Confidence: Build It To Test It!
I spend a lot of time contemplating the nature of confidence. What is that quality which helps us charge forward bravely vs. folding and wilting where we stand? Many of us try to hold onto our confidence very tightly so we do not have to test it. If we are afraid to test it, is it really confidence? Oddly enough, this common pattern tends to limit our sense of confidence rather than expanding it. We are very careful about challenging ourselves usually due to a fear of failure.
Many of us don’t want to challenge our sense of confidence too much because of our attachment to a static sense of self and bruising our ego. It feels far too risky. Consequently, many of us stop growing because we may fail. Many people stop growing after they reach a certain age. We become very comfortable in our given areas of expertise. We become used to our friends and coworkers coming to us with questions about our “expertness.” The confidence and drive we displayed initially to become expert in these areas becomes lazy. Somewhere along the way it became safer for us to stick with what we know.
I feel it is important to recognize the expertise that comes from dedicated study and practice of a given discipline over many years. That pertains to work sports, knitting, professions and hobbies of all kinds. However, I also believe we must guard against believing we know everything about any given subject. This can led to overblown egotism or a sense of complacency, neither of which is likely to foster growth.
Sometimes the old adage of “act your age” can be a trap. Sometimes acting our age can involve the illusion that we know far more than we do. To acknowledge otherwise could involve losing face, while going further and learning newer things is admitting we didn’t really know everything in the first place. Why is this so important? If we stripped away judgment and perceived stigma’s I believe many of us would continue learning new things right up until the day we died.
It is useful to remember that confidence is what allowed us to become expert in the first place was our sense of confidence. To continue to develop our confidence and skill sets as we age is to cultivate a healthy voraciousness for learning.
None of us are born with a Stop Learning Switch that must be tripped at a certain age. To borrow a term from video game terminology, we can continue to level up almost indefinitely. While it is accepted that we can probably be brilliant at a few select things, we could still be “pretty great” at a huge variety of things if we made it a goal.
If we build confidence in several areas of interest, we can grow exponentially. With each new accomplishment the bar gets raised further and further until, ideally, we realize that many more things are possible than we originally believed. Go get it. Chase it. Support those close to you who are brave enough to try new endeavors.
Remember that positive self-development in you will likely rub off in a positive manner on all those around you. Audacious growth now!
Ted Morris is a wellness coach with Teacup Wellness, with Master of Arts in Psychology, Counseling Specialty and is ready to help you get to where you want to be by building your self-awareness and motivation to change.
Photo used with permission from 123rf.com.