Many people believe a number of myths about self-confidence. They’ve heard these myths from relatives or friends, or perhaps they’ve read them in books or in articles.
These myths can be very damaging because they keep people from developing their self-confidence. They make people feel they can’t move forward, they can’t grow, and they can’t become who they dream to be.
Let’s review these myths and why they’re patently untrue.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Self-confidence is a skill, and it can be increased with knowledge and practice. All you need is the right guidance and a belief in yourself that you can do it.
The truth is that most people have low self-confidence and self-esteem, at least about certain areas of their lives. There are stories that abound about wealthy people and movie stars who get divorce after divorce, are addicted to alcohol or drugs, or who try to end their lives because they’re so unhappy. Low self-confidence can occur in anyone, regardless of their gender, race, or class.
Of course, you feel good if others appreciate you and what you do, but you can’t simply depend on getting compliments from others to feel confident. It’s important that you realize that you have to be who you are, no matter how much others commend you. Feeling worthwhile and capable comes from within, not from others.
Take a look at toddlers. They don’t learn to crawl and walk just because their parents encourage them or give them praise. They master these skills because of an inner urging and inner confidence that they can do it.
Watch a child when she’s just teaching herself to walk. First she stands up, then sits down. She does this many times. Then she stands up while holding on to a short table. She’ll walk around the table with her hands firmly holding her.
Finally, she’ll walk a few steps by herself before going down on her hands and feet again. She’ll do this over and over, day after day, until finally she can walk on her own with no help. She doesn’t have to have praise and encouragement to master walking. She does it on her own and gains the confidence, eventually, to run.
This isn’t true at all. It can happen fairly quickly once you have the tools to do so. You can identify the events in your life that made you feel intimidated or worthless and learn to reinterpret them so that they don’t hamper your feelings about yourself now. You can become skilled at speaking in a positive way about yourself both inside yourself and to others. You can begin to see yourself in a new constructive way that nurtures yourself instead of beating yourself up.
These skills are not difficult to learn. You need to delve into them deeply and practice them often. Over time, they will become more natural and feel normal as you use them every day.
Don’t let these myths stop you! Now that you know they’re not true, you can discard them and never think about them again.