There’s a big misunderstanding about confidence. Most of us think of it as a die-hard, self-assured belief in ourselves – knowing our worth and value. But my definition is different.
I believe confidence is the willingness to participate in life no matter whether we win or lose or look stupid or spectacular. It’s the willingness to act in life even though we are rattled with insecurity. It’s about taking the risk to act no matter how much self-doubt we feel and no matter what the outcome.
As someone who has always felt insecure, confidence has served me well in life. Without it, I would never have been able to leave the comfort of my home and family and venture to find my own life.
I would never have been able to tell someone how much I loved them or tell someone that I didn’t love them. I would never have been able to commit to a relationship or leave one. I would never have felt the exhilaration of speaking in public or the embarrassment of having nothing to say. I would never have felt the joy of putting my words and work out into the world wondering if anyone is listening.
If you’re someone who is always wondering why you don’t feel more confident, consider where in life you are not acting, or taking risks. Consider where you back off and are not willing to participate in the direction that is calling you. And consider that this is you denying yourself the feeling of confidence.
In the same way that we all have the capacity to feel love, we also have the same capacity to feel confident. We experience love when we offer acts of love – we take the risk. And we will feel confident when we are willing to be in life no matter what the outcome.
My most insecure (and unhappy) days have always been when I’m not willing to BE in life – when I don’t act, when I refuse to fail and look awkward, when I demand to know the outcome first. The unhappiness, frustration, and stuckness we feel is an indicator that we're not believing confidence is what we are made of.
The willingness to act is the way that confidence is going to reveal itself to you. We learned this as babies trying to walk. We tried, fell, and got up again.
What are you willing to do, no matter what happens?