The words ‘self-confidence’ and ‘negativity’ should probably never be used together, especially if you’re using the latter to build the former. We’ve dealt with articles (here on How To Build Confidence) about letting go of your past and saw that the choice of whether your past will break or make you lies solely with you (click on link to read the article). What then, does negativity have to do with self-confidence? Doesn’t negativity break down self-confidence? Doesn’t it make people feel bad about themselves and trigger self-doubt and lack-of motivation? How in the world can negativity help build your self-confidence?

Self confidence and negativity


negativity is door you have to choose to open and embrace

External negativity is a door you choose to open


A lot of my readers have read my inspirational memoir and know of my past struggles and triumph over abuse and poverty. My entire young life was saturated with negativity – not only general negativity, but negativity that was aimed specifically at me. When I was a child I knew no better, of course, I absorbed some of this negativity. As I grew, I realised I had a choice, so I made up a different world inside my head. The world I made up then, is the world I thankfully, have now. External negativity aimed at you needn’t be absorbed by you. Stay vigilant and reassure yourself that you can choose to enter that dark door or walk right past – leaving it closed.

You won’t become strong unless you build strength


And the only way to build strength is to work at it – practise it. You can’t teach kids patience unless you make them wait for things. You can’t learn humility unless you have been made to feel humble. You can’t appreciate wealth unless you’ve seen or experienced what being without is really like. You can’t build strength of character unless you’ve had to face some sort of hardship.


You won’t have callouses – battle scars – unless your skin has felt the pressure of strenuous work.

If you don’t want the sole of your feet to harden, become dry and cracked – never learn to walk. 

But who wants to remain in a wheelchair all their lives when they potentially have legs that work!

It’s the same with self-confidence. It’s the negatives in life that are best for building it up.

Negatives are only negatives if you take them as such. Let me explain in this next section:

Your past experiences have all been gifted to make you who you are today


And here is the application of self-confidence and negativity; the abuse I went through, although a terrible thing for a child to face (I should know. I’ve got scars to show for it) were all rich building blocks in my life. My creator wanted me to arrive to where I am today. He knew where I was going to be at this very minute, at this very stage of my life. All that’s happened on my past journey (and the things happening to me today) are enriching my life and moulding me into the person I am and will be.

Therefore, bad or good, the events which taught me all I know must have all been schooling to bring me to me. I like who I am. If they made me into a good person, how then can I consider them negative?

Physically speaking, we’re all made perfect. Whether we have 1 leg or 2, are mute or able to speak, short or tall, we’re all made perfectly. Different – but perfect for who we are and what we can achieve (just refer to the recent Para Olympics). Who’s to say that a two-legged individual is the perfection of the human race just because most of us have 2 legs. Who’s to say that the hardship some of us face in life (compare to the ease of others’ lives) is a bad thing. It’s not bad – just different. (Note: I’m not talking about atrocities some humans inflict on others. This is a totally different matter)

So, can external negativity build self-confidence


You tell me! I know for certain that if you depend on positivity to build your confidence you’ll remain a weakling all your life. Life is about positives and negatives. And depending on how you view life – perhaps more negativity than positivity. We’ve simply got to learn use what we see as negativity to build up your self-confidence…

‘… because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope….’ Romans 5;3-5

What do you think about Self-confidence and negativity? Please share your views in the comments below. Share this article with someone you think can use it today, please. 

14 Responses to “Self-Confidence And Negativity”

  1. Cathy says:

    Hi Anne,

    Self confidence does need a healthy mix of positive and negative experiences. I say healthy mix because there of course limits to what we would hope anyone has to endure. We’ve experienced addiction in our family and the experience has enabled all of us feel more confident because we’ve come through knowing that we were able to rise above and live a meaningful life. Enjoyed the post.

    • Anne says:

      Thanks, Cathy.
      I agree there are limits to what we can endure. We call those limits ourselves at the end of the day. One person may become stronger by hardship, while another (who’s not had half the amount of hardship suffered by the first person) feels he’s had his limit and calls it quits.

      I guess it boils down to the fact that we’re all made differently.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Wonderful article Anne…

    You hit the nail on the head with this one. Negatives are only our perception. When life’s shortcomings come our way, we can either perceive it to be a negative, or perceive it as an opportunity to grow and come out a stronger person.

    We grow through what we grow though, so every-time we overcome defeat, it gives us more and more confidence.

    Unfortunate things are bound to happen in our lives. There is no way around it. But I believe that every obstacle is a test from god giving us a chance to grow and learn something. Whether we pass or fail is solely upon us.

    Great post Anne!
    Maurice Lindsay recently posted..5 Habits You Must Let Go To Be HappyMy Profile

    • Anne says:

      Thanks for your insightful comment, Maurice. You’re right, we build confidence as we overcome hardship.
      The fact is that we have to decide what is going to get broken, us or ‘the hardship’

      I totally understand that it can be really hard sometimes to see clearly – especially while we’re going through rough times. We need constant affirmation and a will to make it. Friends and family can help us through these if we allow them to.

  3. Lovely article Anne, and since I’ve had the privilege of reading your book I could easily reflect on some of the harsher experiences you shared. While anyone can choose to become more resilient in life, you are clearly one of those individuals who was born with your resilient muscles already fully in tact. I encourage any of your readers who have not yet read your book to grab a copy, because it is just so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story – I look forward to the next chapter!
    marquita herald recently posted..Tips for Creating Goals You May Actually Keep This New YearMy Profile

    • Anne says:

      Thank you so much for your vote of confidence, Marty. I honestly thought I’d replied to this comment, but must have approved it, then got distracted and logged off without doing so.

      Sorry for taking so long to reply, and thanks again for your kind comment. I do appreciate it.

  4. Dennis Do says:

    Many people look down on negativity and so the called criticisms (which I will get back on). But the more I live each day, the more I realize that negativity carved me into someone that I am today, as your second last headline suggests.

    Would I ever know how I would be if I I never experienced it? Maybe not, but I by experiencing negativity, it gives me a deeper understanding of myself and makes me that much stronger.

    Now back to criticisms. There is only one thing that I have to say about that, and that people need to learn to take it in more! Of course there are constructive criticisms and criticisms that are meant to hurt you… I think most people can tell the two apart.

    But seriously, learn to love criticisms folks. It definitely made my life much more easier.

    Anne, I think if you never told me how close minded I was in my own blog (in terms of never commenting in other blogs), I would of never been able to network out and grow my own website. So thank you.

    • Anne says:

      Dennis, you’ve got a point in ‘liking’ criticism. I’m afraid that even though I’m better at taking criticism, I can’t say that I’m there yet. I won’t say I like them. What I have realised is that sometimes people are genuinely trying to help, and other times, hurt you with criticism.

      We just have to get to the place in our lives where we use negative things to work them for positive effects. I know I’ve been able to do so in the past and it’s a muscle that has got to be worked pretty well before it’s formed 🙂

  5. farouk says:

    quite a good concept
    it we can channel the energy of negativity into something positive then we will become truly powerful with all of this negativity around, thanks : )
    farouk recently posted..why do we fantasize and day dreamMy Profile

  6. Sometimes, the beliefs and negative thoughts holding us back are based in truths. Still, there are often things we can do to reduce their impact on us. We may ask ourselves “What could I do to reduce or eliminate the impact this challenge has on me?” When you get the answers, slowly act on it and acknowledge the progress you have made. Seeing your progress gives hope, encourages you to move forward, and nurtures your life enthusiasm.

    Great post Anne!
    Patricia Anderson recently posted..Great Interview on Real Talk TVMy Profile

    • Anne says:

      Hi Patricia,
      That’s a very interesting concept. And you’re right, sometimes negative thoughts are based in truths.

      I’m interested if you’ve got any helpful ideas for my readers as to how one can reduce the impact those ‘truths’ have on us.

  7. Wow Anne! this is so revealing. I am so proud of you. Though I don’t you personally, I can really say that you have a very strong and powerful heart. Your faith must be very encompassing. I adore you!

  8. lynne says:

    Hi great article, Lets us use negativity to change for the better. I have read an article that says “With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world”. Thanks for sharing.

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