Hump Day Crush: Building Confidence

Without a doubt, self-confidence is one of the cornerstones of a successful life.

It helps us get ahead in our careers. It helps us stand up for ourselves so we can do what we want. And it helps us get what we need out of our relationships.

Without self-confidence, we can easily end up little more than a doormat. Other people can and will just walk all over us. At best, they’re the ones with more self-confidence and a kind heart and will tread lightly. At worst, they’re bullies who will spend a great deal of time and take great pleasure in wiping and grinding their feet on us for as long as possible.

We’ve all seen relationships like that. Heck, you may have even been in a relationship like that–on one side of the sole or the other. I think we can all agree that being walked all over like that–having our voices drowned out or outright ignored–isn’t much fun.

I know I never found it much fun.

But how do you build self-confidence?

The answer sounds simple: By doing things like standing up for yourself. By knowing what you’re talking about. By reaching out and taking what you want.

Step up and try to do that right away and you’ll find you fail more often than you succeed. We’re not often told that’s how it goes. We’re not told that the road to self-confidence is paved in failure.

That failure, though, breeds experience. Experience is the real key to building self-confidence.

On the relationship front, that’s where the whole Grown Up Crush process comes in to play.

As we examine our crushes, we learn about ourselves. That knowledge gives us something to fall back on in the dark times that come after a failure. We’ll be at least partially prepared for how we react to rejection. It won’t make it any easier right away, but it will help us get back up on our feet quicker.

An extra added bonus of crushing more actively and intelligently, you end up with more friends. When we fall, it’s often our friends that are there to cushion our fall. When you get to know people–especially people you start out with a crush on–you form deeper connections (at least with those you decide are good too keep around as friends).

Perhaps most importantly, running through relationship possibilities regularly in your head sharpens your awareness of how people in general behave. That knowledge–gained through observation, research and application of other theories–gives you the personal depth to realize that you are worth being listened to.

If you watch people interact half as much as I have, you’ll quickly find that even the most confident person you know is faking it half the time. Everyone is just as scared as you are. Everyone has times when they feel like they don’t matter.

And everyone who exudes confidence pushes past that and, basically, fakes it until they make it.

Are there some people who take that too far? There most certainly are. They’re the arrogant ones. The bullies and abusers. The ones who cross the line from self-confident to pompous. Just like a crush can descend into obsession, confidence can turn to arrogance.

Again, knowing where that line lies is something that can only be discovered through self-knowledge. And that self-knowledge is the reason behind the Grown Up Crush.

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