A Confidence Philosophy
Confidence is the residue of what you have accomplished when you have faced adversity and difficulty and had the perseverance to know that you handled whatever came your way with a measure of success. The success, no matter how large or small, is measured not by others, but by your own standard for personal happiness and emotional growth.
But first, one has to learn how to handle the difficulty with composure, patience and perform to the best of their ability at the time of the event. Execution is the key element in performance, no matter if it your first time event or that you have obtained mastery over time. In essence, each performance is a novel performance and a new chance to create success.
However, what is true is that no one handles a novel situation the first time with total confidence….they handle it as efficiently and effectively as is humanly possible. The aftermath is where we evaluate and learn from the experience. The feedback is not from failing, but from learning how to be more competent the next time.
You cannot practice the experience…you must live it and deal with it firsthand. The accumulation of these experiences is wisdom.
Dr. Robert Winters
What does Confidence Provide For You?
Of all of the traits and abilities that people would say that they possess, what would you say was your most important? Would it be peace of mind? Or could it be blissful happiness or that you are open-minded? You may even say that you are an optimist who is honest and fair. To be truthful, there are an infinite number of different personality traits and human characteristics that people tend to possess, but of all of the ones that we can ascribe to ourselves, none is perhaps more important to us than self-confidence.
You may ask: Is self-confidence an inborn trait or is it more of a skill set or something that is accumulated over time with experiences and training? The research that is forthcoming in the past few years suggests that perhaps some people are born with a predisposition to possess a higher state level of confidence versus others. However, the main body of work from various researchers believes that it is more of a learned and developed ability that can be enhanced throughout one’s life. But whether you are born with a natural predilection to be confident, you can improve your confidence by training and learning to grow in personal mastery! Thus, confidence is the ultimate do-it-yourself project that you work on your entire life! What this means is that if you are not very confident today with the way you are feeling about yourself or how your life is playing out, you can do some things to change the way you are feeling and start to take control over your destiny.
As I have always said and it is a trademark of mine: “Change Your Mind…….Change Your Game”® What this simply means is that the moment you change your mind about the things you are facing and trying to do, the things you are attempting to do start to change as well! The activating event or tipping point in one’s life is that when you want to change….you make a conscious (and sometimes unconscious) choice to produce that change.
As I have said many times in my private practice: “People will change when they are sick and tired of being sick and tired”. Therefore, when an individual makes a conscious attempt to change a part of their life that they do not like or would rather go in a different direction, they create personal movement. Personal movement is a self-regulated impulse that a person creates for themselves to direct their lives in an alternative direction. But for many people, it is hard to self-motivate and adhere to the changes that they would like to make. That is why the development of self-confidence is so important. Self-confidence is more than just a feeling but it is a way of thinking, feeling, and acting that provides composure, peace of mind, happiness and personal value to one’s life.
With this in mind, I have always wondered what it would be like to have a “wish list” for things that I always wanted. Now, most wish lists are for material things such as homes, cars, boats and vacations and things that money could provide. But what I am speaking about is not about material or monetary wealth. I am talking about life attributes. What if you could wish for things in your life that were worth more than money? What would you wish for? This sounds like a perfect place to make a wish list. So, in the following few lines, write down some things that you would like to wish for in your life and also expand on how that trait or attribute could make your life richer, happier and filled with zest?
Here are a few of my examples:
- I want to be unbelievably fit and healthy
- I want more peace in my life
- I want to increase my knowledge about many items I am interested in
- I want to be a kinder person to all people
- I want to be more tolerant and have more patience
What is funny but ironic is that even while I am writing this about what a person could want, I am thinking to myself: “Wow, I can have all of these things come into my life……. if I make the conscious choice to bring them into my life!” The reality that we can have whatever we want in our lives becomes a truism if we really want it and will do the things we need to do in order to achieve it! But that is the tough part isn’t it? Okay, so let’s get you started. Write down what it is that you really want in your life (not money, gifts or things) and write down how it would truly make a difference in the way you feel about yourself.
My Wish List
Now that you have finished that assignment, take a look at the one thing that would make the top of the list. That is your priority task. If you take a look at my list, I would put health at the top of the list. The reason I make it top priority is that as I am getting older, I need to take better care of myself for not only me, but for my wife and children and even my friends. But taking better care of myself is not selfish. If I take better care of myself it will help me by being more effective in my work with others. So, when you create a priority task list, what you are really doing is saying: “What is priority NOW? What is the most important thing I have to do NOW? When you can answer that question, the direction you take becomes very clear.
A few of the things that Self-Confidence provides you!
Although it may appear that we have things a bit backward here in this book, I feel that this is the section that fits right here. Now that you know a bit more of who you are and what you might wish for in your life, here are a few of the things that having confidence may assist you in going after your goals:
- Confidence gives you a sense of direction
For many folks, they are seemingly lost in the world of expectations. Expectations about career, work, family priorities and even a loss of what they expect of themselves at a certain point in their life. Instead of beating up on yourself, creating a more confident persona helps you to make sense of the struggle and also charts your path for what your passion truly is and where you want to go!
- Confidence gives you the strength to face your fears
We are always talking about the positive aspects of getting your head and mindset in the right place and the power of positive thinking. But no one really talks about the negative power of doubt, worry and fear. Science proves this again and again in almost every aspect of human existence: bad is stronger than good! This is why confidence is so important because it gives you the inner strength and fortitude to face your challenges head on and confront them. Armed with an internal drive that says “I can handle this and move through this,” confidence is an indispensable trait that pushes you through stagnate comfort zones and busts through the constant challenges that dominate our lives. Being able to cope and effectively deal with the fear is one of our greatest assets as human beings.
- Confidence helps us to become more self-reliant
As we move through the world day by day, we understand that we are not alone and our greatest qualities as human beings are the gifts of graciousness and charity. But in that vein, we also realize that if we are to become all that we aspire to become, we sense that the burden of proof is directly upon each one of us. Every individual should understand that when you are accountable and responsible for yourself and that you control your personal destiny, you are now creating a personal locus of control for yourself. Not being dependent on others for your happiness is one of the highest forms of human expression. When you can find joy being by yourself and bask in the warmth of your own efforts is a reward to yourself. I am not saying that you need to become an island, but having the mindset of: “If it is to be….it must begin and end with me” is a wonderful way to feel.
- Confidence helps us to be more tolerant and positive
Confident people possess an inner quality of emotional equilibrium that suggests “I am happy with myself and my happiness is bountiful” What this means is that confident people understand that being angry, intolerant of others and impatient doesn’t really help in any situation. But mainly, confident people do not allow themselves to become irritated or mad just because something doesn’t go their way. They are always finding something good in everything they do and that is why others gravitate to confident people because they are a joy to be around!
- Confidence creates an inner strength to which we can accomplish great things
Perhaps more than anything else, the aspect of confidence allows us to achieve great things because we do not let the failure or the heartache stop us or deter us from achieving what we want. We call it confidence, but it is really about the cousins of confidence that also come into play. Namely, relentlessness, tenacity, persistence, grit and trust are all components of this greater melting pot we call confidence because they provide strength to move through any obstacle or impasse.
- Confidence gives one an inner peace and sense of happiness
Finally, having a perception and belief that you can achieve great things and that you are moving in the direction of your dreams gives a sense of inner joy and peace. Knowing that you have the capabilities to do whatever you want to do gives a sense of emotional freedom that breaks away from the mundane and obligatory rules of “You can’t do this, you are not good enough or you are not skilled enough”. Confidence is the characteristic that doesn’t have to be shouted to be heard or wearing something so provocative that it begs to be seen. It is the smile and warm presence of possessing confidence that is visible and noticeable. When a person exhibits true confidence, the quietude of their demeanor is deafening to all who are witness to their peace.