Is Your Definition Of Confidence Holding You Back Or Pushing You Forward?

Leadership Lesson: It’s important for us to all understand where it is that confidence comes from, so that we don’t put some undo pressure on ourselves to find something extraordinary outside of ourselves before pushing forward toward what we want.

There are many interpretations — and misconceptions — of what confidence might be. Each of us will have our own experiences in life and work which shape the way we move forward. We’re molded by our paths and what we see, live, and learn.

One of the greatest drawbacks in learning about confidence is the misconception that exists in the connection between confidence and insecurity:  Many believe that a confident person does not have insecurities, but the truth is this is false.

But we need to dispel that falsehood. This of confidence this way: It is merely a reflection of the knowledge and understanding which a person has in themselves. And yes, someone can still be insecure. They can be sure of what they know, but still feel as if they might be vulnerable or susceptible to outside factors (insecurity).

How sure are you in the things you know for yourself? The key part of this point is “yourself.” Confidence is about knowing yourself, inside and out. At its core, confidence is not about others.

How well you know yourself is the foundation of confidence while your ability to let that shine through is the outward representation of how confident you are.

A confident person can have insecurities of many varying degrees and forms.  The insecurities are their perceptions.  The confidence — their knowledge in their abilities and the value they can provide — is what allows them to proceed as they were in spite of these insecurities, or these perceptions.

The perception of confidence — the “confidence” that others see and perceive — is just the ability to continue to be true to, and not limit, yourself.

Confidence is not necessarily being better than the next person.  Confidence is knowing what you’re worth — your true value and what you can provide.

Confidence is not some magical feat of strength. Confidence is continuing down the same path, maintaining who you are, while overcoming obstacles.

Confidence is reconciling what you show to what you know — demonstrating your truest self to others. Confidence is not necessarily bravery. Confidence (knowing ourselves) should exist every day while bravery (being courageous) is an attribute or ability to be called on when challenged.

Confidence is the basic level of true expression, while bravery, again, when called for, necessitates us rising above and beyond our basic selves to meet that previously mentioned challenge head-on.

One should not have to be brave to be themselves.  The environments in which we operate might call for that to be the case, but we don’t need to accept it and live by someone else’s terms.

That’s why it’s said that there’s confidence in vulnerability, because one is showing their truest self in those moments.

That is why the traditional perception of confidence is one who seemingly goes through life with ease.  But they seem confident because there is no pressure or need to be anything else but who they are.

Lastly, never confuse confidence with arrogance. The former builds while the latter destroys.

Confidence and arrogance differ in that confidence is finding the balance between what you need to express and showing your value without ever taking away from others.

So…What About You?

  • What do you consider confidence to be, as most of us may have different definitions?
  • Where do you yourself get your confidence? What value do you think it is that you provide that backs up your confidence?
  • Where did you learn what your value is?

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