We all know that confidence is important. It helps us feel ready for life’s challenges, make hard decisions, and take opportunities that we otherwise might shy away from. But where does confidence come from? Are we just born with it? (Or without it?)
Many people perceive me as a confident person because I’m willing to speak and put myself out there. But when I ask myself “why am I confident?, ” I’d say it’s much deeper than any “fake it till you make it” or “dress for success” approach. I was fortunate to have parents who encouraged me to use my voice and valued my natural talents, but I see the confidence I possess in my adult life to be a much different kind.
While the cliches that surround confidence are not entirely untrue, they are really only touching the surface. If you’re seeking confidence from the inside out, a more authentic approach, the journey is one for those willing to do more inner work.
So how do we get that deep, foundational, life-changing confidence?
We get it by facing and going into life’s unknowns — stumbling, unprepared, and working our way through them.
After my father’s passing, I was expected to show up, make decisions, and have a voice in an environment where I really didn’t know the details of the business world he had left behind. It was tough. I remember feeling the extreme vulnerability and worry that I would appear as the stereotype of an unprepared, unknowledgeable young woman. I was afraid of being taken advantage of, of looking foolish, of asking stupid questions, and making wrong decisions.
But I showed up, I got through it. I felt the feelings, I got questions answered and figured out where to get the right information. And one of the most valuable lessons I got from being on the other side of that experience was learning that it’s actually “the going through it” that has furthered my ability to believe in myself.
So instead of asking, “how do I become more confident?” I’d instead encourage you to ask the following questions:
- How do I own where I am?
- How do I slow myself down and slow my anxious thoughts?
- How do I learn to stop judging myself so that I can see clearly and make the best decisions in this moment?
I want to debunk the myth that confidence is something that you’re born with and that the process of getting more confidence is a clean straight line. It’s not. It can get messy sometimes, and in the process of navigating life’s unknowns, you will inevitably say the wrong thing, make mistakes, and ask silly questions. This is necessary collateral. Acquiring confidence is an action, a doing- a forever process. And it is earned through an accumulation of showing up and getting to know yourself through each step on the journey.
I hope you found this message encouraging if finding your confidence hasn’t been easy or natural- it doesn’t always work that way. If you’re interested in learning more about building yourself up from the inside out check out my mentorship program.