The key to being confident about ourselves, I think, is to, first of all, know ourselves and secondly learning to accept what we have found within, maybe to even love what we find inside. That then gives us self-reliance and self-confidence.
How do we know what are good traits and what are bad ones? What is lovable and what is not? Normally these assessments have been suggested by our environment, especially in our childhood. Through our parents, other family members but also neighbours or society for example through media. What we didn´t know as a kid and often have forgotten as adults is that those people suggesting these assessments only were people too. Even „the media“ is made by people. These judgments about our unique sides and shapes, much like puzzle pieces, about what is good and fitting and what isn´t have been made by other puzzle pieces that themselves were raised by other puzzle pieces and so on.
Every quality a person has can be seen in a positive or negative light. Is someone reliable or boring? Energetic or hyperactive? A dreamer or creative? It´s the same thing just seen with loving or with critical eyes. The problem is, that in the stress of surviving day-to-day life, we often are not very conscious about our views and about our messages, not even the messages we are sending our loved ones like our children. That leaves them and us as adults with the mission to understand and get to know these traits in ourselves that were labelled as not lovable and to take a second, more objective, look at them.
We are social beings so there are extreme traits that can not be lived (fully) in social settings to protect us and others. But most things that are lurking there in the shadow of a person’s persona, in my experience, are not even half as bad as one would think. From what I saw they are more often normal trades like being angry or resistant or sensitive. You don´t necessarily become a killer if you are sometimes a bit angry. In fact, it is quite normal and in times of trouble a pretty helpful emotion. But for an overworked mother, it might be a threat in the sense of needing attending, time and energy that she simply can´t spare. You are not incapable of protecting your family if you have sensitive fragments in your persona. In fact, it will help you to connect to your family emotionally and that again is needed to be protective. But it might seem a threat to a father that himself is unsure what it takes to be a man.
Unloved traits are very often normal trades that were not understood or not wanted or even feared by the people around us when we were children but traits that are not generally evil or dangerous. It often is a big and difficult task to learn to live with these traits or even accept or like them, a task that sometimes includes rearranging one’s life in many ways, but it is a very rewarding mission. Understanding that these traits are lovable but once were damned by more or less loving parents or more or less protective societal systems is an important part of that.
Be the parent that you would have wanted or needed as a child for yourself, now. There are very effective meditations on the so-called „inner child“ that I would recommend to everyone that wants to get to know themselves better or to make peace with themselves. There also is the possibility of visualisations, to imagine yourself as a child at your side whenever you feel like apologising for normal and healthy personality traits. If there would be a child standing beside you, what would you say to that person criticising you/it? Very seldom we would join in with the criticism, I think.
You are a wonder. Even if you don´t believe in anything spiritual, just look at your body. You once were a cell, tiny, not capable of doing anything but segmentation and now look at yourself. Think of all the obstacles and challenges you had to successfully overcome to be what you are now, to know what you know now and to be able to do what you can do now. If you have made it so far, there is a good chance that you will keep on growing, involving and succeding. And if you now think that´s nothing special because everyone around you obviously made it so far and some even further then you better think again. There are more than enough cells and piles of cells that didn´t. If you have to compare yourself, compare yourself to them.