Let’s be honest. Lack of self-confidence is an issue that plagues society. So many of us think that we aren’t good enough. In jobs. Relationships. Studies. Chances are that there are certain areas of your life where you could really use a confidence booster.
However, today, we’ll be looking at the other end of the spectrum. As the saying goes, too much of a good thing becomes toxic. In this case, let’s look a closer look at self-confidence and 3 surprising signs that it may be getting out of control.
Your self-confidence is tied to the outcome, not the process.
As a very goal-oriented person, this is a sign that I easily miss. It creeps in very slightly. Every month, I set goals for myself. This December, I wrote down in my goal statement journal that I wanted to write 10 blog posts by the end of the month. It was tough due to a few life circumstances, but I achieved it. My self confidence in writing then started to rise.
I started to become cocky as I watched the page views on the blog climb and climb. I want more. How can I get more views? This is great. I soon had tunnel vision on my analytics. Refreshing the page every day.
An hour passes by. Refresh. Another hour. Refresh. It soon became an addiction for me. I couldn’t be away from my laptop for more than two hours before becoming anxious. I need to check. How many views that I gain?
I soon realized that I was losing the joy of the process. Writing was no longer enjoyable. It was no longer a tool for my self-expression. I was only writing for the analytics. I had linked my self-confidence with an increase in readership. As it became higher and higher, I lost sight out of its original purpose. I completely lost sight of the process, and became entirely focused on the outcome. But what is this ‘process’ we always hear about?
What type of goals do you have?
The process has been researched a fair amount in sports psychology. Its relationship with goals, outcomes is of great importance to athletes around the world. Goals are often broken down into performance, outcome, process goals. Performance goals are those that help an athlete improve over time. An outcome goal is the specific result of a competition. Process goals are the thought patterns that the athlete must establish when performing a skill.
For example. A female runner training for a race. The performance goal is to increase her 10km time. The outcome goal is to win the race. Becoming a better, well-rounded athlete is the process goal. All of these are incredibly important to have. However, studies have reported that athletes tend to do better when they place a higher priority on process and performance goals. But why is that?
Control. Whether or not the athlete increases her 10km time is largely in her control. If she trains well enough and correctly, she will achieve it. Becoming a better athlete in terms of mindset and personal development is also within her control. If she puts in the work to self-reflect and grow, the change will come.
However, she cannot control winning the race. Outcome goals are out of your control. There are too many factors that come into play. She could get injured on the day. Another athlete may have trained for longer/harder than she did. All she can do is prepare as best as she can and hope for the best. So it would be dangerous to place all her self-confidence in victory.
It’s far better to drive your efforts into the process and performance goals. Focus on what you can control. Make sure you’re doing the daily habits. Embrace the possibility of failure. In my case, I should be focusing on making sure I’m enjoying writing, so I can sustain this blog over a long period of time. That’s how you keep your self-confidence in check. Not by going fast out the gate, but by being smart about where you place your efforts.
If you want to get a free copy of my goal statement PDF, make sure to follow the link below and subscribe.
The importance of goal setting for athletes – Metrifit Ready to Perform
Athlete’s Guide to Setting Goals | ACTIVE
Discrediting others’ progress
Now hear me out. I know you must think that you’re not that kind of person. That you don’t look down on others. But I want you to really look inwards for this sign. It’s not so obvious.
When you put in the hard work, you get results. This isn’t always the case but it’s the general trend we see all around us. The thing is that when we finally get those results, we can often forget about where we came from. Our origin story gets lost. Our self-confidence skyrockets and we believe we’re God’s greatest gift (although we’ll never admit that to anyone else). It’s simply our ego coming into play.
As we lose sight of the past, sometimes we also lose empathy for those at earlier stages of the journey. It’s not that hard. Why aren’t they doing it properly? Why is it taking so long? These are the thoughts that begin to infect our minds once self confidence peaks.
We suddenly expect everyone to be on our level of understanding. The same level that has taken us years of blood, sweat and tears to accomplish. We expect a new beginner to acquire those skills in an instant. It’s incredibly unfair to those trying to learn and it’s not constructive. But I’m guessing that you’re probably still denying that you would ever do this to someone else.
The honest truth is that you probably will never say these things directly to the person’s face, but these thoughts influence your perception of them. As a result, you will end up having unfair expectations of them. The judgements and side remarks creep in until it become so obvious that you end up hurting another person’s self confidence.
Always keep in mind that you went through a process. Took the time to develop certain skills. So, have patience when dealing with someone attempting to go through the same journey. Wouldn’t you have wanted the same thing?
As self-confidence peak, you stop taking care of yourself
This is the most common sign I see all the time. Even in myself. Self-confidence is addicting when you get it. You always want more of it. It doesn’t matter what you must sacrifice, you just have to get some more. Just like a drug-addict. Always searching for the next win to feed the growing ego.
I preach about all the ways you can be kind to yourself such as using positive affirmations. They do a good job of keeping you sane as you pursue your goals. However, they do take time and energy. Self-care is a conscious act that needs to be maintained on a regular basis.
50 Morning Affirmations To Start An Amazing Day – The Insignificant Soul (thebeautyinbeinginsignificant.com)
5 Brutally Honest Ways To Be Kind To Yourself – The Insignificant Soul (thebeautyinbeinginsignificant.com)
As you succeed more and gain more self-confidence, the temptation to stop the self-care habits creep in. I don’t have time to do my affirmations today. I’ll skip it. Who needs to sleep tonight? I’ll keep pushing all night. I am on a roll. I should just keep going. This is where it becomes toxic. It’s a very slippery slope.
We don’t realize that it’s gone too far until it’s too late. The end result is usually sleep deprivation, anxiety as we lay wondering where we went wrong. Don’t underestimate the power of regular self-care. If you put the work in to take care of your body, it will take care of you.
What do you think? Do any of these signs apply to you? Have you noticed your self-confidence becoming too dangerous recently? Let me know in the comments below!
Also, before you leave, do make sure to check out my free goal statement PDF (2021). If you’re planning on setting a new goal to keep your self-confidence in check, this is the perfect tool to get you on the right path.
3 Replies to “3 Surprising Signs That Your Self Confidence Is Becoming Dangerous”
Great read… as a new blogger I had been checking way to much my self care lacked compared to other days. I’ve learned to write when I feel like it and not because I feel I have to. 😊
Yes! It’s important to push ourselves past our comfort zone but also know when we need to pull back. Glad you enjoyed it.
Thos is a great angle to goals. Well put, Tosin!