Have you ever wondered why some people seem to view life’s challenges confidently and in a positive light, while others struggle with negative reactions? The distinguishing factor is whether a person is assessing themselves and the situation or if they’re judging themselves and the situation. What’s the difference?
Assessing is viewing the situation objectively, seeing what happened, why it happened and learning from it and moving on with greater self-knowledge.
Judging is the limiting mindset of labeling yourself as a winner or a loser based on a standard that either you or someone else imposes on you.
When you have a winner/loser mindset, it creates a desperate need to continually achieve your goals based on the fear of not measuring up to a self-imposed, unrealistic standard. This leads to chronic stress of fear of failure or to the other extreme of becoming narcissistic and egotistical.
Let’s examine ten typical behaviors of people with low self-confidence and see how realistically assessing the situation without judgment can create greater self-confidence:
Underestimate their capabilities. Rather than immediately reacting with “I can’t”, calmly think about the desired outcome and see how your skills can accomplish the task. Remember you don’t have to do things like everyone else does. When you succeed by your unique style, you gain immense satisfaction and confidence.
Take the blame for everything. Rather than thinking, “If only I had done…” let others be responsible for their own actions. This actually dignifies them with freedom of choice. And if you are responsible in some way, make amends as best as you can by saying, “I’m sorry I made a mistake.” In many cases we just have to accept that we can’t fix everything.
Are overly self-critical. Our minds are quick to judge and criticize so rather than holding onto those stories, acknowledge them as judgments and let them go without getting caught up in them.
Take feedback from others as criticism. Rather than disengage from the experience and switch to negative thoughts, become more engaged in what the person is saying and sift out what is helpful to you.
Constantly focus and review past failures. Acknowledge each failure as helpful feedback, allow yourself to feel the emotions. Accept and learn from them as a valuable part of your experience.
Predict future failures. Rather than saying, “It never works or I always fail so why try”, approach each new situation with curiosity and enthusiasm as you eagerly look for the possibilities.
Focus on being perfect instead of being competent. Rather than thinking, “I can’t allow myself to make a mistake”, recognize that everyone makes mistakes. That’s how we learn. Don’t demand the impossible from yourself, and be happy you’re doing your best.
Are people-pleasers. Rather than seeking validation from others, it’s okay to say, “I’d really love to help you, but I have a prior commitment.” That commitment is your commitment to yourself to set boundaries so you don’t over extend yourself.
Isolates themselves. Rather than retreating into yourself when you’re hurt, be present in your feelings without judgment. Acknowledge them and own them without letting them alter the kind of life you want to live.
Stop learning. Rather than wondering if the other person thinks you’re boring, continue being excited about learning new things about the world around you, about the people in your life and about yourself. Your confidence will rise as you have interesting things to talk about.
Compare to others. Rather than comparing yourself to others, “I’m not as pretty as her or I’m not as smart as him”, think about the kind of man or woman you want to be – your ethics, your loyalty to friends and family, your honest and integrity and strive to be true to those ideals.
Self-acceptance, self-awareness and self-motivation will empower you to let go of self-judgments. Many people have found that private coaching and group coaching sessions helps them become more mindfully engaged in life. If you’re ready to stop judging and start assessing as you embrace this new way of being, please contact me and let’s talk.