“When you’re out there competing in the marketplace and you’re getting bumps and bruises and snakes and arrows, the biggest thing that you have to protect is your confidence.” (Perry Marshall)
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” (Elisabeth Kübler-Ross)
Have you ever noticed how effortless life seems when you are supremely confident? Think about the early months of an exciting new relationship. Didn’t you feel invincible – like the world could throw anything at you and it wouldn’t matter? Think back to the first few weeks of your dream job. It felt like all the lights were green, like you were breezing by whatever challenges or roadblocks you encountered. Tax problems? Piece of cake. Parent-teacher conference? No problem. Car trouble? Bring it on.
I don’t want to say that confidence is everything…but I will. Confidence is everything. A bold and chipper attitude is what enables you to navigate through life with a smile on your face. With it, the greatest challenges are brushed off and overcome. Without it, the smallest setbacks make you want to stay in bed all day. You begin to dread any situation where your skill, ability, or self-worth is put to the test. Many become reclusive, preferring to hide the feelings of shame and humiliation that a lack of confidence brings.
The worst part: confidence isn’t something you attain once and put on display like a trophy. Confidence can be lost – and will not return until YOU reclaim it. Furthermore, anyone can lose their “mojo” no matter what past success or glory they have achieved.
Why even successful people suffer from confidence crises
When we think about confidence problems, we tend to think about downtrodden people with nothing going for themselves. Dropouts, junkies, slackers – people who have consistently chosen the path of least resistance. It’s easy to see why these folks would lack confidence – many of them have never achieved anything of enduring significance.
And yet, these are not the only ones suffering from a confidence crisis. Plenty of undeniably accomplished people (senior executives, successful entrepreneurs, acclaimed creators) go through peaks and valleys of self-esteem as well.
Why? Shouldn’t someone with an $80,000+ salary and a prestigious job title pretty much have it made? What could possibly be dampening their self-worth? Actually, a lot. Simply achieving high stature in your career or social circle does not mean you are “set for life” in the confidence department. In fact, most people who attach their self-esteem solely to these things eventually become unhappy, as TheArtofManliness explains in a post on building resiliency:
“When your self-esteem and sense of self-worth is tied to other people, your job, or any other external factors, your confidence is subject to every wind of change and lacks real stability. Any time these external factors change, your happiness and confidence go with it. Your emotional fortitude goes up and down like a roller coaster.
Tying your self-concept to external factors also keeps you from embracing adventure and approaching the world like a courageous explorer. If you base your self-concept on external things, any changes in those things will throw you for a loop, create anxiety, and compel you to cling as tightly as you can to the status quo. You become desperate to keep your life just the way it is and can’t handle change. You avoid traveling, moving, changing jobs, and getting into relationships because these steps alter the environment on which you’ve based your self-concept, leaving you feeling lost and out of control.
The key to active resiliency is to build your self-concept not on a constructed self, but on an authentic self, not on external things, but on the inner, personal strengths that make you unique as a man. Your unique strengths are your special tools that will allow you to build a happy and fulfilling life. Understanding what tools you possess can give you the confidence that you’ll be able to face any challenge that comes your way. While we can’t predict the future, we can have confidence in our ability to deal with whatever happens.
Basing your self-concept on your personal strengths allows your resiliency to remain strong wherever your go and whatever happens to you.”
This is critically important, because no matter how successful you are, you cannot ALWAYS succeed. There will inevitably be times when you fall short – whether by inches or by miles. The question is, when someone else closes the sale/wins the game/gets the girl…what do you do?
You have one of two options:
- See the shortcoming as an indictment of your overall self: proof that you are unfit to live and a devastating blow to your self-worth
- See the shortcoming as a temporary setback, one that (though certainly unfortunate) in no way DEFINES you or necessitates an unhappy future
The first option virtually always triggers a loss of confidence. Once that happens, getting through the day will feel like a never-ending slog along a pointless, meandering path. Every setback (big or small) will serve only to enlarge your negative self-perceptions.
How to rebuild your confidence
Reclaiming your lost confidence is about reclaiming your ACTUAL self. Think long and hard about what makes you, you. Chances are, it’s not your corner office, your Ivy League MBA degree, or your house on the hill. Wonderful as these things are, they do not constitute your core. They are yours, but they are not “you.” For now, set these things aside and ignore them. Focus instead on the stable, core attributes that make you who you are. Then feed yourself positive affirmations rooted in these attributes.
Instead of saying, “I’m a good person because of my great job”, say “I’m a good person because I’m resourceful and hard-working.”
Instead of saying, “I’m a good husband because of our big house”, say “I’m a good person because I am committed to providing for my family.”
Instead of saying, “I’m a good CEO because we were the top-selling store in the state”, say “I’m a good CEO because I do whatever it takes to make our store the best.”
Note that here, you are locating your self-worth in stable, enduring, PERSONAL traits that no setback or circumstance can take away. It’s not a quick fix – merely reciting your admirable qualities wont give you fierce fortitude overnight. Yet over time, the gradual replacing of external confidence drivers with internal ones will give you stronger self-esteem than you have ever possessed.
Accelerate your confidence recovery with Breakthrough Coaching
Recovering your innate success and confidence is a primary focus of my Breakthrough Coaching Program. My Breakthrough Program patiently dissects all of the roadblocks currently handicapping your path to more confidence, power and success…and puts you back together with more confidence, fearlessness and alignment then you have ever experienced. PLUS it’s designed to do so in weeks instead of years. Here’s how the 8-hour, 1 month coaching session works:
Session 1: Described by clients as “5 years of psychotherapy in 2 hours,” we employ a proprietary interview model which automatically reveals all the self-limiting beliefs, bad habits, poor coping mechanisms, and incongruencies which provide the general “map” of what is holding you back.
Session 2: In your second session, we focus on removing the “toxic emotions” of anger, sadness, fear, hurt, and guilt you’re currently holding from past events, thus enabling you to have a clear and calm emotional state. Finally base your decisions on today – not some failure from the past.
Session 3: Next, we will clear away any lingering self-doubts, limiting beliefs, and inner incongruities that remain from your past, giving you the freedom to walk your true North path with full assurance and alignment. As a result, you will be confident, relaxed and sure of yourself and your decisions.
Session 4: Finally, we realign your values for automatic success, renewed effectiveness, and secured goal attainment. Plus, we will create the vision of your ideal life and place this blueprint firmly into your subconscious mind for near effortless future manifestation.
Click here to contact us about Breakthrough Coaching and how it can accelerate your confidence recovery!