Today I thought I’d start with a prompt I didn’t have an immediate answer to:
Where does confidence come from?
Confidence, an unassuming little word, encompasses and impacts more of our daily lives than most of us would probably care to admit. But what is confidence? Where can we find it? Can it be bottled, captured, or taught? And why does it matter…?
Confidence can be seen from a mile away.
If you’ve ever looked in the mirror, given a speech, or had to work with a team, then you likely already know the basic concept here. Confidence, in the best terms that I can describe, is the assuredness in one’s own thoughts, being, or actions. And it really is so powerful and so important in achieving our dreams, because it lifts us up into a state of believing in which anything is possible–as long as we are driven and determined (ie: Confident) enough.
Confidence can be seen from a mile away. It’s in a person’s smile, their stride, the way they dress or how they behave around others. Confidence makes us better individuals, because instead of turning to dark or bitter thoughts, we gravitate towards the positive in life. Yes, confidence itself lives in the very realm of the positive, and it’s always waiting there, for whenever we happen to venture on by.
You don’t need to be flawless–or fearless–to be confident. You don’t even have to be confident all of the time (I know I most certainly am not). Confidence, like all things in life, has its cycle – its time and its place. Some of us have too much (raise your hand if you know someone); others could use a bit more (give yourself some credit!). But I wanted to delve more into the finding of confidence here, and how we can work to build and maintain a healthy dose of it.
Step One: Say Good-bye to Your Negative Nancy.
Each of us has a negative voice in the back of our minds; usually a fearful, timid little voice, whispering “What if’s” and “should have/could have’s” in our ear. And believe me, it’s not a bad thing. In fact, that worried little voice just might function as a survival instinct. We rely a lot on our perceptions to tell us what (and who) is a danger to us. So the first step here, is really, learning not to be afraid. A confident person isn’t a person who won’t recognize dangers or experience fears, but rather acknowledges all of these, and then chooses to express that they themselves are unthreatened.
I hate to go off on a tangent here, but consider if you will for a moment the behavior of dogs. If you see a dog that is barking at everyone that walks past, lunging at other dogs, and not listening to its owner, you might just assume that it is either badly behaved, or aggressive. The fact of the matter may be though that the dog is merely scared and not reassured of its owner’s leadership abilities. Neither of them have any confidence in what they’re doing, and so the dog goes on the offense (another survival instinct). In contrast, a confident dog owner will provide greatly needed direction for their pooch, and a dog that has a confident owner is going to be more self-assured in their actions as a result.
It’s all about attitude – which brings me to my next point.
Step Two: Fake It Until You Make It!
If you’re not naturally confident in a project, a person (yourself), or a situation, the very best thing that you can do is pretend that you are anyways. Stand up straight, pull your shoulders back; you can smile or keep a calm countenance – whichever you prefer. The important thing though is to tell yourself (and others) through the use of body language that you are assertive… that you really know what you’re doing. Confidence inspires confidence. And what I mean by that is, if you appear relaxed and assured in your circumstance, it will help other people to feel more at ease as well. If you seem to have a firm grasp on what’s going on, you inspire others to feel confident in your character and your abilities.
It’s really a positive, self-rewarding system.
Step Three: Embracing a Better You
Human beings are truly incredible creatures, and our ability for adaptation and change is nothing short of remarkable. Have a trait you don’t like? Guess what: you can change that. Unhappy with your personability or how you present yourself to others? It’s all something you can work on and improve. Anything, from our behaviors to our personalities, can be re-shaped and molded into something exciting and new. And this can definitely be applied to our topic of choice.
The biggest step you can make in coming into a brighter, happier self is changing your mode of thinking. Try to compliment yourself, quietly or out loud, as often as you like. Reward yourself with praise when you know you’ve done well, and don’t be afraid to accept praise from others. The instant we accept that we can be as amazing as we want to be, the whole world just opens up to us. As if to say: “Here it is! Anything and EVERYTHING you could want is at your fingertips. Please, just reach out and take it!” My advice? Take it. And don’t let that little demon called doubt try and hold you back.
Roar and thump your chest. Get a little proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. And if there are things that you still want to accomplish, go out there and do them! When you erase limitations from your mind, you put yourself in the very shoes of Confidence itself. And nothing is better than being the very thing that you want.