I’m a blogger. Or that’s one thing that I am. Usually when a blogger writes a blog post, she starts with some research.
I’m skipping that step and just writing this post about What is Confidence from my own head. I’ll go back after and research and see if I know what I’m talking about, but for now it’s just my thoughts on What is Confidence.
It’s Just Learning That You Can
The reason I have the confidence to write this post from my head is because I already wrote this one about How to Build Confidence right from my head.
When I wrote that one though, I did start with some research.
I searched the topic on Google, started reading some articles and didn’t really love anything that I read. A little voice in my brain said:
You can do better than any of these.
So I listened to that voice and I just wrote it. From my own experience and from the heart. I hope it helps someone.
I could have chosen to not listen to that voice.
I could have listened to all of the other voices in my head that said:
You don’t know what you’re talking about. Confidence is like, a psychological thing, you need a degree to even TALK about it. Why don’t you just quit, anyway?
If you don’t research the hell out of this you are going to sound stupid and no one will ever want to read what you write ever again. Like, ever.
You are an anxious disaster. Often. Is this a joke? You’re going to write about confidence?
None of that commentary is necessarily false. There’s truth in each of those statements.
I could have listened to any of those three voices in my head and either quit (I almost did. Almost do, all the time) or I could have researched the hell out of the post and probably ended up convincing myself that I believed what most of those other mediocre posts said.
But I listened to the quiet voice that said I could do better.
Did I? Did I do better? I think so. You can go read it and come back and tell me if you think I’m wrong.
And Now I Know I Can
Because I listened to that quiet voice telling me I could do it, I learned that I could sit down and write, from my own experience, and help somebody.
If I had listened to those other voices and quit or written a mediocre article based on all of the other mediocre articles I read, I would not have learned that.
I would be sitting here writing another blah post or worse, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing at all because I quit.
So What Is Confidence, Then?
What I’m telling you is that confidence is just allowing yourself to learn that you can.
How many times have you heard a person say:
I always wanted to…
Worse, how many times have you said it?
If you haven’t learned that thing that you’ve always wanted to, there are two reasons.
- You never really wanted to, it just sounds cool to say “I always wanted to learn to play guitar”.
- You didn’t really believe you could learn to do the thing you always wanted to do so you never even tried.
I bet that most people fall into the 2nd category.
The second category is sometimes called “The Comfort Zone” and it is where confidence goes to die and get buried.
It dies when you listen to that voice that tells you not to try something new. It gets buried when you don’t learn the lesson that you are capable of doing things you didn’t think you could.
Confidence happens when you do try that new thing, practice at it and eventually get better at it.
That’s what confidence is. It’s that knowing in your heart that you can do difficult things because you have done it before.
But What About When I Try and Fail?
Trying something new seems contradictory to being confident because I think most people think that trying something and failing is bad for your confidence.
You hear all the time:
He lost. It broke his confidence.
I don’t buy that. A loss, a failure, is a set back, of course. And it should hurt. But it shouldn’t break your confidence.
It should put a little needle in your heart that pricks you into action every time you think about giving up on practicing your skill.
Confidence isn’t broken so easily. Because it’s built like a wall, with bricks. Everytime you try something new and walk a little outside of your Comfort Zone, you put another brick in your wall.
And once the wall is built, one brick lost doesn’t destroy it.
Confidence: You Know It When you See It?
You’ve heard the confidence quotes about how confidence is sexy or that you can see how confident a person is by the way they walk into a room.
That’s not confidence to me.
Quiet people with their heads down can be confident. And I’ve never understood the correlation between sexy and confident. Or confident and sexy?
Why are they even in the same sentence?
That’s probably a topic for another post, but, my point is, I don’t think you can always tell a confident person based on their appearance.
I mean, lots of times you can.
But also, sometimes, what you’re seeing is bravado or arrogance. A chest puffed out or a confident smile is often a costume, I think. It’s a show that people put on for the rest of the world that says:
LOOK HOW CONFIDENT I AM!
I also can’t help but feel that linking confidence to someone’s outward appearance means that only the attractive people can be confident. And that can’t be right.
I won’t allow it.
So instead of looking at their outward appearance when we’re trying decide if a person is confident, let’s look at what they do.
- Do they offer their opinion in a conversation? Even if it’s different than yours?
- Do they look comfortable sitting alone? Or, do they go over and sit with the person who is not looking comfortable sitting alone?
- Do they listen intently when someone else is speaking with the hope that they may learn something from that person?
- Do they sometimes say no, kindly, to a request like, Can you make 147 cupcakes for the bake sale tomorrow?
- Do they walk toward new things? A class that will teach them to sew? A person who is new to town? A challenge like raising money or awareness for their favorite charity?
The people who do those things, they are the confident ones. That’s what confidence is. It’s allowing yourself the opportunity to do something you didn’t think you could so that you learn that you can.
How Did I Do?
Ok, I said I would go out and do some research when I was done to see if I know anything at all about confidence.
I read some articles and found a couple of definitions.
-the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.-the dictionary
Confidence can be described as a belief in one’s self and one’s ability to succeed. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/confidence-Psychology Today
Here’s how you know I have some confidence. I have a problem with the way both the dictionary AND Psychology Today define Confidence and I’m going to share my opinion on that.
Even though they are clearly authorities here.
The problem that I have is that they both define Confidence as a belief.
Confidence isn’t a belief, in my opinion. It’s a knowing. Knowing that you can do difficult things that might make you uncomfortable at first because you tried it before and you did it.
You learned a new thing, you overcame a challenge or you met a new person. Even though it would have been easier to stay in your Comfort Zone (remember? that’s the place where Confidence goes to die and get buried).
What Does It All Mean?
Now that you know that Confidence is about learning that you can do difficult things, you have a big responsibility.
Because my definition of confidence puts you in charge. Next time you hear yourself say:
I always wanted to…
Think about this article you just read and decide. Are you going to stay in “The Comfort Zone” or are you going to try and teach yourself something?
If you’re ready to try something new, but you don’t know what to try, why not try a Craft? It’s how I practice building confidence.
If this meant something to you, I would love it if you shared it.