Is Self Confidence Important? I think It’s Amazing (Part 2)

So how do we develop our self-confidence, I stand here today to say I am not the connoisseur of all things self-esteem or the arbiter of tips, but I would love to offer my two cents?

You see I don’t think you can build confidence if you don’t determine whom you are, without that,you cannot ascertain what you like about you,and a huge part of having high self esteem is actually liking yourself.

Asides from purpose, gaining self awareness is the singular most important thing every young adult must aspire to achieve, for one it helps shape your world, because when you become acquainted with whom you are, you can establish what path in life is best for you, what spouse, what career, shoot where you would like to live. 

Second, a big part of building self-confidence is being competent (I call it the art of being excellent at something).

Ndidi Ndekwu

I don’t know anybody who doesn’t feel fantastic about themselves because they recognize they have that one skill that makes them stand out. Confidence, affects your body language, the way you talk, your approach to your surroundings etc, notice how when you go to a party, but you don’t feel wonderful in your dress, you end up spending the whole night sitting a corner with your sad little cocktail (lol).

When you feel wonderful, you exude self possession, because you are happy with yourself. The truth is, you can only get excellent at a thing when you master it.Meaning you can only get great at being you, and therefore feeling wonderful about yourself by identifying and working on your strengths and weaknesses.

“We can be frightened by our assets, as we are our shortcomings;we deny and disown our greatness because it scares us”-Nathaniel Branden, The Psychology Of Self Esteem: A Revolutionary Approach To Self Understanding That Launched A New Era In Modern Psychology

This requires honesty, self-exploration and experimentation.

Ndidi Ndekwu

Be honest about your likes and dislikes, your temperament, your personality, your work ethic, your emotional and physical capabilities. This doesn’t happen in a day, maybe not even in years, you may have to even unlearn years of brainwashing by your environment, and you may not even like who you are after this exercise, but that is okay nobody is perfect and if we were it wouldn’t make us human.

Be unafraid to be yourself, people always throw around that phrase,but it is usually more easier said than done.First there is significant social capital gained by conforming, if individuals find you too weird or not relatable, then it can lead to problems navigating social spaces. Second, we all dwell within a cultural and social framework where “rules” and “norms” exist going against the grain occasionally might be detrimental if it leads us to breaking the law, being ostracized, etc.

Being a “non-conformist” sounds cool in theory but in practice it might serve you better to blend in sometimes. Being yourself is not a license to be distasteful individual, meaning if you are naturally rude and lacking in manners, you will need to refine your behavior, you must stay true to yourself, but in a way that is kind and compassionate in your dealings with the surrounding people. Lastly, as a bible believing Christian, I am subject to God’s laws and order, I am not at liberty to do as I please because ‘’that is just how I am’’, I must consider all actions in line with God’s word.   

So let’s really unpack this, why is self-awareness such an important pillar in building self-confidence, we’ve said that, it’s good to identify strengths and weaknesses, this gives us direction on how to orient our beings so we can make decisions that in the long run prove beneficial for our self-esteem.

Take Nana (see previous post) although she graduates summa cum laude, she doesn’t feel as competent as her peers because they are all IVY leaguers, well she really can’t change this can she, it’s not particularly a weakness that can she can work on, but she however is very articulate and gives killer presentations, so yeah she may not speak up at meetings but if she takes the initiative to always do the speaking during presentations, the positive responses she gets will eventually lead her to feel confident enough to speak up during meetings.

If you can recall I mentioned she was having doubts concerning her relationship, truth is she feels her boyfriend settled for her, she doesn’t really know what he sees in her, it’s okay because she knows she can be needy and erratic (who will put up with it she says), but she is also a very compassionate girl, and is a fantastic company when she tries. 

So what if she gets therapy for her issues, and decides to be more sociable so that her personality can come through, months down the line, she feels more balanced and is happy with herself; she feels confident enough to get out of her relationship and meet new people.

“Consider yourself worthy of enjoying success,take responsibility for your actions and the obtaining of your goals”-Nathaniel Branden The Psychology Of Self Esteem: A Revolutionary Approach To Self Understanding That Launched A New Era In Modern Psychology

Self-awareness helps you to live purposefully, once you can identify who you are, you do things that align with your being and what you want out of life. If the goal is to improve your expertise at something, you inculcate the steps to get there; you discipline yourself; you take full responsibility for what you can control, everything about you becomes intentional, as you work towards becoming a better you, you add and subtract ideas, beliefs, people ways of doing things as your competence grows you find it easier to assert yourself, this also comes with being more self-aware, then you like yourself, because now you know what you are great and not so great at and you are okay with that.

I think it is important to note that, when people think about self-confidence, they think it’s okay to build it so you can achieve material success only. Many people are perfectly okay being confident at work, but they can’t ask for what they want in their marriage, or vice versa. Truth is, when you are confident it should permeate in all areas in your life.

Now does that mean your life will be picture perfect, I really don’t think so, but I think you will live a fulfilled and satisfied life because you know you all the decisions you made to get to the place where you are today comes from a secure and confident place, even you face a speed bump along the way, you know that you did your part, you are aware you can’t control everything, but recognize, you have what it takes to face any challenges that come your way.

Okay, so personal story time, I will be honest with you, I’m not someone who came out of the womb brimming with confidence, ready to tackle anything that stood in my way. I’m actually now working on my self-esteem, well I have been for the past one to two years, some days I waiver, I have days, weeks, months were I feel great, occasionally that annoying little voice will tell me I’m not really that great and I compare myself to such-and-such, I am very much a work in progress.

When I talk about self-awareness, this is part of my journey, I do a lot introspections; I try to figure out who I am, and why I act in certain ways, I had to get honest about what I really want out of life and not what society says I should want, my faith helps, I also read a lot of books on psychology and self-help, never underestimate the power of absorbing positive messages and learning how to understand how the mind works and how you can change it for your benefit.

I hope, anyone who reads the blog post gains something helpful out of it and develops the confidence to live the life they truly desire.

Is Self Confidence Important? I think It’s Amazing.

I want to tell you a story about two women. Let’s call them Stella and Nana. Stella is a young entrepreneur, she sells personalized mugs and shadows as a part-time makeup artist; she loves both jobs; she prefers the freedom of working at her own pace, then there is Nana, Nana just got a job as a risk analyst at a very reputable firm, she is thinking of taking her CFA exams next June; she likes to cook, she’s been told that she is fantastic at it by her boyfriend, she would love to make it a side hustle, if she could find the time.

On the surface both women are fine, of the two Nana is the more accomplished, she graduated summa cum laude, lives in a nice apartment, her boyfriend is about to propose (she doesn’t know that yet), and takes Instagram worthy vacations at least twice a year. Stella just makes enough to cover rent and bills, thrift shops most of her clothes and spends most of her Friday nights bingeing on Chinese fried shrimp, cheap beer and watching make-up tutorials on YouTube, but she’s a happy girl, she comes from a loving family and has wonderful friends.

Different women, same struggle, a lack of self-confidence.

For Nana, it shows up at her workplace; she doesn’t feel as competent as her peers; she finds it difficult to assert herself and voice her ideas during meetings; she is also having issues in her relationship; she is not sure if her boyfriend is suitable for her, but she will settle because she doesn’t think she is good enough for anyone else. Stella needs constant external affirmation, she doubts her skills as a makeup artist; she doesn’t believe she has what it takes to to establish a successful business; she looks at other individuals around her; she sees them thriving, and she feels as if they all have something she doesn’t, some secret formula she is not privy too.

They both represent each of us at some point. In her course on self-esteem, hypnotherapist Marisa Peer states we are all born loaded with confidence, the problem is that something happens to us along the way, that disrupts our self-belief. Some of us are born confident and die confident (lol) some of us struggle all our lives and finally decide enough is enough ,then we just fake it until we make it (God help us).

Truth is, the moment we attach greater weight to external opinions of our being, instead of what we think of ourselves, our sense of self-worth erodes. How people respond to us, how we come across to other people, when these matter far more than they should, then we run into serious complications. Why do we do this? Maybe because we do not trust ourselves, I mean what if we wrongly assess our capabilities or competence, there is probably some price to pay socially, but if we always have to seek external validation as an indicator we are doing the right thing or are on the right path, we risk losing our ability to judge what is best for us in the long run.

Having high self-esteem doesn’t mean that we have all the answers, it’s about being internally convicted that we have the wherewithal to make reasonable value judgments, given what we know to be true. We trust in the efficacy of our decision-making process.

Ndidi Ndekwu
High Self Esteem-”The way and ease at which you express the pleasure of being alive”-Nathaniel Branden The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem.

What premium do we place on having a healthy sense of self, can we not just fake it and wing our way through life, after all some may say it would be arrogant for us to assume that we know what is best for us, besides no human being is truly confident all the time, you are always wondering if you are good enough, constantly comparing, dissecting and analyzing how valuable you are,always second guessing your position in the dominance hierarchy?

So why don’t we examine the importance of having a healthy sense of self, take Nana for instance, who I mentioned earlier was a great cook, people tell her all the time she should start a catering business, they swear they would patronize her if she charges for her delicious jollof rice, she really wants to do it but the problem is she doesn’t think she is any good. She thinks her friends are just being nice, therefore; she doesn’t believe that this venture would be profitable, so she doesn’t invest in it.

Fast forward to a few years down the road, Tolu, her friend also starts a catering business, and everyone is talking about it, the food is delicious and affordable, a mutual friend remarks, how they can recall, Nana used to make a superb food, they wonder why she never started her own catering business. She responds that she never found the time, but deep down inside she resents Tolu, because she has the confidence to do what, she couldn’t.

Self-confidence is the tool needed to turn our dreams into realities. There is always a possibility that when we venture out, we risk failure; we ARE painfully aware of this, but despite this, we require the courage to act or else our inertia can lead us down a path of regret and disdain as we saw with Nana Without an unshakable belief in self, we cannot dive in and tackle all the challenges that new ventures, obstacles or life will throw at us.

So how do we build our self confidence?

I will discuss this in my next post.



Self Esteem Mini Course by Marisa Peer

She does a brilliant job in providing practical steps for us to build self confidence.

You can watch the full video on youtube by typing in the Marisa Peer Self Esteem Mini Course.

I will be blogging about self esteem,self awareness and self confidence this month.