To be confident in something means being certain of it and conscious of your abilities in doing that very thing. To be confident in something isn’t being arrogant as opposed to feeling less worthy. It is being sure that you know your capacity in understanding, doing, or knowing something.
Therefore, self-confidence as described by Brian Tracy in his book “The Power of Self Confidence’’ is a feeling or consciousness in one’s power or of reliance on one’s circumstances.
A simpler Self-confidence definition is the amount trust in one’s abilities.
If your friend was blindfolded and then told to feed you, he would struggle to find your mouth. In fact, if he was told that he will be shot dead if he fails to trace your mouth on the first attempt, he wouldn’t play the game.
But if it’s you who were blindfolded and asked to feed yourself, you wouldn’t find any trouble carrying food with your hand to your mouth. Your hand has traveled that journey to your mouth a million times. You are confident enough that you can’t even miss on the first attempt. That is what we call being confident in something.
Jay-z will confidently get on stage to rap for people because he mastered the art. Ask him to get on stage and talk about molecular biology, he will fake a call to Beyoncé or tell you straight up that it’s not his thing.
Being confident doesn’t mean being all-knowing or perfect. It means being mentally fit and conscious in something. You can be confident in self-presentation, speech, acting, singing, math, or a sport. You become confident in that which you gave enough time to learn and master.
Having known what being confident means, our next question is ‘’What the hell is self-confidence then?’’
SELF means you and your inner being.
The dictionary meaning of ‘’self’’ is a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others. When I say ‘’yourself’’, I mean your being. Your essential being. What do you know about your being? How do you feel about your being? How much do you know about your being?
Knowing the meaning of these two words i.e. self and confidence, we get an accurate description of the term self-confidence. Self-confidence is being conscious, aware, and certain of one’s essential being that distinguishes you from others.
You are the only you that the world has ever had. No one in the million years of earth will and has ever had a mind like yours. You are uniquely and perfectly made to fit your being. No one can have your self-confidence except you. If you are not confident in yourself who will?
The core route of self-confidence.
We were all born with special abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. A 5ft7 dude will confidently solve a math equation without sweating plasma. A 6ft5 dude will dunk a basketball confidently without straining so hard. It does not mean that the 5ft7 dude can’t dunk or play basketball. Matter of fact, Calvin Murphy 5ft7 played in the NBA.
I have met a math proficient who is even taller than 6ft5. The issue is not height, the issue is being aware of your abilities. This all starts with mastering oneself. Genuinely knowing who you are, what you are, why you are that, and who you want to be.
So many people get caught up in excuses of their shortfalls and rant out ‘’this is who I am”. ‘’Accept me or leave’’ they add. No darling that is not you. That is an outcome of a wrong seed planted in your mind.
You see when we are born into the world, our minds are as vulnerable as our bodies. But because we come as babies, the responsibility of nurturing our bodies and minds is left to the people around us or the society. We become the things that our parents or society say and do.
Two twins separated at birth and raised in different families will not behave or think the same way. Their actions and thoughts will be shaped by the families that raised them. But if these twins one day meet and decide to shape their thoughts and behavior on their terms based on their natural abilities and strengths, they can do it.
You as an adult can decide to be who you want and not what society or your parents shaped you to be. You were not born with the traumas and emotional wounds that ate away your self-confidence and self-esteem. In your heart and mind lays a seed called ‘’YOU’’ that needs to be watered so it can grow and be seen by your inner eyes.
The core route of confidence is within you. If you see yourself looking out for confidence outside of you then you are looking for nothing but approval. Approval is not sustainable.
The reason why many celebrities sink into depression when their career hits a slump is because of the absence of approval from the public.
However, many celebrities hit a slump but remain strong because they are confident in themselves. When you master yourself, you can master anything outside of you, be it fame, wealth, depression, etc. Is it easy to master yourself? No. Is it possible? YES.
Developing core confidence is an everyday job. The hardest step is the initial attempt to know who you are. Sometimes it is painful and challenging. But it is unavoidable for anyone that needs to master the world outside.
If you don’t know who you are, if you are not confident of who you are, anyone or any situation can bend you to become anything they want. Ask yourself, what are your strengths, what are your weaknesses, how do you react to criticism, if you don’t know something do you ask, pretend to know, or stay silent.
The first step to mastering who you are can be tough a step. Many people can’t even face themselves or try to retrospect. Many would rather swim in a river of alligators than have a true inner conversation with themselves.
The mental health industry is growing because few people are really who they are. Many are a product of social constructs and beliefs whose roots and sources they have no idea about.
Life is too short to live someone else’s life. My father used to say to me, ‘’am taking you to school to be who you want to be’’. As a father, he only tried to guide me. He ensured to give me the challenge of finding out who I am. A daunting challenge was that I tried out so many things to find one that fit me.
I became so many people that had nothing to do with me. I joined peer groups that I thought would shape my life. Damn, I even tried playing all kinds of sports to find myself.
Until 26 when I had the first heartbreak that sent me into solitude that is when I stopped looking outside to find myself and started looking inside of me to know me. I thought no one could understand me and blamed everyone for situations in my life. But if I couldn’t understand myself, who would?
The solitude and heartbreak opened a new dimension and raised me to a frequency in my life that kickstarted my journey to self-awareness which is the core root of self-confidence. In a short time, I learned a lot about myself that I had never known in 26 years.
Before you consider being confident in something be it a skill or a language, first consider being self-confident. When you start to water the seed of self-confidence in you, you will see a whole new world of possibilities in front of you. If you can master the inside of you, you can bend anything outside of you to your liking.
How to build self-confidence
This does not only help you get in control of your thoughts but also know them. Knowing and being in control of your thoughts increases your self-awareness.
Accept and embrace starting.
What prevents us from having self-confidence is our inability and restraint to start over. We have seeds of self-control, self-belief, self-trust, self-reliance, etc. If we let ourselves start and build these values however hectic the process may be, we become self-confident.
One or two or several failed attempts at something never mean that you can’t make it. Your anticipation of failure and self sabotage may be the reason for your lack of confidence. Believe that it is possible however hard it may be then you can be confident in going through the process to be who you want to be.
Align your mind with your soul/heart or yourself.
Ensure that what you are doing reconciles with both your heart and mind. The mind thinks but the heart knows. Deep down you know what you want through your heart. But because most times we follow our minds which are usually influenced by society, we find ourselves doing things that we have no profound interest in or passion for.
Embrace growth instead of limiting conclusions.
Yes, at the moment you are bad at public speaking. If you say ‘’I am a bad speaker’’, you conclude that you are and your mind believes it. But if you say that ‘’ I am not yet good at public speaking’’, you leave your chances open. Your mind relaxes and gives you confidence that at some point you will be good.
Wage war against your inner critic.
Hate that voice inside you that tells you that you can’t. The limiting beliefs from that voice speaking on behalf of people who are clueless of who you are. Hate it so much that you won’t follow what it says. Disobeying it will make you rely on your true self to build your self-confidence.
Be compassionate with yourself.
Understand that you are human prone to failing or making mistakes. Learn to forgive yourself and accept that the mistakes of your past have no power over you. You can’t change them but your future is open for the change you want. Put all the limitations and failures behind you and give yourself a chance.
Identify your strengths.
We are indeed not equal. There is someone smarter than the smartest person you have ever known. Someone more beautiful, someone taller, etc. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Embrace yourself and rely on your strengths. Comparing yourself to others will make you see that which you lack or fall short and ignore that which you excel in.
Your level of self-confidence depends on how much effort you put in to invest in yourself. You’re the best house you will live in. If you master all corners of your mind and heart, nothing unwelcome will enter to stop you from being at peace with yourself or chasing your dreams. What do you know about yourself? Share with me in the comments, please.