Confidence comes from the Latin word confide, which means to entrust. Self-confidence, then, is about learning to trust yourself with yourself. Just as it takes experiences over time to trust others, trusting in your own experience of life requires that same kind of intention and attention.
Remember the first time you sat behind the steering wheel of a car to drive? With your heart pumping, you tried to remember all the critical elements of driving, like gas! Too focused on adjusting the mirrors, getting your seat just right and thinking through all the rules of the road, you completely forgot to look at the gas gauge.
Caught up in the busyness of traffic five minutes into your lesson, your instructor asks, “Without looking at the gauge, how much gas do we have?”
Clueless, you add check gas gauge to your mental checklist for your next excursion.
After several months, you start getting the hang of this driving thing, pass your test and venture out on the road alone for the first time, loving the freedom. Before you know it, you’re flying down the road, blaring music, while eating a burger and joking with friends.
How did you go from gripping the steering wheel to grabbing a bite, while effortlessly shifting in and out of lanes? The obvious answer is intendaware.
Intendaware: To intentionally become aware of the beliefs and behaviors that enable results you want. (I’ll be sure to add the word to Wikipedia soon.)
By intentionally becoming aware of the various elements of driving, you shifted your critical checklist over to automatic behaviors.
Gaining self-confidence works the same way. By intentionally becoming aware of your behaviors and results, you increase self-awareness. Such awareness, along with a heavy dose of compassion, leads to an increase in self-confidence.
The better you understand and like yourself, the greater your self-confidence will be. The challenge comes in when you discover behaviors or beliefs you dislike, which almost always leads to criticism—self-inflicted, mostly.
Just as you quickly discovered that you forgot to look at the gas gauge, you will undoubtedly begin finding areas for improvement in your own behaviors. While such mistakes are acceptable (expected, really) when learning to drive, we do not naturally grant ourselves permission to not know in most areas of life, ourselves included.
It’s actually this lack of permission that leads to defending the very behaviors that produce results we don’t want. Thus, as Carl Young once said, “What you resist persists.”
By giving yourself permission to not know yourself, you give yourself a chance to discover. The great news is that discovery (awareness) itself is the most important element to shifting behaviors, and therefore results. Once you are aware of the fact, for example, that your opinions are not being taken seriously in the boardroom, you can begin investigating the beliefs and behaviors that may be causing this result.
With such authentic curiosity, you may quickly find that you have unintentionally avoided taking a seat at the table while simultaneously increasing your pitch when sharing ideas. Without recognizing it, you may have set yourself up for being glossed over or ignored. By remaining focused on discovery (awareness), you can gain insights without fighting (resisting) and begin experimenting with new behaviors and beliefs.
You may find that certain behaviors challenge your belief system and then need time to sort out what beliefs will most closely support the evolution of your spirit, along with the attainment of your goals.
While this is not the easiest work on the planet, it is the most reliable way to systematically increase your confidence.
Confidence comes with knowing, knowing comes with discovery and discovery is a lifelong process that commands heaps of humor, hugs and hustle. So sit back, grab a cup of tea, open your notebook and get ready to begin incorporating the top 10 daily habits to increased confidence—up next week.
Here’s to your greatness,