Confidence. Has it ever felt like a dirty sounding word to you?
Have you ever felt that to be confident and self-assured meant that you were also:
- big noting yourself
- too big for your boots
- stuck up
- gaudy and in your face
- too loud, too proud, too arrogant, too cocky
If you believe any of the above statements to be true than it is more than likely that you are shying away from ever being or aspiring to be truly confident. Simply because you view having confidence and being confident in a negative light.
We should all be embracing, chasing and aspiring to greater confidence, higher self-belief and more personal fulfilment. Not because we want to be a success or because this is the definition of success but because having confidence makes life great.
Often we shy away from aspiring to be confident because we worry about it’s impact on our lives. We worry that others may perceive the changes in us in a negative way. None of us are free from the opinions of others, certainly I am no different. I have had someone make comment to me in a semi-joking way that working with my current lifecoach was going to make a “monster” out of me. Not surprisingly, I took issue to my growing even more in confidence being equaled to monstering so I paid the comment no attention.
The point is that personally, I have never heard someone complain that they are too confident and as a result that their life now sucks and is terrible. Have you?
The truth: you cannot put a price on confidence. The impact of having greater confidence in your life is immeasurable; your thoughts change, your potential improves, your self-belief rockets, your relationships change, you find your own sense of mojo.
Let’s dismiss and articulate what it really means to be confident.
It’s not in your face, it can also be quiet and modest.
Quiet confidence, quiet self-assuredness takes you as far as loud, in your face, showy confidence (some might suggest even further so). Overly flaunting your body, dressing in a revealing way or to impress, wearing a full face of makeup does not necessarily imply confidence, merely personal choice. I speak from personal experience here when I say that some of the most genuinely confident people I know are more reserved than extroverted and very natural down to earth types. Actions speak louder than words and appearances here. So do your choices, the way you treat yourself and the way you treat others.
It’s not arrogant or stuck up, it can also be friendly.
We all remember the overly cliquey group in high school who liked to judge and got off on looking down on others that weren’t “as good as them”. If you haven’t learnt the life lesson already; high school or not, that kind of behaviour isn’t a reflection of confidence. Friendly confidence is warm, inviting, puts people at ease, is welcoming, encouraging of others and isn’t threatened by anybody else’s presence or differences (for better or worse).
Confidence is not a permanent state of being, it’s a process.
Confidence is not something you gain and then never struggle with again in your life. Confidence is transient and it ebbs and flows for all of us. Life continually tests our confidence. There will be things you are very confident about and there will be other things you need to work on. It’s the same for everybody. You shouldn’t be hard on yourself for having a bad day or an unconfident thought.
Confidence comes not from inaction but from action.
Waiting on confidence to arrive before starting or doing something will not bring you confidence. Starting before you have the confidence however will bring you the confidence that you are needing. Waiting till you feel ready or confident enough to start is just an excuse we tell ourselves. One that keeps us living firmly in our comfort zones. Confidence comes from action so start before you’re ready.
You can be confident in the skin you are in now.
This is a little related to the point above but well worth mentioning. You can be confident at the weight you are, at the age you are, with the body, the face, the clothes you have now. Confidence does not come in a cookie cutter, we all look the same package. You can weigh more than your ideal weight and still be confident. Be bald and confident. Have grey hair and be confident. Have a prominent nose and be confident. Have a Mummy tummy and stretch marks and still be confident. It’s all in how you perceive yourself. More than good enough just as you are now. More than capable enough of achieving what you want and doing what you need to for yourself.
Your world as you know it doesn’t end, it opens up for you.
Sometimes we shy away from growing in confidence or choosing differently for ourselves because of the negative impact we fear it might have on our lives. Particularly in the way that others view us and the opinions they hold about us. This is where the “who do you think you are?”, “gosh, you’re so stuck up now” comments come from. And also where feelings of no longer fitting in can arise. I won’t lie, yes, some of your social circle might change but the truest people in your social circle won’t, they’ll be happy and overjoyed for you. In fact you might even inspire them. Yes some of your relationships might change, particularly some of the patterns of behaviour that makeup your relationships but again, the truest relationships will survive positive change in you. Not only survive but flourish and again, you might even inspire them too. You can never predict or control how somebody chooses to behave, it is entirely their own choice. Your behaviour, it is entirely your own choice too.
Confidence is something we can nurture and encourage and there are plenty of things we can do to enhance the level of confidence we feel in our lives. But ultimately, confidence is something we must first decide to aspire to. And if you are approaching confidence from the space of your heart than you can never be “too big for your boots”. You are just wearing a much nicer, better fitting pair of boots. A pair that look as good on you as they feel!
What did you previously believe about confidence that you don’t believe now?
P.S. To learn more about developing and growing your own inner confidence read my book here.
Image credit- unknown but wonderful. I’m more than happy to credit you if this is yours x