Choosing Confidence

Choosing Confidence

So often we (or at least those of us who struggle with confidence) tell ourselves that confidence is one of those intangible, inherent qualities. Either you have it, or you don’t. We see people who seem to just ooze it. You know who I’m talking about. They walk into a room and you can just see the puddles of leftover confidence that’s just dripped off of them as they meandered gracefully from one person to the next. Little social butterflies with the presence of something so much larger and greater.

I’ve wanted to be that person for a long, long time. I’ve wished that I had the confidence to be the “life of the party” or, if not that, at the very least someone who didn’t shy away from the party altogether. People are attracted to confidence. I’ve always wanted to inspire that. But, here’s what I’ve learned over the years: we can choose to be confident.

Confidence After Heartbreak?

If you don’t think so, let’s try a little experiment. Think back with me to your last major, serious heartbreak when you were left crying on the curb (hopefully not literally). Do you remember the feeling of thinking you would never be good enough for anyone ever again? That you might as well accept that you were the ground upon which everyone else walked?

Okay. So, we’ve all been there (even the most self confident have, trust me). Now. Think about this. Have you gone out on a date since? Have you dated since? Oh, well you see, that was a choice. You chose at some point, to not believe that no one else would want you, you gave yourself another chance, and you put on, at the very least, the bare minimum of confidence necessary to get dressed, get yourself to the requested location, and put yourself out there again. That, my friend, took confidence.

The Inevitability of Confidence

You can really only be at the bottom for so long. Sooner or later, you have to rise up. Maybe not much, but some. Otherwise, none of us would survive. We’d throw in the towel and call it quits. And, the bright spot in all of this? That little fact alone should give you a huge boost. If you’ve managed confidence before, you can manage it again, a little more every day in fact. You’ve been tossed aside like a wildflower, and you’ve come back and are standing on your own two feet. Did you ever fail a class? Lose a job? Get rebuked unfairly? Anything that has brought you down that you didn’t allow to conquer you took confidence. You chose it. Simple as that.

What to Do With This

Now, you’ve been given a revelation, hopefully, with this article. I hope if you haven’t realized that you’ve had much confidence before, that suddenly, you’ve seen and taken stock of countless times when you confidently came back from something harsh and took a step forward. And, whether this is good news or bad news, those of us with “less” confidence usually take more put-downs than the rest simply because we’re easy targets. So, while you may have endured more pain than you think is really quite fair, the upshot is that you’ve been building confidence through all of those situations and you probably weren’t even aware of this. But now, the ball is in your court. Chances are, you still have nowhere near the confidence you’d like, right? So how to move forward? Here goes.

One Person/Situation at a Time

Oozing confidence, unfortunately, does not appear overnight. Confidence builds upon confidence. The more times you build it up, the stronger each layer and each level gets. So, you build your confidence one situation and one person at a time.

For starters, think of the last situation or person with whom you felt your confidence was shot. Let’s say, for the sake of continuity here, that it was getting “dumped.” I’d be willing to bet you’re not feeling confident about yourself, nor about being around that person again. (We’ll call him Will.) Will left. Will’s gone. And, while the rejection, or sting, or loss of a future, whatever it is, definitely cuts and hurts, the trick is to think and act confidently. Right now. At some point, Will fell in love with you, right? Right. Find confidence in that. You’re still the same person that you were then. So, continue living as you lived then, confidently. Change nothing about yourself but the fact that you’re going to step forward with some spring in your step knowing that:

  1. You are a person that people love;
  2. This hurt is only going to make you stronger, and
  3. Both of those things together is adding on another thicker layer of confidence!

Same thing with a lost job. You were qualified enough to be selected for the job. Regardless of circumstances at the moment, you can know:

  1. You were selected for a particular job out of a pool of other applicants;
  2. You’re available now for something even bigger and better, despite the fact it isn’t pleasant in the moment; and
  3. Both of those things are… yes you got it: going to make you a more confident person in the future.

Next time either one of these things or something similar knocks you off your feet momentarily, your confidence won’t take such a hit next time because you’ve been there, done that, bounced back and risen above. See how that works?!

Confidence Builds Confidence

Now, while you may still feel lost and still feel lacking confidence, you have to muster confidence to know that confidence builds confidence. Every time you use it and choose it, you get more of it. That’s one of the best things about it! And there’s basically a never ending supply. So stand up, put your two feet squarely under yourself and go do something you normally wouldn’t. That little stretch? Yeah, you’ve got it, it will build confidence. And the faster you want to be that most-confident-of-confident people, the more you have to willingly put yourself out there. Just know that nothing, nothing can knock you down. You’ll always get back up and you’ll always be stronger.

Photo by kirainet

Amber O'Connell

Freelancer Amber O’Connell writes about inspirational pieces whenever possible. She also writes alongside an online ecommerce site helping them promote the use of a small and affordable electric heater to create an inviting home hot-yoga studio perfect for relaxation and meditation.

Latest posts by Amber O'Connell (see all)

12 Comments

  1. Great post on confidence – I like what you say and I feel it’s so true – Confidence builds confidence!

    There’s a song that states, “I’ve been knocked down, and I get up again.”

    Living confidentally,
    Nancy

    Reply
  2. This was so well written, many “aha” moments, I love it thank you!

    Reply
  3. Hi Amber,
    There are so many things that we can choose to our benefit. To choose “confidence” is a great choice. Before that choice is cemented, self belief has to be evident. We can’t be confident without believing that we can.
    ‘Confidence builds confidence’ is so true and is a big momentum shift. Thank you.
    be good to yourself
    David

    Reply
  4. Hi Amber,
    Confidence is something that we build over time and there certainly different levels of confidence. We have physical confidence in our abilities, our emotional confidence in our ability to handle thoughts and feelings, and mental confidence in our ability to use and make sense of stimuli.

    When we have learned to master all 3 we will be a force to be reckoned with.

    Reply
  5. Great post! Most of the confidence I have comes from all the times I was knocked down. Looking back I realize that I was able to get back up then so I’m sure I can now. Making change can be easy if you start with small steps!

    Reply
  6. Hi Amber,

    Have you heard of Rejection Therepy? I recently stumbled upon this 30 day challenge where the goal is to seek a rejection every day for 30 days. You ask or request something until you get rejected. Maybe it’s saying hello to a stranger and expecting a response, making an unusual request, or asking someone out on a date. Putting yourself out there helps you get over the fear of failure, because in reality, the bark is worse than the bite – there’s life after rejection! By making rejection your goal, you get better at handing it and start to ask for more, it’s a confidence builder along the same lines as what you’re talking about here.

    Enjoyed the post!

    Cheers,
    Genevieve

    Reply
  7. Hello,

    When you choose confidence, you may upset the people around you. Family and friends who’ve become accustomed to you ‘rolling’ over and agreeing with them may not like the ‘new’ you. You must have confidence to embrace who you are without caring what other people think. And, yes, this includes family members. Speaking your ‘authentic truth’ takes confidence.

    Reply
  8. I definitely agree that confidence is a choice! And the more confident you choose to be, the more success you’ll have, which makes you even more confident.

    Reply
  9. Great advice!

    I like especially the “One Person/Situation at a Time” way.

    Building confidence bit by bit is the way to go.

    Timo

    Reply
  10. part of rebuilding confidence, is to regain a little bit of control over oneself. to break things or the obstacle down into little bits, and one and a time, tackle them, whether it be feelings, emotions etc… then a little bit of control, and a little bit of confidence :)

    Reply
  11. You were selected before, you were good enough then …… you are good enough still. Spot on Amber. You see everyone has confidence, and everyone is more than enough. But we tell ourselves we don’t have confidence. We actually hypnotise ourselves into believing we are not confident, or not this or that enough. Then we find the evidence around us, this confirms it. We’re suckered!

    The examples you gave at the beginning, person strolls into a room dripping puddles of confidence, etc., are societal signatures for what it means to be successful, they’re not real. The person walking across that room may be dying inside. But if we buy into the act we end up giving them our power and thinking we’re somehow lacking.

    Know deep inside that you’re a wonderful human being with many, many gifts. Confidence, or rather self esteem, is really the culmination of all these gifts manifested in our lives. Realise you are a being of worth, totally accepted and acceptable, and you don’t need anything added on.

    Thanks Amber.

    Reply
  12. This post reminds me of this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail”. I agree with you – confidence builds confidence. Every accomplishment (but also every failure, if you learn from it) makes you a more confident person. Whenever you feel insecure, remind yourself of your past successes – I’m sure that will help you regain your confidence!

    Reply

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