Confidence is appealing. We are attracted to people who exude it. Confident people seem more reliable and are usually more pleasant to spend time with. They are also more apt to achieve their goals.
Like it or not, people who present a lack of self-confidence are perceived in a less favorable light.
Time and time again my “un-confident” clients express strong emotions around being perceived as “weak” by the important people in their lives.
Being perceived as “weak” might be easily ignored if the source is insignificant. However, the messaging (subtle and blatant) is usually being offered by spouses, friends and employers.
We can respond to how we believe others see us in different ways. We may try to ignore others unflattering perceptions of us, or we may begin to question whether there is some truth in their assessment of us. At some point we might make the decision to take difficult to hear feedback to heart.
Many of my clients work hard to convince themselves that others opinions are “wrong” or simply do not matter. This use of energy often becomes a losing battle once they are honest about the results they are creating in life. A lack of self-confidence will always interfere with reaching our potential.
Without confidence we are simply less likely to attract the people and situations that will allow us to grow and feel successful. We are more apt to let fear-based thinking get in the way of opportunities.
The reality is we are social creatures and need healthy connections in order to thrive. Developing and sustaining a relationship with someone who experiences life through the lens of feeling “un-confident” can be challenging and draining for spouses, friends and employers.
Like it or not, the perceptions of others will impact our ability to create a satisfying present and future. The belief that others see us as “weak” makes us susceptible to a vicious cycle that often leads to an even lower sense of self-confidence. The following are common feedback phrases that have been offered to “un-confident” clients over the years from significant external sources:
1. -s/he is insecure or needy
2. -s/he must be tip-toed around
3. -s/he is easy to forget or overlook
4. -s/he is passive aggressive
5. -s/he refuses to heal and grow
6. -s/he lacks ambition or drive
7.-s/he is difficult to get to know
Sorting through others perceptions of us can be difficult. Whether the feedback is subtle or blatant the messaging is felt and therefore must be “handled” or processed. We either choose to deal with it by continually dismissing it (even disparaging the source), or we take the time to honestly assess whether or not a lack of self-confidence has interfered with reaching our potential.