Updated: Feb 22
Confidence - belief in oneself
Confidence is a topic that I've been meaning to write about for a long time. With so much uncertainty, stress, and fear, it's important to get into the habit of ensuring that our confidence and self-esteem are not taking a hit. As we spend more time at home, and as our professional and social lives are disrupted, any old frameworks we had in place to ensure we thrived may not be applicable anymore. With less human interaction, more time indoors, different working hours, and unclear boundaries between work and home, it's no wonder more and more people are struggling with their confidence and self-esteem. The purpose of this post is to tie together all the previous posts in this series in order to ensure we give ourselves the best chance of not only surviving but thriving. That's the key. Everything we think, say and do has to be aligned so that we can thrive.
Confidence and self-esteem affect us all; whether there's a global pandemic or not. Even before the pandemic, I'm sure that confidence and self-esteem came up in some form or another, whether at work, in our social lives, in our relationship with ourselves, etc. As with most topics on this website (if not all), confidence is a choice we must make, sooner or later. The difference between the person who chooses to be confident and the person who doesn't is the fact that one has chosen to be confident while the other has not. There is no other difference. Yes, you can say that one person has more experience, a better skill set, etc. but what if I told you that this person knows how to put themselves forward because of their confidence which makes their experience and skill-set shine? What if I told you that we've been looking at the wrong causal relationship? Instead of assuming that our experiences and skill set increase our confidence, we should look at the relationship between choosing to be confident and how that can make us come across as more experienced and allow our skill set to be noticed. Waiting to accumulate experience and fine-tune our skill set before deciding to be confident is a complete and utter waste of time, not to mention that we can always gain more experience and further improve our skill set. Don't fall into the trap of delaying confidence until you think you are 'ready'.
What we all need to do is to deeply reflect on our journeys, our strengths, our areas of improvement, our ambitions, and our goals and to think about all the important areas of our life. By getting to know ourselves, we can start to build our own personal anchor which we can use to keep ourselves grounded and keep ourselves in tune with who we really are and what we really want to achieve. Getting into the habit of doing this and focusing on all the positive impacts we've had, whether in our personal, social, or professional lives, is a surefire way to build confidence that can endure. I often get asked how I manage to keep very high levels of confidence and self-esteem, and the truth is I always laugh out loud as a first reaction. The assumption that I have always been this way or that being confident is an effortless process never fails to amuse me. Remember, nothing is ever as it seems. Don't be fooled by other people's illusions or by your own. Every positive character trait takes effort to upkeep. An honest person has to be accountable to himself before he is accountable to others. A disciplined person needs to make good decisions time and time again, and it probably doesn't get easier; it requires the same frame of mind. A resilient person has learned to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. The list goes on and on. The same applies to a confident person. It takes effort to identify areas of improvement, to instil strong habits, and to keep our self-talk positive. Confidence is a choice which then becomes a habit. You cultivate it, you protect it, you manage it, you reinforce it and you keep it in check so that it never becomes arrogance. Sometimes we'll get all of the above right and sometimes we won't, and that's okay. It's a process and we have to embrace it because it'll take time and effort. The good news is that everybody is capable of it, as with every other topic on this website, but the bad news is that confidence starts with a choice and one that only we can make for ourselves.
1. Commit to self-reflection in order to instil good habits in your daily routine
2. Understand the importance of choosing to be confident
3. Ask yourself what you're waiting for
4. Focus on cultivating, protecting, managing, reinforcing, & keeping your confidence in check