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Confidence, Self-Esteem, and the KLT Factor

confident_womanEveryone wants to feel confident.

It seems like at least half of my therapy clients mention confidence as an area they want to work on.

But confidence isn’t something you can put on like a hat. It is a natural byproduct of knowing, liking and trusting yourself.

I recently wrote a post about this for GoodTherapy.org. Check it out at the following link:

Confidence, Self-Esteem, and the KLT Factor: Know, Like, Trust

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Tina Gilbertson

Tina Gilbertson is a psychotherapist, speaker and author based in Denver, Colorado. She specializes in supporting parents of estranged adult children through therapy, consulting and other resources, and offers assertiveness training and executive coaching for organizations. The author of "Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them" and the "Guide for Parents of Estranged Adult Children," Tina is often featured in the media as an expert on communication and relationships. Her blog on PsychologyToday.com is called "Constructive Wallowing."
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0 Responses to "Confidence, Self-Esteem, and the KLT Factor"

  • multnoma
    April 12, 2014 - 11:30 am Reply

    “To know yourself, you have to pay attention to yourself.
    This isn’t the same as being selfish. Selfishness is unthinking, whereas self-knowledge comes from purposeful self-awareness.”
    Thanks for this.

    I’ve had no success in improving my confidence by doing things that I think make me appear confident. it’s exhausting. My energy better spent on KLT ?

  • Cheryl
    April 18, 2014 - 10:58 pm Reply

    Tina, in your article you write, “The qualities you like about yourself are probably inherent; they came into the world with you, …..”

    And then…
    “The things most of us don’t like about ourselves, on the other hand, are usually adaptations. They’re behaviors and thought patterns… ”

    This astounds me. How does this come to be!? I always thought it seemed ‘too convenient’ some how, to think well of yourself to feel good. Like, in some way it’s cheating because then I’m just turning a blind eye to all the crappy parts of me. But could it truly be based in truth that there is enough *inherently* good about each of us, that its justified to just feel good about who we are, regardless of all the other stuff? And that it’s the good stuff that is inherent, not the bad? i’m so surprised at this. How did you learn this? Is there research? Or is it through your professional experience. Sorry i sound so skeptical! It’s such a fascinating thing to consider.

    • Tina Gilbertson
      April 18, 2014 - 11:41 pm Reply

      Ah, Cheryl. If we were sitting together having a cup of tea, I’d ask you to describe what you call “the crappy parts” of yourself. I bet I could convince you that those things either aren’t so bad, or they aren’t inherent.

      I’d be willing to bet the qualities you’re thinking of are either 1) things you don’t like about yourself because society doesn’t value them, like introversion for example; 2) emotional reactions you don’t approve of but that are perfectly understandable if you’re curious enough; or 3) behavior patterns that began in your early relationships, in which someone else set the tone and made the rules – hence the term “adaptations”.

      My assertions in this post are based mainly on observation and reflection. As a therapist I hold a privileged position as a witness to others’ inner lives, and that provides me with a treasure trove of data on which to base hypotheses like the one in question. I can’t claim to be right all the time, but intelligent readers like yourself will make up their own minds.

      Thanks so much for you always-thoughtful comments and questions, Cheryl. Please keep them coming!

  • Cheryl
    April 19, 2014 - 8:21 am Reply

    Ahh, thank you. I think I see now where I’m getting stuck. I’m reading your point #3 as ‘We can blame whatever we do wrong on someone else, but what is good with us, or the good that we do… we get to claim ownership of.’ I guess that’s been one of my beliefs all along… That if I don’t claim ownership of my bad traits, it means I’m blaming someone else for them. (Which then means I’m lacking integrity)

    But that’s an inaccurate interpretation of the idea, isn’t it; it’s not a helpful belief. It’s not so black and white, and my conclusion about blame seems not right. Haven’t sorted that through yet but at least I can see the unhealthy beliefs that are tripping me up.

    Thank you again Tina. Happy Easter. 🙂

    • Tina Gilbertson
      April 19, 2014 - 12:10 pm Reply

      Thanks for sharing your process here, Cheryl. I take it by point #3 you’re referring to my point that our maladaptive behavior patterns begin when we’re too young to make the rules and so we adapt to what we encounter — meaning that, in a sense, someone else is to blame for making those rules in the first place.

      If it doesn’t feel right to place blame, you can safely take blame off the table by acknowledging that everyone generally does the best they can do with what they know. It’s not really anyone’s fault that children learn what they live; it’s a facet of Nature.

      The only reason to consider this facet is that we can’t solve a problem we don’t understand. I wrote about this in another article about blaming your parents in therapy.

      Thanks again for your thoughtful sharing.

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