What does genuine confidence look like? Clearly, it is not something you simply have. But there is no doubt that it comes from within. Do you ever feel so insecure that you actually noticed your weak and wobbly attempt at pretending you were sure of yourself? Do you suppose others noticed, too? Egads. Do you believe that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to?

True self-assurance means that whatever life throws your way, you believe that you can handle it. The beauty is that when you lead with courage and conviction, you will inspire it in those around you. Of course, our self-confidence can fracture and fall to dust in the face of criticism or perceived failure. Please do not succumb to self-doubt. You can truly be who you wish to be in this world.

It’s been said: Courage is not the absence of fear; rather, it’s the judgment that something else is more important than fear. Perhaps you don’t have a generalized faith in yourself regarding everything you do. But what about your coding skills, mothering, business expertise, or your home-made challah? I’ll bet if that is your specialty, then you have a positive self-perception about it. One day you’re the best thing since sliced bread, and the next day you’re toast. And speaking of coding: Software undergoes beta testing shortly before it’s released. “Beta” is Latin for “still doesn’t work.”

Sure, it’s natural to focus on areas where you feel the most clever and capable; but don’t let that prevent you from taking on new skills that may end up exposing your lack of finesse. How else can you work on weak spots in your personality or even your life? Just think: You enter the gym self-effacing and self-conscious, and leave bold, brash, and spirited. Speaking of which, don’t you wish you could drop your body off at the gym, and pick it up when it’s ready? By the way, slow runners make fast runners look good. You’re welcome.

But truly, a can-do attitude needs to be cultivated. If you want to influence your friends, family, or world, you best facilitate and foster it. Lack of confidence can broadcast to the wrong people how vulnerable you truly are. When you constantly have doubts, you tend to amplify your perceived flaws. This ends up highlighting your self-consciousness even more. We do not want to telecast our shortcomings or sore points to the whole free world.

“My boyfriend left me because I’m too insecure. Oh, wait, he’s back. He just went to make a cup of coffee.” Okay, what did the insecure, cheesy Dorito say? “I’m nacho sure anymore.” Sheesh.

Your trust and belief in yourself unconsciously tells the world how to treat you. Sure, we have all been taken advantage of, but some people capitalized on your perceived weakness.  Become more aware of your body language and vocal delivery when you speak. How do you carry yourself?

Do you find yourself bending over backwards to please people like an acrobat in the circus? I know. Acrobats have been known to “flip out.” I haven’t tried yoga, but I bent over to pick my keys up off the floor. So, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like Yoga. But seriously, instead of constantly fretting that you are not good enough, develop the strength to walk away if you are not getting what you deserve in life.

Please go easy on the comparisons. Everyone in this life is running their own race. The truth is that relationships last longer when Facebook and Instagram don’t know about them. Stalking on social media is all fun and games, until you accidentally press the “like” button. Uh, oh. But truly, no one can do a better job of being you than you. Trying to measure and weigh up to others is the easiest way to feel unhappy. If we could simply solve our personal issues rather than posting them, Instagram and Facebook would be empty. If you’re too busy working on your own grass, you won’t notice if his is greener.

Speak kindly to yourself. Say: “I can do this. All I have to do is try.” Face those fears head-on. Go ahead and experiment; see what happens. The outcome of that experience may well have taught you a lesson. The moment you walk into a room, people will get a snapshot of your presence and your self-image. Chin up, buttercup, and shoulders back, please.

Heck, if life gives you a dumpster fire, you can always roast marshmallows. Above all, sweet friends, talk to yourself like someone you love.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.