The oxford dictionary defines self-confidence as “A feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.”
This word “self-confidence” is considered to be a noun and naming this particular feeling of trust. Being classified as a noun, self-confidence is indicated to be a “thing”. In other words, it is something you can either have or not have. However, what is self-confidence in reality?
Is it possible to have a feeling at some times and at other times you do not? For sure it is possible to be aware of a certain feeling, that you are not aware of at other times, but is it realistic to think that feelings can just appear in you and disappear? From what we have learned about the body/mind*, is that all memory, all experiences, and thus all reference for experience resides within this structure we call the body/mind*.
We, after all, don’t just grab a dose of self-confidence out of the either-or from the internet when we want to experience it.
Having said that, practices to connect you with the experience of self-confidence based in these storage centers are very helpful, however, the actual experience of self-confidence resides within yourself. You will locate it as a specific feeling within your body and with a series of associated thought patterns, quite often sounding something like: “I know I can do it.”
I, therefore, would like to challenge the idea of self-confidence as a noun, as something that either is, or is not; that either you have, or you don’t.
Think of self-confidence as an action, a practice, an attitude. Think of self-confidence as trust in the Self, obtained through the repetition of experience. Every time you learn something about yourself, you have the opportunity to increase your confidence in your abilities. Every time you do something you have the opportunity to clarify how to do it with more ease, thus cultivating confidence in your ability to do it.
Let’s also not forget that no outcome of anything is ever guaranteed. Thus, experiencing self-confidence is never an indication of how good you are at something. What self-confidence is an indication of, is how committed you are in the moment of taking action. It is a simple momentarily agreement to be fully immersed in the experience. Coincidently, those who take action wholeheartedly, in full commitment to the task, usually appear to be very good at what they are doing.
Self-trust is thus the practice of continually committing to what you are doing. Self-Confidence is trusting in your willingness to take part, which by definition does not include entitlement, status or self-righteousness.
These qualities are often associated with the word ‘arrogance.’ Why is it that we so often confuse arrogant behavior in others as confident?
Self-confidence is a variable state of the relationship between your contribution and the conviction of its delivery. It is a continual choice, perhaps negotiation and agreement with oneself. Let’s practice!
* I use the term body/mind as one since the two cannot exist without one another. Essentially they are one thing, the explanation of it will be in another post.