Being Able to See the Real You

Confidence Holds No Barrier

Confidence can range anywhere from being our own worst enemy to being our absolute best friend. For example, what if your confidence and self-esteem were so low, that you could not even pick up a napkin or walk in a straight line? I know what you are thinking. It is hard to fathom that any individual’s self confidence in the world could possibly be that degraded or devalued, even for people who are clinically depressed.

Look into a mirror and ask yourself one important question. Who do you honestly see? I have a habit of seeing someone I’m not. I visualize someone more successful, more rich and powerful, and to an enormous extent, a person I believe I won’t ever be in the future. I draw conclusions before I even try. This is what I like to call career limiting, and on a higher level, life limiting.

For several years I was under the erroneous assumption that only financially successful people were qualified to be confident. This statement would mean that workers like me shouldn’t be confident. For three weeks, I surveyed several stores such as Walmart and Krogers. What I found in three weeks contradicted my assumption. The Workers were working very hard, and they enjoyed being employed with their current boss. The workers were genuinely confident in what they did for a living.

How I learned to be confident

At first, I was very shy at trying new activities and even talking to people in general. I had trouble getting up from my seat in lunch to put a tray away due to the thought that I would knock all the trays off. The worst thing that I had experienced was being scared to pick up a napkin from a table. I literally thought I would knock the whole container off.

I have learned to be confident from working and by doing many of the activities that I thought I couldn’t do. When I just decided to bite the bullet and try some of the daunting challenges that I thought in a million years I would never do, and succeeded, I started to become more confident in everything I did. It was a very long process and did not happen overnight or in one weekend, but if done at a steady pace, it can yield significant results.

My first baby step towards building up confidence inside myself was to start easy and work myself up. I started by putting my tray away before someone else had to do it for me. I adopted the policy of grabbing a napkin everytime I had to eat messy food. I even got up to the point where I could walk in a straight line infront of a group of people. I found that my premonitions of the worse outcomes were very exaggerated and not logically possible when looked at realistically.

You Have the Power

So we have learned that being confident is not a rich person attribute. We just have to get up to the point to where we can express our confidence more often. This can be done by challenging ourselves more often and succeeding. I find that a lack of confidence is usually found in individuals that have never experienced success or praise in their daily work or people that believe that because they do not receive constant feedback, they must be doing everything wrong or just enough to get by.

Success is in the eyes of the beholder. If success is the reason for not being motivated or not being confident, I suggest that you take an honest view at yourself. What do you do best? Are you the best worker in your specific career, or business? Are you an expert on a subject? Chances are you are good at something. If lack of praise is a problem, know that not everyone is accustomed to giving praise where praise is due. They do not realize that praise is the easiest way of motivating hard workers.

Most importantly, don’t expect anything from other people. Expect everything from yourself. You don’t have to change yourself to experience success. All you have to do is to be yourself and challenge yourself to do more everyday. Even if it is a small obstacle, work to overcome it. Little by little. I feel that we can make that happen, one day at a time, one challenge after another.

Let this be the beginning of your success.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cee on June 10, 2011 at 7:23 AM

    Terrific post, Zachariah! Do you think people would be more confident if they knew their learning style and used it to their advantage?

    My former boss wouldn’t let me write notes to myself when I was trying to learn something new, even though I felt inside that doing so would help me learn faster so I could be more effective.

    If I find myself in the same situation again, I hope I have the confidence to explain that that is just my learning style; I’m pretty sure I’m a visual learner as I used to draw simple pictures to help me memorize information for tests. I believe a recent study also showed that people learn better when they make hand-written notes as opposed to typing notes on a computer keyboard.


  2. Hello and I apologize for the late comment.

    It is important that we recognize what helps us best and not try to deny it or think that it is a disadvantage. Sometimes what we think is a disadvantage is really a good and helpful strategy.

    I think that you and I are somewhat the same. When I have a problem comprehending something, I write notes, or I draw diagrams and pictures. My boss actually recommended that I do that and encouraged me to.

    I know someone at my current work that takes notes as well. The note taking has helped him so much, and I believe he would not perform as good as he currently is if he didn’t take notes. Explaining to your boss that you have that kind of learning style is key. Not only would a good manager let you do that, the ideal manager will also encourage the note taking.

    And yes, studies have been made that written notes DO help more than typed notes on a computer.

    Good luck, and do tell you boss. Even if you don’t get what you want, there is almost always a way to change a bosses mind once they are convinced enough.


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