For many people the start of a new year is the ideal time to refresh their resolution to effect a change for good in their lives. Countless investigations into the effectiveness of these so-called New Year’s resolutions have shown that the motivation to start anew is strongest at the turn of the year. For people suffering from a lack in confidence and self-esteem the new year can bring a change for the better. When you understand your condition, you can take steps to improve your situation.
The first thing you should now as a person suffering from a lack of confidence is that you are not alone. The problem is very common. Many people feel insecure on a daily basis, many people have doubts about their achievements, many people feel uncomfortable in public, and many people are afraid of failing. Lack of confidence generally manifests itself as a lack of trust in our own abilities. To improve your confidence, you need to learn to trust yourself regardless of other people’s reactions. When you trust yourself, you act consciously and without doubt because you feel that you are doing right by yourself. This feeling of “rightness” comes from within, from your unconditioned self.
A lack of Confidence is Caused by Doubt
Doubt is the main culprit in creating low confidence. Everything you do and every thought you have is hampered by doubt. Your whole experience of life becomes filled with this doubt. When you reflect on a situation that happened in the past, you think about your actions, and you condemn yourself for not having acted in a different way. When you think about something that is yet to happen, you are already sure you will fail. In the here and now, you are constantly monitoring other people’s reactions because you are sure that you are doing something wrong.
Low self-confidence can develop when the outside world is determining your thoughts and actions. Many people are led by external influences, instead of being in touch with their inner nature. The main reasons for this are conditioning and ever-changing living conditions.
Conditioning and Changing Circumstances Affect the Way You See Yourself
Your personality plays an important role in determining the level of confidence that you possess. Our personality in turn is largely determined by conditioning. Conditioning has to do with your predetermined behavior, based on predetermined thoughts and feelings. Simply put, the way that people respond to situations is influenced by their past experiences.
Because circumstances are not a fixed entity, people will not always be able to fall back on predetermined actions. This causes insecurity. You can suddenly start to doubt your outlook on life when something unexpected or unusual happens. This way of seeing the world is grounded in the belief that circumstances are relatively fixed, but this is a grave mistake. Everything around you is subject to change, even people. If are too rigid in your expectations of life, you will quickly lose your self-confidence.
Five Steps to Improved Confidence
In order to improve your confidence, you need to develop a personality that is less subject to conditioning and better able to deal with changing circumstances. In other words, a personality that is not vulnerable to external influences.
The first step is to become aware of how you much you are led by conditioning. When you become conscious of how past experiences influence your current behavior, you can choose to act differently. Reflecting on how your current beliefs about life came about, will help you to recognize unhelpful thoughts.
The next step is to challenge your predetermined behavior by observing yourself closely in different situations. Observe your thoughts and feelings in different circumstances. This will bring you closer to your inner-nature, and you will start to understand that you may not be acting in your own interest by letting predetermined thoughts and actions take over. Look out for patterns of thought that make you feel bad about yourself.
The third step is to engage in new experiences. New experiences are important in slowly developing new confidence by being less afraid of change. These experiences don’t have to be confidence-building exercises. Anything that interests you, anything that you have been wanting to try out but were afraid to, will help to feed your feeling of personal worth.
Developing clear goals for yourself is the fourth step. Before you can set goals, you need to know where you are headed in your life. Where you are headed depends on what your own personal values are: what do you find most important in life? Once you know what you value the most, you can set goals that will get you to that point, little by little.
The final step is to always be conscious of why you are doing something. Conditioning is not something that will just disappear, but you can weaken its effect over time. By always being conscious of what is influencing your thoughts and behavior, you can make confident decisions about your life.
To sum up, the best strategy to improve your confidence is to first become aware of your conditioning, then to examine your own thoughts and behavior, to experience new things that enrich your life, to develop goals for yourself, and finally to always be conscious in your actions. Once you are clear about what it is that you want to achieve in life, your will be able to act without being influenced by external factors. Your confidence will grow because you will be able to trust yourself again.