In this episode of 5 min Fridays with Coach Myrna, I want to talk to you about self-confidence and the courage to be you. The kind that says I know who I am and I don’t need you to validate me. I accept and trust myself and my abilities. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I choose to work on my strengths and not my weaknesses because my strengths are what is going to propel me forward.
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A self confidence story
I heard this story and I want to share with you today to illustrate self confidence and how you see yourself.
Jim worked at a radio station all his life. He was a well-known and famous radio show host. All of his friends and colleges knew him by one feature: if he’s on-air, he is always wearing a suit and a tie. They laughed at him: ‘No one ever sees you, why do you dress like that?’, but he always turned that into a joke.
One day Jim was invited to appear on the TV. There was a show dedicated to the oldest radio employees. For the first time the people, who only knew him by his voice, would see him. Before the recording of the show, the director came to Jim and asked:
– Usually you arrive on time, but today you are 10 minutes late. It’s not horrible, but I’m still interested, why?
– You see, – Jim answered, – at the last moment when I was already dressed up, I noticed that I don’t have new socks. For the first time I was invited to the television, and I thought that simply wearing clean socks is not enough. It needs to be in new socks. So, I needed to go to the store for socks.
– But why do you need new socks? – The director was surprised. – You could have come without the socks, because we will be filming you only in close-up, over the waist.
– You see, to be spotless on-air, I need to feel myself spotless in everything, starting with the shirt and finishing with the pen in my pocket. And if my socks have holes in them, or my shoes are dirty, I’m not spotless anymore.
Self confidence is an internal feeling
Nobody could tell that Jim’s socks had holes in them, but he could and that meant he no longer had confidence in himself.
Maybe his internal dialogue went something like this
You call yourself spotless that’s a joke you are no better than the bum on the street with holes in your socks.
Self-confidence comes from trusting your abilities: For example, I know that I will pass this test.
Confidence is also trusting how you look. Tell yourself “When I walk into a room people notice me because I am fine.”
Self-confidence does not come from flattery or meaningless compliments because when you don’t get them, you lose confidence in yourself and the negative voices in your head start running on repeat.
How to be confident: Be yourself
How to be confident, the first step is having the courage to be you. This means that you understand that you are not good at everything and the things you are not good at, you get help with. For example, you are good at seeing the vision but you are not good with the details; so you hire an assistant to help you with the details. You are still the captain of the ship, you are the master of your soul don’t let anyone else take the wheel because you lose confidence. Be confident that you are going in the right direction.
How to build confidence and self esteem: Self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-image all fall in the same bundle—about feeling good about yourself, feeling more like a winner than a loser. What gets in the way? Generally, a cause and a result: The cause is that you learned to be too self-critical, likely by having critical and unsupportive people around you. You never give yourself a break; even the smallest mistake—the burned biscuits—is another demerit and sign of your incompetence. Your expectations are impossibly high, and everything—even the biscuits—is what you’re overall competence is measured by.
How to be confident is always have the courage to be you. Embrace your strengths and accept your weaknesses. There is no one like you, so you better have the confidence to love yourself.