“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint, ‘ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent Van Gogh
You probably wonder why have you lost your self-confidence. You are not the only one. On last Wednesday I went through my family albums. It is always fun to see my childhood photos. Suddenly it hit me: my early year’s photos show a self-confident, happy boy. No fears, no awkwardness, no shyness. I’ll bet your album shows the same thing. As I turned more and more pages of that album, I could see the process of that confident child turning more shy and awkward. The same eyes that looked straight into the camera, are trying to hide from it.
Sure, some kids that have this built-in self-confidence that lasts. We all know them, the people who seem fearless, walking around as if they own the place. But most of us grow up to be more reserved persons that hesitate before new encounters, new places, new job, etc. read on and I would explain what is causing that transformation, and give you some technics on how to gain your self-assurance back and how to build confidence in general.
what happened to our confidence?
So what happened? In my opinion, the thing that happened is “society”. Society is a great thing. Friend, family, laws are there to protect us. The downside is that community brings with her judgment, criticism, and sarcasm. As we grow up, our parents and other adults, teach us things. After all, they are our tour guides to society… They do this with good intention but this process brings up judgment. You do something incorrectly (in their opinion) they are correcting you. This makes you reluctantly feel wrong. You make an effort to avoid this criticism next time. Becoming less spontaneously is unavoidable. You become a calculated person. You are thinking about everything you want to say or do. Parents do it. Teachers do it. Almost every adult in our surroundings unknowingly helps us build our awkwardness and fear of others.
We go to the kindergarten and our friends come into the picture. Suddenly there’s a bunch of kids staring at us, testing us. We learn to hide our weaknesses to avoid being laughed at. We start looking at others for confirmation that we are doing the right thing. We wait to see if others laugh at that joke so we know it’s funny and we can laugh too. We are afraid to contact those who others laugh at. We lose ourselves.
how does it affect us?
A Seagull flies the way he flies. The Seagull doesn’t wait for others to tell him that he flies well (I hope you have read the great book “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and if not hurry to get it here: Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The Complete Edition). The Seagull is free to do what he does. We lost his freedom. We lost our self-confidence. We can no longer fly as we want, so we stay on the ground. Because most people are afraid of change and fear new places, they stay at whatever job they have. They stay in the places they know and are reluctant to try new things. Believing in ourselves is like the spine of our being; when we lack it we are mentally paralyzed. We are stuck. We think we are in a cage, cage built from our fears.
The good news is that the cage doesn’t really exist. This is an imaginary cage. So let’s break it off and get our damn confidence back!
let’s get it back and learn how to build confidence
Bringing back that self-confident child is not easy, to say the least. Yet, the knowledge we weren’t born shy and full of fears, the knowledge we grew our fears later, should give you strength. The change can be reversed. You can become that confident person again, and build a confidence. Use the tips I gave you and start making your journey, one step at a time.
Let me know how that worked for you. Write a comment to the post, it would mean the world to me.
Good luck! improve yourself!