The lack of self-confidence is an issue regularly raised by people who get in touch with Birmingham Counselling Services. As we all know, a reasonable level of self-confidence and self-esteem is a very positive attribute which affects our whole lives. Sometimes through no fault of our own we lose the vein of self-confidence we were born with. You will find other articles in this series which look at ways of boosting your self-image; this one simply gives some examples of the benefits to be gained by doing just that.
People who believe in themselves are able to deal with chaotic situations without becoming chaotic themselves. They know that they are capable of making a decision and are able to make constructive efforts to solve whatever problem has arisen. In itself this will help them to reduce or avoid excessive stress, high blood pressure, anger, confusion – all the negative side effects of feeling powerless, overwhelmed and out of control. Self-confident people are therefore on one of the paths to good health and taking pleasure in life. Self-confidence is one of the best face packs you can have.
People with self-confidence are often better equipped to hold boundaries while at work and to leave work behind when they go home. A well-managed day at work will have an impact on how the worker behaves when s/he gets home, making him/her more cheerful, looking forward to spending time with family or friends, or having an evening alone, and having the time to spend. Time enjoyed with partners, children and friends can become a rejuvenating experience in itself, and the worker might well feel better equipped for the challenge of the next day at work. Alternatively, someone with self-esteem will be able to take pleasure in time spent alone, without worrying that solitude might be the result of unpopularity.
Time well spent is the most precious investment we can make in any relationship. Again, the ability to hold boundaries will have a positive impact on our work/life balance, so that we neither neglect nor feel neglected by those we care about, nor do we make too many demands on them.
There can be knock-on effects:
Spending focused time with a partner, relative or friend can help to strengthen the relationship, as long as we are not fretting about the need to be somewhere else. With children it can help them grow up with a feeling of love and security. These children then have a greater chance of maturing into self-reliant and self-confident adults themselves. Other people are frequently attracted to the self-confident, (not to the over-confident), which can help to establish a circle of friends and a good social life.
Self-confidence is known to make us more effective in our work. We might even enjoy it, as we know what we can do and are not afraid to tackle the unknown nor to ask for help when we need it. No-one gets everything right, but making a mistake is not the end of the world. Confident employees are capable of taking up complex tasks that require commitment and concentration. Confident managers and executives can often maintain hope and enthusiasm and bring life to the atmosphere of the workplace, inspiring those around them, encouraging people to bring forward their ideas, supporting imaginative suggestions (and giving credit for them), respecting commitment and helping everyone to keep going when times are hard. At whatever level you are working your confidence will be an asset to your employer, or you will promote your own business in a believably positive way. Confident people develop a habit of dealing positively with whatever task they focus on. Sometimes they can even beat deadlines!
A task completed well and on time can bring a feeling of happiness and greater self-worth, and give you time to spare as well, avoiding rush and panic and helping you to maintain some control in your life.
(i) When employers are reviewing performance they are likely to be impressed by those who can focus on the job in hand and complete it successfully, those who can generate team spirit, those who can lead from the front when appropriate. These are the people who will be seen to be contributing to the success of the company and therefore to be kept in mind for any bonus or promotion which might arise.
(ii) Self-belief means that you do not need constant external reassurance, promotions or pay rises to know that you are doing a good job, and that you need not feel demeaned by the menial. Indeed, you do not need to be defined or valued in terms of the work you do or the job you don’t have. You do not need to be earning money to be of value. In any aspect of life it is your personal qualities which matter and it is these for which you will be valued by others and which you can learn to recognise in yourself, without becoming self-centered or over-confident..
It is true that self-confident people stand a greater chance of achieving visible success in most aspects of life than their less confident contemporaries. This potential for success can encourage others to look up to them and seek to emulate them. The self-belief which gives them the courage to take on greater challenges can contribute to the development of powerful solutions. Self-confident people can rise to senior positions and equally can be happy and contented where they are, without forever striving for the next rung on the ladder.
This in itself can act as a source of inspiration for others. Self-confident people have the ability to become assets to their families, their friends, their employers, their colleagues, even people they do not know but who have noticed them. People take pride in knowing and following them, and they often become role models in both personal and professional life.
This article might have been the last thing you wanted to read, if self-worth and self-confidence and self-esteem are missing from your life. We all doubt our own value from time to time, and can be shocked by others’ positive assessments of us. If this describes you, try to hear what the others are saying. Think how uncomfortable life would be if we all wanted to be leading from the front, being the life and soul of the party, being first in line for the next promotion. Remember that for one person to be judged a good speaker there have to be many good listeners, that calm and peaceful quiet is missing from so many lives and to be able to offer that quiet space is a gift that many people lack. You can value yourself and be of great value to others without needing to appear at the Comedy Club.
We hope that you have found this article helpful, and we would welcome feedback. If the article has raised an issue which is painful for you to consider, you could get in touch with Birmingham Counselling Services. (You can do so by telephone – 0121 314 9903 – or by email – you can send us a message through the contact page on this website, where you found the article: www.BirminghamCounsellingServices.co.uk) One of our qualified and experienced practitioners will be able to support you in working to improve your self-esteem.