Confidence Comes From Within?

ImageI’ve had guests over yesterday and have felt the lasting effects of strain today. I don’t know if any other people feel this type of strain and stress from family or friends visits. I have always heard that this should be a pleasurable entertainment. However, while I do enjoy myself I cannot loosen up and am instead sitting there thinking about the pressure of entertaining. I’ve always been a relatively shy person but as a kid I was always comfortable because I wasn’t out to impress or care about judgement. However, obviously having grown up and now a mother I feel like I am a reflection of my family. Therefore, I have now become some type of a spokesperson where my words and behaviors are mirrored on my husband and children. So I have developed into a very shy and self conscious individual. I lack the confidence I had in my youth and instead will doubt myself before I act or speak in any way around people, including my family. I married young and against my family’s wishes (at first). They felt as many parents did, that I was way too young, so I have always felt like I have something to prove.

I very much dislike this lack of confidence in myself. It’s something I’ve been wanting to change for a long time, yet have been struggling with. I don’t think it’s something you can learn. I have read a lot of books and articles on confidence and have discovered that many people have countless reasons for the confidence in their lives or where they derive their strength from. I have read that people obtain confidence from belief, power, money, family, praise, knowledge, friends, inspirations, admirable people, experience or from within, to name a few. Many people I have spoken to especially relatives have commented on my nerves and what they believe is anxiety. They tolerantly and patiently ask me to ‘relax’, or to act ‘normal’. Theoretically, this all seems so simple yet each time I know I will be in a situation with strangers or extended family, and even with some mental preparation, I cannot.

There are many definitions about what makes up a confident person. The best one I have seen, is from Matthew Hussey, who says that confidence is in three layers.

The Surface Layer – Is the outer packaging (Appearance, mannerisms, gestures etc.).

The Middle Layer – is the lifestyle (relationships, hobbies, passions etc.).

The Core – is to truly love yourself (be able to look in the mirror and know that you are your own best friend / you are all YOU need).

According to Hussey, to be confident you need all three of these layers to truly appreciate who you are, which will then enable you to be free to give your love to other people. As anyone who does not love themselves cannot truly love another.

I agree with what he says in theory, though it seems like he’s just described someone who embodies unattainable perfection and not just confidence. I have also learnt from my life coaching course and from many people how important it is to love yourself. Going as far as to give me practical ways to accomplish this, such as affirmations. Unfortunately, I don’t like to even look in the mirror before reciting the affirmations as I feel foolish. Obviously I am just starting out on my journey in life coaching and improving my life, so I will give it time. Nevertheless, most of all, I hate the physical aspect of my lack of confidence, which is the sweating, stammering and my faster speech. I just want to be able to at least put up a disguise, in front of others so I don’t seem so uneasy, ensuing in myself and guests feeling uncomfortable.

I wanted to ask any of you, if you have had these issues and found a way to overcome them?

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Mahatma Gandhi


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