SEEK Self-Confidence First and foremost

An online source about Stephen Brier's book, Psychobabble: Exploding the Myths of the Self-Help Generation goes,

 "In the 1970s psychologist Jonathan Rotter discovered that we tend to fall into two camps: those who believe that the things that happen to us are down to outside forces we can do little about (external locus of control) and those who see ourselves as masters of our own fate (internal locus of control). In our culture we are encouraged to believe that a strong internal locus is a good thing, but if you see life as determined solely by your choices, that amounts to a load of pressure to make the right ones. No surprise then that people with high internal locus scores are vulnerable to guilt, perfectionism, anxiety and self-recrimination.  Life can be frightening, unpredictable and unfathomable at times. We all need some measure of control to make it bearable. However, occasionally we also need to trust both life and ourselves and let things unfold, rather than try to grab the wheel the whole time. As the great mythologist Joseph Campbell shrewdly observed in The Power of Myth, 'We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.' But how many of us are brave enough to relinquish control to that degree?"

Campbell articulates that meaning can be created rather than discovered in your life.  This is an inclusive stance to take for being alive for a reason does not mean you can fathom that reason or even like it.  You still have to create a meaning of your own.  That takes self-confidence of a special kind.

Self-confidence has to be worked for. It is so precious and we want all to have the opportunity to say YES to it. The person who truly values herself or himself will be valued by others too. Proper self-confidence inspires good works. It enables a person to engage in outstanding works of self-sacrifice. You can only sacrifice what you value.

Self-confidence is the only thing that matters. It is the root of all good. We boldly assert that self-confidence is of supreme importance and that it is just as important that we cultivate it in ourselves.

Some therapists may disagree and say:

Do not work too hard on your self-confidence for that is overly self-absorbed.  You are looking too much at the lack.  That may give it a power it does not have.  You risk ending up no better than before or even worse. Sometimes when we feel low and unhappy, we need to stop thinking about what is wrong in our lives. We need to get our mind off ourselves and find productive things to do and productive relationships to build. We need to focus on helping other people. If we do that, our worries can disappear just through neglect.

That is mostly true. But it is vital that we have the self-confidence to do what they advise. It takes confidence to direct your concern to interests other than your problems. You have to trust yourself that you will be safe to do so.

If your self-confidence is very low, you will find that it is hard to get your problems out of your mind no matter what you do and you will feel that nobody would want to be your friend. The therapists need to remind you of that. Otherwise, their advice can sound unsympathetic and judgemental.

At times we need to stop thinking about developing self-confidence and self-esteem in order to develop them. Yet even then it is self-confidence and self-esteem that gets us there. Even then we have to have the confidence in ourselves to be willing to stop thinking so much about it. We are not saying you should forget about yourself. Our suggestion is that you could let yourself be confident instead of trying to go about it the wrong way. You must always want self-confidence and intend it. Then you put the intention out of your attention, You put it in the back of your mind . But it is still there. Then it will develop and grow.

It takes greater self-confidence to think of others and not yourself than it does to think of yourself all the time. The same is true if you think of work or something non-personal rather than of yourself. Nobody wants to be hurt. If you forget yourself it follows that you are opening yourself to hurt. You are not watching out for yourself all the time. This shows immense trust in yourself. Plus you win the trust and admiration of others and this reminds you and shows you how great and correct your sense of self-confidence is.

If I give my life to save two children drowning in a pond, I do it because I am confident that it is the right thing to do. In other words, I do it because I am confident in me and my judgement. I value myself because I give myself for them.  It is considered selfish to be all about how you look or your career.  But at the end of the day valuing myself as knowing I can be a life saver and will be when the chance comes is just the same faculty coming out that way.  Calling the latter selfish shows you are selfish for you don't want to see the truth about me.  You want to hide that truth for you want to hide from yourself.  You want to fool others.

True self-confidence means you are not afraid of truth.

True self-confidence means you never let what other people think control what you do. You might feel awkward about being like this but you have to. and the feeling will pass.

Self-confidence is more important than self-esteem. Without self-confidence you cannot have self-esteem.

Religious believers with self-confidence may have the false confidence that comes from self-deceit. Have real confidence and hold on to it.

It is important to be out-spoken

It is important to be out-spoken. Be firm and use your tongue constructively.

To keep your tongue in check can be a way of hiding the kind of person you are. It cheats you. You have the right to be your own person and to let yourself be known. You don't want people to love and respect the kind of person they think you are. That only gives you short-term happiness - but as it is not about you, the real you, it will only lead to trouble. You want to make yourself known as you really are. Only then will the love and respect be of any benefit to you in the long-term and forever.

I never know how somebody is going to react to something I say. I would have said things in the past expecting the person I was engaging with to be very offended when they in fact thanked me for my candour. I will put myself first and say what is on my mind for what else can I do?

It is possible to describe somebody as harmful without judging that person. You could then be stating a fact about them rather than judging them. You can intend it as stating a fact and not as a criticism.  Practice that for how you treat others well means you will see more of your good self in others and thus be less afraid of looking bad in the eyes of other people.  Confidence will grow.


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