For many years, I was somebody who spent most of my time in my shell. When an idea was raised by my group of friends, I would just go along even if, in my mind, I knew it was a poorly executed idea. Whether this was the plan for the night for what we would do or how we would go about our next trip away, I always felt like I could contribute a better plan for everyone to follow and actually enjoy being a part of.
However, the big problem for me came from the fact that inside I wasn’t sure if my plans were actually any use – a devastating lack of confidence made it nearly impossible for me to talk up for myself or to offer my ideas to the group in the fear that they might shoot me down, and my negative self would be proven right.
However, over time I’ve managed to make some changes to this part of me – he no longer dominates my way of thinking. Now that I am running my own business, too, I get to show my own creativity and initiative on a daily basis. It lets me realize that my ideas are generally built on logic and common sense, and that I need to really start planning on making myself heard more often at the important junctures in my life. My path from being timid and shy part of the gang to the leader of the pack has been, thankfully, entirely domestic.
The creation of my success in the last few years has been trough one thing – an ability to actually buy into my own beliefs. Do you ever say something to yourself and then immediately another part of your shoots it down? I lived in this mentality for more than a decade, dealing with a constant inner voice that told me my plans were terrible and that only a fool would listen to what I had to offer.
As you might imagine this starts to grow old pretty fast; I soon found that my most effective route to success, then, would be to start dealing with this voice and making it a far less important part of my psyche and my overall confidence as a person – if I could change this and alter my pessimistic viewpoints, I would become a far more impressive person and be more likely to achieve the goals that I set in my life so far.
The main thing that I was concerned about, though, was making sure that this would be a profession I could see change in. I didn’t expect to be a new, positive person within a matter of days – I knew it would take me months, even years, to understand. My path to a newfound self-confidence came through just being able to actually invest my time and my skills into building a business.
It might not be for everyone, but self-employment is made for me. I don’t handle “leadership” or whatever the modern equivalent is very well. I find that managers and management teams can be insulting bullies who patronize and weaken their team through ridiculous decisions that regularly put me off working in a team based environment. I started my own business as an escape for this, as it only shrunk my confidence, and now I have all the tools that I could possibly need to take things a step further. I started to build a business built around my skills as a converser and a writer, and I started to find that people agreed with me that I was decent enough to be paid for my work.
Within a year, I was now able to walk around knowing that I made a solid income from being a good person and being able to help people out with something they needed. This made it a whole lot easier to start looking at myself in my mind and seeing a winner instead of seeing someone who could barely look at themselves in the mirror!
This wholesale change purely happened, for me, through just taking a bit of extra responsibility on in life. When I talk in my business, people listen; and this helped me feel like, for the first time in my life, people actually cared about what I said.
This made the wholesale change for me that I needed – but it won’t be the same path for everyone. I always found, though, that low confidence could be improved just by having someone there who was ready to listen. When you see that people are genuinely interested in what you have to say, it’s a much more liberating feeling than when you are constantly shut down by other people along the way, making you feel like you do not matter.
Author: Carl Preston
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