Do you know that us humans are typically our own worst enemy!
It has been discovered through work done with children who have been neglected in the early stages of their life that there is a window in a child’s development where, if they do not receive attention, love and help in language development, the window closes and they experience significant difficulties with their way in the world.
Luckily for most of us we have a well developed brain that allows us to experience a wide range of emotions and interact with other people in your world. With regards to Self-confidence, one of the things you can understand is high or low self-confidence is not a constant. Despite that, highly confident people will spend enough of their life within a high confident state that it becomes part of their identity.
In order to create a consistent level of high self confidence there are a number of things you can be aware of that can jeopardise the overall level;
Constant exposure to criticism
When you are constantly criticised, whether it is internal dialogue or externally by other people, at some point your brain is going to process as true. It will act as pieces that make up your reality of the world.
Vince Lombardi who was a legendary football coach for the Green Bay Packers in the 70’s would record videos of his team playing great football as a way of ensuring they received more praise than criticism. The very nature of being self-confident means the ability to handle most things that life throws at you. But a constant stream of negativity and it will start to weigh you down.
Too much time in your comfort zone
The majority of us live in a world of comfort. Most of our basic survival needs (food, water, shelter) have been dealt with. You will find it hard to think about anything else if these needs are not being met. However a danger can arise when you spend all your time within this zone of comfort where there is too much familiarity and your body begins to become accustomed to not being alert to anything new.
Self-confidence comes through testing your steel by taking risks and putting yourself in situations that are uncertain. If you spend too much time in an environment of self inflicted groundhog day, uncertainty will hit you like a hurricane.
Comparisons with other people
You can’t compare yourself to other people because it is a completely different playing field. They will have strengths that you don’t have just as you will have strengths they don’t have. The trick is to recognise your strengths and play to them.
If you want to be the best in the world at something, such as a film director or designer it is a good idea to be aware of what experts are doing in your field but only as a way of generating ideas of how you can excel in your work. The only comparison that can allow you to move forward is self-comparison;
Are you 5% better than you were a month ago?
What can you do to be 5 times more productive than a week ago?
Self confidence is a state that has peaks and troughs and occurs as a result of what has happened before it. By recognising moments where your self-confidence is being jeopardised will allow you to become more in tune with what to do about it.
Takeaway: Self Confidence has to be constantly nurtured. There are many things that can screw up your self-confidence, 3 being too much criticism, too much comfort and comparisons with other people. However the more you take on board that Self-Confidence isn’t a constant, the more you can see that it relies on you to maintain it.