You Can’t Meet Confidence Without First Getting To Know Fear
Confidence is, in essence, the radiance of knowing that you can count on yourself.
In fact, some of the most confident people you know are likely well versed in certain subject matters. There is a reason why you feel most confident when speaking about topics you know a lot about. People who are car connoisseurs will be the first to mention the latest model of a specific make and all of its specs. You look to your Economics professor as a confident individual, mainly due to the fact that he or she spends all day, every day, talking about something they are quite literally an expert in. You go to see a motivational speaker for a TedX convention and the thought that settles in your mind is, ‘They’ve got it all figured out,’ when really, you just weren’t there for the panic attack they had to talk themselves out of before walking out onto the stage.
1500 Senior Citizens Were Asked What Their Biggest Regret In Life Was
And nearly all of them said this…
When you lose touch with the real you, you will feel adrift, you’ll lose confidence and your life will lose its ‘flavor of congruency.’ Many of us have forgotten confidence isn’t a personality trait, but a skill. So the way to uncover your true potential as it relates to confidence is to do the things that scare you and to do them first.
Everyday acts of courage build confidence and the continuation of said behavior is what nurtures that same confidence to grow.
The most vocal person in the room might be really insecure and only was what he or she thinks will make him or her look good. The quietest people you know might actually be the most confident. Your best friend, who’s an introvert, might believe in her ideas with great confidence but is afraid to speak up because her face turns beet red. She isn’t lacking confidence in her ideas; she just needs a little courage to push through her fear of being judged for having rosy cheeks.
It starts with a belief in your personal abilities and ends with confidence.
It isn’t about what you are willing to do, but the things that terrify you in a way that keeps you from doing them…and then doing them anyway.
If flying scares the daylight out of you, then the first thing you do is book a flight (even if it’s only for a half-hour long) and you reshape the emotion around fear and replace it with excitement instead. You channel your anxiety towards thoughts of what you will do when you safely land, who you will see, and where you will go.
You encourage the butterflies, but give each new meaning: excitement, joy, and a good kind of nervous energy.
You psych yourself out of confidence on a regular basis. You don’t walk over and talk to the pretty girl standing alone at the bar because you suspect rejection. You don’t apply for the promotion at work because someone else will probably do it better. You don’t pursue graduate school because you likely won’t get in anyways. You don’t raise your hand in class because your question will be laughed at.
Those are just some of the things we tell ourselves in order to validate our fears and cheat ourselves out of confidence.
Rejection: The Favor In Disguise
If the stories of these individuals don’t inspire you to get back up the next time life knocks you down, we have got to…
Most people won’t attempt things they know they are sure to fail at so the decision behind taking the action necessary to overcome a fear is its own way of reassuring your subconscious mind that you can do something. The achievement then gives you the validation that you were right and this then becomes the catalyst for your next fear-facing endeavor.
Confidence begins the moment you ask yourself, ‘Why not?’ and leave everyone else out of the answer:
“Why not go introduce yourself to the girl?”
“Why not apply for the promotion?”
“Why not apply for graduate school?”
“Why not ask the question in class?”
It isn’t about the way you ask the question, but the way you choose to respond. The truth of the matter is you won’t have a clue the full potential of your confidence until you begin doing the things that demonstrate your abilities and strengths. Just because the person on stage doesn’t turn bright red and break down in tears at the size of the audience, doesn’t mean they aren’t working through internal turmoil. Their presence on stage isn’t a validation of confidence, but a physical representation and demonstration of the courage necessary to achieve confidence. So what fear will you face in order to meet greater confidence today?