Her name is confidence. She is charismatic, self-assured, enigmatic, and she surrounds herself with champions. Your relationship with her seems to be off and on. She is alluring to watch and we want her again. You know that with confidence, you are victorious! It seems confusing and difficult to harness her when we need her most.
Lack of confidence is commonly blamed for the inability to act on plans, dreams, goals, and improvements. Lack of confidence has become a hindrance for many. Why is that? I ask people, “What does being confident mean to you?” The answer is, “the belief to move forward and take actions on what we want.” That if these people had confidence, they would be unstoppable. It leads me to ask, “How will you build your confidence?” Perhaps the key word is ‘build,’ because the common answer is, “through series of actions.”
Interestingly, the dictionary defines confidence as the belief of one’s own power to succeed. This suggests that if you have confidence, you are sure to succeed. I believe that it is our impulse to say that we want confidence because we want guaranteed success. This is called, fear of failure. We are unwilling to fail. Yet, lack of action will result in failure. This unwillingness to fail is the reason why we need confidence, according to the real definition of confidence. We wait for confidence to descend upon us to protect us from failure and guarantee success; however, we also know through life experiences that there is no guarantee, certainly not of success.
I believe we need to focus on acquiring resilience instead of confidence. Resilience is a much more powerful choice for taking actions. To be resilient is to be able to fail repeatedly, adapt, and keep trying. Confidence is a successful aftermath of experience. Therefore, one becomes confident from his/her past successes. Perhaps, in a sense, confidence looks backward. That may be the reason why it paralyzes us from moving forward. Or, it resides in the future, but still not within our grasp.
Confidence is illusive when we need it most. Should we really trust confidence to move us into actions? When we fail, our confidence meter dives. Confidence only associates itself with victories. This is the root of our desire and attraction to confidence. Why would one want and trust a fair weather friend?
Resilience, on the other hand, will thrust us forward even if we fail. In conclusion, it is worthy to understand our focus and our mindset. Our minds dictate our feelings and our actions. If we want to take actions towards our dreams and goals to have a chance at success, we should consider focusing on resilience, or perhaps courage or blind faith. Through a series of actions, you will have built your confidence by experiencing success.
Leadership & Executive Coach
Eileen Pawlowski, Editor