Building Self Confidence:
Developing the Skills You Need to be Confident
Values and Your
Belief System (excerpt from Chapter 3)
If you want to increase
your self-confidence you need to know and live by your
own values and belief system. People who lack self-confidence
seem to take on the beliefs of those around them, agreeing
with people. They may be afraid to show their true selves
for fear of rejection. They may be afraid that others
will not approve of them or their views and are therefore
not willing to say what they really think. Instead they
go along with the crowd so they feel as though they fit
In reality, if you
don't show your views and your own values, you aren't
letting people see the real you. You are hiding behind
a façade that few, if any, people can penetrate.
In order to be able to show your views you need to understand
your own values and belief system.
Take some time to evaluate
your own thoughts and feelings about major issues. One
way to do this is through journaling. Journaling allows
you to write down your own thoughts and feelings every
day. The more often you journal the better you will be
able to come to know yourself. Try journaling every evening
before going to bed. You can write about anything that
happened that day. You can then go back to your journal
later to learn more about yourself. With today's hectic
lifestyle it's hard to spend time evaluating yourself.
Your journal can help you uncover things about yourself
that can help improve your self-confidence.
Everyone has his or
her own belief system. Often families share similar values
but even people who are related to one another may have
slightly different beliefs. Make sure that you aren't
just like a chameleon, taking on the values or beliefs
of those around you.
Everyone has certain
things they feel they should do or certain ways they feel
they should act. These ideas started when you were young.
Often, your parents told you what you should and should
not do. As an adult you may feel guilt when you ignore
or dismiss one of the things you think you should do.
affect your self-confidence. They are rules you are trying
to follow that may actually be unhealthy for you. "Shoulds"
demand you to act in ways that may be impossible. You
may be living with childhood shoulds. These are ideas
that may have served you well as a child but need to be
revised or gotten rid of entirely.
How do you know what your 'shoulds' are and how they serve
you? Make a list of all the things you tell yourself you
Some of the things
we have always told ourselves to believe may not be healthy
for us. We can't be all things to all people. Healthy
values are those that are flexible. There are no such
things as rigid rules. Our values have to be able to reflect
the unique circumstances that happen all the time. Healthy
values are truly believed, not just forced upon us. When
our parents told us to feel a certain way, that didn't
make us automatically feel it. In order for values to
be healthy we need to take them as our own. The values
also need to be realistic. If you have unrealistic values
you will never be able to attain them, thus setting yourself
up for failure every time. Healthy values help enhance
your life, not cause you undue stress or put restrictions
on you. You need to be able to be free to follow your
true self, wherever that may lead you. Values that are
too near-sighted restrict you from reaching out of your
small comfort zone. While staying in your comfort zone
may feel good, it will not let you become your full self.