“Self-confidence: The first requisite to great undertakings.” Samuel Johnson
Many people yearn to be more self-confident. Yet they have no idea how to achieve that objective. They look at others who have the gift and say, “Hey that’s what I want. I hate feeling unsure of myself. I wish I could stop obsessing about what others think of me and quit worrying about disappointing other people. I want to stop anguishing over my decisions and torturing myself about my mistakes. I think it would be so great to feel self-assured, hold my head up high and stand tall. I’ve never been self-confident. I wish there were a way I could be.”
There is a way. You don’t have to be born with self-confidence. Self-confidence can grow and flourish and ripen and blossom until you actually come to feel as though there is a different person inside of you. Here are some insights that might facilitate the quest.
Learn what a self-confident person is really like. They are not cocky, know-it-all people who don’t care what anybody else thinks. They have their doubts. And make mistakes. And are far from perfect. However, they are willing to acknowledge their inadequacies without dwelling on them. They do this by maintaining a sense of humor, putting problems in perspective, and focusing mainly on what they’ve done right, not wrong.
Though self-confident people do believe in themselves, they don’t try to suffocate others with their ideas or beliefs. They are confident in what they know not only because they read, learn and think but also because they respect their instinct, intuition and the unique body of knowledge that they’ve developed by living life. They realize that one doesn't have to be labeled an “expert” to believe in one's own truths.
Self-confident people don’t undermine their own worth by comparing themselves with others, only to conclude that they aren’t “good enough”. They appreciate their strengths and accomplishments and can acknowledge, without embarrassment, their weaknesses. They don’t live in the “victim” position. Even if something really bad has occurred, they turn it into a challenge, remembering to be grateful for the little things in life.
Self-confident people let the world know who they are. If they want something badly enough, they know they have every right to “go for it.” Yet, they also know that the path will rarely be easy. Mistakes, blunders and failures are part of the learning process. They seek to learn from their mistakes and do not waste time torturing themselves over what “could have been”.
Self-confident people are not obstinate people. If they have an idea about something and it differs from the way another person is thinking about it, they will usually try to look at it from that person’s point of view, see why it makes sense to them. Yet, a confident person’s sense of self is grounded. It does not blow in the wind. Their ideas do not fluctuate based on what others deem are important.
I hope these insights are helpful to you. If so, perhaps one day you will be able to say what the actress Phyllis Rashad once said, simply but eloquently, ” I am just myself and who I am is a lot.”