It all started when my friend Cassie Eubanks told me about her Facebook page, the Confidence Zone, and how confidence is very different from self-esteem.
Hmm! Interesting concept, just slightly unsettling. What is this I feel?
Then, Cassie asked me to be a guest expert for the Confidence Zone.
I have confidence in my field of study, I just never checked the box confident on any self evaluation form I ever filled out.
Until recently… First and foremost, I needed to look up confidence and self-esteem in the Miriam-Webster dictionary.
Confidence (noun) – a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
Self-Esteem (noun) – measuring oneself against another instead of one’s own intrinsic value.
After searching the web, studies reveal...the first step in building confidence is to stop comparing ourselves to others and evaluating our every move; in other words, we need to challenge our critical inner voice. The critical inner voice is like a nasty coach in our heads that constantly nags us with destructive thoughts towards ourselves or others.
Dr. Kristin Neff argues that, “there is a problem with society’s focus on high self-esteem. The problem is that this focus involves measuring oneself against others, rather than paying attention to one’s intrinsic value. Our competitive culture tells us we need to be special and above average to feel good about ourselves, but we can’t all be above average at the same time. In this sense, searching for confidence by constantly comparing ourselves to others means to always be fighting a losing battle. There is always someone richer, more attractive, or successful than we are. And even when we do manage to feel self-esteem for one golden moment, we can’t hold on to it. Our sense of confidence bounces around like a ping-pong ball, rising and falling in lock-step with our latest.”
Then the shift happened… Cassie shared that if she is trying to eat well, and she wants chocolate, she does not think about the chocolate, she envisions how juicy and delicious the fruit will taste. I wanted some soda, instead, I envisioned how cool and refreshing water would be. I will not dwell on what is not good for me, I will put my attention on what is good for me. Energy flows to what we put our attention towards.
Wait, this is building my confidence right before my eyes. Am I appreciating my own abilities? I am strong and I am capable. This is my key to confidence.
So think about how this works in your life. Cassie mentioned, when she does not want to go to the gym, she stops herself and envisions how great she will feel afterwards, more energy, healthy mind and body. What an amazing discovery and tool to use with breakthrough results.
O.k. maybe I am not always perfect in my choices every time; the confidence remains. The more I practice, the more I will be empowered.
Today, I can proudly say, I can check confident on my next personality evaluation. I am a confident person, I am strong and capable. We all are strong and capable.
Thank you Cassie for your time, inspiration, and pearls of wisdom. You are so powerful and kind.
For further discussion, look for me on Facebook.com/theConfidenceZone