It’s snowing here in Philadelphia and it’s afforded me a day off from work.
That means I’ve had extra time to read, reflect and write (a perfect recipe for a blog).
For some reason, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about confidence and how important it is for everything else in life. Being confident helps us feel better, perform better and live better. Despite how important it is, confidence is something that ebbs, flows and sometimes, eludes us altogether. Thanks to thoughts from Brendon Burchard and Simon Sinek, I’ve been digesting the idea that confidence comes through having competence, congruence and (maybe most importantly) connection. I want to share more about each of these areas in the hopes that it can provide you with a blueprint for developing higher levels of confidence. If you’re feeling like you could use a boost in confidence, keep reading. If you feel like you’re the most confident person in the world, click here (there’s a fine line).
Confidence is a powerful concept but one that requires delicate balance and relies on multiple inputs. The more that I’ve reflected on sources of confidence in my own life, the more I realize that there isn’t a universal formula when it comes to creating confidence. Instead, it’s an individual experience that vacillates as circumstances change. However, I would like to talk about three core inputs that are required to optimize confidence (from: High Performance Habits).
People who are confident are so in part because of competence; they have developed a skill set in a specific area over time through focused effort, consistent practice and relentless dedication. In other words, being confident from competence means that you have spent time developing skill. You are confident in your abilities because you have invested in them. However, it doesn’t stop there; competence also applies to the future. Confidence not only comes from skills gained, but the ability to gain new skills. In other words, having a growth mindset increases confidence. Believing that you can learn, figure things out, adapt and grow all adds to the overall feeling of confidence (that is experienced here and now).
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” Dale Carnegie
If you want to feel more confident, you have to take action over and over and over again, you have to make mistakes and be willing to learn from them, you have to internalize wins and seek out guidance when you get stuck. Then you have to do all of it with the belief that you can grow through the process, adapt through adversities and figure things out on the fly.
People who are confident are so in part because of congruence; they have a clear vision of who they want to be and they live out that vision with intention every single day. In other words, being congruent means understanding who you are and being authentic in how you live in all circumstances. You are confident in who you are because you are always you. However, it doesn’t stop there; congruence involves being honest. Confidence comes from keeping the promises that you make to others, but also to yourself (integrity). Having a clear idea of who you want to be and living it out with conviction, in public and in private, creates congruence which leads to confidence.
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” Coco Chanel
If you want to feel more confident, you have to be authentic, honest and vulnerable. Hiding who you are, being dishonest and taking shortcuts are the easiest routes to undercutting confidence. Take some time to get clear on who you are, where you want to go and how you want to add value to the world. Then go out and do those things with intention.
People who are confident are so in (large) part because of connection; they have strong connection to people who care about them, support them and encourage them. In other words, being connected means that you have a network of people who are in your corner and help lift you up. You are confident in part because other people express confidence in you. However, it doesn’t stop there; connection involves service. Confidence comes from caring about and serving other people. Giving yourself to other people helps create perspective that life is bigger than us but we are also important.
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” John Holmes
If you want to feel more confident, you have to be connected to other people who know you (being vulnerable is a prerequisite). You need to find people who are going to root for you no matter what but it doesn’t stop there. To build confidence, you need to do things with other people; serve others.
If you’ve made it this far, let me tell you why I’ve been thinking about confidence today: because I realize that I wouldn’t be where I am without it and I wouldn’t have it without you. I feel confident being vulnerable with my writing because I have people who have supported me, encouraged me and loved me at every turn. When I posted my first blog, I was overwhelmed with support. When I launched the newsletter, all I felt was love. When I started a podcast, I got nothing but encouragement. If I decided to throw it all way, I know that (some) people would have my back. So before I end this blog, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping build me up. I hope that I can do the same for you!
Be a good person.
Joe Rinaldi, PT, DPT