Confidence is that magical unicorn everyone believes others have more of than they do. We have this skewed notion that having confidence means not being scared or second guessing ourselves. Confidence isn’t believing we’re perfect, it’s knowing everyone is imperfect and still believing we’re worthy even with those imperfections.
Confidence and bravery work the same way – being brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you still show up and do what needs to be done, even though you’re scared. It’s possible to be terrified and brave. It’s also possible to be terrified and frozen (or fleeing) in fear.
Having confidence isn’t about feeling like you can do no wrong, it isn’t about believing you’re better than others or that you won’t make mistakes. Having confidence is about believing you’re worthy. It means you believe you’re worthy of being loved even when you make mistakes.
Confidence is about belonging and connection.
We tell our children they’ll never become good at something unless they practice, practice, practice. It’s the same with confidence. We never become good at socializing, unless we try. Social anxiety is a thing most people experience. But recognizing that our fears rarely come true, and having a plan for when they do come true protects us and offers strength for future situations.Scripts To Help You Connect
Confidence is Connection
Confidence is really about connecting with yourself. It’s knowing who you are as a person. Confidence is the act of recognizing our own power and acting on that knowledge with assurance. It doesn’t mean you always have the right answers and it doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes. But it buffers you from those mistakes. It’s the most beautiful cycle in the world.
Have confidence, make good decisions, feel more confident. Make bad decisions, and still feel confident because you’re able to see that the decision was based on who you are and what’s important to you.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could make mistakes and actually feel better about who you are as a person?
Getting to the place where you’re able to make decisions without knowing 100% that they’re the right decision and also feel confident whether the decision works or not is possible. It’s possible even if you had a miserable childhood or experienced trauma or abuse. It’s not always easy, but life never is. If you’re willing to learn who you are, then you can be confident too.
So often in life we get bogged down by the daily grind of going to work, feeding children, cleaning house, and keeping all the balls in the air that we lose sight of who we really are. We find ourselves echoing the people around us, but we don’t stop to determine if what we’re echoing is really what we believe. We don’t stop to see if it supports what’s really important to us.
So how do we determine whether our thoughts and actions support who we really are, or whether they’re pulling us away from ourselves?
Through identifying core values, we’re able to connect more fully with ourselves. This allows us the opportunity to be more confident in our thoughts and actions.
Core values are exactly what they sound like. They’re values you have that are central to who you are as a person. In my experience people who identify their core values are more confident and resourceful.
How do you identify core values?
There are different ways of identifying core values. One is to look at a list of core values and pull out the ones that are most important to you. Once you have a list divide that list into related categories. For instance abundance, wealth, growth, and freedom could all be in a single category. If you have more than 4 categories, then check to see if there’s either an overlap, or if you can remove a category.
It’s possible to have multiple core values, but too many and you’ll find you’re not able to pursue what’s important because you’re constantly pulled in different directions.
Look over your lists again, within each category find the single word that resonates with you the most. Use that as your core value.
Vulnerability is the second key aspect of knowing who you are. It’s also the bridge between self and others.
Through vulnerability you’re able to show others who you are, ask for them to see you, and hope they’ll be kind. It’s the ultimate form of trust, and not to be taken lightly.
Vulnerability is when you’re willing to admit you don’t know all the answers, but you’re willing to try and find some.
A person faced with job loss may talk to a friend and share about their situation, talk about the fear, anxiety, and other emotions raging within them. By sharing our experiences with others we say, “I trust you not to judge me.” Though it’s not the same as over sharing. Oversharing puts barriers between people whereas vulnerability removes barriers.
Being vulnerable also increases resourcefulness.
There are so many ways to be resourceful and an endless supply of situations that require resourcefulness.
Resourcefulness is your ability to go with the flow and find solutions when things go wrong.
A resourceful person who loses their job will think of several different possible ways to make money. They’re more likely to find a different job, and they’re less likely to feel overwhelmed by the job loss or the job hunt.
Understanding your own core values increases your resourcefulness because core values guide you to making decisions that support what’s important to you.
A few years ago money was tight and our income was cut by more than 50%. I’d been home with our children for several years and my income was non-existent at the time. I considered going back to work as a registered nurse just so we could catch up. But I knew my core values were connection and family.
If I went back to work as a registered nurse, we’d have more money, but we wouldn’t be able to continue homeschooling and our family would have less time together over all. That wasn’t what we wanted. Instead I sold sculptures I created. I sold old items we had around the house, and we even got rid of our second vehicle. We cut costs and made enough extra money to bridge the difference and our family felt more connected and happier than we had before.
A different family with a similar problem would make different choices based on their own core values. If their values were different, but they made the same choices I made, then they’d likely feel stressed and even angry every time they needed to take the bus somewhere. Feelings like resentment and hopelessness would grow.
A person or family that lacks resourcefulness could find themselves in a situation where they lose their job, but are only willing to look for a similar (or better) job. They may take a lot longer to find new employment, they blame the market for their lack of job, they blame politics, they blame their previous employer and all the employers who don’t hire them. They may say things like, “There’s nothing I can do about it.” From that vantage they also may find themselves over spending without a plan to get the money.
Someone who lacks inner resources rarely lives according to their values because living according to your values requires conscious life decisions every day.
Increasing Confidence Through Core Values, Vulnerability, and Resourcefulness
Increasing confidence is as simple as changing your mind. (WAIT, don’t get mad yet, listen!)
It is as simple as changing your mind, but a lot of work goes into you before you’re capable of doing that. Please understand this post on it’s own doesn’t cover all the nuances of increasing confidence. If this is all it took, then everyone would be confident and I’d be a millionaire. (Wouldn’t that be nice for all of us?!)
Understanding who we are enough to recognize our core values gives us a lot of information and power that goes toward finding our confidence. Our core values tell you what is worth getting upset about and what isn’t. They tell you what to get excited about and what to shrug off.
They also let you know what to be vulnerable about. Connection is important to me. Which means when a person is important to me, then it’s also important that I risk being hurt in order to let that person know I care. It means when I worry about how my husband feels about my physical appearance, I tell him.
Not sharing those feelings means they stay inside me and grow. And because those fears and insecurities directly impact my relationships, then they actively cut me down because they’re inhibiting me from having thriving core values.
Besides being vulnerable, resourceful, and also living according to our core values, there’s one last step that’s vital to increasing confidence.
If somethings hard, acknowledge that hardness, and the effort you put into doing it. When you had a decision to make, one choice was easy, but went against your values, the other was more difficult, but honoured your values, and you chose the one that honoured your values. Acknowledge (and celebrate) that choice.
You are the star of your show. You play an active role and make the life you want happen. The more you acknowledge the way you create your own life, the easier it becomes, and the better you feel about yourself and your life.
We increase confidence by knowing who we are, acknowledging who we are, honouring who we are, and sharing who we are.
The key in all of that is as Socrates says, “know thyself“. Or as Shakspeare said:
“This above all: To thine own self be true,Polonius, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Though canst not be false to any man.”
Know who you are, act according to your values, and you’ll always do the right thing for others (this doesn’t mean others will always be happy). That’s the most direct path to increased confidence in yourself.
I’d love to know what value you got out of this post. Please leave a comment and let me know!