How to Develop Self Real Confidence.
Successful people are often in situations where they feel fear, doubt, and insecurity. The difference between them and the majority of people is that they are not willing to allow their feelings to run their lives. They are able to experience the feelings of fear without labelling themselves neither as having poor self-esteem nor as lacking self-confidence.
Although feelings are great information they are not facts. For instance, you may feel incompetent to handle a particular challenge but actually be quite competent. Your mind in this case is giving you erroneous information and hoping you will act on it to keep you out of the winners circle.
Successful people are not necessarily more confident than the average person. However, they are more willing to live with discomfort and not allow themselves to be controlled by their feelings of fear, doubt, and insecurity. They know that feeling insecure from time to time is quite normal. Consequently, they do not have unrealistic expectations of themselves. When their self-confidence is lowered for any reason, they do not mentally beat up on themselves. Rather than becoming stuck in the quagmire of self-doubt, they simply look at the stressful situation and then identify at least three other options for dealing with the situation.
Those who are willing to work through difficult feelings and situations will develop competence and resilience; consequently their self-concept will be heightened. As a person begins to view him or herself as competent, self-confidence becomes a moot point! You will never be offered a job where the main requirement is confidence; prospective employees would much rather have competent employees.
Mistakes and failure are part of the overall plan to help us create a successful life. Periodic bouts of despair, insecurity, and fear are actually occasions when inner core resiliency can be developed. We move forward by taking a chance only to have something unforeseen occur and we hit a low. It is during these low times that we can hunker down and go to our hoarded resources. We may feel very insecure, experience low self-confidence and feel needy. The brilliance of being at this stage and feeling those feelings, but not being owned by them, is that we become very humble which simply translated means teachable.
Those who are teachable develop new skills and more character, which leads them out of their difficulty, and self-respect grows. Those who continue to trust, to behave with care and consideration towards others in the midst of a difficulty, even when they are feeling low, will actually contribute to their self-esteem.
Imagine feeling that you were always perfect in everything you said and did. Not a very realistic portrayal is it? Even if it happened that your life worked out that way, you’d probably be very arrogant and therefore un-teachable.
Consider this scenario: You are at a large, crowded party and the host has prepared two sets of nametags for each person. Each guest is given a choice to choose from one of two nametags and they are placed in two separate bowls. Your nametag in the first bowl would have this inscription: Hello, my name is__________. I get it right all the time. I always feel confident.
Your nametag inscription in the second bowl would read: Hello, my name is __________. I make mistakes and sometimes I feel insecure.
I believe more people would select their nametag from the second bowl. Let us assume that a few would select their nametags from the first bowl. If someone were to walk around wearing the first name tag, they’d probably be shunned because neither perfectionism nor arrogance is attractive.
Most people feel a degree of insecurity all the time. The gap between where we are now and the vision of where we would like to be causes uncomfortable feelings. The desire to reduce those uncomfortable feelings fuels our motivation to excel and thereby close that gap and reduce our uncomfortable feelings. The more we choose challenging goals and the more ‘gaps’ we close the more competent we become. Then, voila, confidence follows competence. In this society, we have a tendency judge our insides by another’s outsides and to subscribe to the Confidence Myth.
Beware of the Confidence Myth
When we begin a new initiative, it is normal to feel uncomfortable because we have no experience with the process for achieving success with this new endeavour. We then tell ourselves we are not confident. Well, of course not! Confidence is always a by-product of competence. Without fear, there can be no courage; without courage, there can be no action; without action, there can be no competence; without competence, there can be no confidence. Craving confidence before one has acquired competence is magical thinking. Competence always precedes confidence!
I would like to substitute the popular term self-confidence with self-respect because self-respectful behaviours are more easily identified. They include telling the unmitigated truth, never touching dishonest money, doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do, doing what others don’t want to do, etc. When we deviate from our standards, we accept responsibility and make amends. When we are respectful in our behaviours we come to expect nothing less from those around us.
No one can decide either to feel or not to feel confident. It is a state of being arrived at only after achieving numerous challenging goals. While there are no guarantees, behaving respectfully towards oneself and others will go a long way towards developing a strong inner core. With this strong inner core, you will not choose to feel less than anyone else. In the process of growing towards oneself, choose high values and challenging goals. That means, of course, that the valleys will be a bit deeper than if you choose to do only that which is easy. Conversely, the rewards and peaks will also be higher.
If you challenge yourself to reach your potential, before too long the journey becomes easier because courage, resiliency, and competence are integrated within your character. At that time you will look confident and others will perceive you as confident. That look you will have, and the sense others have about you, will be the natural by-product of taking life on life’s terms. Surviving and thriving despite the difficulties gives you the power, strength of character, and belief in yourself to face the next challenge. These attributes show and that is what people mean when they describe someone as a confident person. When you set high expectations for yourself and practise the required behaviours over and over again the insecurities will slip away. That is, until you take on and face an even bigger challenge and the old feelings of fear, doubt, and insecurity will have to be vanquished once again! This is how life expands for everyone – life shows up when we declare ourselves in the game. Everything is out there just waiting to be claimed!