Insecurities Are Loud and Confidence Is Silent
Have you ever encountered that person who is a great orator, especially when it comes to highlighting their skills, role or work and personal achievements? Perhaps they advertently or inadvertently compare or contrast themselves to other people or even yourself, making themselves known to be a leader, the successful one or the specialist’? And perhaps they’re even the first to be heard, seen or talked about whether in your own social circle, professionally or across social media?
From afar you might think that this person is extremely confident, successful or ambitious. Whilst it can’t be denied that this may be true, it is also highly likely that excessive personal PR and ego driven actions of words is, in fact, a sign of insecurity, self-doubt, a cry to be heard seen and a protective response against feeling judged or rejected. After all what someone shows to the world isn’t always a true reflection to show what’s happening behind closed doors or beneath the surface.
Often, confidence can be expressed through multiple ways and yes sometimes it can be loud and you may question ‘why shouldn’t it be celebrated?’ Of course, there is nothing wrong with whether confidence is loud or modest (after all its purely subjective). However, what if ego-driven confidence is a protective masquerade against feeling pain or even worse rejection? After all, does sustainable confidence really feel the need to be heard or to be seen? What if true confidence was a feeling of an inner calm within yourself and trusting in your own intuition and gut, rather than looking to gain acknowledgement and positive confirmation from others? To a certain extent on average most people strive to experience this type of confidence that lies in between; to be neither boastful or ego driven, but to also feel calm, content, acknowledged, seen and heard.
So what happens when we encounter people or even when you yourself feel the need to promote, to showcase or boost your confidence and to show the others just how much you’ve achieved or are achieving? Within a world where PR rules (especially across social media) it’s no surprise that we sometimes find ourselves in this position. It’s also a sign of survival, of protective instinct and of human nature rather than something to feel ashamed of.
However, when you find either yourself or others in this position how can you begin to trust your own intuition and to gain more awareness and control over your responses in a non- judgmental informed way?
Here are 6 top tips to help you to trust your own intuition and to experience calm sustainable confidence from within.
1. Forgive, let go, be kind to yourself and know that you and others are only Human.
It’s very easy to scorn or to be judgmental if you find yourself or anyone you know in a self-promoting position. However, it’s important to remember everyone, at one time or another, experiences the need to search for confidence from others rather than to trust their own gut instinct. After all we are only human! The danger comes when our responses run on autopilot, and we lose all awareness of what our individual triggers are and why we behave or respond in the way we do. First of all it’s important to let go of any judgment and to move forwards towards a journey of self-discovery, starting with small but powerful steps.
2. Awareness leads to change.
Often we won’t be aware of why we, or indeed others, respond or behave in a certain way. Therefore, it’s important not to make quick judgments or assumptions. However, awareness is a powerful tool for self-discovery and the biggest time investment you can afford yourself for self-development and growth.
First of all, it’s important to recognise your own story, past attachments, fears and experiences, which can lead to how we feel about ourselves now.
Were you acknowledged or praised for your achievements as a child?
Did your parents expect you to cater to their needs rather than focusing on yours? Or alternatively did they smother you with love care or attention, so much so, that you didn’t have the time or space to realise your own potential and so you feel the need to constantly rely on others opinions or to protect yourself by being your best PR person in the hope that others will boost you up?
3. How are your experiences being replayed today?
How is your story playing out today? How is it affecting your self-esteem and relationships both with yourself and others? And if you do experience the need to reap confidence from others then ask yourself why is this?
4. Short-lived confidence versus long-term sustainable confidence.
Doesn’t it feel great to be complimented, praised, admired, or to be acknowledged?! But what happens when you’re constantly searching for praise or acknowledgement from others? It’s also important to question whether this boost in confidence lasts or is it short-lived?
The truth is that whilst being acknowledged or praised by others is incredibly important towards building self-esteem, it cannot be solely relied upon in the long-term. Only your own inner confidence and other’s acknowledgements can contribute to this!
5. Why not trust yourself?
It’s a simple but powerful question! Why not trust yourself? You may know the answer here and now, or alternatively you may need to dig a little deeper perhaps even with some trusted help. However, once you’ve uncovered the truth whether this is because of past or current fears and experiences, then you’ll feel more aware and in control.
6. Re-connect to your own inner needs, values and instincts.
It's important to ask yourself what your true life values are and whether you’re living according to your own values or someone else’s. Reconnect to what you value in life, work and relationships. Reconnect to hobbies, meditation, your health and wellbeing, relationships, which you care about, time and space for yourself, and your own positive inner voice and instincts.
7. Reimagine your vision of long-term sustainable confidence.
It may be that you already have an idea of what confidence may look like or feel like and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it’s also important to really be honest with yourself and ask is this your idea of confidence? Or a projected expectation from others about what confidence should look like or feel like? If it’s the latter, its time to afford yourself some space for reconnecting and reimagining what you believe confidence looks like or feel like for you! Try creating a vision board as a starting point.
8. Building and maintaining your own confidence.
Then ask yourself what will help you to build and maintain your own self-esteem? Will it be regular check-ins with yourself when you actively schedule time and space to reconnect to your values or needs? Or perhaps it's time to chart every time you feel proud of yourself and your achievements and to treat yourself at the end of every week or every few days as a celebration.
For every time you feel the need to seek confirmation of your worth from someone else, ask yourself can you do this for yourself? Finally, for realistic sustainable change to happen, consistency to self-development and wellbeing is key!
*Samantha Morris is an Internationally accredited IAPC&M Confidence and Success Coach. She globally coaches people from all walks of life to positively overcome a wide range of professional and personal challenges so that they may live a confident, successful and thriving life!