The relationships that each one of us has are being defined by the relationship models that we have. And this can range from the more meaningful and intimate ones, to the ones that are platonic and carry very little meaning.
However, although we all have our internal models of what our relationships should be like, it doesn’t mean that we are always conscious of these models. Or that the models that we have will be empowering or functional.
These models are a combination of many different elements. What these elements will amount too are relationships that feel normal to us or to desiring a relationship that we believe will lead
to happiness and fulfilment.
At a conscious level one can have ideas and certain requirements for the type of person that their looking for. And unconsciously one can also have a model that is completely different to the one that they consciously describe.
Even though one can have ideas about what the ideal relationship should be like, or certain visions of what it will look like and the feelings that will occur as a result of this; the person or people that one is attracted to, are often completely different to the ideal that one has.
And this is due to the models being different in the unconscious mind; with these models being what are classed as safe to the ego mind. This is the part that has the biggest influence on the type of relationships that one attracts into their life.
What this then creates is internal and external conflict. If one wants a relationship that is full of love, is empowering and functional and one is constantly attracting the opposite; it is inevitably going to create pain.
On the outside this can lead to one attracting the wrong types of people, ending up in the wrong situations, and environments and compromising themselves. And internally this is bound to create: frustration, anger, hopelessness; powerless and even feeling like a victim and that one has no choice.
Are They Possible?
The relationships models that one can have could be dysfunctional, in the sense that they represent the past models that were unhealthy, abusive or disempowering. And this can then lead to the ego mind seeing relationships through two extremes.
Through the ego mind being programmed in this way, it could then go the other side. And this means that it cause one to expect and look for relationships that are perfect. This is a relationship that is always pleasurable, pain free and never has any conflict; the type that
one finds in a Disney story.
The Ideal And The Real
And if one has a dysfunctional relationship model, one may alternate between seeing relationships as completely negative and painful and between viewing them through rose coloured glasses.
These ideals will be a combination of the needs and wants that were not met as a child. The knight in shining armour (Being saved) or the princess (Being mothered) figures that are often shown in films are an example of this. Here are just two examples of what the ego mind can identify with as sources of strength and healing. They could also be described as archetypes.
And in order for these relationship models to change one has to be aware that they can be changed. Because if one has experienced relationships in this way from the very beginning, it is likely that they will be perceived as normal.
One can feel that this is simply how life is and if other people have relationships that are healthy and empowering, it is because they are different or lucky. And through looking outside and comparing oneself with others, it rarely leads to personal growth and often ends up in one feeling powerless.
The Ego Mind
And the reason it feels normal is because the ego mind has been programmed to feel safe with the relationship models that one has. This means that it is simply familiar to the ego mind, this then results in the association of it being classed as safe.
If one were to look at their relationships, they would probably notice numerous patterns. This means that their relationships make them feel a certain way, or have certain thoughts or lead to the same scenarios and situations.
Something that Dov Baron has described as - ‘Attracting the same person with a different face’. Here, one simply feels that although a different person is in their life, the experience is the same and hasn’t changed.
In The Beginning
The people that have had the biggest influence on what ones relationship models are like are ones caregivers and the people that were around during the beginning of one’s life.
These people were examples for ones young mind to soak up and indentify with. At such a young age, one didn’t have the ability to question if they were good models to internalise. They were simply the only ones available.
And as repetition is the way that something is learned, it was normal that one would end up with these models themselves; after being exposed to these models for so song.
So even though one has a conscious desire to change these models and to create relationships that mirror who they are today and what they need; the ego minds programming will make one feel uncomfortable and this will lead to fear.
At a logical level, it makes no sense for one to feel fear around letting go of the dysfunctional models and forming healthy and empowering models. But to the ego mind, change means death, and so anything that is different is interpreted as a threat to ones survival.
Firstly one has to recognise these patterns or to sense that something isn’t right and to then look for answers. Once this has happened, one can start to move on from these models and to create new models for relationships.
This can be done through many different avenues; with therapists, books and friends all being great sources of assistance.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article, as many others have.
Oliver J R Cooper
When we look at our lives or at the lives of others, we can see life through one of two ways, or as a combination of the two.
On one side we can see that there are patterns to how we behave, think and feel and in how other people behave. And on the other side, we could also view our internal processes and external behaviour and the behaviour of others as random.
This could also be described as a habit; with this being a word that is probably more familiar than the word pattern. Habits are part of being human and this means that they are not negative or positive per se.
They are neutral and what makes them negative or positive is whether they are empowering or disempowering to our life.
It could be a habit to wake up and to go to bed at a certain time of the day, to walk or drive a certain route, to eat a specific type of food each day and to exercise on fixed days of the week.
Each of the above could be empowering habits to have and ones that lead to, at the very least, a productive day and at the most, a productive existence.
As well as the habits of routine that were mentioned above, there will also be the thinking patterns that one typically has; these could range from how one sees oneself, to how one sees
They could be thoughts that never seem to disappear or thoughts that are consistently trigged during interactions with the same or opposite sex for example. Being in a certain environment could also bring about patterns of thought.
There can even be patterns when it comes to the emotions that one has. These could be negative or positive and cause one to feel good about who they are and at ease with their life. Or it could lead one to feeling negative about themselves and experience periods of anxiety and fear.
And these experiences could occur: during certain situations, around certain people, different times of the year, and different stages of a relationship.
What the above two will form is ones behavioural patterns. And whether one is reacting to life or simply responding; will be the result of what is going on in their ego mind. The way that the ego mind interprets what it experiences will then define ones behaviour.
This could be a behavioural pattern that one has and after behaving in this way, wonders why they did; as the behaviour doesn’t lead to one feeling empowered or to the fulfilment of one’s goals.
One can then end up feeling that they have no control over their behaviour and are at the mercy of some external power or force.
What each of these things represents is familiarity to the ego mind. And once something has achieved the association of being classed as familiar, it is then interpreted as safe. And from here the ego mind will be comfortable with whatever this habit is.
How, it doesn’t matter if this habit of empowering if disempowering; all that matters is that it is familiar and therefore safe to the mind.
So this means that the ego mind is, by its very nature, a creator of habits and this is how it functions to ensure its own survival.
And if habits are part of being human and cannot be completely removed, it shows the importance of being self aware. Habits are only negative when they no longer lead to growth and start to lead one in the opposite direction.
If our ego mind didn’t function through habits and patterns there would be far too much going on and our attention would be consumed by different stimulus. So these lead to more of a streamlined existence.
And this could be the result of how life was for human beings many hundreds of years ago, where ones ability to survive was based on one’s ability to make quick decisions. And as well as saving time; it also saves energy.
We can see this in modern day life; with how much easier it is to function. If one had to think about how to open a door or how to drive a car each time, it would take up far too much time.
As a result of these habits and patterns being around for so long and the only way that one’s ego mind knows; they may seem like the truth and the only possible way to function. Ultimately, the only reason they are there is because they are familiar.
We can meet a stranger and before long they are classed as a friend and the experience of this person being a stranger is no longer there. It is then natural and normal to feel comfortable
and at ease in their presence
On the other hand, having known someone for many years, we can begin to drift away from that person. And although we used to feel comfortable during our moments together, we can start to feel uncomfortable around them.
This is perhaps a dynamic that happens more in an intimate relationships than it does in relationships between two friends. However, in many ways it mirrors the way the ego mind works.
In both cases, these are both human beings, what is different is the ego minds associations of the two people. As these have changed, how the ego mind interprets them also changes.
In order for any change to take place, one needs to firstly be aware of what needs to change and to believe that change is possible. From here, one can take the steps to making that a reality.
We are all different and this means that different approaches will be needed. For some, reading a book that goes into this in depth may be enough. And for others, some form of coaching or therapy will be needed. There are many resources and options available to assist in this.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article, as many others have.
Oliver J R Cooper
In a previous article that I write on expectations, I looked at where our expectations come from. And here I want to take a closer look at how expectations are influencing our day to day life.
Expectations can become part of one’s nature and how they see life or they can be expectations that come and go and are only short term.
When one is a child, there are likely to be a certain set of expectations. And as one grows older, some of these will change and adapt; while others may remain until ones teenage years and even adult years.
There will always be expectations in place, no matter how old one is. It’s really a matter of if one is aware of them or not and if they are beneficial to one’s life.
Now, these expectations could be from within and formed through our own thoughts, emotions, feelings and sensations. Or they could be the result of what we have heard externally and from other sources.
What is within had to come from without at some point, but when I say within; I’m talking about expectations that have been consciously chosen. And when I say from without; I’m talking about expectations that are unconscious and are neither questioned nor consciously chosen.
Areas Of Life
One can have expectations around every area of life. This could be expectations that one has about themselves and the expectations that one has of other people.
These could be expectations to do with: men, women, countries, day to day experiences, society, relationships, friendships, holidays, products, food stuffs and others things.
These expectations can become so normal and a part of one’s life, that they no longer seem like expectations. The expectations and the experiences become one and the same. It is then experienced as how life is and seeing that expectations are a major catalyst to how one experiences life is then overlooked.
On one side we can have long term expectations and these will be what our ego mind likes to identify with. This could be the expectations that one has in their relationships or in how successful one is capable of being.
And on the other side we have short term expectations and these will be what relate to the situations that come up in our life. This could be a night out or a holiday for example.
Now let’s take a look at how our expectations are playing out in our life. One may then begin to get a clearer understanding of how this is working.
Relationships will be affected by both a short term expectations and our long term expectations. One can expect to have an intimate relationship that is loving, supportive and empowering or one that is abusive, unsupportive and neglectful.
When it comes to short term interactions and casual acquaintances; one can also have expectations about how they will go and what they will be like.
Men will have expectations of women and what they are like or will be like; with women also having expectations of what men are like or will be like.
After a while of living in a certain country, one will have formed general expectations of what it’s like to live in the country. And if another country were to be mentioned, the expectations would more than likely change.
The countries that one enjoys going to or has positive associations of, will be the countries where one has formed positive expectations. A country that has a warmer climate to the one that one currently inhabits is bound to create positive expectations at the very least.
Our expectations are always being shaped by the mainstream media. This could be to do with what the world is like and how safe or unsafe it is, to what products can and can’t do for us, what the weather is going to be like and many other things.
How a product or service is displayed and marketed, will also create the expectations that we have around products or services.
When something is marketed at a certain price or a when it is associated with certain celebrities; our expectations are being formed.
These are influencing how valuable we expect something to be. And this will then shape our expectation of the brand and as a result, shape the experiences that we go on to have with it.
We have opinions of others and others have opinions of us; some of these will be accurate and some won’t be. And these opinions are often a consequence of hearing about another’s reputation or through the views of another person and this means they are not always gained through firsthand experience.
For example, celebrities are largely known through their time on TV and from write ups by journalists and the people that have spent time with them. People then form ideas and impressions based on these and their expectations are then formed.
However, these are not necessarily the truth and may have very little to do with them, which means that one’s expectations of these people are often inaccurate.
We Experience What We Expect
And once the mind has formed or created an expectation, it will do everything it can to make the expectation real. And what doesn’t match or mirror this expectation will then be filtered out.
The ego mind will be like a magnet to what it has been programmed to expect and this will become a self fulfilling prophecy. One can; ignore and reject what is different, project onto the situation so that it fits their internal idea or interpret the situation in a way that it corresponds with their expectation.
Ones behaviour will then change to fit this expectation, so whether it is actually true or not will often depend on whether the mind wants it to be true.
And this is why awareness is so important; as these expectations are often running automatically. They have become so normal and natural that they are taken as how life is.
For them to change, the pattern needs to be changed to something beneficial and empowering. The first stage is to realise that one has a choice and that that they are not fixed.
What is classed as meaningful can vary from person to person. It is not something that is set in stone or fixed. The meaning that one has in life can change as one grows older and has different experiences.
The countries and cultures of the world can have meanings that are vastly different to each other. Men and women of the past had meanings that were radically different to each other and as time has gone by; their meanings have become less defined.
On google.com meaning is described as – 1. What is meant by something. And meant is described as – 1. Intend to indicate or refer to (a particular thing or notion); signify: "I don't know what you mean". 2. Of a word) Have (something) as its signification in the same language or its equivalent in another language.
So then, although meaning can relate to what the majority of people can agree on, it can also relate to what which a minority of people agree with; as well as the personal meanings that one can have.
One of the biggest examples is of course –religion. There are some religions that are very similar in their meaning and others that are very different. Religion is full meaning and one is unlikely to feel that there is no meaning to life as a result of being religious.
This can cover all areas of life and even what may or may not happen after this life.
As the social climate has changed, the meaning has also altered. But one thing is certain and that is; the society that one is brought up in or lives in, has an incredibly powerful influence on the meaning that one has.
Part of the societal meaning comes from the mainstream media. The media is creating meaning as a result of how it portrays what it shows, and also what it doesn’t show. What it does show is rarely presented in manner that is fluid or open to interpretation; the meaning is often fixed and absolute.
The people that are known through the media, such as celebrities, also have the potential to shape the meaning that people have.
The childhood environment that one is brought up in will play an important role and perhaps it’s the most important factor. At this age, one’s mind is so malleable and open to accepting whatever it is exposed to.
The meaning that the caregivers have will typically be passed onto the child. This will child can then accept this meaning or rebel and reject it. However, what is fairly certain is that it will have an effect.
At a more personal level we all have thoughts, emotions, feelings and sensations. And these are shaping what we perceive as meaningful and meaningless.
These could be the result of biological needs and the conditioning that we have received as a consequence of the society we were brought up in and the childhood that we experienced.
What this means is that one’s behaviour will be defined by what they class as meaningful. Now, this could be going on at a conscious level, where one chooses what is meaningful to them. Or this could be running unconsciously; with one being pulled to do things without a conscious choice being made.
If the second option is being carried out, it is not much of a surprise and is often to be expected in our society. The world is full of voices, organisations, groups and influences that are happy to offer meaning to anyone that will listen.
And as the ego mind, by its very nature, works in absolutes, it’s not much of a surprise to see this then appear in the world. These meanings are then not only the absolute meaning; they become the absolute truth.
Approval And Acceptance
The need for approval and acceptance goes way back and was necessary to ensure survival. As a child one is dependent on the approval of one’s caregivers and unless this has been looked at, it can turn into needing the approval of others; with the need for survival being played out once more.
And this is another way that one can get caught up in the meaning formed by other people. By going along with the meaning that has become accepted by others, one can feel a sense of acceptance and approval.
However, this may be a meaning that doesn’t truly sit with them or resonate with who they are. The fear of being rejected and the egos minds way of associating this with death could stop one from finding their meaning.
It could be that the meaning that one has is completely defined by the outside world, or that one decides their meaning based on a combination of the inner and outer.
What is clear is that the outer world will always have an effect on the meaning that one has. But, we have the choice of how we interpret what we see and what we do as a result.
Empowered Or Disempowered
Some people live lives that are full of meaning and as a result of this, they are usually individuals of purpose. One could assume that they posses something that others do not. Is this really the case? Or do others just interpret reality differently?
The ego mind is interpreting reality and this is then triggering internal associations. These are associations that can be changed and altered, they are not fixed.
And depending on the associations that one’s ego mind has in relation to meaning, will influence whether one acts with purpose, has passion or feels empowered.
These associations will also trigger thoughts, feelings, sensations and emotions. And this will then go onto how one behaves and the self image that one has.
One can then choose to live a life of meaning and not meaning that has been defined by someone else, but meaning that has been consciously chosen.
Meaning that reflects who one has chosen to be and meaning that may change as one grows and continues to develop.
To do that, one has to question and challenge their own meanings, where did they come from? Are they what is truly meaningful to me? Do they empower and fulfil me?
If not, then the time has come for them to go and to be replaced with what really matters.
The environment that we live in will also have a say in the meaning that one has. It may be a meaning that creates a lot of dysfunctional and disempowering meanings. And if this has been the only environment that one has been in, it will also seem to be the only meaning.
Changing the environment may not always be possible, but changing the meanings in our mind is possible.
While a certain amount of approval seeking is part of relationships; when it is out of control and taken to the extreme, it can create dysfunctional consequences and unnecessary pain.
And when this happens, a man’s mental and emotional wellbeing is going to suffer. However, in order for a man to seek this level of approval in the first place, something within is already at
So let’s take a look at the kind of behaviour that approval seeking creates. On one side we can see that this will cause a man to be: needy, submissive, weak willed, uncertain, vulnerable and passive around women.
Here a man could be like a chameleon and adapt his behaviour to the women’s needs. And whatever gains the most approval, will be the behaviour that is displayed.
The words ‘This is who I am’ will not be communicated in any form. They will be replaced with ‘who do you want me to be?’
Sense Of Self
The approval seeking man has a sense of self that is either very weak or nonexistent. The only understanding he has of himself, is through the conclusions his ego mind has drawn from a women’s approval and disapproval.
If they approve of him, he feels good, worthy and whole. And if they don’t approve of him, a mild, to even an extreme bout of depression, can occur. This means that this man’s sense of self is always dependent on the approval of a specific women or women in general.
Is It Possible
And one of the facts of life is that whether one of male or female, old or young and everything in between; is that it is not always possible to gain the approval from other people.
Sometimes one will get it and sometimes they want. And when approval is gained, it is fairly likely that this could soon turn to disapproval before long. This could be due to a minor difference or the end of a relationship.
And this need for approval will often be absolute; all or nothing. The ego mind works this way and it does not see that there are other options and that it is not always black and white.
Upon seeing this, it then seems completely illogical that a man would seek complete approval from a woman; especially as this is something that is not possible to gain from another adult and is more of a need that a child would have.
On the surface, it sounds completely ridiculous to say that a man is viewing a woman through the eyes of a child. Because physically this is not possible; the boy that the man once was, is no longer visible.
And yet, the years of one’s childhood, are when one first seeks the complete approval of one’s caregivers. At this time it is a matter of survival, there is no middle ground.
Emotional And Mental Age
Due to ones mental and emotional age often developing at a different rate to ones physical age, it is not much of a surprise, to see that such an illusion could be created.
This means that although a man can look like man and not a boy, emotionally and emotionally their behaviour could be childlike.
Here the ego mind causes one to regress to a different emotionally age or to what is often called the inner child. And if a man’s emotional development was inhibited at a certain age, it
will cause the man to regress to that age.
This could then be to an age where the man’s whole sense of survival was based on a caregiver and this caregiver was more than likely a woman.
And all that has yet to be healed and integrated within the man, will then be projected onto other women. These projections could be extremely powerful and emotionally charged or fairly easy to spot, with minimal emotional intensity.
Whether these projections are on one side or the other of the spectrum, will largely depend on the quality of nurturing that this man received as a child.
The following factors will play an important part in forming this need for approval in later years:
· A caregiver that is physically distant
· Mild to extreme abuse from caregiver
· Emotionally unavailable caregiver
· Having a caregiver that is over worked and to busy
· Emotionally and mentally undeveloped caregiver
· Absent male figure to learn from and model
Each one of these and the many other factors, will often define a man’s mental and emotional growth. And when this early development has been affected in this way, unless it has been looked at and processed in some way, it will end up being projected onto women.
So, if approval feels good and allows a man to feel a sense of wholeness and of being worthy; disapproval must create incredible pain. And this is not just the pain of being disapproved of by a certain girl; it is an accumulation of pain; pain that has built up from childhood and then through many adult years.
Through gaining the approval of a woman, this emotional pain within is being regulated. However, unless this is awareness of the original pain, it will continue to play out and to create the same patterns of behaviour and the same mental and emotionalconsequences.
The past is often defining how a man interprets women. This causes a man to seek something that cannot be given by women. To receive complete approval is something a child needs from its caregivers and this is something that is rarely possible in adult to adult relationships.
And the more that a man seeks approval from women the less chance there will be of getting it. If he does, he will be living a lie and being someone - who he is not. Although a man can look to a woman to fulfil his unmet childhood needs, the women is ultimately not his mother and is a human being with needs.
Relationships are always an exchange; so if a man is looking to take so much, what is the woman going to receive?
To let go of the past and become more present with women, one needs to make a choice. And this could be to change ones behaviour or to reach out for some assistance.
In the information age of today, there is plenty of information and people who have answers and solutions.
These are two words that can be used to describe an occurrence or situation. One person may use the world problem and another could use the word challenge. And this is even though they are both in the same position or looking at the same thing.
On Google.com the word problem is described as: 1. A matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome. 2. A thing difficult to achieve or accomplish.
And a challenge is described as: 1. A call to take part in a contest or competition, esp. a duel.
Consequences So although these are merely words that one can use to describe something; their meaning is radically different. To label something as a problem can make one feel that the problem is bigger and more than they are.
And to label something as a challenge can make one feel that they are bigger and more than what is going on.
The Power Of Words
This shows the power that words have in shaping ones experience of life. Because even though these are simply words, the effect that they have in shaping ones experience cannot be denied.
For it is not the situation that is causing one to respond in a certain way; it is the interpretation that that mind has and the associations that are then triggered, that are causing one to perceive a situation in a certain way.
A Matter Of Perspective
The perspectives that one sees life through are then formed. These could be day to day perspectives or perspective that one sees their whole life through.
Life could then be seen as one big problem or one big challenge: it is all a matter of perspective.
Empowered Or Disempowered
One of the things that are clear about these two words is that to describe something as a problem makes one feel disempowered. However, it also affects ones internal wellbeing, increases stress and has the potential to lead to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
On the other hand, seeing something as a challenge can create a completely different internal experience. Here one can see the situation as more of a game or a competition and as a chance to grow and develop; instead of seeing it as success or failure.
And this will cause to feel more empowered and more at ease internally. The higher levels of stress, emotional and mental unrest that would have come about through seeing the situation as a problem - would not have to be there.
What This Could Mean
The emotional and mental wellbeing of this person can be expected to be fairly balanced or to at least return to their normal level fairly quickly. A strong sense of resilience and an embracing of life's challenges could be expected from this person. And as a result of this -success and achievement would be expected.
For one who generally sees life or situations as a problem; it is inevitably going to be a very difference experience and potentially a tough life in the long term. Life could be seen as a burden or as something to be endured and even as a punishment.
What is clear is that we all see the world differently and that we are all having our own unique experience on this planet. People can empathise and come close to another experience, but another can never completely match it.
However, what we all have is an ego mind. And it is the ego mind that is causing one to see whether something is a challenge or a problem.
These interpretations that the ego mind has and the associations that these interpretations create are largely going on outside of one's conscious awareness. And as a result of this, it can appear that whether something is a problem, or a challenge; it is being based on something that is out of one's control. These meanings can appear as absolutes and as the only description possible.
The thoughts that one has, the feelings, emotions and sensations will all correspond with this meaning. But this doesn't make it the absolute truth. It is simple the way the ego mind has been programmed to interpret what it is being exposed to.
It could be said that people who see something as a problem are likely to have a lack belief. And people who see something as a challenge are likely to believe in themselves. This is not absolute though; as someone who believes in themselves in one area of life, could have a lack of belief in another.
And yet there are some people who have a general belief in themselves and no matter what is placed in front of them, they seem to remain strong and resilient.
Now this could be due to many different things. Ranging from stressful to traumatic life experiences; to an early childhood environment that was equally as stressful and/or traumatic.
The way that one's caregivers responded to life situations would have been a powerful model in shaping how one grew up to perceive situations. Whether one was encouraged, supported and valued will also affect their level of belief in themselves. And this will go on to influence their view of whether something is a challenge or a problem in their later years and if one has what it takes to handle it.
If one was surrounded by people who were resilient and believed in themselves; this could have been internalized and so could the complete opposite.
Where this programming came from, is ultimately irrelevant; what matters is that one comes to see that they have a choice in how they perceive something. The ego mind is automatic and unless these associations are changed, the same interpretations will be made.
Whether something is a problem or a challenge can sound like nothing more than semantics and yet it is clear to see how much of a difference can be made by changing the language that we use.
There are many routes that one can take and this will all depend on the personality that one has; from books, to therapy and everything in-between. Assistance is there, we simply have to make the choice and find the assistance that is right for us.
The word confidence is a term that is often hard to define. What is it and what does it look like? Are questions that can be asked. Through the act of comparison, one can see that there is a difference between people that are confident and people that are not confident.
Many years ago I was at a training event and one of the people that were running the course said ‘Confidence doesn’t exist’. And upon hearing this, I was incredibly confused.
Examples of what confidence looks like are often taken from people in the entertainment industry. So: actors, musicians, sports stars and presenters etc.
On google.com the meaning is – 1.The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust: "we had every confidence in the staff". 2. The state of feeling certain about the truth of something.
This shows that the general meaning of confidence is that one believes in oneself and in their ability to function and perform in life.
As well as these roles that people play in the area of entertainment, there are certain types of people that are seen as the embodiment of what confidence is in our society. And this is usually portrayed through the eyes of the mainstream media.
These are typically the people that are described as: good looking, talented, well dressed, wealthy and educated for example.
Another powerful influence on the levels of confidence (belief) that one has, is ones early childhood years. How one was treated by their caregivers and how their caregivers treated others will also play a significant role in this.
Here ones caregivers can either cause one to feel confident in themselves or not. And it may be that one was made to feel confident for what they did or what they had (external) and not for who they were (Internal).
So their confidence was never internalized and integrated, it was always based on some external requirement being fuilfilled.
What then happens is that these become the criteria of what confidence is and is not. If one has what their society classes or childhood classed as confidence, then in theory, they will feel confident. And based on those requirements, if one doesn’t match up, they should feel unconfident.
For every rule that there is, there is always exceptions and confidence is no different. People that are classed as attractive are sometimes confident and sometimes they are not. There are people who have incredible talent and ability and yet have no confidence in that they do.
And being educated and having large sums of money, also doesn’t guarantee that one truly believes in themselves.
So does this mean that if one has all of these, a few of these, or even one of these requirements and doesn’t feel confident; that one has been sold a lie? Or that one just needs to keep on accumulating more?
Upon closer inspection of these societal requirements and the requirements that were laid out in ones child; it becomes clear that these are all external in nature. They are based on the approval and acceptance of another person or people.
And this means that one is giving their power away to other people. One is allowing another person to define how one sees themselves and what one is capable off.
The Other Side
On the other side of people who don’t feel confident, even though they have filled certain requirements; are people who act confidently and yet don’t necessarily match up to societies ideals of what is needed to be confident. Or they may have a few of these requirements.
So how could these people be confident if they are not following the rules of society, or the requirements that were expressed in ones childhood?
Of course, there will be some people that were been empowered for who they were in their childhood and not conditioned to the gain the approval of other people.
Because, what these requirements are doing is giving one the permission to feel confident and to believe in who they are. These requirements in and of themselves, are neutral and are based on the opinions and views of other people.
So through achieving or having a certain requirement, the mind will be able to fulfil certain expectations, which have come about through the associations that have been attached to the requirement/s. And this will then lead to the intangible experience known as confidence.
The benefit is that if one does have these requirements then they can feel confident, but this is not always the case. It also means that one’s confidence is at the whim of other people and outside circumstances. And this will mean that one is being enslaved as a result of this.
It is like an invisible web, that each and every one of us can become a part of, without any awareness. This web attaches makes one emotionally and mentally dependent on others and puts ones sense of control into the hands of another person or group of people.
One of the ways this web can be seen is when one goes to another country or when a person from another country comes to where one is. Here, one may be able to see a clear difference in behaviour and this is because their mind is interpreting the environment differently.
And this causes them to behave in a way that could be seen as freer or almost rebellious when compared to ones behaviour or the behaviour of other people.
We are all human and we all have an ego mind. By using the example of another country or a person who has resided in another country, it helps to emphasis the power of interpretations.
The way that we behave, how competent we think we are and how confident we are; is based on the interpretations in our mind. And these are not fixed or set in stone. They have come about through conditioning and this can be changed.
So the quote ‘Confidence doesn't exist’ makes a lot of sense. In as much as, it is simply a state of mind. One may think that they would be lying or that they are deluding themselves, if they were to see themselves as confident.
However, if one is playing the role of not being confident, is there really any more truth to this? It is only being perceived as the truth, due it being a role that is being interpreted as familiar and therefore safe to the ego mind.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant - With Over 2,000,000 Article Views Online.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.