Confidence is a state of being and quality of life. We all need confidence if we are to drive our lives onward and become everything we aspire to be. Life is a process of becoming who we are and a combination of circumstances we must go through.
Some people view confidence as a simplistic, sole entity that we either have or do not have. In actuality, confidence is more like a muscle that develops, contracts and re-expands during the span of our lifetimes as we learn to utilise it in various ways.
Confidence is simply the faith that we have in ourselves. It is the assurance we have in our ability to learn, grow and solve problems.
Confidence has three different tiers to it that can be appropriate in some circumstances and not in others. Confidence is something that we feel and is interconnected with our skills, capabilities, expertise, and how secure we are within ourselves.
Our confidence increases as we grow in awareness of ourselves, who we are, who we aren’t, and what we’re capable of achieving. It’s important to note that confidence isn’t something that we can lose. It isn’t something that we can have taken from us either.
We all live our lives in a constant state of socialisation. By this, I mean that we are all being cultured and influenced by the societies in which we live. Responsibility breeds empowerment, and if we aspire to live life in an empowered way, we must each take ownership of the truthful reasons for the health of our confidence.
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” – Mahatma Gandhi
While many people talk of ‘being authentic’, most of us are made up of a myriad of elements of those other people we’ve encountered during our years of being unconsciously socialised. Our thoughts are often other peoples, our beliefs an inheritance, our efforts a mimicry and our passions a quotation from a bestselling book.
For many people, human identity is the most unstable thing that they possess. Our true identity is often only discovered in times of truth and soulful reflection. When we are secure in the truth of our identity and have made peace with it, we are sure and confident in ourselves.
Our ethnic background is not our identity; it is just our ethnic background. Our sexual orientation is only our sexual orientation. Our gender is just our gender. Our religion is not our identity. Our personal preferences, our experiences and those features of what makes us unique are not the same as our true identity.
How secure we each are within ourselves depends on several factors. Security represents our sense of self-worth, our preparedness to own our true identity, our emotional luggage, our self-esteem, our character, personal strength or absence of it.
Some people proceed through life rigidly grasping unto labels, theories, philosophies, and limiting phrases to define who they are and portray who they want to be onto the world. It’s necessary to note, however, that labelling ourselves in a limiting or restrictive way is a significant barrier to absolute authenticity. We cannot trust that which is not real, and we will not trust those we cannot see.
We will identify insecurity in those people who imitate others, or endlessly seek to undermine or control. When we are children, we behave like children, but when we are adults, we must cast off our childlike and insecure ways.
When our relationships are strong and robust, our confidence levels are generally high and consistent. When our connections are weak or variable, our confidence levels tend to follow this flow.
We earn the trust of other people once we have shown them we are dependable and consistent in our identity. This is when people finally start to become confident in us. For people to find this confidence in us, they must experience us as being integral, reliable and sincere.
Integrity involves us not violating our identity, saying only what we mean and meaning everything that we say. There is no room for doubt in trust-based relationships, and uncertainty can quickly be abolished over time when one person grows to recognise another person as consistent in their ways.
Identity in the form of continuity of personality is a fundamental characteristic of any genuinely confident individual.