Tag Archives: Insecurity

Self Esteem

Self Esteem and Confidence

The lack of a healthy self esteem is a dead weight on your life.  It’s like dragging around an anchor,  and it relegates you to the dark shadows of existence.

Low esteem is simply a self created falsehood.  Plain and simple.  Unless you are a truly bad person (i.e., murderer, child abuser and the like) you are an important, valued human being.

The problem is you have let others or importantly, your perception, make you feel worthless.

Origins

The origin of such misplaced feelings of inadequacy, are varied (cruel treatment as a child, lack of support, embarrassment over a physical state, failure on a large stage…)  However, let’s not confuse these feelings with the reality that you are a special, unique person who adds to the vibrancy of the universe and is entitled to participate fully in life.

Let’s play devil advocate; Someone or group thinks you are stupid, not wealthy, incompetent, ugly, overweight, boring etc.

So f-ing what? You still have to get up in the morning, live your life, go to work etc.

Tell Them To Go to Hell

Can’t you muster the will to blow these people off? Remember you may think you are the center of their thoughts but I can guarantee that you are not.  If someone is rude or embarrasses you, rest assured you will be the only person thinking about it an hour later.

The perpetrator will go on as if nothing happened, forgetting or not even realizing what they may have done.  You must get past it as soon as possible.  Dwelling on it will doom you.

Fears Become Monsters

The fears and nervousness we all feel will be virtually impossible to overcome without the confidence in ourselves that comes with having a positive image of ourselves.

Steps to Take

Stop with the negativity! Self criticism is bad!  Negative thoughts have a way of feeding on themselves, growing something minor into a major issue.

Everyone has good traits, talk up your small successes to yourself  and build upon them.  Don’t allow yourself to define yourself by external forces (maybe you are stuck in a crummy job, or are unemployed, have no fashion sense, are out of physical shape, etc…)

These things have nothing to do with who you really are as a person.

You must look beyond any criticism that anyone levels at you or that you hear whispering in your own head! Start believing in yourself, you will be amazed at how life will change!

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Confidence

The Trust Connection

I am convinced confidence is the key to a fuller life.  I would like to look at the connection between trust and confidence.

The definition of confidence is often boiled down to a strong belief in yourself and your abilities. However, this definition misses an important component of confidence and the boost it provides in your ability to achieve a goal.  What I’m referring to is trust.

The trust or faith you have in yourself is built over time and plays a large role in helping you to overcome a challenge or make progress on towards a goal.

If you are attempting something you have never done before and cannot rely on the confidence that comes with having achieved a similar thing before, you can get the boost you need from the faith or trust in yourself.

Take a Leap of Faith

You may not consider yourself a success in anything.  But it’s simply not true!  It may sound basic, but you have learned and overcome obstacles since you were an infant.  You’ve learned to talk, walk, read and write!  You may have learned to drive, swim, cook etc.

I am positive that if you examined your life you will find accomplishments that you can build on.  Just because they aren’t broadcast on T.V. doesn’t diminish them. They are tangible accomplishments, even if they are from the distance past, you can use them to build a trust in yourself that you can do it. Take a leap of faith, this time for yourself!

Persistence

No matter how little you have may have achieved, the one thing you can control, irrespective of your skill set, is the effort you put forth. I am speaking to the number and intensity of the attempts you can make.  Persistence is indelibly linked to confidence and success.  You have heard the cliche; If I bang my head against the wall enough times, it will crack.  An extreme example, but it shows that if you are persistent and do not give up, you will definitely have a measure of success.

Confidence and success are rooted in the acceptance that what you are attempting to do will be challenging, and that set backs that will come, but with knowledge that with a steady application, you will persevere.

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you?

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Danger of Insecurity

Insecurity!

We all feel insecure at times.  Sometimes it may be a new situation or environment which leads to a sense of insecurity.  However, I want to focus on those deeper rooted feelings that we may not be good enough.  This lack of self worth expresses itself as insecurity.

Bogs You Down

The manifestation of insecurity is truly an anchor.  It prevents us from living a full, normal life.  Feelings of insecurity usually result in a socially isolated life and in extreme forms can produce paranoia.

Feelings of self doubt are crippling.  Even if we are prepared to execute something we can easily do, we can be tripped up by self doubt.

Don’t confuse unpreparedness, which causes nervous doubt but is limited to a specific event, for insecurity.

Relationships

Feelings of insecurity impacts relationships negatively.  If we don’t have a good self image it makes a having good relationship difficult. If we don’t love ourselves (warts and all), how can we love another person?

Roots of Insecurity Are Multi-Faceted

There are many causes and theories of how one becomes burdened with insecurity, such as a terrible childhood or subjection to bullying.  However, I am not a therapist and though it may be helpful to unearth the root cause, I would rather focus on an acknowledgement of insecurity, moving forward to chip away at it.

Insecurity can be overcome or mitigated.  It may take time and patience but the rewards are huge and must be pursued.  You can balance an acknowledgement of any shortcomings you may have (while working to improve them) but still believe and recognize your own self worth.

Don’t confuse, for example a lack of education, or physical awkwardness with your value as a person.  The world is filled with smart, athletic, successful individuals who are terrible people.  Our culture elevates someone with Hollywood good looks, tons of money or possesses some talent.  However, those superficial attributes are just a tiny slice of each of us.

You are important and valuable. You have as much to contribute as anyone else on the planet. Some may be able to express themselves or a point of view easier than you, but that does not make what they say or believe any more valuable than your views.  Don’t let yourself get caught up with what other people may or may not think of you.  Being a selfless, humble, honest, loving individual is the true measure of a ‘valuable’ person and in the end the only thing that counts.


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Fear

Fear is a part of our existence.  Our DNA is hard wired and our physical responses to real danger are instinctive.   But fear is not danger but a mental perception of a possible danger.  This is a key distinction that almost everyone misses.

Fear lives in the unknown. We are afraid of what we don’t know. We feel fear when we are unsure of the outcome of a situation and it cripples us.  We need to learn how to tame fear.

Permitting fear to guide your existence allows your mind to create a negative response to the unknown. You hear a sound in the middle of the night and immediately feel threatened. You lie still in the bed hoping nothing else will happen as your mind bubbles up all kinds of negative scenarios.  It is simply illogical!

Why not get up and see what the sound may be?  If it is a real danger you are not helping yourself lying in bed!  Check it out if it bothers you and get back to sleep.

We have fear of looking foolish, heightened by the media’s projection of their image of perfection.  This fear prevents us from becoming who we really are.  It keeps us from pursuing our dreams, living small, stagnate and full of regrets.

What’s the downside?

If for example, you have to speak in front of a group what is the worst thing that can happen? You flub it, or do just an okay job? So what!  You are not the focus of the audience’s day, it is forgotten so fast.  Ever been to a boring speech or bad concert? How long did you hang onto it?

It’s a good thing to feel nervous and desire to do a good job. However, we need to channel the nervous energy we feel into positive action.  Acknowledge the presence of your nervousness, it happens to everyone, even seasoned pros, athletes and performers.   If you don’t feel nerves at all, you don’t care and that’s worse!  You just need to put it into proper perspective.

If you cannot convince yourself that your presentation is not going to cure cancer and feel undue pressure, then get better prepared.  Practice and prepare if it’s a presentation, performance etc.  If it’s a social thing, ‘practice’ in smaller, less intimidating situations.  Preparation is the antidote but will not completely cancel your nerves.  It is also important to know that your audience wants to like you and that you know your stuff better than 90 percent of them.  Prepare, do and move on.

Make a Real Effort, Its All That Counts

We all have different interests and goals; it’s what makes life and people so interesting!  I love meeting people with unusual passions; it’s refreshing to see them pursue them vigorously.  Don’t be shy, whether you want to learn to dance, swim, read tarot cards, learn to ride a bike, paint etc. block out your fear and start participating.  Stop being self conscious, the world does not revolve around you.  When and if criticism comes your way, use it constructively even if it came mean spiritedly.  Learn from it and strengthen your resolve to grow.

This quote by Teddy Roosevelt says it all, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; who strives valiantly; who errs, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Get Going

There is a substantive difference between fear and danger.  Our need to control and insulate ourselves imprisons us in a small, supposedly safe existence.  Say yes to life now, stop saying no due to unfounded and unrealistic feelings of fear.

If you do not do well in your endeavor don’t allow it define who you are and don’t let it get to your heart. Just as importantly, if you do well don’t let it get to your head!

For a memorable example of dealing with fear in a life threatening situation check out Marble Mountain – a memoir of a Vietnam helicopter pilot. It’s a gripping insight at the incredible challenges the brave men and women who served faced.  Marble Mountain Link Check it out!

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Confidence – Self Esteem – How to get it.

Are we born with it?

It seems like some people have always been brimming with confidence.  This can be frustrating and especially intimidating for those who lack confidence.

How is it that possible?

There are many reasons why some have self esteem levels that help them socially and in their pursuits.  (maybe they were properly nurtured in something, excelled as a result and built on it or maybe they simply didn’t get crushed by some coach or teacher… or even parent).

Get Over it, we are where we are!

Everyone has the capacity to lead a ‘fearless’ life.  It is NEVER too late to change or learn, the fact is you have a simple choice – either sit in the background or do something about it.

Building confidence in life or an activity is similar to gaining any other skill, you gotta work at!

Being nervous is natural.

First off, a good dose of ‘false confidence’ is needed in your tool box.  What I mean by that is the ability to fake it, putting aside your fear/shyness/discomfort etc., temporarily suspending it!  I know you cannot just wish it away but you can acknowledge it and not let it cripple you.

As a quick experiment, observe your own thoughts.  ‘Separate’ yourself from your thoughts, sounds silly?  It is easy to do and can help you acknowledge your ‘fear’ but not be consumed by it.

No, they’re not super-human!

You are not alone, I was struck by what the great Luciano Pavarotti said when questioned about performing for decades and how natural and happy he seemed being on stage, the great Pavarotti said anyone who says they are not nervous when performing is lying.  Or how about Michael Caine, who inspite of acting for over 60 years, said he still vomits before going on stage!

Do something!  Now!

Acknowledge you have some work to do in an area you want to improve upon or participate in,  then commit to doing it, these are the first steps in a journey to get where you want to be.

I will have a follow up on this.

Please give me your thoughts and comments, if prefer not to be public just state so and they will not be published.

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Children at risk!

The length and depth of the current recession, its NOT over yet, is creating a level of homelessness for children that is unprecedented.  Persistent high unemployment, much higher than the government claims (but thats another subject) has put millions, yes millions of children in danger.

It’s been reliably estimated that 2 million children have been thrown into poverty as providers have lost their jobs during the economic downturn.   The  long term effects of this terrible consequence will be felt for at least a generation.

A 60 Minutes segment (dated 3/6/11) was a heart tugging warning of the danger children who become homeless are in.  The segment touched the issue of insecurity I have written about in previous blogs and in my latest book Ambition Cliff.  Insecurity is one of the ills (malnutrition, poor education are just two others)  these children will carry during their lifetimes.  Insecurity will permeate every decision they make, inhibiting their ability to reach their full potential.

This may seem a distant problem to those unaffected but the consequences are not limited to these poor kids, the reality is we all will be negatively impacted by it.

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Basic Responsibility contd.

On first half of this post I may have seemed to be picking on the fathers….  but Mothers also need to think and act responsibly.  Having children outside of a meaningful relationship and without means of properly supporting and nurturing them is the polar opposite of motherhood!  Compounding your destructive behavior with multiple partners is reprehensible.

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THE Basic Responsibility

I have seen first hand (years of volunteer work in leadership positions) the damage a dysfunctional family unit inflicts.  Many women struggle to raise and provide for their children without support of any kind, neither involvement nor financial) from their fathers.  They may not want to be with the mother of those children but that does not obviate their responsibilities as a father.  The failure to address this basic responsibility creates a viscous cycle of children repeating the tragic mistakes of their parents.  I know some kids are somehow able to overcome the odds and become contributing members of society but when

the only life style they know from birth is

destructive…….

 

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Addiction – Abandonment

The link between addition (alcohol/drug/abuse)

and abandonment screams out!  The genesis of many

addictions is rooted in familial or relationship

breakup.  The deep scars inflicted by the abandomnent

cause many to look for solace in drugs or alcohol

However, any relief is temporary as the user inevitably

ups the ante till they lose control.  Breakups will always

occur but the need to manage the relationships

involved (young children especially) is critical to

their future functionality.

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Origins…

Where does our insecurity come from?  countless wayys

from the loss or abandoment by a parent, a culture

that rewards physical appearance, some dark

espisode in our past that planted  the seeds of self

doubt….  Add a few of your own…

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