How would your life be different if you were absolutely, positively confident in what you could accomplish?
Which plans now on the shelf would you pull down, dust off, and put in motion? Would you reach out to those you’ve admired from afar and expand your circle of influence? Would you therefore finally quit that dead-end job and start your own business, knowing with absolute conviction that you would be successful?
Would you graciously bid adieu to no-longer supportive relationships, guaranteed you would be okay on your own?
Would self-assurance propel you back to school, secure in the knowledge that yes, you really could study primates in the outback, or be a healer among the third world?
If the reflection in your mirror felt buoyant about your appearance, what would you attempt? Would you learn to dance or sing, focused more on the joy of self-expression rather than the judgmental concerns about what others might think?
Bottom line, you would be happier and more successful.
Of course, absolute confidence is absolutely unattainable. Doubt, its antithesis; forever lurks like Gollum in our dark spaces. I’ll concede that unrestrained, unrealistic over-confidence becomes a shortcoming, becoming polluted into hubris or arrogance. As motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, stated, “Conceit is the only disease that affects everyone but the person who has it.” For most of us thankfully, that is not our concern.
The reason why this matters is because action is driven by motivation, which is bred of confidence. Together, these twin forces are unstoppable, one’s ying to the other’s yang. When motivation wanes, confidence picks up the slack. When confidence ebbs, motivation pushes forward until better times are once again in sight.
Isolated however, each is the sound of one hand clapping. Should I be confident that I could manufacture the better mousetrap; yet lack the motivation, small rodents may continue to rest easy. Alternatively, should I be motivated, yet lacking confidence, my first barrier will cause me to give up.
If, therefore, confidence will positively impact us positively, a more essential question then becomes, “Can we enhance our lives by turning on confidence, much in the same fashion we flip a switch to illuminate a darkened room?” Flip it up and flood your life with brightness and success. Flip it again and return to darkness.
No, sadly, confidence cannot be turned on and off at will.
Yet, if we change the analogy from light switch to dimmer, all falls into place. As illustration, it’s unlikely we can go from couch potato to marathon runner overnight. However, it’s a sure bet that with the right motivation and only a smidgen of confidence, we can take a walk around the block.
How do we therefore learn to tap into these emotions to get from here to there, from who we are to whom we can be?
Confidence is borne of success. Success is the result of action, many times after mistakes. When doubtful, should we take a few moments to look back at what we have done, rather than lambaste ourselves for where we have failed, we have no choice but to realize we are are capable of more than we saw.
All we must do is have the confidence to accept that.