Would you define yourself as a self-confident person, Earthling?
Don’t worry if your answer is no because that means you’re in the right place.
I didn’t feel self-confident prior to my rolling chair and after it, I instantly felt more insecure than ever. And different from before, I felt justified because now I had a ‘reasonable explanation’ for being insecure and uncomfortable: my disability.
Whether you have a disability and are different-abled or not, we all judge ourselves internally. We feel insecure because we think we aren’t pretty enough, or thin enough, or successful enough, or a good parent, wife or daughter — basically that we aren’t good enough in something.
At the same time, being self-confident is something asked of us all the time. Also, who am I kidding? When we feel confident, we feel powerful and feeling powerful brings us opportunities because we have more attitude. However, self-confidence is a muscle. The more you exercise this power, the more you’ll have it.
But consider this: maybe self-confidence isn’t the muscle you should be working on.
Self-confidence isn’t always connected with positive traits. Several studies have shown that feelings of power can have very negative effects in one’s character, such as reducing empathy, causing dehumanization of others, becoming hypocritical and selfish as well as better liars and arrogant. While being less sure of ourselves brings us humility and openness to new ideas because it causes us to aim for self-improvement.
I understand that society and media paint the picture that being self-confident means being successful. But here’s the thing: being self-confident has little to do with going after what you want and succeeding at it. There’s another word for that: COURAGE. And you can be brave without being self-confident.
Courage is what makes babies get up again after they fall, not self-confidence.
Courage is what makes you board an aeroplane to the unknown and leave everything behind, not self-confidence.
Courage is what makes you roll to that job interview, even though it scares the hell out of you, not self-confidence.
Courage is what makes you go in front of other people and present your ideas and projects, not self-confidence.
Courage is what opens invisible doors through inspired action, not self-confidence.
In fact, courage is the fuel that makes you do things, not self-confidence. And there’s still another problem: we also tie self-confidence with self-esteem and that is a treacherous thing.
Most of us have the wrong idea about self-esteem because we compare ourselves to another person when acknowledging if we’re good enough or not. We feel better than or less than someone else. We completely forget that self-esteem is about our self and not about my self in comparison to someone else’s self. Does that make sense to you?
Once you realise that no one else in the world can and will ever be you, and vice-versa, you’ll start seeing, accepting and respecting who you are, qualities and flaws alike. And if you wanna change something, do it, but don’t get obsessed in the process. Be compassionate towards yourself. And most importantly, when you fail, remember that there’s no such thing as ‘failure’ — it’s never a failure if you’ve learnt something from the experience.
All that being said, I have two mantra-based practices that have been serving me immensely, whether I’m feeling insecure about myself or something I wanna do. All you need to do is take a deep breath and say each word while touching your fingertips with your thumb. Like so:
- Say CONFIDENCE and touch your thumb tip with your index fingertip;
- Say STARTS and touch your thumb tip with your middle fingertip;
- Say WITH and touch your thumb with your ring fingertip;
- Say COURAGE and touch your thumb with your pinky-tip.
Take a deep breath and repeat as many times as you need. I recommend a minimum of 5 times.
Repeat the same process with the second mantra: COURAGE STARTS WITH ME or COURAGE STARTS WITH SELF-COMPASSION.
These mantras always help me when my fear-based mind wanna make excuses for lack of self-confidence by getting in the way of me taking action on something I know with my Inner being is the right path.
Some of you tell me how confident I appear, but the truth is I’m not self-confident — I am only occasionally and I’ve got it through my courage. I do define myself as brave, though. After everything I’ve been learning and doing, I can say that Courage and Self-Compassion serve me way better than Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem.
My intent is that this shift of perceptions will serve you, too.
With all my love,