Every one of us has weaknesses, and so do I – quite many, in fact. But out of them all, I believe the greatest one is my lack of self-confidence. I don’t know how I came to have this low self-esteem, but I do know it is a problem I absolutely have to fix. Upon reflecting quite a while on this matter, I understand it is a flaw in my personality that is needlessly complicating my life on many levels and often hinders my development, both personally and professionally.
First of all, my lack of self-confidence too often leads to a lack of trust in others. Many times, I found myself suspecting others of having hidden agendas when offering their friendship or help, or making a kind gesture. “Why would they want to help me?” “Why would they want to have a coffee with me? They must be after something!” I know I not only missed many opportunities this way, but, most importantly, that I may have hurt good people because of this way of thinking.
Paradoxically, even though my self-confidence issues make me not trust others, when I do let people in, I start relying on them too much. Since I don’t believe in myself to find my own happiness, I tend to turn to others to fulfill that role for me. Thinking about this objectively, I understand I sometimes put too much pressure on others or burden them excessively, because I don’t trust my interior strength and my own judgment.
Mix the two above-mentioned ingredients together, add some spices, and you get a nice dish of troubles in your romantic relationships. Because of my trust issues, low self-esteem and emotional dependence on my partner, I constantly needed reassurance and I started many unnecessary fights. Luckily, I have an understanding partner and he still puts up with me, in spite of all this. I, too, have been doing my best to overcome these issues since I became aware of them, and I now try to view our relationship more objectively, more trustfully. However, sometimes, that crazy little leprechaun in my had still comes out to play.
Now, my self-doubt doesn’t affect only my relationship with others – it affects me, individually, as well. Because of this weakness of mine, I often give up on my self-development goals, thinking that I’m never going to accomplish them anyway. For instance, I started a 30-day home yoga challenge to get into shape and lose some weight. It’s been 3 months, and I’m on day 10 with the program. I think the facts speak for themselves.
Likewise, I’ve lost many job opportunities because I simply didn’t have the motivation or the courage to take action at the right moment – or even to complete a job application. “I’m going to fail anyway. Why put myself through this?”; “I’m not good enough.”; “I do have the skills, but the competition is much better than me. I don’t have a chance.” – and so on and so forth. It’s not laziness, as many might imagine. It’s just fear – most of the times silly, but still fear.
All in all, after extensive soul-searching, I realize that my self-doubt is my greatest weakness of them all, because it is a brick wall I keep hitting in all aspects of my life, be them personal or professional. Lack of self-confidence makes one suspicious of others, it hurts relationships, it hurts people, it hinders one’s development, and it simply complicates everything. Acknowledging the existence of a problem is a huge step towards solving it, and I will keep working on it until I demolish that brick wall – or banish the crazy little leprechaun in my head, if the metaphor feels more appropriate.