Don’t you just love it when life is going well. You feel happy and energized. Your self-confidence is high and you feel like you could take on the world. Yeeha!
What about those other times?
What about the times when we are facing adversity? How well does your self-confidence and sense of self stand up under those conditions?
Feeling self-confident can be particularly hard when things aren’t going well.
The true test of your self-confidence is when you are faced with a major problem or setback. Let’s face it, often it can be more a case of being bombarded with multiple compounding problems all at the same time.
This is when how you feel about yourself can really take a hit.
Let’s have a look at a how you can maintain your self-confidence during times of adversity.
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Take one day at a time
Dealing with grief and suffering is one situation that is incredibly hard. Grief can come bundled with feelings of guilt, sadness, anger, denial, loss, abandonment and much more.
Sometimes the only way we can work through our feelings and what life throws at us is to take one day at a time.
Trying to look at the big picture or projecting too far into the future can be overwhelming and confusing, which can further affect our self-esteem or self-confidence.
When life is particularly challenging, focus on getting through each day to your best ability.
Related post – Hang in There – Things Will Get Better
Don’t take everything personally
Whether you are looking for a job or searching for your soul mate, it helps not to take things personally.
You are probably thinking that is an odd thing to say considering I mentioned looking for a soul mate. Finding a life partner probably seems incredibly personal!
Let’s look at the job scenario first and you will see what I mean.
You read through a job description but unfortunately there is one small item on the list that you don’t have.
It could be as simple as a particular type of software you don’t have experience with. Other than that, you are a perfect fit for the job. You apply and hear nothing. More than likely, considering the current state of the economy this happens more than once.
The reason that you shouldn’t take this personally is because there are probably quite a lot of other people who have experience with that precise piece of software. Under these circumstances, they are more likely to get the job (or at least an interview).
The truth is no matter how good you are you can not have every skill or bit of experience. Just for the record no one does, so you can’t go beating yourself up about it. Even if you specialize in a field you may not have everything that someone is looking for. The point is you can’t make everyone happy, every single time.
This doesn’t mean that you are not great at what you do and that you wouldn’t make a valued employee.
Think back to the dating scenario. Dating is even more tricky because we don’t come with detailed descriptions (and no Internet dating profiles don’t count).
Something as basic as being too tall or too short can potentially rule you out as a potential mate. That may sound harsh and granted it is slightly oversimplifying the process, but it demonstrates my point that you can’t be all things to all people.
The minute you start to think ‘what is wrong with me?’ or ‘why don’t they want me?’ is when your self-confidence starts to plummet.
Try not to take it personally – move on to the jobs and people who are a good fit.
Related post – Know Your Own Worth
Know what you have to offer
During times of adversity it is important to remember just exactly what you have to offer.
At times when we feel vulnerable and scared it can be easy to focus on our negative qualities as opposed to our positive ones.
Focus on what you are good at. Highlight your strengths. Write a list if it helps. Make the list as long and detailed as possible.
Being positive and knowing what you have to offer when things seem bleak takes a lot of courage and inner strength.
Related post – Don’t Let Anyone Else Define Your Worth
Clearly these three are simply starting points. Different situations find us dealing with different emotions. There is no one size fits all solution to keeping your confidence high while going through a difficult time.
If you can be kind and loving to yourself through times of adversity, you are much more likely to be able to maintain high levels of self-confidence and be ready for when the sun comes out to shine again.
Read next – How to Maintain Your Self-Confidence During Times of Adversity Part 2
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This and last weeks subjects are particularly relevant to me as I’ve suffered the humiliation of receiving a failed grade for an essay. For a writer this is especially embarrassing – I haven’t failed at an essay for 30 years. Actually, I’m quite pleased at the way I dealt with this (the essay causes me to fail the first year of my degree so it’s pretty important): I only got drunk for 2 days rather than a week! This has caused a sudden and unexpected change in direction but now, after the shock has subsided, I’m now planning all the things I can do instead. Sadly, it still bugs me enough that my own blog today was about little else but my own failure. Never mind, onwards and upwards. Come to think of it, the fact that I’m publicly admitting to my failure feels quite odd – maybe that’s a step forward for me?
Thank you so much for your comment. Apologies for the delay in writing back, things have been a bit hectic here lately.
I am sorry to hear about the failed grade , I am sure that must have been very difficult for you. A sudden forced change in direction can be a bitter pill to swallow sometimes. As you mentioned admitting to a failure is never fun but you seem to be dealing with it much better now. I hope overall it means a step in the right direction for you. Perhaps it will lead you on a better path than the one you anticipated? You just never know. I wish you the best of luck with everything.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and feelings Mark and I look forward to hearing from you again soon.
Thank you for such a wonderful article. I am being made redundant and have been applying for jobs but have no result so far. Reading this article makes me feel confident.