Photo by: Fedori Natalia
For the most part, would you say it’s pretty easy to point out the self confident people in a room? Wait…don’t be so quick to answer that.
Self confidence is one of those often-mentioned seldom-understood phenomena. We look for it, desire it, admire it. But do we have it? Do we really even know it when we see it?
All too often, we confuse confidence with ego; but the two aren’t even in the same ballpark. In fact, it’s safe to say ego and confidence are polar opposites. Clearly, a person with an overgrown ego is great at standing out in a crowd. Somehow and some way, they will attract attention. It may be the way they talk incessantly about themselves, gloating shamelessly, stealing the show and (oftentimes) invalidating others in the process. It may be the attention-grabbing walk, flashy clothes, jewelry, loud voice. Or maybe it’s the way they flaunt about with style and flair—flirting, talking, befriending everyone in sight. With ego, the mission is to impress.
Ego vs Self Confidence
The difference between ego and confidence is that ego stands out because it needs to. It needs to be fed through outside sources so that it might sustain itself. It finds every possible way to say, “Look at me” and “Like me.”
Having confidence, on the other hand, means having the courage to simply say, “I AM me.” When you are fully confident, you don’t mind standing out in the crowd. However, unlike the confidence-lacking person with a big ego, you’re just as happy not standing out.
While ego puts a lot of effort into impressing certain thoughts and ideas upon others, self confidence stands alone. A self confident person no longer masks imperfections and he is free of the need to prove himself to others. Are you there yet?
Measure Your Self Confidence
When it comes to confidence, most of us don’t quite have a full cup. This is nothing to be ashamed of. With time, effort and dedication to loving ourselves; we can all build confidence. Before that can happen, however, it’s important to achieve awareness of what’s missing. Let’s take a look at how to do just that.
Two of the simplest ways to assess your own level of self confidence are noticing how well you take care of yourself and noticing how comfortable you are in your own skin. So, take a moment to consider how much difficulty you have with any of the following:
- Letting someone else have the last word in an argument
- Saying words like, “I was wrong” or “Maybe I’m wrong”
- Putting yourself first
- Listening with acceptance to ideas radically different from your own
- Being the center of attention
- Not being the center of attention
- Being criticized
- Discussing or showing your flaws
- Saying “no” (without feeling guilty)
- Making time for yourself
- Ending toxic relationships
I’m going to guess that something in that list is not so easy for you to deal with. While this may be a sign that you’re not fully confident, it doesn’t mean you need to go out and change several things about yourself so that you can become confident. That’s not what confidence is about. Confidence is about accepting yourself as-is, facing the world as your authentic self.
Having self confidence means living with awareness that your value as a human being is not dependent upon anything outside of you. Someone with a huge ego might become defensive when criticized while a self-loather may hang his head. But a person with unshakeable self confidence is a totally different story.
You’ll know when you get there. Unlike ego, confidence allows you to simply accept whatever it is that others do or say. It allows you to take the good with the bad, knowing that none of it defines you as an individual. It also allows you to take care of yourself without feelings of guilt or shame.
Build Self Confidence
The first and most important step for becoming more self confident is to love yourself. I don’t mean love as an emotion, I mean love as an action. Treat yourself like you deserve to be treated. Take time for yourself, listen to your intuition, do what feels right for you, pamper your body, and always keep promises to yourself. The goal is to build a more loving, trusting relationship with the most important person in your life—you.
So, are you ready to leave behind self doubt and ego? Are you ready to have unshakeable confidence in you?
No more beating yourself up about flaws or going to great extents to hide them. No more buying things you can’t afford in order to impress people you don’t like and express feelings you don’t feel. You deserve to truly feel good about yourself—naturally, authentically and unconditionally.
There will always be changes you’d like to make, but that takes nothing away from how wonderful you are right now. Once you know this in every fiber of your being, you’ll experience the shift. It may not be some miraculous, overnight turnabout, but it’s a move toward the life that you deserve.
Related Self Improvement Ideas
- Do You Forgive Yourself
- Self Doubt is Out, Self Confidence is In