Lacking confidence and self-worth?

Low confidence and self-worth seems to be increasingly common in our society. With prescriptions for anxiety and depression going through the roof, you’ve got to ask “why?!”

So why do we lack faith in ourselves, each other and the world?

It’s something I’ve pondered for a long while, having been long accompanied by the aforementioned states.

Like many others, I felt hard done by and blamed the world for my ills. But no longer and this is why.

Confidence and self-worth come from knowing what you’re capable of.

In order to gain confidence, you need feedback about how you’re doing at life or any particular aspect of it.

That feedback can come from people, or from seeing the results of your failures and successes.

Failures are particularly powerful. They indicate that you’ve reach a limit to your abilities.

You cannot know your limitations without pushing yourself until you fail. This is key to the process of learning and growth.

Getting this experience is your responsibility alone! But it isn’t comfortable at first.

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Failure is learning and cannot be avoided

Look at the history of someone who can claim great success in life and you will find far more failures than successes. Or rather, as Thomas Edison said, they probably “found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – as he did.

But as a society we are terrified of failure. Which by association means we are terrified of learning.

We are also averse to uniqueness (whether we think we are or not). “Be more like me”, we tell our kids in the myriad ways we direct their thoughts and actions.

No matter our upbringing and classroom educational experience, it is how much responsibility we take for our future that determines our success in life.

It is in proactively pursuing our unique interests that we find our unique opportunities for learning. These are not like anyone else’s.

School is no place for real learning, because it mostly teaches opinions. We have all supposedly “grown up” basing our entire understanding of reality on other people’s contemporary worldview opinions.

Life is the school we all need because life teaches reality and universal truth. Cause and effect is evident. You fall over, you get a scraped knee and you gain wisdom about how to use your body. The beauty is, life is happening all of the time. In every moment. We just tend to tune out of it.

We have learned to do that perhaps because at times it is uncomfortable. Often because we have faced some legitimate discomfort of reality, and weren’t able to make sense of it or actively rejected it. Things happen all of the time that hurt our feelings. Nature is brutal. People we care about will die, perhaps in great pain.

But we don’t like to think about all of this. It’s too painful.

When we avoid reality like this, we stop learning. Which means we stop meeting our limits. Which means we don’t learn our worth. Which creates a deficit in confidence.

Unfortunately however, the learning continues, whether we like it or not. So it’s best that you decide to be an active participant, or the ride will likely be even more unpleasant.

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

So how do we tune in?

Pay attention to your surroundings. Can you hear the birds, or the people outside chattering?

Pay attention to your body. Can you feel any tension, pain or pleasure even?

Pay attention to your emotions. How are you feeling right now?

Pay attention to your mind. Is it running 100 miles per hour or is it calm?

The first step to gaining confidence and self-worth is to stop running away from yourself. No matter how much you try to avoid yourself, you never go away… not really… so you had better learn to get on well with yourself.

Here’s your assignment should you choose to accept it…

When we start making some headway with paying attention to what’s real for us, we can start looking at other ways we may be running away in life.

Step 1 – Get a pen and paper right now…

Got it? You’ll be cheating yourself if you keep reading without doing so.

Step 2 – Right then, to those honest committed readers, write down five things that you could have done by now but haven’t for some reason. These should be things that are uncomfortable to you in some way, that perhaps you are not 100% sure about how to progress with, but you know that by doing them you will be progressing in life.

Do you need to have a difficult conversation with someone? Do you need to clear out the attic? Do you need to pay someone for a service you know will change your life dramatically, if only you committed?

Step 3 – With those things written down (make sure you have all five!) take action on the item that will take least time to complete. If this requires more research, do the research. If it requires asking someone for information, ask them. Aim to have it done by the end of the day.

Then tomorrow, start number 2. And so on.

This is a direct route to greater confidence and self-worth. It shows you who you are and who you are not. You may discover some shame for the way you’ve been approaching things up to this point. That’s perfectly fine. Feel it, then let it go. You’re learning.

Photo by Jamie Templeton on Unsplash

Can we take this further?

The work I do with clients is in some ways a few octaves up from this. My focus, as you may know by now, is on Purpose.

Purpose, as I understand it, is rooted in another of the universal truths. We are all different. Knowing this, you can commit to finding your own learning. However, it can be very handy to have a map to navigate the territory of your personal journey.

Having studied a variety of maps – including psychology, philosophy, martial arts, the occult and various personal and professional development frameworks – I have distilled the best of my experience into the Purpose In Action process that I would love to take you through.

If you would like to find out more about how to work with me, you can visit my website at: www.purposeinaction.co.uk.

If you would like to investigate how we can work together further, please book in a quick 20 minute chat and we can see whether we’re a good fit: https://calendly.com/david-p-schofield/purpose-in-action-good-fit-call

Whatever comes next, I wish you well.

Best wishes,
David Schofield