Self-confidence is a very essential ingredient for success in any field of life. Without such confidence we are afraid to take risks; we also do not have the courage to explore higher horizons while performing our deeds within this world.
Real self confidence is not based on our achievements or our successes in this world but it is based on the fulfillment of who we are, what our purpose is and what we represent to ourselves, our families and to the world around us.
If a person has such self confidence then he can generate confidence and faith in others. Actually, to fail is not much of a loss, to lose character and integrity is a major loss to our inner life.
A person with proper disposition and attitude is willing to accept even major failures in the eyes of the world in order to preserve the high values that he or she believes in. If we are willing to sell our ideals, our ethics, our character, our integrity, and our very soul for the adoration of this world, then our so called self confidence will be built on a foundation of sand. It has no real substance and it can bring us no real fulfillment.
Low self esteem really means a lack of real inner fulfillment. Six common indicators of low self esteem are,
1. People with low self esteem like to gossip. Why? Because that is what gives them pleasure. They do not have any substance inside. On the other hand, people who are actually self confident speak of their ideals in life and not of the faults of others.
2. A person with low self esteem is quick to criticize others, whereas a person with some inner fulfillment is respectful to others, he is naturally longing to show respect to others, to be caring toward others.
3. A person with low self esteem is arrogant. He thinks “I have done this, I have conquered these nations, I have made these millions, and I have won these tournaments and so on. They are very eager to try to convince other people of how great they are, how successful they are, and what they have accomplished within this world. But a person with actual self confidence is humble. Why? Because they simply do not need to impress people with cheap words of conceit. If you are actually very weak within, you have to brag about whatever great or little things you have done to try to get the approval, the recognition, and the adoration of others. But if you have inner fulfillment, if you have confidence in yourselves, you do not need that.
Once a sage in the Himalayas told me that when you do something good and you tell somebody about what you did, by that telling you exhaust most of the credits of what you have done.
4. Generally, people want to take credit for what they have not done and we want to give blame to others for what they have done. This is another quality of a person with low self esteem. He makes excuses, and blames others for their apparent shortcomings, whereas a person of self confidence does not make excuses, does not blame others, and takes responsibility of what they have done or what they have not done, and is always striving to improve.
5. Persons with low self esteem are dependent on the appreciation, praise and approval of others, whereas a person with self confidence is willing to speak what is true and do what is right even if it is very unpopular. Especially for the youth, association is such a powerful influence. Most people smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or do all illicit things, not simply because they really want to do it. They do it because they want to look cool and they want to be accepted by the people around them. But integrity means we understand what is right and we do it even if people criticize us, even if people make jokes or laugh at us. Eventually, those same people will come to us when they are in trouble because they understand that here is a person with integrity.
6. Those with low self esteem are easily jealous of other people’s success. What is jealousy? That means we are so hollow, so empty within, there is so much lack of fulfillment in our worth, our value. We actually have to feel a type of hatred and jealousy towards others who appears to be better. A person with real self confidence is the well wisher of everyone. He is not so concerned about reputation but is concerned with character. He is not so concerned with what one can get and what one can prove to others through fashion, through way of speaking, through way of talking and by the type of furniture one has at home. He is more concerned with what they are giving to others. Actual self confidence does not mean we become absorbed in our egoistic self. The art of real self consciousness is to become selfless, because in becoming selfless there is inner fulfillment.
So it is very important to understand that real self confidence is not simply about what I have achieved and what I have conquered, because that kind of self confidence does not bring any real inner fulfillment. Whatever you do, you always have to have more, more and more. Real self confidence is when we are actually finding fulfillment and satisfaction with who we are and what we represent within this world. Now some fools may think that that type of self confidence, that type of inner peace is an impediment to making great strives of achievements in this world. The opposite is however true. The purer our motive, the greater courage and faith we will have to accomplish things way beyond the horizon of even our imagination. When we have such inner self confidence, anything we pursue is actually easy. It may be difficult mentally and it may be difficult physically but when we have the will, the confidence and the faith, that makes anything easy.