While attending a seminar, I was once asked, “How many of you would like to feel more self-confident at work and at home? Raise your hand.”
As I looked around the room with my hand raised high, I noticed most people (if not everybody) had their hand up. This showed me how self-confidence is a hot commodity that everyone seems to want more of.
If that is true…
What makes self-confidence so elusive to get?
I believe the answer is, because we have misconceptions as to what self-confidence truly is. Allow me to explain.
Is self-confidence arrogance?
Knowing that arrogance is that feeling we get when we think we are ‘better’ than someone else, is it any wonder the know-it-all (what I used to be) is actually deemed to have low self-confidence due to a lack of self-worth (loving self no matter what others might think of us)? Arrogance is NOT self-confidence.
Is self-confidence contempt?
I remember when I stood in front of him with my eyes full of anger and my lips pinned together in a thin line that showed he was beneath my consideration (what contempt is) I remained silent while he tried to convince me that he was ‘right’ and I was ‘wrong.’ In a place of feeling contempt, how much self-confidence do you believe a person exudes? Contempt is NOT self-confidence.
Is self-confidence being fake?
That’s a tricky one for most people, because when I was asked if I was fake years ago, I got my back up and all my feathers ruffled in one swoop. ‘How dare they!’ I secretly thought to myself, but then I walked away trying to hold my head high while wondering what would make anyone say or think that about me. Being fake is refusing to openly admit what we are feeling or thinking in the moment, just like I did when I walked away without expressing my true self. Being fake is NOT self-confidence.
Is self-confidence being nice?
I grew up being told that if I did not have anything nice to say about someone, then to keep my mouth shut. It took me years of mentoring to realize that being nice is actually a deadly behaviour detrimental to every soul we meet, including our own. In a place of nice, we suppress our feelings and emotions to put another’s feelings and emotions above our own; we make someone’s approval more important than ours. In a place of wanting approval, how self-confident are we? Being nice is NOT self-confidence.
Is self-confidence aggressiveness?
When I used to behave aggressively, I remember vividly wanting to be right at all costs. I looked at my opponent with contempt and arrogance. I viewed them as a confrontation to be won. So I either attacked them intellectually (wanting to show I was ‘smarter’) or I withdrew emotionally (wanting to show I was the ‘bigger’ person). In a state where we think we are ‘smarter’ or ‘bigger’ than another, how self-confident are we about our abilities or character? Aggressiveness is NOT self-confidence.
Is self-confidence entitlement?
In the past, when I was told I was entitled, I immediately started telling whoever how awful my life was. In my head, it wasn’t my fault if things hadn’t panned out so far. Back then, I believed I was a victim and others were out to ‘get’ me. I remember when I knew for a fact that I behaved like an entitled brat. It happened that moment when I said thank you to my mentor and he asked me “For what?” I was dumbfounded and nicely answered ‘For everything!” He looked at me with piercing eyes and asked me what that ‘everything’ meant, and I couldn’t say! I couldn’t say specifically what I was grateful for. Think about it… How can we be self-confident if we are unclear as to what it is exactly we are confident about? Entitlement is NOT self-confidence.
Is self-confidence being financially indecent?
In my building live many financially wealthy young people. They drive a fancy Porsche, Tesla, BMW, or Maserati. For many of them, their parents live overseas and may be compensating their lack of physical presence with loads of money dumped in Junior’s bank account. Many of these young people wear the latest fashion couture and look like paying the cable bill is of little concern to them. When we stand in the elevator together, they mostly look at the ground and barely reply good morning or good night as I (or others) wish them well. Let me ask you… What is the point of having lots of money if one is unable to choose basic decency every moment? Without decency, where is the self-confidence? Being financially indecent is NOT self-confidence.
Is self-confidence overpowering?
Overpowering (also known as overbearing) takes many forms, the most obvious one being wanting to be right. When we want to be right, we stop listening to others; we close our mind to what another has/needs to say. We think we know ‘best’ and we stop being genuinely curious. In a space where we feel easily threatened by someone else’s contribution to our knowledge and wisdom (like I used to be in the past), how self-confident are we? Overpowering is NOT self-confidence.
Now knowing that self-confidence is NOT
- arrogance (thinking we are ‘better’ than someone else)
- contempt (believing someone, situation, or thing is beneath our consideration)
- being fake (refusing to acknowledge openly our feelings and emotions)
- being nice (suppressing our feelings and emotions to please another)
- aggressiveness/ passiveness (thinking we the ‘smarter’ or ‘bigger’ person)
- behaving entitled (failing to feel gratitude)
- being financially indecent (coming from a place of emotional ignorance)
- overpowering others (thinking we are ‘right’)
Then what is self-confidence?
Before answering that question, let’s do a self-awareness exercise. To facilitate this task, allow me to provide you with my some antonyms you might want to play with:
The opposite of arrogance is: being humble.
The opposite of contempt is: being genuinely loving and caring.
The opposite of being fake is: being authentic, real.
The opposite of being nice is: being kind. (In kindness, we honour both the self and others)
The opposite of aggressiveness is: being calm, peaceful, at ease.
The opposite of entitlement is: being grateful.
The opposite of being financially indecent is: being emotionally wealthy.
The opposite of overbearing is: empowering self and others.
Keeping this in mind…
On a scale of 1-10 (10 representing 100%), how self-confident are you when it comes to:
-Being humble? 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10
-Being genuinely loving to self and others? 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10
-Being authentic, real? 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10
-Being kind rather than nice? 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10
-Being calm and peaceful? 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10
-Being grateful? 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10
-Being emotionally wealthy? 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10
-Being empowering to self and others? 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10
Your Score: ________/ 80
Looking at your score, if you had been attending that seminar with me that day, would you have raised your hand to the question “How many of you would like to feel more self-confident at school, work or home?”
If so, like me, would you have been eagerly waiting in your seat for some magic formula to solve all your problems at once when it came to self-confidence?
I did! And it served me nothing. Because it was one more bla bla seminar with no real applicable solution.
Things changed for me when I hired a mentor (his name is Dov Baron) who actually walks his talk (where the application happens). With him, I discovered …
Self-confidence is a direct result of Emotional Intelligence.
What this means is, we are as self-confident as the level of Emotional Intelligence we display in any given moment.
So let me ask you, looking at your score, if you lived from a place of greater compassion where you felt humble, genuinely loving and caring, authentic, kind, peaceful, grateful, and empowering, how affected do you believe you would be in the face of rejection (what low self-confidence is about)?
I believe the answer is, we become unshakable, unwavering in our belief that we are deeply worthy when we interact from a genuine place of compassion within.
To me, this is what self-confidence is.
Self-confidence is an unshakable, unwavering belief in ourselves that we are worthy of our own compassion.
In conclusion, if you still intend to hold your hand up high next time you are asked about wanting more self-confidence, perhaps it is time for you to book a free consultation with me where I will assist you in discovering how to become more self-confident fast! For scheduling, follow the easy instructions at https://meetme.so/AnneBeaulieu
Your Emotional Intelligence Coach,
My website: walkinginside.com
About the Author: Anne BEAULIEU is one of Your Monthly Mentors, an international speaker, empowering coach, and thought leader in the field of Emotional Intelligence and the Founder of Walking Inside Resources Inc. based in Vancouver, British Columbia. As an accomplished author and community builder, Anne is a powerful catalyst for positive change and embodies successful life strategies that keep empowering men and women across the globe. Read More…