Why A Lack of Confidence Stops you From Achieving Greatness and How to Change it
We thrive when we know we are good at something, when it has been reaffirmed in our minds over years, where we have been conditioned to believe our own competency.
Having excelled at something over a prolonged period of time our confidence coalesces with our vision of self, meaning we view ourselves and the things we are doing as a whole, it is indicative of who we are.
When we are young we will try anything; food, activities, sports, languages, etc. anything that catches our eye we want to experience. We are oblivious, or choose to ignore the impression others have of our capabilities, we just want to do something that looks fun and what might make us happy.
On holiday at playgroup we willingly make friends with children who we have a common bond regardless of whether we share a language or not. We are confident in who we are and allow others to see and experience our idiosyncrasies.
Our confidence is grown organically through doing, each moment increasing our desire to continue due to the enjoyment we are experiencing. You don’t even have to be good at it, if it is something you love your confidence swells anyway, happiness trumps everything and confidence is visible for all to see.
And it is intoxicating. It fills us with unbridled joy and happiness.
Then we grow up and this willingness evaporates. We regress and divorce ourselves from the opportunity to participate assuming our own inadequacy.
Instead of seeing all the potential positive scenarios, i.e. a love interest agreeing to dinner, trying as new sport and making new friends, or learning something which enables you to progress, we see all the negatives and convince ourselves to stick with what we know.
Our confidence remains in the things we have inherited from our youth without ever increasing and when something remains stagnant it has a propensity to decrease. Our confidence plummets which dissuades us from doing the things we previously loved.
The historical precedent of who we are is indicative of the future confidence we will have.
How many things have you lost over the years which you loved to do as a child?
That might be dressing up in costumes, colouring in or painting, creating, using your imagination to play with figurines or running about mindlessly with friends. It might also be something perceived as more grown up…
Your confidence to participate in the above hasn’t diminished because those activities have become any less fun to you. Your confidence has deteriorated because you have begun to care what other people think.
And that is the sad reality of confidence, happiness and life.
At some point our confidence is no longer tied to our own perception of the things that we are good at, we enjoy or that matter. We neglect our happiness, and confidence thereafter, in order to disappear into the homogeneous crowd.
We become cognisant of others’ opinions and conform to the expected behaviours of someone of our gender, age and nationality.
We begin to listen to the dissenting voices of those watching failing to recognise those people aren’t doing anything. Standing on the sidelines it is easy to criticise and people down.
Our confidence manifests itself as a reflection of what we are expected to be not what we are.
We become fixated on pleasing and appeasing other people.
Instead of single-mindedly focusing on the things which matter to us by doing the things we want to do, we become shackled by cultural norms or expectations. We allow our lives to be governed by the conventional wisdom of inherited rationality.
We give up on our dreams.
And it isn’t just happening to you.
Everybody is the same. If you look all around you how many people are confident enough to pursue their dreams?
You’ll find everyone lacking in confidence in some regard, doing what is expected of them instead of what makes them truly happy.
Our parents may have remained in that dead-end job, exploiting the excuse of children for turning down their dream position, or a friend might have remained with a partner who is holding them back, instead of having the confidence to pursue something better.
A lack of confidence is when we retreat into our shells. We refuse to embrace the day, drifting through life experiencing perpetual uncertainty. Doubt creeps in and paralyses us for fear of what other people might think.
Easier to neglect our own happiness and pacify others than to do something which makes them feel uncomfortable.
But confidence is a risk.
It means embracing the unknown and becoming vulnerable. I realise vulnerability isn’t typically associated with those people we know who are confident but think about it.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to do nothing and be who you are expected to be instead of who you are.
Being confident is brave, it’s about opening yourself up to the world, warts and all, and accepting the veracity of who you are.
It means showing people not just who you are but who you want to be.
To be confident you must first be honest with yourself!
When we recognise that this isn’t just intrinsic to us but endemic throughout the human race it become easier to break free.
We understand everyone wants to be confident but they are scared.