At one time or another, all of us lack self-confidence. Having confidence is really about understanding your potential and then taking actions that bring out your best traits.
I’ve known for a long time that I have a gift for seeing potential. For example, I’ve always loved old houses. Show me a run-down old house, and I can tell you how it could be beautiful. I can look at an eyesore, and see it in mind with gleaming hardwood floors and sparkling crystal doorknobs. It is easy for me to become obsessed with houses, knowing that I could take what is there and make it better.
I see potential in people, too. I’ve always thought that one of the reasons I was able to be a successful teacher is that I see the potential in my students. The flip side of that is that it is very difficult when I recognize someone’s potential and they don’t see it. I find unfulfilled potential heartbreaking. I was always hardest on the students will great potential who slacked off, who didn’t seem to care or who didn’t believe in themselves enough to bring out their unique talents and gifts.
For all my ability to see potential, sometimes I don’t recognize it in myself. I know I am not alone in this. Many of us struggle with self-confidence, and we know that our lack of confidence holds us back. We wait for the world to acknowledge us and validate our gifts. We copy others, whose style or habits seem enviable. We wait for advice from someone outside of ourselves to tell us what we can or should do.
We don’t need a savior to come along and give us confidence. There is a reason the word SELF is in self-confidence. Confidence is an inside job.
If confidence comes from within us, then we can create our own confidence. We can light up our own lives and shine like a Christmas tree on steroids.
There is no more bemoaning that you don’t have confidence. Confidence is not a gift from the universe. You have to create it. You have to bring it. You have to recognize your own potential and then rise up to meet it.
The more I think about it, the more I know it is true, we have to create our own confidence.
I started to analyze when I feel confident and when I don’t. This week I was invited to give a presentation in Germany. When I found out, I felt not only confident, but powerful and influential. I will love being part of an interesting, engaging group. I will enjoy sharing what I know and I am positive that I can do a good job. My confidence was soaring.
Then I went to the grocery store. I hadn’t showered, because I was going to swim later. I may not have combed my hair. When I saw reflection in the large glass doors of the store I couldn’t believe it. My jeans were stretched out and sagging. My coat was unzipped and I was wearing the same shirt I had worn for several days. I prayed that I wouldn’t see anyone I recognized. Any confidence I may have felt earlier in the day was gone.
Both of those circumstances were of my own making. I choose to submit a presentation proposal. I also chose my outfit. One brought an enormous confidence, the other brought embarrassment.
We all have superpowers, and when we take action towards bringing our potential to fruition, we become more confident. I know am most confident when I share my knowledge and skills because being competent gives me confidence.
On the other hand, we lose confidence when our potential is left unfulfilled. That became painfully obvious to me as I looked in that grocery store window. The woman looking back at me was not a version of my highest self.
The things that bring you confidence or cause you to lose confidence may be different than mine. However, I know that you are full of potential. You can do amazing things and bring wonderful gifts to the world. If is your responsibility to bring forth the talents you have been given, and when you do, confidence will follow.
What potential do you have that needs to come to life? What do you do to help yourself feel more confident? I would love to hear your ideas.