Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Self confidence

I was talking to my "life-coach" yesterday, and he said I really need to work on building my self-confidence. Once I have that up, it will take care of a lot of other personality problems I have. Its not a very long list, but its a list nonetheless.

So that got me thinking, how did I get like this in the first place? How does one develop self-confidence? Does everyone have to make conscious efforts? Do girls usually have lower confidence than guys?

I think a very big factor in my case is that my parents "worried" too much about me.
What will my future be like, will I get a good husband, will I be happy, who will take care of me after they are gone, will I be ok? The usual worries girls' parents have, I suppose. But that is all they did, worry. They were overly protective and I usually had most things done for me, instead of me learning and figuring out things myself. I had a very cushy life. I was conditioned to expect someone to do everything for me, conditioned to think that I might not really be capable of doing things. To summarize, the people I trusted most, and believed, did not trust and believe in me. (Thats my perspective, of course. I am sure this was not their intention!)

And I inherited their thoughts. I worry, will I be able to do this, will I succeed, will I be ok, who do I turn to when I need this, this and that? Instead of thinking, yes, I can, I am buried in self-doubt, and I always question, can I? Instead of turning to myself to get what I want, I try to find someone else who will get my this, this and that.

I blamed them for "protecting" me, for not giving me the confidence I could have had. But now, I guess its time I got out of that blame game and recognize myself for who I am. And I am doing good :-)

Any other thoughts on what causes low confidence?

Edited to add: Have added some more long, long, thoughts in the comments section :)


Pavi!!!! said...

know wat the very fact u know , u accept and want to do sumthing about it means u have moved a step ahead of the problem. Don wrry u'll be able to overcome it soon.

n im sure ur parents trusted n believed u. My sis had a boy 2 yrs back and in her letter to him she writes : (this is not verbatum, but i loved this bit so rewriting it for u in short, in my words)
"We might seem overly protective and caring many times, giving u too man Dos and Don'ts. But pls u'stand that we are that way coz of what is happening in the world and the stories we hear about li'l children. We might scold u and ask u to study better. But one thing u must remember at all times is that We love u for u.Nothing matters as much in our world as much as u)

N that i blv is true of most parents..they just dont say it in so many words!

Pavi!!!! said...

n hey u have a "life-coach"! wooow..whoz that?wats his/her role?Really, can sumone coach u to handle life?

aneri_masi said...

Yeah, yeah, all that is fine. I never doubted that they did what they did out of love. My question was not whether I can overcome this or not. My question was
"what causes low confidence, where does it start? Can it be avoided in the first place?"

I have no doubt that parents love their children, and always want the best for them. But in day to day stresses that parents go through, they some times end up taking their kids' feelings for granted. Kids are not born with any opinions about themselves. It is the behaviors of those closest to them that builds this opinion. I am not saying that parents should go over the top and praise their kids all the time for no reason, but they should definitely give credit where it is due, give them responsibilities, treat them as real people with feelings and opinions, not as "kids...what do they know!". If you don't let them fall, how will they learn to get up, how will they know its ok to fall?

I know of a 12 yr old girl, who's mom says she is slowly starting to get aloof, she hates it when mom complains about her to someone, goes completely quiet when mom questions her about something she has done, "why-did-you-do-this-who-asked-you-to-blah-blah". I think what is going on in her head is "My mother does not like me, she is complaining about me, saying that I have been bad, she does not like what I do, she does not like how I do it, maybe I am not good in the first place".

Now if this was a 34 yr old adult, and the mom had the same questions, she would probably have a different tone, a different way to treat that person. She will be more gentle!

Anyway...my question was "what are some of the other probably causes of low confidence"

aneri_masi said...

pavi...just saw your second comment.
Well, that's what they call themselves. I signed up for this program with Franklin Covey. Its based on the book by Stephen Covey "7 Habits of Highly Effective People".
They asked me why I feel I need coaching, what I need help with, etc. This was back in September, I was completely overwhelmed with everything that was going on with me, and had no clue how to handle things. So they assigned a coach to me, and he basically helped in figuring out why things were the way they were, and what I can do about it. So I would say it is like counseling, but maybe one step lower.

As to can someone teach you how to handle life, I guess so! He didn't "tell" me what to do in what situation, but he helped me figure out how I would ideally like to respond to stress, loss, pressure, etc. He helped me be more "aware" of my reactions. And helped me to "respond" rather than "react". Big difference between the two!

It was a 6 month thing, and I have two more sessions left.

Anonymous said...

My self confidense level is on a medium level.. it dwindles!

I dnt know why a person can have low self confidence..! I guess Solitaire and other "thinking" kinda bloggers will have the answer!

Sorry for being no help at al :-|

But I am sure Blogging is gonna help!

And YOu know, yu can build up what yu lost...believe in yourself thats all!

I am said...

yo girl,
saw your comment. I was in field. Will be back in few weeks to the US...
but as of now for the thoughts you have put here my take -

1. parents will always be protective and worried. But as we grow up its pur responsibility to convey them by taking risk and responsibilities that now we are able to take care of ourselves. Unless we take risk, reponsibilities we won't gain confidence on ourselves and shall delve forever in low self esteem or lack of confidence. And only when we have confidence on ourselves others (parents, lifelines, boss, friends, etc ) will have confidence on us...

2. Most important listen and sing the song from Sound of Music 'I have confidence and confidnce a lot' and notice the difference :) chal bye for now - bakwaas

--xh-- said...

what causes low self confidence? well, one major thing is what you already said - the partens being over protective. when they take care of things for tehir kidns, when they dont allow their children to do things which will boos their morale, it acts as a barier for their self confdence. and onc ethe seed of self doubt is planted inside self, it is hard to uproot it. hard - but not impossible.

you have done an excellent thing by fingering out the crux of the matter - now you can work on it.

The oterh reasons I can think of are -
1) treatment from teachers / fellow clasmates during early life have a huge impact on levels of self confidence of a person.

2) an early failure and the reaction it generated.

3) introvertness

now as you realised, the balme game is over. you are on ur own hands, and you can now start taking care of yourself. am sure you can do it.

aneri_masi said...

@all... looks like I didn't word the post properly. It was not about how I should "fix" myself, that I have figured out, and am well on my to being sorted :)

The question was "why does this happen at all".

And of course, really appreciate all your comments!

Anonymous said...

Aner I understood your question :(

The question was "why does this happen at all"

But see I am still clueless :(

I am sorry I am of no help at all!

Solitaire said...

@ Pavi, "life coaching" is kinda becoming a fad these days. Most of those people do the exact same work that psychologists do but with a cooler title. Some of them even have degrees in psychology but may not have the license to practice. In order to make their work legal, they might call it coaching. It is predicted that in the next ten years, there will be 100,000 life coaches in the United States!

Solitaire said...

@ Aneri,

A lot of things can cause low self-confidence. Constant messages to yourself from others about how you are not self-sufficient either through their actions or words, and your belief in their messages are the main culprits. When you believe those messages, you engage in negative thinking and set yourself up for failure. When you indeed fail, you send yourself the same message that everyone has been. And the cycle begins.

aneri_masi said...

@xh...valid points.
Solitaire has summed it up quite well, you get negative messages, especially from people you trust and believe, and a vicious cycle begins.

Some folks believe that "criticism" will fuel kids up even more, and they will strive harder to achieve results, it works sometimes, sometimes the kids just give up!

aneri_masi said...

@veens... sad nahi hone ka re :) You understood what I was asking, and have no clue what this low confidence is, isn't that a great thing?!

Pavi!!!! said...

lol @ ur response to my comment.

But yes I get wat ur saying.I myself have low self-confidence on certain aspects, but I'm not sure how or why I have the low self confidence. Its probably wat people around a person say that creates it.

Rgdg Life Coaching : Thanks to u n Solitare for the response.I get it now.
No offence, but I started reading "7 Habits of highly Effectie people" but dint read much of it. I somehow feel one gets coached on life as one leads it.Its the experiences that u and the ppl around u have that teaches u lessons.Its a "on-the-Job" training and there is alwez more to learn.n Yes, ppl can help u pick up/learn these lessons.

aneri_masi said...

@pavi Its all about what people say, and how we take it, how much we believe them.

Regarding the life-coaching, true, its an on-going, hands-on process. But sometimes, when things get overwhelming, and you need a hand, people do need coaches/psychologists etc. Sometimes our friends and family know so much of our history that they cannot give unbiased advice, which may often times cause more damage than help. Its then that an outsider can help put things into perspective.

Anonymous said...

hehehe is it?

Yaar.. serious serious batoon ke beech main mera comment thoda idiotic lag raha hai na?


aneri_masi said...

@veens Not at all! Breath of fresh air lag raha hai! Accha kiya jo aisi baatein bolti hai tu, nahi to sab log ghut ke marr jayenge meri serious baatein sunke :) I love this about you, you can lighten up stuff so easily, effortlessly (yeh le, tere liye ek point diya, for your "i love me" tag :)

Neeku said...

I stopped by to look at your new blog... i really like the title, "me wanna talk talk and talk " :) right now hurrying to go... but will come back in few hours and read the post :)

thought I'd say Hi :)

Neeku said...

Self confidence has been my issue as well... eventually I am improving...

with the help of myself first... ! Check out my poem I wrote last year.. its along these lines....

BTW loved your new picture... Khudra... never knew it meant change!

Have a good day ahead :)

aneri_masi said...

@Neeku Read your poetry! Very cool! Thanks :)