Almost everyone thinks of 'old Murph' as a techno-type, but years (and years and years and years) ago, I studied philosophy and psychology and sociology and all those other '-ologies' and they still haunt my inner being at times. So having just turned another year older (old, old, old, older: "I can remember there being dinosaurs outside the cave where I was hatched" ) I guess I am in a bit of a mental quagmire that is crying out for me to write something less techno and more "-ological".
Confidence can be defined as "the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something." Synonyms include faith, conviction, assurance, belief, trust and credence.
Everyone struggles with confidence. Some people are good at hiding it, but almost every person has struggled with their self-confidence at some point. Life is, to a great extent, a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we think we'll fail, we rarely try hard at doing something. If we think we're not good enough, we tend to act as if we are not good enough. Pessimism undermines our abilities if we allow it to do so.
On the other hand, if we expect success, we will strive for that success and eventually achieve it. That mental toughness is the first step to confidence. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, either way you are right.” In other words our ‘mentality’ drives us, it makes us who we are, winners or losers. Confident people subscribe to Ford’s notion that our mental outlook has a powerful effect on our ability to succeed. Thus they have an upper hand over those who cater to, or carry about an internal sense of doubt. That’s not just some psychobabble, it is fact. Studies have shown that confident people earn higher wages and get promoted more often and more quickly than others who do not display the same sense of self-confidence. This occurs in part because the confidence they possess inspires others to get involved, and that is when things happen in the lives of all that participate.
For the vast majority of people, change creates turmoil, and turmoil creates doubt and that doubt all too often precludes change. This is because for many people, at their deepest ‘reptilian’ level of consciousness, they doubt their own ability to change. But for the truly confident person, change is simply a new way of achieving the next best thing. For them change is not something to be feared, rather it is something to be embraced.
Confident people adapt easily because they have the mental flexibility to not only accept change but look forward to it. Confident people realize that the fear of change constitutes a major threat to the success of others, so the confident person takes advantage of the fear of change in others and thus forms a plan of action that identifies, no, targets the good that will come from the change. Confident people have way more than just an ‘open mind’ about change, they can see the change for what it truly is and thus capitalize on the opportunities which change brings about.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Confident people never experience such insanity because they refuse to repeat old patterns when they can in fact accept a changed way of doing things and reject the concept of repeating their mistakes because they have already embraced and learned from those mistakes.
Confident people make mistakes, just like everyone else. The difference is in how they deal with those mistakes. They embrace their mistakes knowing that the road to success is paved with both mistakes as well as accomplishments. Did you know that most ‘breakthroughs’ in science, engineering, and medicine come when an individual seems to be stuck at some ‘tripping point’, and becomes frustrated almost to the point of giving up. But the confident person does not give up, they take that frustration and refocus it on success. They look beyond the tripping point, the momentary ‘stoppage’ (no matter how long) and see the next best thing, and in that moment they recognize the way to achieve the goal before them. Confident people realize that nobody ever achieves true success without experiencing and embracing failure, but embracing that failure in no way means that they cannot ‘overcome’ it.
Confidence is a process. You don’t simply develop it overnight, or find it in your dreams, or even by conversion, osmosis or education (alone). It is a life-long journey, but it should be an incredible journey because it is life altering.
So remember, the night is darkest just before the dawn. Tomorrow lies ahead of you. The question will be: Are you going to confidently look ahead to what tomorrow will bring, or are you going to focus on how long the dark night has been?