Sometimes people fear that by acknowledging their strengths they will come over as conceited. Occasionally people approach Birmingham Counselling Services because they are confused and wary about acknowledging their positive aspects. Some thoughts on this issue are contained in this article.
If you have confidence in yourself you generally know when to trust your own judgment and instincts, when to be flexible, and how to admit that you might have been wrong without losing your belief in yourself. None of us can be right all the time and we are not diminished by admitting it. If you know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses other people will come to trust you and to entrust you with responsibilities. You are likely to succeed, and you will appear successful and focused, inviting the confidence of others.
However, if you lose your flexibility and find it difficult to admit to having got something wrong, if you try to boost your image by regularly reminding people how good you are, whether or not there is solid evidence to back this up, others will start to lose confidence in you, to question your judgment, and possibly to see you as arrogant. At this point colleagues and managers might begin to distance themselves, family and friends become reluctant to spend time in your company. Generally, you will lose peoples’ trust, and once lost it can be hard to regain. If you voluntarily remove yourself from a team you have to work hard to regain your place.
If you want to check out how others see you, and you feel brave enough, ask a few people how you come across. Remember that the responses might be uncomfortable to hear and try not to blame the messenger for the message. Once you have your answers you can start to work at improving your relationships and therefore your image. This is not easy – you might have started blowing your own trumpet just because you lacked the self-confidence to let others judge for themselves. Ask yourself who you were trying to impress and convince and answer yourself honestly, however painful it might be.
Think about who impresses you among your family, friends and colleagues – is it people who constantly talk about what they have done/are doing/will do or those who quietly get on with things without giving a running commentary or asking for praise, admiration or reassurance? Do you accept other people’s assessments of themselves or do you like to experience the evidence of who they are and make up your own mind? See if you can start to modify how you act and speak to be more like those you respect and trust and admire. Watch not only what you say but how you say it. Try not to let “I” and “me” become the two most used words in your vocabulary. Remember the power of silence. And try to notice and remember the responses you get.
Don’t be afraid to try something new, to give yourself a challenge. Feel very proud of yourself for succeeding, for achieving, for acquiring a new skill. And remember that you don’t have to tell the world, you can enjoy your success quietly. Something of it will communicate itself to others as your self-confidence will have grown. Think of it as being like nurturing a seed, supporting it to germinate and grow into a healthy plant.
If you feel that you need help in looking at this difficult and sensitive issue, a counselor at Birmingham Counselling Services could offer you the non-judgmental support you need. You can contact us by telephone: 0121 314 9903, or via our website: www.BirminghamCounsellingServices.co.uk