As I watch the X Factor I notice the “unstoppable” aura that even the kids have – is it real or just “fake it til you make it” stuff? If it is real – what is it, how and where do they get it?
They all seem to ooze that aura of self confidence and self esteem. So what’s the difference? Self confidence is faith in your own judgment and ability. It is confidence in your own powers and judgment. It is knowing you are competent in a particular situation. You know you know the song. You have taken lessons, you have practiced to develop to the best of your ability and you know that you know. Self confidence is knowing you have paid the price for your success and you are worthy of the result. No apologies needed.
Self esteem is different. It is a person’s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a loving judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. It is simply loving myself because ‘I am’. Self esteem includes your beliefs and your worthiness. It is feeling good about yourself, being secure in your own skin, being safe in your own ability to handle any situation in which you may find yourself. You are authentic. You accept your strengths and recognize that you have flaws and weaknesses. And that is okay. You accept there are people who are excellent in what they do, but that doesn’t make you less. The opposite is being scared out of your wits that people will find out you aren’t what you are pretending to be.
Many factors can affect self confidence and self esteem that are beyond your control, but in the same way, there are a number of things you can do consciously to build both.
Taking a few minutes each morning before you begin your day to list at least 10 things you are grateful for starts your day off positively. As you appreciate and count your blessings, being grateful for your health and the new day to make a difference in the world, you will create a calm and peaceful aura around yourself. Recall your past successes and appreciate your loving relationships. Give thanks for positive momentum and you will attract more of the same.
How we feel about ourselves is reflected out to others in the way we treat them. When we think positively about ourselves and have a healthy self esteem, we lift up others naturally. We instinctively know that ‘A rising tide lifts all ships’. We never lose by making others feel great. When we are being appreciative of what others contribute to us we spread the joy. We can acknowledge them without making ourselves be less. Acknowledging others not only makes them feel good, but we make our lives richer. When we give specific praise to other people and make a deliberate effort to compliment them, we bring our focus to the good. It becomes a fabulous, fun pasttime searching for the good in others and helping them up the success ladder. Letting go of the need to be the centre of attention is easy when you like yourself. The need to compete with others for centre stage is gone when you feel good about you. The more you forget about yourself and instead think about what you can contribute to the world, the more you’ll be rewarded with high self esteem, personal success and recognition.
Another principle of high self esteem: Practice random acts of kindness. It is a real buzz! Always refuse to be part of the gossip chain. I heard it said once, “Only serve up a banquet of kind words as one day you may need to eat them”.
A really productive way for you to boost your self confidence is by personal affirmations. Just a one minute ‘pep talk’ to yourself in the mirror that affirms your strengths and includes areas you are working on in a positive statement in the present tense can change your day. Affirmations such as, “Today is an excellent day. I am grateful that I am blessed and am a blessing to others. I am totally confident and deserving of the success that follows my every activity. I am healthy, wealthy and wise”. Look yourself in the eye as you recite these affirmations aloud each morning and evening in front of the mirror.
For sure you have heard the saying “birds of a feather flock together”. Be sure the “birds” you are hanging out with are the kind reflective of who you want to be. My son said to me once that he was hanging out with a particular group so that he could help lift them. In reality, try standing on a chair and seeing how high you can lift someone without them pulling you off the chair first. It is much easier to pull down than lift up. If you are in an industry where you are the highest achiever present, be sure and spend your own time with people who have the same high goals and morals you have. Association is so important. You become like the people you hang out with.
Why is it that the seats in schools, churches, offices and public meetings around the world fill up from the back? But the expensive seats at sporting events and concerts are close to the front. Decide to sit in the front row and build your self confidence. Usually the presenters speak from the front, so sit where you can see the whites of their eyes and they can notice your interest in what they are presenting. This is where new relationships can be birthed, self confidence can be identified and self esteem can blossom.