The opposite of healthy confidence is an unhealthy, inflated ego.
When we don’t genuinely feel good about who we are or what we’re doing, we look for evidence that we are better than someone else, and therefore, should feel more confident than we do.
This never works out, because our self-esteem remains hinging on other people perceiving us — or acknowledging us — as superior.
That’s unsustainable, because it’s not realistic.
Yet it’s what most people do.
In lieu of actually feeling good about themselves, they try to prove their significance and “hard work” to other people, as though that might trigger the feeling of self-satisfaction they crave.
When we approach self-esteem from the perspective of how others might see us, it always remains just that — an outside perception that’s emotionally removed from what we are authentically experiencing.
However, there is a way to build genuine confidence, and you can start doing it every day.
It is as simple as this:
List reasons why you should feel good about yourself.
Yes, that easy.
This is not a list of reasons why you’re better than someone, why someone should be impressed with you, why you’re the greatest-whatever-you-are-to-ever-walk-the-earth.
This should be a list of items that sound like this:
- “I finished my degree, and that in itself is a huge accomplishment that I don’t give myself enough credit for.”
- “I’m able to work at home, which is a privilege in many ways I take for granted.”
- “I enjoy my style because it makes me feel like me.”
- “I know I am responsible and stay on top of my work, and I’m really proud of that.”
- “I’ve made financial strides in the past few years, and I’m really happy that my progress has led to greater stability.”
Every day, you should wake up and find reasons that you should feel good about yourself.
This is because self-belief can only be developed through experience and proof.
You need to show yourself that you can do it, you are living the life you want, you have come really far, and being you feels really good today.
When you don’t, you end up getting lost in your ego that’s desperately trying to figure out how to feel a little better.
The truth is that over time, everything normalizes — even our greatest accomplishments.
This means that without regular reflection on why we should feel good about who we are, we’re bound to mostly forget, feel unsatisfied, and keep pursuing more.
We must feel good about ourselves first.
This disarms us, it removes us from competing with other people, it lessens the fear of what others might think.
It frees us — in more ways than one.