PREVIOUS: Double Messages (#9)
QUOTE: Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do.” John Wooden, sports coach & motivational writer
DEF: Confidence comes from a positive & realistic assessment of one’s
abilities, talents, creativity, knowledge, personal judgment, power and worth.
CONFIDENT people are usually HAPPY PEOPLE
ACoAs: Remember that we were not allowed to be ourselves from the get-go, so we have to work hard at uncovering our True Self, fighting the PP voice which doesn’t want us to find this out. Contrary to what many of us have been taught, self-confidence is not arrogance, which is an over-evaluation of one’s worth, often displayed in offensive expressions of superiority & false pride.
➼ The following are some basic characteristics of mentally healthy people – GOALs which everyone can strive for. No one is confident all the time, so we are NOT looking for perfection in anything – only progress!
• have a clear sense of self – they know who they are, fundamentally – their basic inborn qualities, special abilities & gifts, their hard-earned accumulated knowledge, likes & dislikes, dreams & hopes. They’re not afraid to admit their flaws & limitations, but don’t dwell on them.
• show it in how they carry themselves. Unless they’re ill or disabled – (which does not diminish truly confident people), they have a self-assured walk, stand or sit with head straight, shoulders back, give eye contact when engaged in conversation…. In any case, they are comfortable in their skin.
• don‘t beat themselves up. Being human is to not be perfect, which they accept, & are therefore not ashamed of being limited or of having shortcoming. When they don’t know something or have a ‘weak’ moment, they identify the issue, try to find a solution, dust themselves off and keep going. There is never a legitimate reason for self-abuse.
• take care of themselves. They don’t wait for others to do for them what they can do for themselves. They are willing to learn better & easier ways to do things, & look for ways to make their life less complicated or stressful.
• pay attention to their health. GIGO (Garbage in, Garbage out) applies to the body as well as the mind, both of which they treat with respect. As much as their circumstances will allow – they give themselves quality nourishment in the form of healthy food, fresh air, relaxation & activity, get regular medical attention, taking appropriate vitamins & medication, as needed.
• learn from their past without dwelling on it. They’re willing to acknowledged & deal with old trauma, but don’t get stuck in it. They recognize when their old thinking & behavior patterns limit their progress, & are determined to improve whatever they can. They keep moving forward, but accept & learn from the past, knowing it’s part of their identity.
• don’t absorb criticism. Because they regard themselves positively, they don’t feel judged or belittled, even if someone is trying to do that, especially by people who know very little or nothing about them. They’re not shaken by others’ opinions of them, & in many cases they don’t even bother defending themselves.
• refuse to be victims. Not everyone had a painful or traumatic childhood, but everyone has had difficulties & challenges some time in their life. The confident person refuses to let stressors get them down for too long – even if they truly were victims as children. Feeling compassion for oneself in not the same as self-pity, which is more about believing one is powerless & hopeless, than feeling sad about experiencing painful events.
— AND they refuse to be victimized. They don’t let others abuse or take advantage of them, because they know their own worth, without arrogance.
• have strong personal boundaries. This requires knowing their needs & rights in order to ask for what they want, or to stop others from inappropriately imposing their needs or desires. They don’t try to please others just for the sake of making others happy, in order to prevent feeling abandoned. They know when to say Yes & when to say No, but not as a way to be controlling or boost their ego.
NEXT: Being Confident (Part 2)