Without a doubt most people suffer from a lack of confidence. I am no exception. I know there are days when I can feel on top of the world. I have a good sense of self and feel ready to face the strongest foe. Unfortunately, that false sense of surety leaves me swiftly as soon as I meet with the first rebuff of the day. There is our problem.Again we allow others to define us. We attempt to promote poise but we just can’t hang on to it long enough to make an adjustment in how we perceive ourselves. Really the most boastful and loudest person in the room will secretly admit their self-esteem is often in jeopardy. We all have our own ways of covering this up. If we admit a lack of ego then it tosses us lower on the confidence scale so we hide our sense of self from others and try to conceal the pain from ourselves by constant movement and little reflection.
Perhaps if we dared to meet up with self we might discover a likable person who we honestly misjudged. Most likely we are oblivious to the fact that so many people are experiencing this same lack of surety in their everyday movements. I can’t say for certain where we get our judgement calls but I do have a few suggestions. Of course I have suggestion because I can’t have anybody think I have no opinions.
When we are children we have a tremendous amount of faith in our abilities. Most likely it is due to our lack of understanding any faults within ourselves. For instance, a child goes to school with energy and excitement. Within a few days the light of happiness can diminish. Schools have rules and kids can’t talk when they want or laugh when they feel like it. Without a doubt, the stricter the teacher regarding rules, the more confidence might be lost. Teachers don’t plan on doing this but they have to enforce the guidelines given.
So at a young age kids learn they are not in a world by themselves and they must acknowledge a huge number of other people’s wills. Learning also involves adhering to the authority of the schools and parents who want their kids to be successful. Children can sense by our tone of voice, stern looks, and stiff demeanor of body that they are not pleasing us. Right away they are losing some assertion in themselves. Being aware of the lack of approval is strong.
Of course we can’t tell our kids to talk when they want to at school or at home but we can spend time explaining the rules and why they are in effect. This might alleviate some of their pain and in the process give them back some confidence. Your attempts to praise their outgoing friendliness as a good thing is paramount. Instill in them how wonderful their qualities are. Include in your discussion the need to be calm in certain situations.
I remember one set of parents who were so upset because their child, who was extremely outgoing and in trouble in every class, with every teacher, who were almost in tears. They planned on confining him and punishing him for his behavior at school. If we think about this for a moment we realize that as an adult he will probably fret about being overly friendly thus curbing his socializing. Other times he might be friendly but worry about it after. I spoke from the top of my head and from my heart to them. I said, “Your son has more friends than anybody else in the classroom. He is liked by every student and is extremely kind. The rules are harder for him to follow but I would not squelch his attributes because one day as an adult these qualities will serve him. I added that if they were crushed it will be a hindrance to his personality. I concluded with my thoughts of his becoming a politician one day. The parents laughed were happy and understood the talents from a different perspective.
It helps to talk to kids and allay their fears. They come with the directions of anything goes and freedom abounds. We instill the rules and boundaries. Instead of teaching adherence to regulations, we must provide instructions about ways to use the talents within the society in which we live. Loving themselves and recognizing their worth gains courage for them to mature into an active adult who is not second guessing themselves.
Parents and teachers are not the only people who are forced to place boundaries. Everywhere we go there are directions to be followed. I would say for all of us to understand that just because it is difficult for us to maintain a level of quietness when others are having no problem does not makes us wrong, just different. We are different and have various attributes. These attributes serve us well in certain situations. At a party the outspoken person is relished.
Never think about how others view you. They never have the whole story. It reminds me of a book I used to read to the kids about seven blind men who had to describe an elephant. Of course they were all touching a different part of the animal so they gave a variety of definitions and were awestruck at the differences in their assumptions. There is a lot of truth to life in that book. We make judgements on what we are privy to. What we don’t comprehend and what is unavailable to us is what counts.
Our confidence is lost because we constantly think about how others perceive something. The reality is they will never totally understand where we are coming from nor where we have been. Only we know that. Trust in your abilities and have faith and confidence in you. That is what matters. Also accept unto yourself the knowledge that over the years your confidence might have been worn down from the opinions of others. Begin building it up not by knocking others down but by believing in yourself.
People don’t have all of the evidence. You have your own evidence. Use it to appreciate your worth. Use it to help your own kids love themselves. The quiet unassuming child is as important as any other. He may be our scientist one day. We require a variety of items to bake a cake. We require a variety of talents to make a world. The world would not be without all.
“Don’t walk behind me I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Albert Camus
“My dear in the midst of hate I found there was within me an invincible love. In the midst of tears I found there was within me an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was within me, an invincible calm. I realized through it all that…In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me there is something stronger,- something better, pushing right back.” Albert Camus
“Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.” Rita Schiano
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson