WHAT IS SELF-CONFIDENCE?
Self-confidence is a feeling that comes from a healthy and positive attitude towards ourselves. When we are confident, then we love and accept ourselves as we are. We are aware of our strengths and weaknesses and create harmonious and positive relationships, successfully cope with stress… It can be also called an emotional stability.
It is a very important trait in our lives on which depends our success and quality of life. It is certainty in ourselves and our own values and strengths. Confident people are sure they can achieve their goals and dreams. They are not discouraged because of failures they face, as opposed to people who lack self-confidence and react on failures with feelings of guilt, inadequacy, low self-worth and incapability.
Lack of self-confidence causes negative consequences in our lives: loneliness, fear, depression, life stagnation, poor relationships, psychosomatic illnesses and various addictions.
Self-confidence is beginning to develop or distort under the influence of the environment in which we grew up.
Millions of people have problems with self-confidence because of different educational and social conditions.
By observing teaching methods of parents and teachers we found out an interesting fact that on every praise come 10 criticism or even punishments. This leaves a negative trace on the child and continues in adulthood.
Lack of Self-confidence is proportional to the level of exposure to frustrations throughout life.
IS SELF-CONFIDENCE INNATE QUALITY AND CAN IT BE DEVELOPED?
My answer is “Of course it can!” It all depends on whether we believe in that and whether we have decided to do something about it. Building self-confidence is actually changing the patterns of thinking, behaviors and feelings.
Once I thought that confidence cannot be built. I thought if you don’t have it, that’s it. I believed that we were born with low self-confidence. But, life has convinced me otherwise. Over time I realize that I can still do something about it. Actually, a lot!
Confidence is a trait that is not inborn but is evolving throughout life. It is not an unchangeable trait with which we are born.
However, a large proportion of Self-Confidence is built against our will through childhood experiences that have a significant impact on the development of Self-confidence.
The sense of certainty is not associated with intelligence. Some studies show that many of low self-confidence individuals belong among the most intelligent people. This is because these people have an intent to analyze, rationalize and understand things meaningful. A corollary of such behavior is a lack of spontaneous experience.
SOME CAUSES OF LOW SELF-CONFIDENCE
The sense of certainty and also the feelings of low self-worth are built by our upbringing. It all starts in the home but we can not ignore experiences from school, environment and workplace.
According to psychological research, a child is not completely free to develop in normal circumstances, but his spontaneous and natural development is impaired by tutors.
Lots of parents, teachers and educators practice an authoritarian style of educating. One survey among German parents showed that most parents rather use punishment than praise as upbringing method. Some even believe raising the children is possible without praise.
One of the destructive pedagogic beliefs is that a real man is raised only by abundant punishment. The results of such treatment are not only destruction of a child’s self-confidence, but also an encouragement of their aggression.
In this way, parents and educators are raising the child to become obedient to the authority and amplifying their inner anger which finds its output on partners, children and others who have nothing to do with their anger.
Or they can raise the person whose sense of worth is very low and who believe the only way to resolve their insufficiency is aggressively pursuing the career and achievements.
What impact the parental treatment has on us shows the Pygmalion effect or Prophecy effect which is based on the fact that our beliefs and expectations influence our behavior so they lead to the fulfillment of these expectations.
Pygmalion’s effect proved to be true in many experiments. For example, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson made an interesting experiment.
At the beginning of the experiment, they perform an intelligence test for all students. The test results were not shown to the teachers.
Then they told teachers that a certain percentage of students had a significantly higher intelligence quotient and it could be expected much more of them.
After a while, they tested the intelligence to all students again. They found that the test results of these “chosen” students were much better (Up to 50% higher than the other students).
Teachers have developed positive expectations for these children, so they expected positive results.
That shows that our expectations largely affect the behavior of others.
Researches have also shown that high expectations of the superiors lead to better business results.
Eden proposed a model that explains this:
1. The high expectations of the superiors lead to better results.
2. The consequence is high expectations of the subordinate
3. This motivates them to invest more effort into work.
4. This leads to improvements in performance and results.
So, if we want to thrive it is important to create a climate of positive expectations around us. We can do that by following these steps:
1. We have to develop a belief that everyone can improve their performance.
2. We need to trust the people we choose to work with and live.
3. It is good to set high criteria.
4. It is necessary to reward and praise people for a well-done job.
5. Give people a constructive feedback on a good work.
6. Helping people in their progress.
7. Introduce new employees as competent
8. Raise awareness of our own prejudices with which we can discourage employees.
These instructions are applicable in all areas of life.
One of the pollutants are the movies full of aggression that the mind unconsciously absorbs. Aggressive movie heroes in such movies are role models for many viewers.
Confidence, happiness, and optimism serve as a base that is linked to harmful products in advertising. As a consequence viewers believe they can be happy and self-confident only when they possess such products like cigarette, alcohol… This creates a society who believe that happiness is in spending.
Frustrations in dealing with people
Self-confidence is also manifested in the context of other people. The amount of frustration a person experiences throughout life affects their self-confidence. More frustration through life will make a person more insecure and anxious.