The Need For Validation and Self-Confidence

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Self-confidence is above all the belief that you are in control of your present situation in life. It’s faith in your ability to be able to cope with whatever may come your way. It’s about knowing that your ego is strong enough to remain unscathed by whatever criticism may come your way.

Self-confidence is about the way that you see yourself and not something that is awarded if certain criterions are met. Anyone, regardless of status, appearance, education or background can have self-confidence. It is not something that is gracefully bestowed to a chosen few; it is something that is earned.

It is earned by moving out of the comfort zone and exploring the unfamiliar and the unknown. It is earned by testing our wings where we’ve never been before. It is earned by exposing our ego and taking the chance to have it bruised.

Self-confidence is the result of a multitude of small victories over inhibition and self-doubts. It’s the result of self-examination and self-exploration. It’s about testing Nietzsche’s famous quote that says, “What does not kill me, makes me stronger.”

Bizarre as is may seem, with a poor self-image and little self-confidence, the ego is so fragile that it will view a possible rebuke or criticism as a near life-threatening situation. No wonder it does take courage to expose the self to social situations where the outcome is uncertain.

That’s the reason that some people will spend their entire life chained to the restraints imposed by a lack of self-confidence. The fear of being hurt by rejection or some unkind remark is so great that the status quo seems preferable to going through the process essential to break free of those limitations.

A lack of self-confidence is caused by fear. The fear of being ridiculed, the fear of criticism, the fear of failure. In one word, the fear of having the ego bruised. There is only one way of conquering and eliminating a fear and that is by confronting it.

The more a fear is confronted, the more the person becomes desensitized. The more victories over a specific fear, the more confidence grows and the less effective that fear becomes.

Remember the first time you tried to swim underwater. Just sticking your head underwater was a major feat. Two or three days later, you could not even remember being afraid of water. The same principle applies to whatever fear is holding you back from being self-confident.

Most people affected with low self-confidence are under the false impression that self-confidence comes with validation from our peers. They believe that the secret of self-confidence is love and acceptance from others.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Whatever others think of us has absolutely nothing to do with our level of self-confidence. Self-confidence is not the result of validation and acceptance. It’s the result of faith in one’s ability to be above the ego’s petty fears of being bruised or damaged by the opinion or judgment of others.

Having a healthy dose of self-confidence is one of life’s most precious possessions. It’s the ticket to self-expression and self-actualization. It’s not something that will come from the intervention of other people. It is something that we have to create ourselves. It’s done by having the courage to confront our fears by going outside of our comfort zone and doing the things that we are fearful of doing.

The secret of doing this is by starting with small challenges and gradually increase the level of those challenges. There is nothing esoteric about this; it’s just applied common sense. Something that anyone can do if the desire is strong enough.

Dr. Raymond Comeau aka Shamou is the Author of ShamouBlog and Owner Administrator of Personal Development for Personal Success Forums

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