So much is wrapped up in our confidence.
Our success rate.
Have you ever studied a confident person? Like really studied them.
I was never very confident growing up, people always thought I was, which is funny, but it was an act. Apparently, a good one, because that information never fails to surprise people when I share this. But the truth is, I have always been very insecure and self-conscious about my looks, my weight, my self-worth, my lovability, my likeableness, etc... I hid my insecurities and pretended I was confident. Oddly enough, I was very opinionated, outspoken, outgoing, chatty, and assertively aggressive some would say. My deepest desire? To be liked, to be popular (whatever that meant). My thought was: "If people like me, then I must have some worth..." I don't think I was alone in my thinking...
However, there was one area I didn't lack confidence, (this is common, you just need to reflect a little on what that is for you) but for me, it was in my ability to learn. I was an A student, and I was confident that I could always do well academically. If I didn't know something, I knew I could figure it out, hell or high water. I leaned in on that capability and it has helped me learn about confidence.
So often people confuse certain behaviors as "confident people behaviors" but as I have become more and more self-confident, I realize more often it is what a person doesn't do that shows me they have self-confidence than what it is they actually do.
It's interesting. It is a soft knowing and ease they have about themselves. They know that no matter what, they will be ok, that's real confidence.
Self-confident people aren't afraid to take a stand, but not because they think they are always right or need to be right for that matter, but because they aren't afraid of being wrong. Their self-worth doesn't take a hit if they are wrong or they make a mistake or aren't perfect, they learn from it, they don't make it mean anything other than they didn't have an effective result or the one they wanted. Admitting they don't have all the answers is not disturbing or unnerving to them, they own their lack of knowledge freely and easily. They look at it as an opportunity to grow.
Self-confident people don't worry about what others think about them. They know who they are and are comfortable that not everyone will like them. They believe in themselves. At the same time, they don't disregard other's opinions, ideas, or suggestions either. They listen respectfully without interruption. Confident people listen much more than they talk because they already know what they think, they are more interested in knowing what you think. They are curious.
Truly confident people are secure in their lack of skill or knowledge in any given area, they are genuinely ok with asking for help and don't look at it as a negative characteristic or a weakness. It just is. They realize they don't know it all and seek to learn, to understand, and to grow.
The most noticeable characteristic of a person who has true self-confidence is their willingness to feel any emotion. That is a true sign of a self-confident individual.
Because if you're not afraid to feel your feelings: good, bad, sad, mad, fear, disappointment, humiliation, failure, success, joy, love, hope, anger, etc... then you are unstoppable. You would be unafraid to step out of your comfort zone because you'd know the worst thing that could happen is a feeling. You attempt a big goal and if you fall flat on your face, you know you will be ok. You reassess, tweak and go at it again and you continue the process until you figure it out. That's confidence.
You understand that things might not go as planned, but that's ok. You also know that if you don't try, you definitely won't succeed. It is in the doing that you learn what works and what doesn't.
Confidence is an amazing feeling.
It has taken me some time and effort, with lots of self-reflection and growth to stand confidently and unapologetically in who I am today, fully aware and compassionate of my past mistakes, and the ones I will no doubt make in the future.
I like being me, and that is saying a lot. It didn't happen overnight. But it doesn't have to take a lifetime either, you don't have to wait until you are in your 50s to become self-confident. To be comfortable in your skin, in who you are without worrying about what others think, but not proclaiming you don't care either. Just confidently being you, vulnerable, honest, transparent you, living your truth.
It is very freeing.