The word, the origin of the word, literally means “with faith” or “with trust”, “being with faith”, “being with trust”.
And I like imagining this word with that in mind, as a way of really picturing the essence of what this feeling is about.
Feeling confident in somebody means that you can feel trust.
And what does trust mean? That you believe that what is said to happen will happen.
You take somebody’s word, you believe their word, because you believe that what they say is true.
A belief in the integrity of a person.
That if this person says they will do something, they will do it, and therefore you can relax in trust of that person and of what will happen.
A person that you don’t have confidence in, you have no trust, therefore you have to be always watching the person.
Maybe you have to hedge your bets, prepare for what was promised not being delivered, and then maybe you have to be concerned about whether the person will deliver or not.
You have this uncertainty, and well, the feeling of a lack of confidence.
There’s just this anxiety, of wondering what the future will hold, wondering whether the promise will be honoured, and whether you even matter or not.
Because by honouring a promise to you, a person is honouring you.
They’re saying “I respect you enough to keep my promise to you.” Whereas someone that does not, then it’s clearly showing that you’re not that important to them, not important enough to actually honour a commitment, to honour a promise.
And so this idea of integrity, having trust in the integrity of a person: that seems like the essence of what it means to be confident.
And so now imagine that with the idea of self-confidence.
Being self-confident is like you trust yourself with the same kind of trust that you might have in a person of integrity.
Do you trust yourself to keep your own promise? Do you trust yourself to behave honourably and to uphold what you commit to do? And so I like this perspective as a way of thinking about the idea of self-confidence.
And really, if we trust ourselves, that is what it means to be confident.
We can have a faith in ourselves that we will do what we try, what we say we’re going to do.
And of course, this can have so many different aspects to it.
We can be confident in our skill, whether we are able to accomplish a certain task.
That would be a confidence in our skills.
Can we actually achieve what we want to achieve? Of course, there’s always going to be risk involved in doing any real activity, always uncertainty and other factors outside our control, so we can’t ever have really full trust that we can actually achieve specific things all the time.
But it seems even more fundamental than having a trust in our skills and abilities is having a trust in our own integrity.
Imagine just like a person, you could say, “I don’t know if they’re going to achieve the task, but I do know that this person will try their best and will behave honourably.” As in “OK, this person has committed to do this task.
So this person will attempt to do it and make a real determined effort to achieve the goal, to do what was promised.” And not just like sort of easily give up or casually just forget about it or just decide to flake out and decide that it’s not worth doing and avoid responsibility and then try to hide, and all these kinds of ways of avoiding it.
But imagine having that for yourself.
Imagine having the confidence in yourself that you will try your legitimate best to do what you decide to do.
And that seems like a very happy place to be.
It removes so much anxiety about ourselves, whether we’re going to come through, whether we’re going to give up, just by knowing that we will try, and we will give it honest effort and behave honourably, behave with integrity.
And that leads to the very comfortable feeling of self-confidence.
Now how do we get it? Well, for one thing, not promising things that we’re not very serious about.
So taking promises seriously.
Don’t promise anything unless we’re really going to go far and take it very seriously to attempt to achieve it.
And the other thing would be to simply achieve a lot of- to make a lot of small goals that are then achieved.
Do something: you say you’re going to do something, then you do it.
Say you’re going to do something, and you do it.
This repeated builds up a sense of trust and a sense that you are a person of integrity.
And so you can see this in the tiniest goals, even setting in the tiniest tasks.
Doing some little thing, like you say you’re going to exercise, you say you’re going to clean your room, you say you’re going to do a day’s work until the end of the day: all these little things, by doing these things time after time, we start to see ourselves as a person we can trust.
And that seems to be like a solid remedy against anxiety.
Worrying about whether we’ll come through.
Start to become a person that we could trust, just like a trusted friend.
#selfconfidence #selftrust #trustyourself