“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” ~ Mark Twain
While ignorance may be hard to safeguard in this age of information overload, confidence is not nearly as difficult to inculcate. Confidence is a natural feeling of trust in someone or something. This precious life-skill gives you the boost you need to go forth, and live your life in an exploratory way. Instead of a dreading, withholding yourself kind of way. We often fail to believe in our own power and of those around us. We lack confidence in our abilities and that of our environment to support us and to help us thrive. Because of that, many of us go through life dreading the consequence of every small thing that changes around us. How would it be if we could feel more unshakable no matter what went on around us?
Here are 5 kinds of confidence worth developing in order to have a solid footing in the world:
1. Confidence in yourself – It is a knowing that you are good enough just as you are. It is about being comfortable in your own skin.
A huge detriment to our self-confidence is the need to be perfect all the time. If you are placed before an audience of 10,000 people and asked to make a speech, you will likely feel pressurized to be glib, knowledgeable, well-dressed and charismatic. All that before you have spoken a word. As a result, you might try to present a side of you that is not authentically you.
Self-confidence thrives on authenticity. The more facades you have to keep up, the more lies you need to keep track of, the worse the beating your self-confidence takes.
This kind of confidence can be developed by making a conscious effort to be your best self while being lavishly compassionate towards yourself. When in doubt, it helps to ask whether you might be judging yourself by others’ yardsticks.
2. Confidence in others – This kind of confidence is not about becoming dependent on others. Nor is it about off-loading your responsibilities onto the shoulders of unwilling helpers.
It is a confidence in the innate goodness of people and the acknowledgement that most of us are trying to do the best we can. Holding on to others’ failures prevents them from reaching out to you and vice versa.
Self-reliance is a great attribute, but there is really no such thing as a one-man show. That others will think of you as a weakling can stop you from confidently asking for their help when you need it. We all need help from others to achieve what we want.
This kind of confidence can be developed by focusing on the positive attributes of those around you and acknowledging what they might be doing well.
Sometimes we forget to compliment people on their good deeds just because it seems too obvious to point out. But putting it in words helps. It helps to bring out people’s best side, increasing your confidence in their abilities in turn.
3. Confidence in the unknown – As much as we would like things to be under our control, often they are not. A knowing deep down that no matter what happens, there is someone or something out there that will take care of you is an empowering feeling.
This is the same sentiment behind prayers. But you do not have to be religious to have faith. Call it God, your Higher Self, the Universe or your Superconscious brain. The message is the same. That there is something more powerful than all of us, and we have access to its unlimited resources.
This faith in the unknown can help you cope in an environment full of uncertainty. Especially when you are feeling powerless to control your circumstances. This belief can help you feel empowered, and an empowered mind can think its way out of a situation much better.
This kind of confidence can be developed by indulging the possibility that there might really be something out there that has your back. If it feels too woo-woo, just imagine it anyway and play along.
Then go out and do the best you can. And leave the rest to the unknown.
4. Confidence amidst change – This is the ability to adapt and go with the flow without falling apart.
Whether you are transitioning between jobs or getting out of a relationship, change is hard. While you are seated in a stationary roller coaster you are a calm Buddha. But only until it starts moving. That is when your fears come to the surface. Fear of change or changing circumstances can freeze us in our tracks.
Coping with change doesn’t have to be a torture. Acknowledging that things are changing, and remembering that eventually things will settle down to an equilibrium helps to retain confidence amidst change.
This kind of confidence can be developed by resisting less, doubting less, questioning less and trusting more.
5. Confidence amidst adversity – This kind of confidence is about a conviction that you are not going to be in the same state forever, and that you will remain standing no matter what happens.
It is so tempting to crumble to pieces when things don’t go your way. It is so easy to start blaming others for doing things to you. It is so easy to label yourself as unlucky and feel victimized.
This kind of confidence is not about being in denial or being overly optimistic. It is about gracefully accepting that things are indeed bad. It is also about not letting adversity break your back.
This kind of confidence can be developed by mindfully keeping yourself from falling into extremes of emotion when faced with difficulty.
When you are in the center of a whirlwind, there are all kinds of forces repelling you outwards, and out of control. The idea is to remain steadfastly in the center instead of being thrown out to the periphery.
While change requires you to confidently “move along”, adversity entails confidently “staying put”. When you learn that, life’s small events no longer seem to have that much power over you. Stability becomes a habit. And it is a habit worth developing, don’t you think?
An excellent way to develop confidence in all areas is by way of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). EFT is a form of energy psychology approach and has been shown to be a powerful tool to help boost confidence, often within minutes. This simple Do-It-Yourself technique has millions around the world swear by its effectiveness in dissolving negative thought patterns quickly.
Which areas of confidence do you struggle with? Let us know below
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