Many relationships that never get off the ground or even begin may be from a lack of confidence.
We talk about confidence as though it's a gift some possess and some don't. We may think it's just in how we act, and many misconstrue boasting, being cocky, bitchy or other very "in your face" sort of behaviors as confidence, which actually qualify as its opposite.
Confidence can be quiet; it doesn't have to be loud or right. Confidence is open not closed; it listens without judging or out-strategizing another person.
The reason confidence is important in relationships has to do with those factors, but it also has a deeper seed than just the flowers in bloom.
- We meet people we're attracted to and sometimes we don't act on it, which means we may kick ourselves later. A lack of confidence will stop us dead in our tracks from making a move; the fear of rejection sooner or later looms too large.
- We meet someone and go out on a date. Both of us have a great time, and then never hear from them again. Often, it's a lack of confidence.
- We start dating someone regularly, we find ourselves feeling good, perhaps comfortable and then we freak out! We run, hide or pretend this relationship never existed! Confidence has left the building.
- We're in a relationship. We say, "yes" when we mean "no." We go along to get along, we never communicate our real needs or feelings, and hoping by complacency or not making waves they will never leave us. Our lives are not our own. We suffer with grief inside, blocking confidence.
- We stay in a horribly painful relationship because we don't have the confidence to believe we can do any better.
There are plenty of scenarios, which come back to not having confidence, but again, in a different way then most people categorize self-assurance.
This is about the confidence inside of us, to handle possible disappointment, rejection, abandonment, engulfment or any other fearful event becoming real in our vulnerable love life. We'll commit to physical torture rather than handle the unknown in the area of love and relationship.
Unfortunately, the confidence factor impacts our level of happiness and ability to move beyond our limitations. If we don't think we have the ability to handle it, we'll come up with a million excuses, and not recognize our lack of confidence, as what really makes us cower in the corner.
Holding on to the known means we can't let go to allow unknown surprises. We may believe the worst-case scenario will happen, as that is what has occurred in the past. We stand in the way of our future lives unfolding, when we don't have the confidence to believe in ourselves.
I have a few helpful tips on finding confidence. These apply whether you're single or in a relationship.
- Get real with what you want for yourself. Do you want intimacy? Connection? Communication? Understanding, etc.? Ask yourself once you have that clarity if your current actions match to what you want. If they don't, proceed to the next tip.
- This is where confidence begins. Where do you feel unworthy or without value? Write it down and then find someone you trust to say it to, because when you speak it and see the sky doesn't fall, you'll find your ability grows for disclosure and with it your confidence.
- Detach from all outcomes. Do not think of what might happen or what you want to happen involving the other person changing their words or actions. Instead, imagine yourself free from the past with possible outcomes, and ask yourself, what would you do now?
- Try to reach back to a time you were disappointed, abandoned, etc. what did it feel like? Focus on the feeling; see what reaction you had to the feeling. Remember, the reaction became your strategy for survival in love -- either by hiding or manipulating, in some way you learned to protect and block. Once you make the feeling connection, bring it to the present moment and take a bold action -- a risk, just do it without holding onto the outcome!
- Risk often. Communicate your truth through your words and actions. Be kind and loving to yourself with your communication. Think of other ways to love yourself through taking risk, practicing self-care, by giving and receiving openly and freely.
Start here. Please stop going along to get along or hiding out -- create more confidence today. Your love life will change dramatically if you just let it!
Photo credit: Nattu