Confidence – it’s an interesting word to consider. What exactly is it and how do you measure if you have it?
I feel that many of us have a certain connotation of what this means. I know I do. When I conjure up this word in my mind, I think of someone savvy, strong, alert and direct. Someone who stands tall with their head held high, who is undeterred by any situation or person. Someone who is self assured and knows their ‘stuff’, possibly someone the old me would have felt a little intimidated by…
But here’s the thing. Now I know better.
Confidence is not measured outwardly – by your accomplishments or how much louder you can shout than the person next to you. Your intelligence level or how knowledgeable you are on a certain subject is absolutely not an accurate indicator. Confidence is an inside-out job. You can be the quietest person in the room, unobtrusive and inconspicuous, observing rather than participating and be the most confident of the pack.
Confidence is not about comparing yourself to another which (depending on who your chosen benchmark is) can leave you feeling rather lacking; For we tend not to compare ourselves to those who have seemingly ‘less’ than ourselves (which would perhaps elevate our stature and state of mind), oh no, we insist on lining ourselves up against world renowned entrepreneurs, the CEO of Facebook, Anna Wintour, the latest leader of the Fortune 500 or even those in our peer group who seem to have it ‘all-together’. And let it be known, regardless of which bracket you fall into, I tend to suggest steering well clear of comparison altogether. We are all unique.
Confidence is ‘simply’ about Self love. We have a tonne of ‘should’s’, lists that are as long as our arm – who we ‘should’ be, what we ‘should’ be, how we ‘should’ behave, what we ‘should’ have accomplished… ad infinitum. And quite simply, it’s all a load of rubbish. Who you are, where you are and what you are is perfect, for you. Quite simply, it’s exactly where YOU ‘should’ be. You know how I know this? Because it’s where you are! Life doesn’t make mistakes. I am not suggesting there isn’t more you could achieve, of course there is, but thinking you’ve somehow gone ‘wrong’ in relation to ‘another’, is going to do you no favours in your bid for the elusive Confidence you seek.
We are all born equal – one person does not incarnate with confidence whilst another does not. Growing up, we have learnt not to love who we are and therefore we bow our heads and become self deprecating. The irony is, it’s the lack of Self love in our lives that has us ‘under achieve’ because we are so busy berating ourselves and giving ourselves a hard time, that we are the very thing that stands in our own way! Confidence is not necessarily learning something new, it’s unlearning something that’s old, something that’s been holding us back for way too long and that no longer fits (if you’re ready to grow that is)… namely, it’s shedding that limiting belief system and hitting the ‘stop’ button on that record that’s been playing on a loop in our heads for as long as we’ve known who we (think we) are.
As you look around you in a world full of wonders and magic, surrounded by the beauty of nature, the awesomeness of the universe and the unending galaxies, do you really think that G-d (universal energy, life force etc) made a mistake when it came to creating you? That somehow you’re defective, that there’s something ‘missing’? You were created perfectly in order to achieve that which is personal to you as you walk your unique life path on this Earth. Deep down you know this, it’s just been hidden for a very long time. There’s is nothing ‘wrong’ at all, just an outdated software programme that is about ready for an upgrade. We do not have confidence problems, we have thinking problems!
Change starts from within. So if you would love to feel confident, then start by letting go of the thinking that has you feel otherwise and the downward spiral of comparison. Possibly the most important thing you can do is spend time getting to know YOU. And I say getting to know YOU, not the things that you feel you are NOT or the things you feel are wrong, missing or lacking, but those things that make up the awesomeness that is YOU. Do the things in your life that make your heart sing. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and with whom you feel good around, people with whom you can be fully your SELF. Spend time looking at yourself in the mirror, getting to know who you truly are and learn to love the person who stares back at you. I cannot stress this enough – become your own best friend. We wouldn’t speak to our enemies in some of the ways in which we talk to ourselves. Truly, it’s not ok and let it be known this negative self talk is a form of Self violence and a sure fire way to walk in the opposite direction of Self confidence. Speak to yourself in the kind and compassionate way you would if your own child was doubting themselves. You would never kick them when they’re down, but somehow we think this is ok to do to ourselves. Doesn’t make sense really does it?
In summary, if heavy metal music gave you a headache and jangled your nerves, it wouldn’t be your preferred listening choice. And if it suddenly came onto your favourite radio station, I would bet you’d flip the station in record time. So, why do we insist on playing the same tune in our minds that has us feel down on ourselves and has us continually question our level of Self worth? It may not seem to be this easy, but let me assure you, once you become aware that you are living in an experience of your own thinking and inflicting unnecessary suffering on yourself, you’ll flip that station as quick as you can say Guns & Roses. So, in order for you to feel confident and listen to the music that has you show up as your best Self and dance with life, do yourself a favour and change the record!
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To your evolution!