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May all find the teacher within to guide oneself towards unconditional love and peace

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Low Self-esteem, Pride & Arrogance - How to attain true confidence

Pride and arrogance need to attach to certain things to express itself. Such like the family name and status, the wealth and health, the fame, the knowledge, the educational level, the job title, the physical body, the appearance, the thinking, the talents and abilities, the culture, the religion, the social status, the achievement, the success, the possession, the relationships and etc… This is due to we are not confident about ourselves, the ego needs things from the outside to give us the sense of self-worth and to fill up the emptiness in our hearts.

It is only when we are not truly confident about ourselves, we will have pride and arrogance when we have achieved some accomplishment to feel good about ourselves and thinking that we are better than other people, and wanting to show off and prove to other people that we are somebody with such and such accomplishment.

If we are truly confident about ourselves, there is no need for us to show off to other people about our pride and we don’t need to be arrogant about anything at all nor there is a need to feel more superior than anyone else.

Pride and arrogance is a play of the ego. But if we do not know how to not attached to the ego, we will be controlled by the ego without us being aware of it.

If we are not attached to the ego, we will not have reacted towards the sense of insecurity coming from the ego, and will not need to be proud and arrogant about ourselves and our accomplishment.

When we realize that we are the Self, which is full and content, we won’t need pride and arrogance to protect ourselves or avoid from being looked down or humiliated by somebody. There is no such thing as “humiliation” when we are identified with the Self and are not attached to any names and forms. When we are not attached to names and forms, what is “pride and arrogance”? What is “low self-esteem and humiliation”?

People who suffer low self-esteem need other people’s acknowledgment, agreement, recognition and appreciation to feel good about themselves. They need other people to show them love, support and give positive feedback about themselves, to have sense of self-worth, to feel good and meaningful. This is nothing wrong. But when they get some negative feedback about them, not getting any attention and support, acknowledgment, agreement, recognition or appreciation, then they will become depressed and very low confident. Because all these things are impermanent. They are qualities of names and forms that constantly changing. If we depend on all these things to have confidence about our own self, we will be disappointed and unhappy.

The only thing that gives us true confidence is knowing our true Self, and attain love, peace, compassion and wisdom within ourselves. This true confidence is not influenced or affected by anything in the world, in our life, or the condition of our body and the mind. It is free from qualities of good and bad, positive and negative.

People who are low confident will always feel intimidated by people who are confident, even though other people didn’t have any intention to supressing them. And they are always very sensitive about how other people think of them and whether other people like them, accept them or agree with them or not. Like wise, people who are truly confident won’t feel intimidated by anyone who are full of confidence, and they don’t mind about how other people think about them and how others treat them.

Most people think that confidence comes from their achievements or success in life. Some people think that it comes from the ability of their physical body to be able to do this and that. Some think that it comes from good relationship with other people. Some think that it comes from the beautiful appearance and presentation. Some think that it comes from being knowledgable. Some think that it comes from possessing a lot of wealth, having good social status, having good health and fit body. Some think that it comes from being able to do whatever they want to do or go wherever they want to go. Some think that it comes from having control over their destiny or their life. Some think that it comes from gaining respect and trustworthy from other people especially from the people that they know and like. Some think that confidence comes from all the above being mentioned and not mentioned.

But somehow, even though people are managed to get all these things in life as they wish, they will realize that actually all these things can give them momentary satisfaction, confidence and feeling good about themselves but not true and lasting confidence. When all these things change and disappear, they will be experiencing dissatisfaction and disappointment, as well as low confidence.

Some people have lots of money, beautiful appearance, good health, freedom, great personality and fantastic successful career, and are able to get whatever they want, or do whatever they like and go wherever they want to go, but they are still suffering low self-esteem and are not happy. They still have lots of dissatisfaction, disappointment, doubts, insecurity, fear and worry. There are still lots of judgment, criticism, comparison, competition and expectation. They are still being disturbed by anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, anxiety, irritation, frustration, craving and aversion, and ignorance about the truth of things.

And so, some people start to look for true confidence which can only be found from within ourselves, nameless and formless, attributeless, beginningless and endless. It is beyond the condition of the body, the mind, the life existence and the world. It is beyond the ability of the body to do this and that. It is beyond the happy and unhappy feelings, good and bad feelings. It is not affected by impermanence. It is fearless and worry-less. It is identification with our true nature. Knowing we are love, peace, compassion and wisdom. Knowing we are full, whole and content.

True confidence has got nothing to do with whatever the mind perceives through the senses, nor has it got anything to do with anything in the world of names and forms. It has got nothing to do with the knowledge that we attained in this world. Even people who had study a lot and know a lot can still be suffering low self-esteem.

True confidence comes from when we know how to accept ourselves as we are at this present moment now for where we are, what we are and how we are. It is when we know how to love ourselves and love all. We don’t need to prove to anyone about who we are or how we are. We are who we are.

It is when we cannot accept ourselves as we are and trying to be somebody and someone who we are not at the present moment now, that disconnect ourselves with our true confidence that is already there and always there, unchanging.

There is a big difference between “not accepting ourselves as we are and want to change ourselves or to become what we want us to be” and “accepting ourselves as we are but continue to evolve or to improve”. One is full of aversion, craving and discontentment while the other one is full of contentment and confidence.

With true confidence, we can be in the world enjoying everything that we do and don’t do, can do and cannot do, but not being disturbed nor affected by the world and the fruit of actions.

May we all be free from pride and arrogance, and be truly confident by attaining the highest knowledge of the Self.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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