What is it like to be aware of yourself

What is self-esteem? And how can it be strengthened?


- Bettina Stackelberg

Self-confidence - what does this word actually mean?

Where does self-confidence come from?

And how can you strengthen your self-confidence?

You can find out all that and more in this article ...

Table of Contents

108 tips for a strong self-confidence

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What is self-confidence anyway?

What does this word actually mean and what do we mean by it when we speak of strong self-confidence? Self-awareness comes from “being self-aware”. The Duden gives us two definitions for this:

Self-confidence is ...

  1. a person's awareness of himself as a thinking, feeling being
  2. the conviction in oneself and one's own abilities

Translated this means: knowing who you are, what your peculiarities, strengths and weaknesses you have. To be aware of your own personal history and to accept yourself for who you are. To know what you can still work on, but never lose sight of your unique, individual strengths.

In addition, being self-confident also means, of course, believing in yourself. To be convinced of oneself. To be able to say to yourself: I am great the way I am! I love myself as a person, with all my strong and weak sides.

Self-confidence definitions in everyday life

Some believe: You have self-confidence when you are rich and successful or when you drive a big car. When you look great or have a lot of friends. And then of course there are those with the big mouth who never show emotions and apparently have never seen a "low" in their life and are chronically in a good mood ...

Of course, these ways of looking at things are utter nonsense! Because think about it: who of all the people walking around out there can act like he / she is? Who actually lives by himself? Who doesn't have to bend over or put on new masks all the time? Who doesn’t have to present themselves through status, a car, friends or other appearances?

If you take a closer look, you will find out: there are very few who can present themselves as they really are. Most other people, on the other hand, try to keep their appearances on the devil, to show no weaknesses and to always be in a good mood. Often we give in to these everyday illusions and let ourselves be dazzled by the appearance of others.

But here's the news:

Nobody is always in a good mood! There is no one without weaknesses! Nobody in this world is perfect! And those with a lot of money or the big mouth often try to compensate for something else - yes, and now guess what - just: a low self-confidence!

So note:

Self-confidence has nothing to do with money, success, the number of friends you have or any appearance! Self-confidence is also not innate, inherited or bought.

Self-confidence is intrinsic and can only be changed through intensive work on yourself and in no case through material or external circumstances.

To be yourself in a world that constantly wants you to be different is the greatest achievement. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here is a little video in which I asked people in the park what self-confidence is for them:

How confident are you

Find out with this quick self-esteem test:

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Where does self-confidence come from?

Self-confidence is not something you are born with! Nobody just comes into the world with a superhero self-confidence. It is neither inherited, nor can it be bought or acquired through material things.

Confidence is much more intrinsic. It's deep inside you. It comes from the gut and is stored in the form of past experiences, your upbringing and your beliefs. Your self-confidence developed significantly between your first and fifth year of life. This period is also called the imprinting period. The following circumstances are decisive:

  1. Beliefs, attitudes and upbringing of your parents
  2. Acceptance and treatment during your school days
  3. Religious conditioning

Our parents have by far the greatest influence on our self-esteem. In our early years of life they give us their behavioral patterns, which we adopt as children as well. In this period we are not yet able to judge, to distinguish between what is “good” and “right”. We simply take over everything our parents serve us.

If you have children of your own and want to do everything right with them right from the start, I recommend this article: Strengthening self-confidence - The 23 best tips for strong children

Parents and their influence on our self-esteem

If the parents themselves exude a low level of self-confidence during this important time of formation, then it is very likely that this will also be carried over to the child. The whole thing is made worse by well-intentioned attempts at reprimand.

Here's an example:

As a small child you did something that your parents didn't like. They blame you and call you a "bad girl / bad boy". In your little child's head you now believe that YOU are bad, even though only your TAT was bad (and you only did it because you didn't know any better).

Every time your parents reprimanded you in this way, that belief has become deeper rooted in the mind of your impressionable child. This deepens a feeling of inferiority, shame and feelings of guilt and ultimately prevents a healthy development of self-confidence.

In addition, parents like to compare their children with others (mostly in situations in which they would like their child to behave differently). This not only strengthens the “others are better than me” thinking, but it also leads to the child now comparing himself with other children and contrasting his own weaknesses with the strengths of others.

You can find out how to do it better here: Boosting self-confidence in children - The 23 best tips

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My child

Many parents try to realize everything in their child that they have never been able to do themselves. They demand too much from the child and often forget that the child is neither physically, emotionally nor mentally up to these demands. Of course, this also has a negative impact on self-confidence, since the child does not feel able to meet the irrational demands.

Certainly our parents meant well to us at all times and you can't blame them (incidentally, it wouldn't do any good either). Please consider: they too had parents who in turn raised them according to their ideas, attitudes and beliefs.

Parents' life is the book that children read. - Augustine Aurelius

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The greatest enemy of a strong sense of self

Fears are the biggest obstacle to developing a strong sense of self. They keep us from doing the things that really move us forward. They prevent us from making changes. In doing so, we miss the chance to learn that what at first seems insurmountable and hideously overwhelming is ultimately just the harmless shadow of an otherwise insignificant thing.

In retrospect, you often find that everything wasn't half as bad as you imagined it in your head. Most of the time, in retrospect, it wasn't a big deal anymore and you'd like to do it all over again. But why do we have fears at all and where are you actually from?

Every fear you have, you have appropriated yourself in the course of your life! (And you can train them off again accordingly)

Yep, you read that right. You don't just come into the world preinstalled with the fear of speaking in front of others or with the fear of being criticized or judged. Rather, you form these fears yourself, mostly in your early childhood years.

As a child you are not afraid of anything. You scream out loud in the middle of the public marketplace if you don't get your carrot. You don't care what others think of you. If something does not suit you, then you sometimes sit down in the middle of the street and stubbornly refuse to go on. You say what you think and don't mince your words.

Then a few years later: and you have acquired all kinds of fears. You wouldn't even dream of shouting around in the marketplace, let alone giving your opinion to the people around you. What happened here?

Conditioning in childhood

Back to childhood again. Let's take a look at the widespread fear of speaking in front of others (= others focus their attention on you). The following situation: you did something that your parents didn't like that much. They are now paying all their attention to you and reprimanding you in a negative way. In your little child's head, you equate this situation with a possible violation and that with dying. Because without your parents you weren't able to survive. At least that's what you thought in your young head back then.

So now you have associated this otherwise meaningless situation (people turn their attention to me) with a life-threatening situation, which in turn creates the fear of talking to others. The same applies to many other fears such as: fear of criticism or judgment, fear of rejection or fear of not meeting the expectations of others.

This conditioning takes place deeply subconsciously and the triggering of fear cannot be controlled either. The Russian psychologist and Nobel Prize winner Pavlov carried out a very well-known experiment on this - the Pavlov’s dog experiment.

When a determined man approaches the big bull, the world, and courageously grabs his beard, he is often surprised that he just goes off like that, and that he was only there to scare off shy adventurers. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

What you can do for your self-confidence

What exactly can you do now to build a strong sense of self?

The following:

Rule number 1: You have to take action!

Passive waiting has never helped anyone! As hard as it sounds at first, the saying goes:

"From nothing, comes nothing"

merciless to. You really have to do the exercises you find on this page. You have to go out into the real world and work on yourself! Day after day, week after week, over and over again!

That is not easy! But nobody has ever said the way to a self-determined, self-confident life is an easy one. There are many hurdles to overcome, to confront your fears and to develop yourself further. Shedding old habits, venturing into new territories, jumping into the deep end, finally getting up and saying:

Wait a minute! Here I am!

This process is only open to the most willing and determined people. Those who, deep down, long to finally break loose their self-imposed chains. Who do not want to continue their previous life like this. Who are fed up with being the plaything of others. Who don't want to be trapped in the same fears and problems five years from now.

Full commitment - start TODAY!

Working on yourself and your self-confidence means: living personal development. Challenge yourself. To leave familiar patterns and common ways of thinking. To say goodbye to stressful and energy-consuming things. To express one's opinion. To practice walking upright. Get up for a self-determined, self-confident life! Stand up for YOUR life!

In the end, however, this path of personal development is also the most rewarding. There is no better investment than in yourself and your abilities. Life will appear to you in a whole new light when you have overcome your fears and finally get up, for yourself and for YOUR life!

If you feel motivated now to really make a difference, be sure to check out the free online video course page and start building your confidence today!

Inaction leads to doubt and fear. Action leads to confidence and courage. If you want to overcome fear, don't sit around at home and think about it. Get out there and get started! - Dale Carnegie