Confidence without a Parachute
Is confidence and equation?
Now that’s an interesting question. Would you leap with only a face-full of goggles from a draughty plane at 10,000 feet, sprawled like spider-man as you plummet 120 mph towards the most beautiful view of the planet? If I said you would be fine, could you jump?
Most might scream ‘but I don’t have the confidence’. So I ask you what is confidence? Google defines it as ‘the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.’
So why is it when faced with the unknown, some people embody the certainty that all will be fine, while the rest of us cower behind an imagination rife with our tragic mortality? Does trust + faith = confidence?
Is confidence something learnt or chosen?
When you first left home, did you picture success with unlimited resources, or was doubt your anxious companion holding you back? Was leaving a place of security and comfort a leap which you now might say defined you, that first big step? Was it a brisk stroll to the bus stop, filled with resolve and excitement? Was your decision a firm stand that ‘it’s my time’?
From the moment our parents encouraged us to take those first steps, the way we were nurtured to come forward has been our induction into the idea of miracles. From the encouragement of others, we achieved things we didn’t believe we could. How we are encouraged helps us define and understand confidence. It is not about walking into a room thinking you are better than anyone else. It is the way you walk into a room and have no need to compare yourself against others. High achieving Professionals would agree with this.
Is achievement the driving force?
As we achieve small wins, our self-esteem grows and strengthens, becoming more immune emotionally to adversity. To keep building confidence we aim for consistent wins, and we encourage others to enjoy their moments of success. Is that why some find mistakes easier to accept, even something to laugh-off in a wonderful moment of humility?
Not taking ourselves too seriously is a step in the right direction, that we are all perfectly-imperfect is an acknowledgement that falling-down, every-now-and-then is an essential part of the learning curve. The downside is that with too many falls allow the fear of failure to become greater than the power of achievement. To achieve I first must have an image of the winning outcome, the way success will make me feel? We need to experience winning, however small, to continually learn from.
It is therefore practise which serves us best. It is far more honest to say – I need to practise rather than, I have no confidence? And with practise how good could we be? And with encouragement how much greater does the effort to achieve become? When everyone is watching you what will you choose to believe? Is it a lack of practice or a lack of confidence that stops you from jumping?