For reasons both personal and professional, I’ve been on a bit of research kick around the idea of confidence. The short version of the story is that I came to a realization recently that I will never achieve any of my goals and desires if I don’t figure out how to get more self-confidence.
Some people who know me personally might be a little bit surprised by that confession, but it’s no lie. I’ve struggled a long time with a somewhat warped sense of self-confidence — believing in myself up to a point, but never far enough to take too many risks.
Put that together with being a natural introvert and you realize it’s always a challenge living in a world where confidence (often without competence, but we’ll get to that in a bit) is vastly more rewarded than just merely being good at something.
So, I needed to find out a few things. Is confidence merely a state of mind? Is it a set of trainable behaviors? Can you fake it when you need to? In the little bit of reading and personal discovery I’ve been through over the last few weeks, I came up with a small (but growing) list of things I learned about confidence:
Confidence and self-esteem are not the same thing. You can be confident without self-esteem and vice versa. It’s important to recognize the difference.
Confidence cannot be given to you. You have to take it for yourself. If you rely on others to give you a sense of confidence, you end up codependent.
Building your confidence requires taking risks — often. Get used to it.
One surprising thing I’ve discovered — be eager to give and share. It’s amazing what a boost giving something selflessly can actually be.
I believe confidence is the key to achieving everything you want. Sure, you need the world to cooperate for some of your goals and dreams, but who will the world better listen to: the wallflower who doubts every other word he says, or the vocal, forthright, steadfast person oozing self-confidence that not only wants to get what’s his or hers, but is willing to share it with everyone else in the process?