The word confidence gets thrown around alot.
But what is it? How do we get it? How do we recognize it in others? How do we know if we ourselves are confident?
Let me clear some things up by first telling you what confidence is NOT:
Confidence is not comparing yourself to others.
If you find yourself comparing yourself by either thinking they are better OR comparing thinking YOU are better.
The truth is you aren't better or worse than anyone else. You are just simply You. And they are them.
Confidence doesn't require justification.
A confident person doesn't have to justify to someone that doesn't understand them. Now that doesn't mean you, don't master the ability to explain to someone who truly wants or needs to be educated. But another person's level of understanding should not impact your level of confidence.
Confidence is not arrogance.
Many times arrogance or self-righteousness gets confused for confidence. Arrogance requires a winner and a loser – confidence does not.
Arrogance = insecurity. An arrogant person typically feels the need to make another person feel small in order to make themselves feel big. A confident person celebrates other people's similarities and differences and builds them up vs. tearing them down.
Confidence is not self serving.
A confident person looks for ways to use their talents and abilities to help other people. They seek out opportunities not because they want to show off or receive a pat on the back but because it's simply what they do. The satisfaction comes from within them and is all they need to continue.
Lastly (and this is a big one)...
Confidence is not perfection.
This is the one that trips up so many of my clients. You do not have to be perfect to be confident.
I repeat, YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT TO BE CONFIDENT!
No one is perfect in every way. (Except maybe Mary Poppins who was only PRACTICALLY perfect in every way.)
Confidence is being able to grow where you are planted without concerning yourself with the growth of others. Confidence is being humble, strong, sincere and assertive. Confidence is freedom to be yourself and operate in your strengths while recognizing your weaknesses. In short, confidence means something different to everyone. Spend some time thinking about what confidence really means to you. Leave it in the comments below if you want to shout it out!