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Who stole your confidence?

Rebecca Bennington Blog Picture
Who stole your confidence?

Do you remember a time when you felt confident?  Maybe you’re not an expert in everything about life, but was there something you were good at?  Or something you were proud of?  Could you command a room or win a ribbon or give directions that people followed?  Did you bake the best cake or keep the cleanest house or got a promotion?  Where did that person go?

There are people who steal our confidence around every corner, and most of the time they don’t even know they’re doing it.  Other times, we give our confidence away through our own negative self-talk.

People who steal our confidence do so in a lot of ways.  It may be intentional:  they name call, belittle, or otherwise abuse us.  It may be unintentional, such as by not listening to us or disregarding our feedback and opinions.  We may get overlooked for opportunities at work, or in our social lives.  Divorce is a great destroyer of confidence because it can bring about feelings of failure.  The same is true of being removed from a position at work, or in a group you belong to.  Aspects of aging or health can also break one’s confidence as your physical attributes decline and your previous performance is no longer possible.  Any area of your life in which you feel you are not measuring up is an area where you have lost confidence.

Consider situations in which you are constantly corrected, even though there is no evidence that you are doing anything incorrectly. For example, your emails are routinely rewritten, your work is always adjusted, your words are always clarified to the audience, or similar situations in which you are made to feel that you must be making an errors.  This could cause you to lose confidence, no matter how skilled or educated you are in that specific area.  So if you evaluate your competence and find that you are not erroneous, then there must be another explanation.  It may not be that you cannot write an email, or perform a job correctly, or speak clearly.  It could be that the critic feels a need to exert their power over you.  Maybe they are under pressure from their superiors, or they do not feel competent in their role, or they have some other personal motivation to control what you produce.  If you can honestly say that your writing/work/speech is accurate, then consider if this could be the situation.  Once you do, you can regain your confidence and know that it is their issue and not yours.  This example is in regards to work, but it can also be the situation in personal relationships.  If someone criticizes you or corrects you repeatedly, are you really the one with the problem?

The problem with losing confidence is that it can also result in loss of hope and failure to try.  If you believe you cannot complete a task, then why continue to try?  If you can no longer win a race, then why run? If your feedback to others is disregarded, should you stop talking?  It becomes hopeless.

You can regain your confidence.  You can take it back.  If you have lost a talent because you stopped using it, you can take it up again.  You may not be the best, and you may have never been the best, but if it made you happy at some point in your life then it is worth pursuing.  Chances are you were pretty good at it.  And if others are stealing your confidence by the way they treat you or by their disregard for you, then you should look at the situation objectively and decide who that problem really belongs to.

You are skilled, smart, trained, and worthy.  You do not need anyone to repeatedly make you feel anything less than your full potential.

Please contact me if you would like to talk more about this.  Taking the first step to find your happiness is a great confidence builder.

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Rebecca Bennington

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