What is confidence? What is self esteem? They are both about learning how to believe in yourself, accepting your dark side and giving up trying to make everyone else happy but yourself. You have to risk exploring your own wants, learn to live with your own humanity and risk mistakes in trying out new adventures or ideas.
It was a very difficult day a couple of weeks ago, because I had 4 lovely women who did not believe in themselves & it made me very sad. Each one had a unique story. It is not surprising how many women struggle with this because it is culturally pervasive.
Somehow they manage to look in the mirror and not see their own beauty. Many hold great jobs and don’t recognize their own talents. Many are completely lost without a guy to recognize their value. Many hang on to unworthy relationships because being alone lacks any value.
Feminism was all about women not feeling they are unworthy. I find it disconcerting that the legacy instilled within me by feminism hasn’t translated to younger generations. It was all about recognizing choices & carving out your place in the world based on what mattered to you, instead of being dependent on other’s definitions.
It’s as if so many people have a giant, yawning, empty hole inside of them that can only be plugged up with a partner to make them feel attractive & worthwhile .
Feeling attractive doesn’t mean beating yourself up because you have some perfectionistic idea of how you should look. The Greek roots for the word perfect intended a very different meaning: “complete in all its parts, full-grown, of full age” (From Strong’s Greek on the Internet). I love the true intention of the word.
Feeling a quiet dignity within means knowing you are attractive in some concrete way. We are all a mixture of attractive & unattractive parts, within & without. Accepting the mixture as valid is part of growing up. Growing up as Perls said “is honestly facing painful situations”.
Confidence comes from embracing the whole of who you are.
Confidence comes from developing more range to who you are.
Confidence comes from discovering how to be more creative to find meaning in your life.
Confidence comes from trying something new and feeling more accomplished.
Confidence comes from less people pleasing & more discovery of your own path to being reasonably satisfied.
Life has lots of hard parts to it; it’s a roller coaster and not a straight line of happy progress. Reduce your expectations of being perfect & accept we all have dark sides to work on as we grow older. It is only possible to age to perfection, not achieve it in your 20’s or 30’s.
Learn to interrupt the critical voices in your head that feed your low self-esteem by saying a true positive for every negative. Take all the energy you turn against yourself and turn it into doing something new, exciting or different to explore the world in greater depth. Make some glorious mistakes to learn more about your strength of character.
Low self-esteem & lack of confidence can be changed if you are willing to stop being passive. Do the work to grow & take steps to make your world larger.