What kills our self confidence?
In our last post, we talked about two confidence killers. The unknown confidence killer and Others. But then we learned that these two killers are not the main killers. Because although external things like our genes, other people, their beliefs, and their opinion of us can affect our personality and our reality, they cannot determine it. The only power that has the authority to determine, control, and change our personality and reality, is Ourselves.
This is the source of our personality, our characteristics, our feelings, and our behaviors. It is now proven that in any given moment we can alter our personality, our feelings, our actions, and the quality of our life by controlling our thoughts and changing the content of our mind. So no matter what others think about us, no matter what opinion they hold about us, no matter what they say about us, we can simply ignore them, control our thoughts, focus on our goal and move on. But ignoring other people is not always the best option. Because in most cases we need real feedback from other people to know our strength and weaknesses and find the best way to improve the quality of our life. So what do you think is the best way to deal with other people and their opinions? There is this simple formula to do deal with other people: Other people always talk about two Ps: Personality and our character, or Process and our behaviors. First, when they talk about the process or our behaviors and actions, we must listen and pay attention to them and see if we can learn anything from them to improve the quality of our action. This kind of talking is what we call feedback. No matter how critic they are, no matter if they say negative things, if they talk about the process and our actions, it is worth paying close attention to. In such cases, we must be humble and carefully listen to what they say and think about it and see if what they say can improve our behaviors and our results. Second, when they talk about our personality or character. In these cases, we have four options: to dispute, to docilely accept, to disregard, or to discover. To dispute means to argue about the situation and defend ourselves or to criticize back and tell the critic person that his/her personality is worse than ours. This is not a good approach, so we simply try to avoid disputing as long as possible. To docilely accept means to be unconfident, overly submissive, and accept what other people say, negative or positive, right or wrong. Docile comes from the Latin word Docere which means teaching. And a person is docile if he/she is easily taught and handled. Docile person is unconfident and submissive and always look for other people to tell him/her what to do. His/her personality, behaviors, and the quality of his/her life depends on and is determined by other people. Those people who believe that their personality is the result of what other people are telling them, are docile people. But you and I are not. We won’t let other people to take control of our life and manipulate us and use us to reach their own goals. From now on, we will take control of our action and our life.
To disregard means to simply ignore and do not listen to what other people are saying. While this is in some cases an effective option, we as confident people, can go beyond this ordinary approach and try to choose the forth option, which is to discover. To discover means to analyze what others are criticizing about and see if what they say is related to our actions? If it is, then we should assume their opinion as a feedback and see whether or not that feedback can improve the quality of our actions. If it can, then thanks to that critic person, we have the chance to improve our behaviors, and if it cannot improve the quality of our behaviors, we simply ignore them.
As you can see, our genetic features and other people do play a role in our life. Though, they do not have the authority to determine, control, and or change our personality, our feelings, our beliefs and the quality of our life, unless we give them that authority by giving up on ourselves. If we do not give them that permission, they cannot change a bit in our life.
You most probable are asking this important question: Let’s say these are all right, but when we were child we didn’t know these things, we had no control over our life. And so it was our family, friends, school, and society that determined our personality. Right?
I must say that you are totally right about that. When we were kids, we didn’t have much control over these things. But what about now? We now know that we can change, so why not to change? Why not to stop blaming other people and start taking full responsibility of who we are and who we want to be tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or after 5 years? We are mature people right now. And one of the characteristics of the mature people is that they take full responsibility of their life.
If our life is a boat on the ocean, it is time for us to be the captain and control this boat. I know it is not easy, but if we want to live a free and happy life, we need to do it. Do not forget, we do not know for sure whether we will have a second chance to live or not, so let’s live each and everyday as if it is our last day of life…
Until our next article, let’s embrace change, be bold, and live a confident life in each and every moment of our lives…