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Confidence Is The Key You Need To Unlock Your Potential Door
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Confidence Is The Key You Need To Unlock Your Potential Door

What's the one quality that instantly transforms any task with which you perform it so dramatically that the same task performed without it would be barely recognizable in comparison? It's confidence. It's stunning that something so seemingly simple can be extremely powerful, almost magical. So what is confidence really?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines confidence as a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances, i.e. "She had perfect confidence in her ability to succeed". It is a "firm trust". Let's think about some examples that demonstrate the transformative power of confidence.

Have you ever watched a dance floor and noticed how your eye is drawn to certain individuals? Yes, some are more naturally coordinated and have a better sense of rhythm. But no matter how talented someone is or isn't, the people on the dance floor who are the most fun to watch are the confident dancers. They are actually enjoying themselves. They are moving and laughing and do not care a lick about what anyone else is thinking about them.

Consider the professional dancer. The same dancer could perform the same choreography, once when feeling confident and once when feeling insecure about her abilities, and there would be such a stark contrast between the two performances that it would be noticeable to anyone.

Think about karaoke. Even with varying degrees of natural singing ability, it's the people who get up there and sing with the confidence of a Grammy award-winning recording artist that deliver the performances most loved by the audience. Compare that with someone who has a beautiful voice but looks petrified to be singing in front of a crowd. Their performance is painful to watch. You can see people cringing on behalf of that singer.

Confidence changes the words we use and the way we deliver those words. Our facial expressions change. Our body language is altered. It changes the way we feel as well as how people around us feel - and especially how they perceive us.

Confidence is pure knowing. There is no fear or doubt present. Just like you can't be a little bit pregnant, you can't be a little bit confident. So how does one get to this place of complete knowing? We don't just decide to be confident. There are no short cuts to developing a rock-solid sense of confidence. We must start at the beginning. The evolution goes from hoping to believing to trusting to knowing.

Experience is the only way to build true confidence. Whatever our endeavor, we must first start from a place of inexperience, and perhaps even insecurity. We stumble but we push through those first stages of not knowing what to do or how to do it well. We proceed on pure faith. Whether we are learning line dancing, guitar lessons, football, writing, bricklaying, driving a car, teaching, etc., chances are it won't be graceful or pretty in the beginning. The important thing is that we have the courage to start, and that we do not give up when it gets challenging.

As we move through the phases of hoping we will do well, to believing in ourselves, to trusting we can do this successfully, to knowing we are indeed good at this, we build our confidence. We make mistakes and learn from them. A sense of confidence is gradually earned and we are transformed. Other people feel secure and rest easy in the presence of a truly confident person. We become an inspiration, following in the footsteps of those who inspired us, and creating footsteps of our own for those who wish to follow us.

Remember to be patient with yourself as you take on new challenges. Be proud you had the courage to start. Learning anything is almost always two steps forward and one step back, but that is part of the process! Embrace that one step back and revel in it for a moment. That's when we experience our most intense learning and growth. Resist the temptation to compare yourself to others; rather be inspired by those who have gone before you. Laugh at any doubt that surfaces. You are on your way to glorious confidence as long as you persevere. Enjoy the journey!

Street Talk

good article Jon, as you gain experience in something you become more confident and have the ability then to be inspirational.

  about 9 years ago
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