Psychologists say that most of our issues come from us wanting to be accepted by our parents. And, that our parents have issues based on their search for acceptance from their parents; and, so on.
I can’t deny there is truth in those statements.
- Have you ever encountered a person that appears to be very confident in himself while looking to prove his worth to the world? Or
- Have talked to a person that’s claims to be confident but attempts to persuade you to accept her perspective and views on a specific subject?
Maybe, you have found yourself doing something similar. I know I have.
The question here is if I’m so confident in myself why do I pay so much attention to what others think, what they do, how they react to me, and my reputation?
A person that knows themselves enough to be confident should be focused on minding their own mind rather than gaining acceptance from others.
Keep in mind, I am not talking about those people who think they are the center of the universe. I’m talking about individuals who have raised their levels of awareness but still show signs of depending on the external world. I consider myself in the latter group.
Here are a few reasons why I continue to seek for acceptance.
1 – I Have A Perfectionist Father
I have shared this before. My dad raised me to believe you either do it right or you don’t do it at all. This is something I internalized really well and affected my baseball performance many times. Even today, I struggle with this concept.
It is this believe that affects the way I celebrate, or not celebrate, successes. Because there’s always something that could have been done better, I choose to not claim victory.
In a way, I continuously look for improvements on everything I do because I somehow think it will gain me the approval of my dad.
By the way, don’t assume I don’t get along with my parents. My dad has actually told me he is very proud of how far I have gone. Yet, there’s ancient programming that continues to run even when it doesn’t serve me anymore.
The good news is I am now aware of it and can address it.
2 – My Innate Sense To Belong
In addition to approval from our parents, we have a need to feel we belong in a group. We feel safe when we know there’s a place for us and we are serving a purpose within it.
As I have moved away from my former profession as an actuary, I have struggled to “fit in.” It is my perception that those around me don’t see the value in what I study or worth the consideration as something that can help them succeed.
In the process, I have doubted myself many times, and wondered if any of it is worthwhile. I show confidence on the outside but there’s a serious struggle brewing in my mind.
Despite all the knew knowledge, and the lives I have impacted, there’s a side of me that still seeks for validation.
3 – Ignorance of Self-Worth
The sense of belonging, or lack thereof, gives way to the idea of self-worth. The amount of value I see in myself.
As Eric Hoffer stated,
“No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are.”
Once there’s insecurity about fitting in, I start doubting whether I really have anything to give to the world. I find a lot of truth in the Hoffer’s words.
I have spent my entire life believing my worth is dependent on external signs. Thus, I continue to seek for evidence that whatever I am doing is making a difference.
All of this is ironic because whenever I speak I am confident in what I am saying. My words match what I believe; and in doing so, I exert a sense of conviction.
Thus, I continue the journey of exploring the many layers behind what it means to be a confident person. What say you?