I have been pondering quite a bit lately on self-mastery as it relates to self-confidence.
Since confidence is defined thusly (yes, I just threw down thusly):
I propose that to be self-confident is to trust in one’s self. You can rely on you.
Can you be relied on to do what you say you are going to do? Some of us would never dream of letting anyone else down, but we may find ourselves making promises (large or small) to ourselves that we don’t follow through on.
“I am going to quit diet soda.”
“I will start waking up early on Monday.”
“I will floss nightly.”
“I will turn in by 9.”
“I will only say kind things about others.”
“…insert New Year’s resolutions here…”
When we don’t follow through with our self-promises, we lose self-confidence.
Can you see how your esteem of self would be affected by not following through on what you say you will do?
There are two solutions to this.
- Stop making promises to yourself.
- Start strengthening the Mastery Muscle.
I don’t really recommend number 1–at all. To stop making self-promises entirely is counter-productive to self-progress.
However, I do believe words have power. So I could wholeheartedly suggest only promising yourself things you truly intend to follow through on. It does harm to our self-esteem to make a promise and not follow through. Really stop and think before saying you are going to do something; ask yourself if you really intend on following through. Do you plan on dedicating your capacity and attention to make the promise true?
Perhaps I can recommend starting with number 2: strengthening the Mastery Muscle.
Self-mastery is like any muscle that must be worked for growth.
If you find you haven’t been keeping promises to yourself, you can begin a training course to start strengthening your trust that you will keep your word.
First, identify the times you do keep your self-promises. It is important to recognize when you have been trustworthy in the past.
“I said I was going to wake up early, and I did. Way to go, me!”
Second, self-mastery can begin with little things.
“I will not have a diet Coke until four.”
As the hours pass, you can congratulate yourself on your sticktoitiveness. When we recognize the mastery we are practicing, we gain the strength to master more.
You would, of course, eventually progress to not having a diet Coke at all in this scenario. Each time we delay undesired gratification, we are winning and strengthening that Mastery Muscle.
When we follow through with our self-promises, we strengthen self-confidence.
Imagine building your Mastery Muscle to the point where you believe yourself when you proclaim you are going to do something big.
Quit smoking, start a new business, run a marathon, cut out sugar. Go to Hawaii, become a millionaire.
If you are struggling with self-confidence, take a look at your self-promises. Strengthen that Mastery Muscle and you will feel your confidence grow.
(For a gal with a hyphenated first name, all of these hyphens are making me happy today!)