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It is OK to have Low Self Confidence – Just Not Forever

It is OK to have Low Self Confidence – Just Not Forever

This post is specifically written to those of you out there that are in the beginning of their career. It is OK to have low self confidence – just not forever. 

I often get asked the question:

How do you manage to keep a constant high self confidence level?

I really could not provide a clear answer. At least, not until today. Does it come as a natural thing to me? Have I done something in the past that rewired my brain?

The Story of Low Self Confidence – Starting A New Job

The troubleshooting begins with a story from our everyday life. I have changed a considerable amount of job position is the past few years. The process of integration into a new company can be a daunting feat. A new environment, totally new personalities, specific hierarchy and a unique set of norms that define that organizational culture.

Jumping in, it is only natural to have low self confidence. You do not know anybody, you are unsure of their skills and abilities, but you are also afraid of their roles:

Role, in sociology, the behavior expected of an individual who occupies a given social position or status. A role is a comprehensive pattern of behavior that is socially recognized, providing a means of identifying and placing an individual in a society.

Wandering that unknown environment, we cannot help ourselves, but to indulge in role-trusting. As mentioned above, each person inside that new setting, has some specific role that gives them the right to do certain things.

Well, I learned something very early on – partly because I took an elective course in Sociology and sort of loved it ever since. The real factor for low self confidence in a new setting is:

we blindly believe in the roles everyone plays!

Even worse – we take for granted all that role demands of the one who holds it.

You meet your new boss. You have no way of knowing of judging his/her personality and abilities, so you take for granted what the position boss requires. Hmm – to really become the boss, you must be good?

Reality Check

Continuing the story – you start collaborating and trusting the “system”. You are supposed to be:

  1. curious (but not too much)
  2. “yes” man/woman
  3. respectful
  4. grateful for position you have been offered

But I learned that all these characteristics of the “system” are absolutely paradoxical and depressing. Each of us is unique. We all bring something different to the table. Being afraid to speak and act makes us virtually useless on the new job.

Starting out in the beginning of your career you are going to face all kinds of rejections and drawbacks. Not because there is something wrong with you, but because you are way better then them. You are not supposed to know so much, learn so fast, multitask or even have fun!

You are going to be constantly degraded for your years and “inexperience” because no one can really understand your true potentials. This in itself is a paradox. And it leads to your depression.

Two Choices

Soon enough, you come to an intersection:

conformity or rebellion

Everyone around stands for something you find paradoxical. Their sheer number must mean they are right! Low self confidence thrives in this setting. When you do not comply, it must mean there is something wrong with you. The thoughts creep in. Am I good enough? Will I ever be successful? I am young and inexperienced – everyone must know better than me. MISTAKE!

Thinking they are right is going to kill all your hopes and dreams. Living in the past is bad enough. It is even worse when you are not going to accept that you shape the future. You make your destiny. So do what you believe in.

Yes, you are probably going to be marked as a person who is not reliable. You are probably going to try to change a lot of jobs. Each would seem like a dead end. Just remember – persistence is virtue. Persist to achieve what you want and how you want it.

It All Ends Today

If you are reading this far, I am glad to say you are more than ready to change your life. Stop being the black sheep trying to satisfy everyone else. You will grow old by being miserable.

Staring doing something you love today is going to mark the beginning of a new chapter. No matter if it is a new business or a totally new career path, you, and only you will make that choice.

Stick to your vision – all setbacks are just one more gray hair you can look back upon. 

Have an Idea?

Use our Ultimate Business Idea Evaluation Guide to start walking on the right path.

 

Bursting The Comfort Zone Bubble

Bursting The Comfort Zone Bubble

When you go in deep into the comfort zone bubble, you become part of the social machinery. Your persona soon seizes to exist. The qualities and skills no longer appear and make a difference

Every first of the month the paycheck is there. You feel protected, safe, but still have a feeling that something big in your life is missing. It resembles a giant black hole. The black hole feeds on the lack of personal realization. You know you can do more and even worse, you know you deserve even more. Achieving the the basic human needs is not enough.

Although many of you have this same feeling, rarely someone has the courage to say it out loud. Rarely one admits to it. Not sure if people think of this as a sign of weakness. I feel that it is the complete opposite.

In that sate of despair, unable to cope with reality, people stay in the same place, miserable, unhappy, without energy. Was the purpose of our life to suck at life?

Even tougher is to start chaining. Stepping out of the social norms can be catastrophic on the individual. To be different is not nice. This may be the single biggest reason why people stay in that comfort zone bubble. Popping it seems extremely scary, unimaginable and often impossible.

Your close friends define you. If you want to be successful, have friends to look up to. Do not get me wrong, we rarely choose our friends based on success, but try to expand your field of acquaintances. When around such people, you discuss constructive things, science, philosophy, problem solving, in other words – you work the mind. Or in other words, courtesy of Life Hack:

successful people
Source: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/7-key-differences-between-successful-people-and-unsuccessful-people.html

The Story of My Personal Hero

Someone very close to me was living in the comfort zone bubble too. Each work day would end in a release of negative energy, sometimes tears and depression on the long run. These results lead to other negative consequences. She had no energy, felt worthless and had absolutely zero confidence in herself.

Useless fights were always around the corner. The cause and objective of each, unknown.

Probably the worst thing about the comfort zone bubble is the constant degradation of your relationships, both professional and personal. You feel like no one really understands what is going on. Although your “friends” always say things to make reduce the “pain”, that only adds to the anxiety. You realize that your “friends” might have stood for something when you had mediocre goals. You still love them. But they are no longer the support that will help you burst the comfort zone bubble.

The real advice can only come from someone who has been there. Someone who has burst the bubble and triumphed. Although she clearly understood the severity of the situation, somehow the comfort zone bubble still continued sucked away the real purpose of life.

The people close to you need the real push. It takes considerable time to help them regain their confidence. To change the way of thinking one day at a time. Sometimes it looks like an impossible feat, but do not forget the purpose. Productive motivation takes considerable patience and pro-activeness. But giving someone the energy to burst the comforts zone bubble is totally worth it.

Afterlife – Bursting The Comfort Zone Bubble

Once you collect the courage to say “I quit!” , the afterlife begins. The door to a completely new world opens up. It is full of ideas, opportunities, new friendships. It is a fertile ground where anything you wish for can thrive.

Constantly remind yourself that what is good for one is not necessarily good for another (read: you). We are all unique and incomparable. We each bring something special to the world. Our life path should be to find what that is.

Do not be afraid to cross the line, try new things, do stuff you never wanted, because you never know if you never try!


Resources and Further Reading

Anxiety Can Bring Out the Best – WSJ.com

The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should) – LifeHacker.com

The relation of strenght of stimulus to rapidity of habit-formation – Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson (1908) – 

What is My Comfort Zone?