knowing what you did not know before,” creates a surge of several neuropeptides in the brain. These are protein compounds used by the brain to produce hormones that make us feel good and, in the same way, reinforce behavior that creates the feel-good hormone.
This feedback loop can grow as the “feel-good behavior” is repeated through habit building.
Much like a seesaw movement, confidence goes through a dance of diminishing or building up.
The more recollection of successful learning and performance you create in relation to past experiences, the easier it becomes to feel confident about your abilities to learn and increase performance even in the state of “not knowing how to yet.”
This is where self-esteem comes in.
As you can imagine, having confidence doesn’t necessarily mean you have strong self-esteem. This is evident in the individual who self-doubts even if their past experiences show they have what it takes to learn, grow and succeed. They continuously look for confirmation outside of themselves.
Knowing this crucial fact is more important than you can imagine. Building strong self-esteem is necessary to support a growing confidence level.
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is the side effect of self-image. This is the measure of self-appraisal and how we view ourselves and our capabilities to create personal safety, personal freedom, personal growth, and autonomy.
The more positive the self-image, the stronger our self-esteem.
The seeds of self-appraisal get planted within our psyche between the ages of 3 and 6. We define who we are, at this formative period, by association, mirroring, and giving meaning to events and appraisals from our surroundings.
We are dependant on all outside signals at this developmental phase to define “WHO WE ARE” in the absence of rational cognitive capacity. Parents, siblings, relatives, friends, and teachers form the bases for the sensory signals we experience and collectively help us develop our self-image.
Those who nurture us do the best they can, and when they contribute to our growing self-image negatively, it is unconsciously.
Instead of pointing a finger of blame for our lack and digging up the past, it is essential to direct our energy and focus on correcting what does not serve us on our journey to a fulfilled life.
When confidence grows in the absence of a healthy self-image and self-esteem, the individual will eventually self-destruct and self-sabotage. A great example of this phenomenon is the story of one of the most impressive high-performing athletes of our era: Tiger Woods. Those who know him will tell you the stories about his incredible confidence level. Yet, due to an unhealthy self-image, he created his own downfall.
The great news is that one can always bounce back from such self-sabotage when the focus goes towards building a healthy self-image, just as Tiger did in the decade following his valuable lessons learned.
Where your focus goes, your energy flows. Where your energy flows is exactly what grows.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE YET A LOW SELF-IMAGE?
- Being excessively critical of everything and everyone as well as yourself
- Believing you are always right and feeling disdained when others question it
- Needing constant praise for your performance
- Taking constructive criticism as a personal attack
- Feeling a subtle sense of lack of joy
- Physical problems such as digestive track issues
- Lacking compassion for yourself and others
- Interrupting others when they speak and feeling disrespected when they do the same to you
- Checking your watch or phone when in conversation with others
- Believing you are much better than others and looking to others for agreement on the matter
- Feeling an undertone of impostor syndrome
- Lack of satisfaction, inability to celebrate wins
- Defining yourself by every triumph and every failure
- Inability to oscillate
- Using food, shopping, alcohol, and other destructive habits to self soothe
- Always pushing hard and feeling exhausted, yet unwilling to take rest
- Always chasing the next big win at the expense of yourself and others in your personal relationships
- Excessive need for social interaction, inability to be alone
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE LOW SELF-ESTEEM AND LOW CONFIDENCE?
- Inability to deal with criticism even when in the form of constructive feedback
- Seeing failure as a personal flaw
- Inability to deal with setbacks
- Procrastination and perfectionism
- Always avoiding disagreements
- Blaming and punishing yourself and others for their mistakes
- Inability to set healthy boundaries and say “no.”
- Hostility and anger
- Social withdrawal or excessive need for social interaction, inability to be alone
- Excessive preoccupation with personal problems
- Apologizing a lot and feeling guilty for trivial actions
- Doing thing/buying things for people and giving your energy to them excessively
- Difficulty making choices/decisions
- Low-grade depression
- Needing distractions
- Addictive tendencies
- Excessive use of your phone and social media when alone
- Backing down during tough conversations even in the face of personal conviction
- Not speaking up when someone hurts your feelings
We are here to empower you with the tools necessary to shift your SELF-IMAGE, no matter where you find yourself on your life journey.
SELF ESTEEM CAN BE RESHAPED AND REPROGRAMMED.
Research reference: www.psychologytoday.com, www.positivepsychology.com www.exploringyourmind.com, www.Academic.oup.com, www.qz.com
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