The Road to Confidence

The Road to Confidence

Feeling good about ourselves and what we do is not only a key part of being a good performer but also a key part of living a good life. Most people call the good feeling about who we are and/or what we do “confidence”.  Attaining a confident attitude can often be very challenging and it is sometimes replaced with the more easily-attained “ego” or “hubris”. My purpose for writing this post is to help to suggest a path to achieving a confident attitude and also to help us to differentiate between confidence and ego.

I believe that being confident suggests that we for the most part lack fear and doubt in who we are or what we are trying to do. Some would say being “fearless”. I believe that being truly confident is possessing a sense of mastery of self and being self-assuredness– not feeling superior to others. Sometimes we can be tempted to build ourselves up on the backs of others. We can make ourselves feel better by setting ourselves above others. I don’t believe this to be confidence but just an over-active ego trying to cover up our fears and doubts with false confidence or “hubris” or arrogance.

As I said previously confidence can be challenging to attain. We have to overcome and let go of our fears and doubts, have faith and courage that our efforts will be blessed with success and then ultimately enjoy the fruits of our labors. I believe that the key words to overcoming fear and doubt are FAITH and COURAGE. They are the bridge from the beginning to the end. We have to have faith that whatever it is that we are trying to do is right and possible and we have to have the courage to believe that we are actually capable of achieving our goals even though we may be fearful and doubtful.

If you believe in the devil then you may believe that fear and doubt are some of his best weapons. Our own fears and doubts are often the most significant obstacles to achieving happiness and success in our lives. The best way that I know of to overcome fear and doubt is to have faith and courage. We have to take action even when we don’t feel like it or when we don’t feel like our efforts are worthwhile. One of my favorite characterizations of fear is False Events Appearing Real. Basically- our fears are often not based on what “danger” we are immediately facing but what negative outcomes that we think COULD happen.

Fear is often an imaginary bear standing in front of us ready to eat us. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of the unknown. Doubt. All misty thought processes that prevent us from a possible perceived emotional harm. Why start if you don’t think that you will be successful? Why have goals if you don’t think that you can attain them? Ironically successful people often speak about how failure is perhaps one of the most important elements of success. Learning to try and sometimes fail is essential to attaining success. Talk to a successful person and you will no doubt hear of many “failures” along their path to success.

To help us to have faith in our capacity to succeed we only need to look around us at the many, many successful people who have achieved great things in human history. Whether it be great technological achievements, great works of art or amazing athletic feats the people achieving these successes were no more or less human than you and me and had their own set of challenges- internal and external- to overcome. By educating ourselves we can not only learn more about what we are trying to do but learn more about other successful people and how they achieved greatness.

So in conclusion- doubt and fear are normal parts of our lives. They can be overcome with faith and courage even when negativity is still present. Success achieved from consistent efforts sustained by faith and courage will help us to attain confidence. Our doubts and fears can come from a variety of past life experiences but it is ultimately up to US to overcome these roadblocks in our own heads and be the amazing people that we are capable of being.