If you have work to do on self-confidence, you probably have work to do on confidence directed outward as well. If you are judging yourself, feeling ashamed of yourself, you probably have similar judgments and negative feelings toward others for the same reasons. For example, maybe you have body image issues because you see others’ bodies as ugly. On the flip side, then, having confidence in ourselves can give us confidence in others and vice versa.

When I made the commitment to be self-confident, within a week or so, I found myself being very (genuinely) encouraging to a friend who was struggling with self-confidence, in a way I never would have been without self-confidence of my own. It was a wonderful feeling to know that I was creating so much positive energy with a friend, and it made me feel closer to him. Thus self-confidence leads to confidence in others and back again. However, while my confidence in others did increase somewhat in this way, I later realized that I was also still focusing almost entirely on myself. My struggles with anxiety prior to that were so intense that I had reduced my focus to survival mode, focusing on myself and losing friends in the process. When I realized that I had just looked at two strangers like they were things in my way, I decided that it was time for this to stop.

Once you have a bit of confidence in your self-confidence, freeing up your mind to focus more on others, that may just be your next step. Or, you can just work it in from the beginning if you are ready.

When you focus on having self-confidence, you may be making affirmations like, “I am beautiful. I love me! I am awesome. I am self-confident.” Now you can do the same for others: “You are beautiful, you are awesome, I have confidence in you. I love you.” If at issue is the lack of focus on others, and not just the confidence, focusing on love specifically may be helpful because love is all about recognition and appreciation. It involves a strong focus. If barriers come up when you think of / encounter others, just aim to let go of your worries, your doubts, as you do for self-confidence. If need be, pretend that they don’t exist and won’t come back to bother you later because you know they will not inspire you. Do not worry that trust will be broken, for it is such worries that break the trust to begin with. If trusting someone feels like a mistake, allow yourself to make that mistake, just as you make the wonderful mistake of trusting and believing in yourself. Say in your head to them, “I trust you,” as if you do. If appropriate, embrace them, kiss them, touch them as if you trust them. And trust them with no conditions that they trust you as deeply. Trust that they are deserving of love as you are – your love included. If there are still barriers, notice what they are and seek to forgive them, to look at them with detachment: maybe they are secretly judging you, you feel they are snobby, they are dishonest, etc. Just notice these things and how human they are and forgive. They are still so much more than their mistakes, just as you are.

Look deeply at others, even as you look at yourself. Pay attention. What are they wearing? What might they be thinking? Listen. What are they trying to communicate to you, consciously or subconsciously? Where are their desires, distinguished from your own? If you can’t look into a stranger’s eyes, maybe you have not fully recognized their presence apart from your own desires to be self-confident. Look into their eyes with a question: what journey are they on, and how might you communicate – share – confidence with them?

Ask questions; look at people with openness and wonder rather than judgment and dullness. This is how you create faith (confidence).

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