For a long time I confused confidence and self-esteem. But I do know that lack of self-esteem can affect the confidence we feel in relationships.
I can tell you that I have had plenty of practice at doing things that didn’t serve me well, or at least it didn’t seem that way back then. But along the way, I have learned the laws of relationships, and my confidence now derives from accepting what is.
I wanted to share three of these laws, so that you can start feeling the bliss of doing relationships the loving way. Not just to feel secure but to feel free, too.
1. Be You, more
If there is one thing I tried so hard to communicate to my students over the years, it is this: ‘You cannot compare your learning to another student’s. We all learn differently.’
Don’t we tend to do the same in relationships? We compare ourselves to others and then wonder why we feel disconnected with our own self, why we feel disappointed, why we feel ‘not good enough’.
People choose you for You. Or so it should be. So, be YOU! Feel natural and free in being you. It doesn’t mean impose your views, your ways, your expectations onto others. It means, feel happy within yourself. Share your love and who you are authentically with others. People want to know who you are, and not how well you can imitate another person.
I had to learn how to love myself, and stop trying to please others so I would be accepted or approved of. Why on earth did I have to be who they wanted me to be, so I would feel secure in that relationship? I decided that anyone not liking me was free to move along. In a loving way, I learned to be me, more.
Confidence is about feeling happy and secure with who you are.
2. Appreciate others
Showing appreciation and respect for others reveals security and self-confidence. When you can revel in someone else’s beauty, intelligence, wit, creativity, you are showing maturity in your connections with others.
We are unique beings united through the essence of love that we are, and we came to live and celebrate that uniqueness. But we also came to enjoy our connection to one another, to rejoice in those relationships, and appreciate them without the need for reciprocity.
And yet, I remember too well how much I craved being appreciated back. When I wasn’t, I felt hurt and overlooked. But eventually, I learned to be okay with that. I was able to praise others with no expectations, because I released the fear of not being loved back.
When you love yourself with Source’s love, and not ego’s love, you can love unconditionally. You accept others and appreciate them for who and what they are. You can sing their praises without the need for them to sing yours. Isn’t that a sign of feeling secure in any relationship?
3. Be the observer
How many times have you taken situations or comments, personally? It can definitely knock your confidence. By taking a step back and observing what is happening, you can disassociate from the situation and re-assess.
Instead of immediately reacting, stop and witness. Allow yourself some time to absorb and reframe: ‘What else could it mean?’, ‘What could have driven this person to say or do this?’
Feeling secure in a relationship is also about understanding that people bring their own issues and pretend these issues are yours.
I fell for it so many times. I tried to defend myself whenever I was accused of being controlling. I wasn’t. But when people feel cornered, they blame you, they attack you so they don’t have to deal with their own demons.
That’s when being the observer will help you detach yourself from any issue that is not yours. To feel confident and secure in any relationship, you have to learn to step back and let go of what is theirs. If the problem lies with you, then take responsibility for it. Otherwise, feel positive in who you are.
How confident you feel in relationships is your choice, because confidence comes from within, that is the secret.
Be you, because no one does you better than you. Be kind and appreciative of others. And finally, be understanding of others. They do not mean to attack you. It is easier to get angry at another instead of dealing with their own demons.
Be the love you want to find in others, and walk through life loving who you are. That is confidence in all relationships.