How confident do you feel in your daily life?
I suspect there are elements of your day when you feel supreme confidence. There are also aspects or moments in your day where your confidence probably wanes.
Before we work on our confidence, take a second and consider when you naturally feel confident and when you struggle with self-confidence. Do you see any patterns? Do you feel more confident with people or projects?
What Is Confidence?
When you hear the word confidence, what comes to mind. Or better yet, who comes to mind?
When I think about confidence, I tend to think of a person. My mental picture is also the person I’d pick to play me in the movie of my life. My picture of confidence is Samuel L. Jackson. This guy is supremely cool. And confident. At least, I think he is. But he’s also an actor playing roles of secure and influential people. Perhaps he lives every day like Jules Winnfield, his character from Pulp Fiction. I doubt it, though, as he’d be in jail for life.
So back to our question. What is confidence?
Confidence is the faith that you can do something. Self-confidence isn’t a guarantee that you’ll accomplish a goal or task, but it is a belief that you will. That you can. This means confidence is a feeling even when it’s not yet a reality.
Our internal beliefs are highly critical in our life. Beliefs create behaviors that generate results. Take failure as an example. If you believe failure is an opportunity to grow, not a reflection on your ability, your behaviors and future results will reflect this belief. Beliefs drive all of our behaviors. Harnessing this particular belief will lead to better behaviors and outcomes.
Believe you can and you’re halfway there. (Theodore Roosevelt)
But there is the side of confidence most people miss, and, as you may expect, what’s missed often holds the greatest opportunity for us. Confidence is faith that you can do something. Confidence isn’t a guarantee that you will do it well the first time or that you’ll never stumble along the way. As we said earlier, confidence is faith that you can do something over time, even if that something requires a bit of failure, learning, and growth.
If past accomplishments dictated our confidence, our confidence would only grow, change, or evolve as our outcomes occurred. But confidence isn’t limited to a belief in your past self. Confidence must also live in our hearts as faith that we can figure out what is facing us. That we can learn, grow, and improve. Therefore, we can experience confidence in a future project, task, or client presentation when we begin believing we can learn, grow, and improve from previous experiences.