I’ve been through a point of learning and self-discovery this week. I thought I was a reasonably confident person and then someone challenged me on something and I realised that it was a limiting self-belief. Apparently I too struggle with lacking confidence. So what actually is confidence anyway?
What I learnt from the situation was that it wasn’t that I’m not confident in myself, but that I wasn’t subconsciously acknowledging how my experience and knowledge had progressed; essentially I was stuck in my mindset even though I’d moved on in many other ways.
This got me thinking. How often is this the case? We stick with the same thoughts, habits, work practices and belief systems and yet often we don’t really know why. I hear people say that they do things that they don’t even like and don’t know why they’re doing them. It’s just become a habit.
Can confidence levels fall into the same pattern? Do our perceived confidence levels get stuck at a certain level so we end up lacking confidence even though in actual fact, they’re increasing all the time when we continue to learn and develop our skills and knowledge in life? In theory our confidence should rise naturally as we become more self-assured with whatever it is we’re doing but sometimes it’s difficult to recognise that we’ve jumped up a notch and we are in actual fact far more competent at something than we’re giving ourselves credit for. So when we feel anxious or nervous at taking the next step, it’s not that we’re not capable, it’s just that we need to prove to ourselves that we are.
From a personal perspective I’ve learned so much this week and seen the essence of what confidence is in a new light; it’s not about the stuff you’re already confident in, it’s learning that you can be confident at the next level if you open your mind and allow yourself to be.
So the next time you think that you’re not good enough or clever enough or experienced enough to do something, question yourself; is it actually the case or has your thought process just not caught up with the reality that you are in fact more than capable? We really are only limited by our self-belief.