There are so many ways we limit our self-confidence without even knowing it. The first step we need to take in building self-esteem is to be honest with ourselves in every area.
Tony Robbins asks the question, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Implied in that question are many more questions about all the ways you are limiting yourself in order to protect yourself from the possibility of failing.
Are you always choosing smaller, safer dreams and actions because they are safer?
When we achieve our smaller dreams at the expense of the larger ones and tell ourselves that we’re successful, we’re lying to ourselves and cheating ourselves out of the life we could have.
Normal, healthy fear is a good thing, but letting your fear rob you of your dreams is not. The fear exists because you’re trying something new and stretching yourself. That’s human and natural for just about everyone. It’s not a sign of weakness. Letting the fear stop you from going forward is the mistake most people make. Acknowledging the fear and going forward anyway is the way dreams are achieved. Real self-confidence is not a lack of fear. It comes from trusting yourself in spite of your fear. See your dreams as bigger than your fears.
Many children were raised in homes where they received a lot of criticism and not much praise. Parents thought they were creating well-behaved, humble children. A good thing, right? Well…not necessarily. One result of that treatment can be lack of confidence. There’s a difference between having a big ego and self-confidence. Self-confidence means you believe in yourself. A big ego means that you have to prove you’re better than everyone else. That’s a huge distinction.
We all know braggers – people who name drop or can’t help slipping in information about their accomplishments or how much money they make. This is not a sign of self-confidence or superiority. It is an attempt to compensate for feelings of low self esteem. When people have to broadcast how wonderful they are, they’re are really telling you, loudly and clearly, how unconfident they feel. In fact, the bragging is an attempt to convince not just you, but also themselves. These are inauthentic people trying to compensate for their feelings of powerlessness.
Now for the good news! Increasing your self-confidence will not give you a big ego. It will increase your integrity and strength along with your joy and self-love. You can start to increase your self-confidence as soon as you take the first step toward achieving one of your dreams because you’ll know that you’re honoring your commitment to yourself. The more steps you take, the more your self-confidence will grow because you are taking action. With each action you take, the more your fear will diminish and your confidence will grow. When you begin to trust in your own integrity, you will begin to connect with infinite personal power.
Your first agreement needs to be with yourself. When you overextend yourself and break that agreement, you pay the price of loss of self-esteem, loss of self-trust, loss of self-respect, confusion, exhaustion, and loss of others’ trust.
Remember, all of your agreements are with yourself. Take them seriously. Only make agreements you plan to keep. Write them down and renegotiate them when necessary even if you’re afraid that some others might not like it.
The great payoff in this is that you will begin to trust your own intuition, heart, and mind. This is the beginning of owning your own life and true self-confidence. Dream big and work to make it real. See you at the top.