The difference between Confidence & Self Esteem…
For nearly 20 years I did not paint a thing.
In fact I had never really even painted at all! I had gone to art college, painted really small with Guache paint on little pieces of paper but I had never painted on a massive large canvas! That was until the day after I came back from a transformational 10 days in London.
Now, I know you may know this already and maybe even seen this painting but please forgive me, I have an important point I want to make.
Would you say I was a confident person? So therefore would you say I had high self esteem? Now, would it surprise you to know that actually….I have always been fairly confident BUT I never had much self esteem for myself until the day I painted the painting above, about five years ago.
What changed and what is the difference??
If you have read my book http://theblackbeltmastermind.com/the-book/ then you know that I went through some big life changes. I was down, depressed and afraid in fact to be honest I was terrified.
I had been running my own businesses for about 16 years and when it all collapsed I was completely lost.
Suddenly my identity was no longer defined by my business. Suddenly I could no longer hide behind the façade of being a successful business woman. Suddenly, I no longer knew who I was or what I stood for.
The mask had been removed and I did not know who was underneath.
Just like a clown who put on a mask to entertain people, that is what I had done – all my life!
I would smile and please people and make people happy but deep, deep down even unbeknownst to myself I was not happy, because I had no self esteem.
I wore this mask – instinctually. I wore it as I knew unconsciously it gave me results. I smiled and people liked me. I spoke and people listened …. BUT…. I NEVER LISTENED TO MYSELF!
I only valued what others thought of me. This was what drove me. Having approval from others and their recognition. When my businesses collapsed and the mask suddenly slipped to the ground, I had to face this fact. I felt a fraud.
You see, in business I was good. Things had gone well and I was reasonably successful.
I knew how to do my ‘job’. I knew how to please the customers and I knew how to do ‘the thing’!
But I didn’t want to be me or in fact I didn’t even know how to be me!
Confidence is defined as the ‘belief in your own abilities’.
I knew what my abilities where. I knew I could do a good job. I knew what I was capable of. In fact I even knew I could paint but I did NOT value my abilities.
I did NOT believe that my OPINION about MY ABILITIES was what mattered most.
I ONLY cared what others thought of MY abilities!
Now, I am stretching my comfort zone telling you this, but that of course is good, right? 🙂 I do it because I recently spoke about this to a wonderful gentleman and it seemed to resonate with him. Thank you for reminding me. It reminded me of the moment I fully let go and stopped caring about what others thought and started instead to VALUE myself!
While on my first NLP course I heard that inner critical voice and all the horrible nasty things that I would say to myself. I had never acknowledged it before. I told it to shut up and concentrated instead on visualising my dream goals.
When I came back to Ireland I painted this massive painting, symbolising for me ‘free wheeling’ through life, letting the breaks off and bursting out of your confinements.
Respectfully, I no longer care if you think I can paint or not! It doesn’t matter, I love it and that’s what counts. In fact…. I now LOVE MYSELF! And…No, it is not arrogance, it is our deep rooted right and what we all deserve. I should love myself because I am awesome and so are you!
Once we accept this that is when we can truly love others fully also.Just like in an emergency on a plane. We are told to put on our own oxygen mask on first before helping others. It is the exact same with us.
YOUR SELF LOVE IS YOUR OXYGEN.
So you see…you can have Confidence and act a certain way. Often some of the most outwardly confident people have the lowest self esteem. It is about how we rate or appraise ourselves.
* Read the following list of what I believe are some of the main traits of a healthy self esteem and rate each one on a scale of 1 -10. (10 being high).
1) The ability to say yes and more importantly No when you want.
2) Being able to clearly define what you will and will not do for others with clear boundaries.
3) Valuing your own time and looking after yourself well. Ex; eating healthily, looking after yourself physically and mentally.
4) Accepting your competence levels. Recognising them without criticism and wanting to improve.
5) Accepting that how we feel about ourselves in not dependant on our status, appearance or relationship.
6) Ability to spend quality time alone.
7) Valuing your own opinion over that of others.
8) Taking responsibility for our own actions and outcomes and not blaming others or situations.
9) Ability to feel joy and happiness regularly.
10) Ability to recognise what you are good at and ability to love yourself.
This last one leads me to an important exercise. I discovered this on one of my NLP trainings and it was a real light bulb moment for me.
I was feeling nervous about a presentation so I was practicing in the hotel room in front of a mirror. As I looked at my reflection and told myself to get a grip, I started my ‘mantra’.
‘I love you’… ‘You can do it’…’This is a piece of cake’…etc etc….
Then I noticed what I was doing wrong.
Can you see what I was doing wrong??
Do you find it easier to tell someone else why they are special than to tell them why you are special?? Then do this.
I realized I had been doing it the wrong way all along. I was simply telling the ‘reflection’ in the mirror to feel good! I was telling someone else. I had disassociated from me! It would never have an effect that way!
So…I looked at myself and said…’I love myself’.
It was so much harder to do. At first I could not do it. Really! I was embarrassed to even say it to myself all alone in the hotel room! I blushed to myself and stuttered and mumbled until eventually I said the words and I kept saying them over and over until the feeling became stronger.
If you scored low on the above list of questions.. I recommend you do the same.
I love you and ‘I love myself’,
now go say it in the mirror!
I write this from my heart and I hope you can truly hear this message,
all my love,
Your Mind & NLP Life Coach
‘Change your mind and change your life!’
Available in Wicklow / Dublin / Ireland /Worldwide
P.S: Do you want to make big changes also?
Then come to my next Bootcamp on the 6th September in Dublin.
Places are limited so book now here!