Many myths surround the term “confidence.” Everyone wants to feel what we call confident. Everyone sees others as more confident than themselves. Most of us associate confidence with feeling secure, self-assured, unafraid and relaxed. But these are really quite limited, if not outright false, notions.
To be a human being necessarily means that sometimes, if not often, we won’t (and don’t) feel comfortable in our skins; we often won’t (and don’t) feel inwardly secure, self-assured, free from self-doubt. Yet invariably, thanks to cultural conditioning, our inner experience of uncertainty and insecurity transmits the almost automatic signal that there must be something wrong, or wrong with us. Well, there isn’t.
True confidence is best embodied not by the absence of tumultuously experienced vulnerability, but by the presence of our determination to identify and pursue good, worthy agendas in coexistence with our rawest vulnerability.
True confidence, really pure confidence, is about faith–specifically, about having faith in ourselves that we can soldier through everything (anxiety, depression, crippling self-doubt) that tempts us, through avoidance, to neglect our better interests. Real confidence is not about feeling consistently secure and comfortable with ourselves, but about believing, and determining, that even when we don’t, we’ll proceed anyway with our productive agendas.
Let’s unsubscribe to cliched, superficial notions of what constitutes confidence. Let’s subscribe, instead, to more expansive ideas—for instance, when you are scared, seized with dread and questioning everything about yourself, yet summon the faith in yourself to “do it anyway,” “go for it” anyway, that…more than anything else…exhibits your inner confidence with a capital C.