“I believe the process of going from confusion to understanding is a precious, even emotional, experience that can be the foundation of self-confidence.” ~Brian Greene
I know what it is like to look around and see people who appear to have all the self-confidence in the world, while you are silently suffering with self-doubt.
Of course, those very people you envy probably look at you in a similar way — hiding their own doubts and wishing they had it all together. Silently suffering in self-doubt often inspires goals to be more confident. Interestingly, self-confidence is not an achievement. It is the a natural outcome under certain conditions.
The following five elements of self-confidence address those conditions. When you are in line with these principles, you cannot help but be more confident!
Here are the 5 essential elements of natural self-confidence:
1. Know your limits.
Interestingly, knowing what you can’t do is an important element in knowing what you can do with confidence. I remember as a young and nervous counselor that much of my hesitation came from thinking I needed to be able to work with and cure anyone of their psychological problems.
Over time, of course, I learned which people I work best with and which people I need to refer away. What a relief! Admitting to myself that I cannot work with just anyone was a huge confidence booster. I was no longer afraid to pass on a case, and I approached the people I could work with knowing I was well-equipped for the job.
Are you lacking confidence because you are biting off more than you can chew, or pretending you know something you don’t?
2. Know your values.
Values are indicators of what is important to you. When you know your priorities, you can focus on them and pass on everything else.
When you are not clear on what is important in your life, something happens that undermines your confidence — you typically turn to others to determine the agenda. This naturally puts you in a one-down position.
3. Get skills.
Confidence is often tied to competence, as it should be. I want the pilot of the plane I am riding in to be confident. I want his confidence to be based squarely on his level of skill. If he doesn’t have the skill to fly, he shouldlack confidence.
And the same goes for me in my life. When and where I don’t the have skill, I am okay lacking confidence. It is possible to lack confidence in spite of having an appropriate level of skill, but competence is always a factor.
4. See others as people.
Often we feel inadequate because we see others as ‘more than’ and ourselves as ‘less than’ by comparison. We see others as having it all together and not suffering the way we are. This is rarely true.
As soon as you get to know someone beyond the public persona, you soon discover a plethora of struggles that are the hallmark of the human condition. Everyone has their cross to bear. When you tune into this fact, you will get better at seeing people as people — we are all in this together! Understanding this comes as a relief and happens to build social confidence.
When all is said and done, you need to just go for it! Confidence builds as you take positive action and begin to see positive results.
Take these elements of natural self-confidence and meditate on the ones that you resonate with. Take your understanding of them to a deeper level and watch your confidence grow.