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Lessons In Life--Self Confidence

Updated on July 31, 2019
DzyMsLizzy profile image

Peace, harmony, and lifelong learning are Liz's passions. She's outspoken on education and childhood and is an activist in local politics.

Is this perfect?
Is this perfect? | Source

The Search For Perfection

Perfection doesn't matter. Perfection is an illusion. I am not perfect. You are not perfect. No one is perfect, and that's okay.

Striving for the best one can do or be, that is what is important. Being true to yourself is important. Being perfect is impossible, and if that is your ultimate goal, you only set yourself up for frustration and possibly depression.

Often-seen quotations along the lines of “live, laugh, love” are spot on. These are the important things. Never fear looking foolish. Fear instead that you will miss out on opportunities for fear of missing the mark or feeling silly.

A life well-lived is the best antidote for “the blahs,” and while it is nearly impossible to live all our lives without some regrets, we have hopefully learned lessons from those experiences along the way. So the next time a similar opportunity comes knocking, swing the door wide open and welcome it inside!

Consider this: if you were to achieve perfection, where would you then have to go next?

Nowhere else to go from here.
Nowhere else to go from here. | Source

Dealing With Disappointment and Regret

Consider carefully your regrets. Why are they regrets? Could you have changed anything in the situation? Was it even important? What did you learn? If there is a next time, what would you do differently? If the answers to all of these are in the negative, forget about it, and move on.

For example, one time, my mother and I were on a road trip. One of the motels we stayed in was an older lodge type facility. Unlike modern motels, where the furniture is virtually bolted in place, this lodging had regular furniture. In between the two twin beds was a chest of drawers, and across the room was a desk and chair.

The chest between the beds blocked our view of each other as we wished to chat a bit before falling asleep. We thought how funny it would be to move the furniture around to suit ourselves, and what would the maids think after we vacated. We laughed ourselves silly over the prospect, but alas, we did not act on the thought.

We “regretted” it for years afterwards, for it would have been some harmless fun. But was it important? Not in the least. Did it affect the course of our lives thereafter? Not at all. We enjoyed a good hearty laugh in the moment, and that was what we cherished.

To love yourself is to undertand you don't need to be perfect to be good.

— Anon.

Dealing With More Serious Regrets

Other regrets may have more life-affecting consequences, such as arguments with family members that strain the relationship(s), and may cause estrangement for years into the future. Sometimes, such incidents are only resolved when one or the other of the parties is near the end of their life before they realize the pettiness, and amends are made—almost too late.

The lesson here is the old advice, “count to 10” before you open your mouth and say something you will regret. While a valuable lesson may be learned from a regrettable situation, it still leaves feelings of regret that it happened at all, and altered the course of life for all those involved. Yet, it is still in the past, and nothing can be done, so to heal, apologize or forgive, and move on.

Over-Simplified

It should come as no surprise that the advice herein is a capsule; an overly simplified version of a complex topic.

I'm no doctor or psychologist--I am merely sharing what I have learned myself in a professionally-run group to support people dealing with emotional stress of various kinds.

These are the key points I've picked up, and wished to share.

Your value does not decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth.

— Anon.

Standing Tall

So: if you feel self-conscious, if you made a mistake of some kind, and people laugh at you, so what? Take a bow; you brightened their day for a moment while on the stage.

As Shakespeare said, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. . .” We all goof up from time to time; it's part of the human condition.

So stand tall, be proud of who you are, and don't let the turkeys get you down. Or, to put it humorously, as seen on a silly placard some years back, "Illegitimi non carborundum." Which is ersatz Latin for "don't let the bastards grind you down."

Confidence is not, "They will like me." Confidence is, "I'll be fine if they don't."

— Christina Grimme

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

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  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    9 days ago from Oakley, CA

    Hi Sheila--Thank YOU! I'm pleased you found the article helpful and liked it so much. Your feedback is appreciated. ;-)

  • Sheila Ann Myers profile image

    Sheila A Myers 

    10 days ago from Elmira

    I love this!! Thank you so much!!!

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    6 weeks ago from Oakley, CA

    You're welcome, Ann! Peace to you.

  • annart profile image

    Ann Carr 

    6 weeks ago from SW England

    Thanks for those thoughts too, Liz.

    Ann

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    6 weeks ago from Oakley, CA

    Hello Ann,

    Thank you very much! True, regrets can plague us "forever" if we let them. One thing I've learned in my support group is to learn to let go of the past and not let it stop our forward progress.

    While it is true that "sorry" is not always accepted, the fact that we were big enough to make the apology is good for our own growth, and the other person's reaction is not within our control, nor should it make us feel that our apology is therefore invalidated.

    I had a different kind of experience with just such a thing. I'd said something stupid at a friend's wedding, and it bothered me for years. I finally connected with her on Facebook, and apologized. As it turned out, she didn't even recall it happening, and said so, adding, "but if it makes you feel better, apology accepted."

    The lesson here being that sometimes we blow things out of proportion in our own minds.

    It is painful when one has to 'write off' family members, but I've heard from people (in my group) who said that hard as it was, it was the key to their own healing, as they were no longer being dragged down by that toxic individual.

    When you've lost contact with someone, simply offer your apology into the universe, to clear your own conscience, and that's about all you can do. I recently watched a TED talk in which a doctor spoke of a patient he had as a young resident, and in his later years, felt he had wrongly judged. In front of that entire audience, he offered her an apology, and hoped she would see it. That was humbling himself in great measure, and I'm sure lifted a karmic debt from his shoulders.

    I'm glad you liked the article and the quotes! Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughts.

  • annart profile image

    Ann Carr 

    6 weeks ago from SW England

    Such wisdom here, Liz. Regrets can plague us for a long time. The worse ones for me are when I've said or done something to someone whom I've lost contact with and can therefore no longer say sorry. Also the ones that have caused family rifts; the trouble is, 'sorry' has to be accepted too which doesn't always happen. The hurt involved can be too great.

    Superb advice and some great quotes to live by!

    Ann

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    6 weeks ago from Oakley, CA

    @ Liz W--Thank you very much; I'm pleased you liked this article.

    @ Lorna--Yes, the Bard did know a thing or two about human nature, and it is interesting how his wisdom remains topical today.

    @ Bill--I hear you! It's been a long and not always comfortable journey for me, as well. You are so right; the pain must needs be part of the process of growth. Peace out!

    @ Chitrangada--Thank you so much! I'm delighted you found the article helpful and have been able to apply the suggestions so quickly.

    @ Ioannis--Thank you very much for your kind words and praise. Much appreciated. I'm glad you found this article useful.

  • Sean Dragon profile image

    Ioannis Arvanitis 

    6 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

    This is an excellent, insightful and helpful article! I wish many to read it! Thank you, my dear, Liz, for this Love offer! Gratitude!

    Beautiful words coming from beautiful Souls!

    Sean

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 

    6 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

    Very nice article, enjoyed reading it. Honestly, I am feeling more self confident, after going through your wonderful thoughts.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

    It took me a long time to grow in confidence. It was a painful journey at times, but the pain was necessary, me thinks. I don't learn unless motivated, it seems, and pain is a good motivator. :) Wishing you peace and blessings, my friend.

  • Lorna Lamon profile image

    Lorna Lamon 

    6 weeks ago

    Lots of great advice in this refreshing look on self confidence. I particularly enjoyed the last paragraph 'Standing Tall' - Shakespeare certainly knew what he was talking about. Thank you for sharing.

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    6 weeks ago from UK

    You make some interesting points in this thoughtful article.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    6 weeks ago from Oakley, CA

    LOL Eric! Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your sandwich! ;-)

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Life is so great, thank you for the reminder. Now I am going to go make a perfect Tuna Salad. Oops ;-)

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