A few days ago I was at a conference, a business executive coach and psychotherapist was among one of the speakers delivering a speech to a large number of retired women educators. Why is confidence important?
“Have confidence!” is one of the most essential pieces of advice you’ll receive in life that makes no sense if you’ve never done it. You know what confident people look like, the advantages they get, and that it’s something worth emulating. But historically, women tend to be marginalized by the society of which we live in and because of this, women are less likely to be associated with “Have Confidence” than compared to men.
Confidence is knowing what you’re good at, the value you provide and acting in a way that conveys that to others. It is different from being arrogance in which typically arrogance involves believing you are better in a particular area than you are. Confidence is also different from low self-esteem which involves believing you are less valuable than you think.
Confidence is not shallow. It’s a deep sense of self-awareness within you that makes you confident without the clothes or modern-day armor we love to cover ourselves in. Everyone has a measure of a lack of self-confidence in them. But we need to get to a place where we are truly confident in ourselves without any covering.
A couple of years ago I took a personality assessment Briggs-Myers with pharmacy residents rotated to our facility. The results of the assessment indicated that I was an “introvert”. Shy, reserved, anti-social on the most part. It reflected the way I was when I was confined in my own space full of self-judgments.
For many years I hid away as much as possible so I would not be noticed, I would not be visible to people despite my obvious physical appearance. I lived in a world full of embarrassments, struggles, doubts, and low self-esteem. I was afraid to speak up because I thought my English speaking skills weren’t good. I was afraid to repeat myself when people asked me to say it one more time. I was afraid to try on new tight pants because I thought they would never look good on me.
One day, I decided to develop my self-confidence. I made this decision when I realized the opportunities I was missing due to a lack of self-confidence. I read books on personal development, I joined a gym membership, I hired myself a personal trainer, I signed up to photography class, painting class and I also joined Toastmasters club to develop my speaking skills.
I discovered that developing self-confidence is not optional. It is mandatory.
Confidence in yourself is absolutely critical to living a joyful life. If you don’t trust yourself, you will find people and things to place your trust in, and you’ll slowly give away your power. You’ll notice that the happiest people you meet are those that are truly confident in themselves and their abilities. They know themselves, their strengths, their weaknesses, and they accept it all fully and completely. They aren’t trying to be something that they are not.
Confidence comes from within you. It requires you to have a clear sense of who you are and who you want to be. It requires you to have an internal transformation.
What are some of the reasons self-confidence is important?
If you want to live the life of your dreams, you need to be confident. If you are not, everyday miracles will pass you by. You won’t ask for what you really want. Don’t expect people to read your mind. Ask! Be crystal clear about what you want. Self-confidence gives you the guts to ask for what you want.
I had a dream of the hike through the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Many people told me it was impossible. My best friend at the time told me not to do it because of my legs. She made it very clear to me that I will hurt myself by going through the steps on the trail. That’s how she had “busted” her knees. But my self-confidence kicked in and I stuck to all the exercise routines my trainer had designed for me. I asked to strengthen my ability to push through the steps and I did what I asked for.
In order to live the life you dream and become an influencer, you need to attract the right kind of people into your life. People are attracted to self-confident people.
If you walked into a room, which of these two people would you be attracted to? The guy standing in a corner with a smile on his face or the lady whose head is bent, staring down at her phone. You would be attracted to the guy. When you are self-confident, you are more attractive.
Recently I had a conversation with my peer coach who was experiencing low self-esteem after rejected by a guy whom she was dating at the time. She walked into the room in his presence and immediately she felt small, inadequate, apparently not good enough for his pursued. It made her feels sad, alone and hopeless.
I gave her a pep talk.
Self-confidence is about walking into that room and Own It! It is about not diminishing your own value after someone said “No” to you. Owning the room as if you are the celebrity walking down that red carpet. All eyes on you, you are shinning from inside out.
When you are self-confident, you choose yourself.
Most people who lack self-confidence love to please people. They don’t choose themselves. Because they don’t, they make the wrong decisions. The more you make the right decisions aligned with your deepest desires and values, the faster you will achieve your goals.
Don’t go along to get along.
You are a unique and talented individual with an extraordinary amount of your qualities. Look inside yourself and try and identify where you might cultivate your own form of genius. Stop trying to be someone else.
Take some time with a journal and a pen and begin searching for your true self. Who are you and what can you become? Find where you could excel if you tried and you will find your true calling, your heart’s path.
True happiness lies in the realization that you yourself are enough.