|While researching for information to construct a personality survey, I became interested in learning more about the different aspects of self-confidence. Although the information will be included in a women's beauty survey I'm working on (which may seem rather shallow), I've realized how central self-confidence is to each of us in all sorts of interactions we have every day in society. In brief reflection, it seems like most of the interpersonal conflict and acts of hate we run across as we go about our own path may be seeded in the insecurities of others, and ourselves.
Lots of women find that wearing makeup increases their self-confidence. Makeup isn't a cheat. It's a means of re-creating an image that's not all we dream of. Beauty is not just skin deep, but it can increase the level of confidence a women has in her daily interactions. It's not vanity. It's putting your best possible face forward. I speak as a woman.
Men must have some aspects of their lives that play a similar role of that of makeup. Maybe it's the physical results of working out at the gym, or "the" car a person drives. Maybe it's the fine quality of clothing, fashionable footwear. or flashy jewelry. Maybe too much of what makes the contemporary world go round is people depending on the external to project to others the image they desire for themselves, but aren't that confident about.
The web site for the confidence club lists five areas in which people experience negative issues about self-confidence: social situations, body acceptance, stage fright, dealing with people who are different, and thinking and acting as an individual with a unique set of experences and derived values. This essay presents the structure, and hopes the reader will ponder an issue or two for self-reflection.
Wheather a person is a leader or a follow usually depends on the situation. Those who don't usually speak in front of large audiences may anticipate the experience with anxious anticipation. Nobody wants to play the role of a fool, and most of our chilhood experiences program us to be somewhat desensitized to the criticism of others, or perhaps internalize such comments to our detrement.
1. Social confidence provides the ability to share one's innermost experiences. Every day activities like food, music, and other pleasurable activity have meaning which is better becasue it's shared with others. It's not just the Thanksgiving meal, but sharing with family and friends that gives pleasure. When we draw strength and pleasure from others around us, we grow in social confidence.
Empathy and congruence are two qualities related to social confidence. Empthay is the ability to experience the world through another person's eyes and feelings. We need to be able to read and react to the social clues of others, like body language and tone, and this comes with life experiences.
Congruence is a measure of the extend to which your experiences, your feelings, and the face you present to the world all match one another. It's also a measure of the extent to which you are true to yourself, regardless of the influence of others. Teenagers especially struggle with this concept in becoming an adult. A highly congruent person is the same in terms of values and beliefs to himself and to others.
When you can ignore outside stressors and influences and still be true to yourself and your beliefs, you are a congruent. The more congruent we become, the easier it is for us to expose our true nature to others and develop honest relationships.
2. Physical presence and body language are subconscious qualities that show up in our physical being when we interact with others. Body language is culturally learned. One person dominates a group while another person seems to be invisible; our body language communicates our inner sense of worth to others. We send information about ourselves to others whether we realize it or not. People who are uncomfortable with what they are saying, otherwise known as lying, will blink excessively. As one thinks of a reply, eyes look up to the left or right depending on if we are searching our memories or creating new information. Body language is interesting to study. A steadfast belief in your own worth, or lack of it, is projected by your posture, eye contact, the use of your head, and physical body tension or relaxation. Acquiring a solid belief in one's own value and worth is essential. Smile, and you will feel happier. Stand up tall when you talk on the phone and your tone and language become more decisive.
Although much of stage presence and body language are subconscious, you can work on improving your public persona. You should forget about past failures, except as an opportunity to learn. Develop a respect for others, and don't be afraid to show it. Those who give respect are more likely to receive it. Focus on the future, and look into your leadership values.
3. Stage presence is the quality which allows us to hold a very public position in a relaxed manner. It allows us to remain ourselves under the scrutiny of others. There is a difference in "acting presence", which is the ability to portray a contrived role, and a true "stage presence" where you are free and comfortable being yourself.
By reducing the amount of tension you feel in public situations, your manner will become more relaxed and you will be better received by your audience. Your tensions may arise from a matter of degrees. You may relate well to one person, or a small group of people, but freeze in front of a large group. It happens.
A full social life requires that we expose ourselves to public observation. You need to become more relaxed about being in a situation that involves public scrutiny. Preparation and practice of your material or subject matter are key elements to deal with in overcoming anxiety about being center stage in larger groups of people. The way a runner trains for a short race, or a marathon, is similar. Building up to increasingly larger audiences will help you achieve confidence for the situation. It gets easier each time. Dwell on your successes.
4. Status confidence is the ability to deal with people as equals, no matter what their social or financial status is. In the real world, we seem to automatically adjust our language, messages, and values to accommodate dominant people--and in the process we dimish ourselves. Sometimes this becomes habitual.
Acting out of habit, we label ourselves, sometimes in an uncomplementary way because of these others. Social pressures may prevent you from seeking a job promotion or asking a special person out on a date because of a perceived or real social/financial gap. Negative self talk may keep you from trying to advance the social position in which you see yourself right now. However, different social situations require that we sometimes be a leader, and sometimes a follower. Experience teaches us to adapt our social roles to the situation without negative self talk.
Raising status confidence relies on two conscious activities: sending a strong message of raised status to our own subconsious, and becoming comfortable and calm while experiencing challenges from dominant persons. Being aware of our self-messages, and modifying them to raise our confidence must be a consious decision--and it can make a big difference in the way you feel about yourself.
5. Peer independence is the quality which allows you to hold a position, or belief, which is contrary to the consensus. It's related to moral courage and integrity.
To enhance your career, and self-esteem, you need to be comfortable with doing more than your peers. Such ambition requires that you resist the pressure of others to conform. Develop a sense of adventure--they wait for an invitation.
Despite providing security and comfort, family and friends can label you and hold you back. Their life patterns and choices need not exactly match yours. These are some of the qualities of an independent person: originality of throught, leadership, willingness to listen to opposing ideas, moral courage, integrity, and credibility. These people have a strong commitment to the objective truth.
We all have peer independence to some degree. Accepting personal freedom is a challenge for many people, but it is the basis from which we develop personal growth.