The True Meaning of “Confidence”

Over and over, I hear my coaching clients and therapy patients express the wish to have “confidence” in themselves.  That is a wonderful wish!  It’s even more important to understand the core meaning of “confidence” so one can then develop it consciously.

What is the true meaning of “Confidence?”  It means:  to confide in yourself.  Yup…that’s it!  Where does that take us?  It takes us to your self talk.  What exactly are you confiding in yourself?  Are you  saying uplifting things to yourself or are you saying down-putting things?  Are you saying things such as, “I am learning to do __________, and I will have more skill in this area in a week or two,” or are you saying, “I don’t know how to do this.”  “I’m stupid.”  Whichever statement you are making—that which you are “confiding” in yourself—will determine how you are going to feel about yourself.  

Keb Mo, folk/blues singer, reminds us about negative self-talk in his lyric:  “Inside your heart it’s always rainin’, and you’ve grown oh-so-tired, so tired, of your own complainin’.”   Rehearsing and “confiding” complaints over and over to yourself or others will produce feelings of depression, fear and discouragement.  Is that the kind of “confidence” you want to have?  Of course not!

Most people mean they want to feel good about themselves when they say “I want to have more confidence.”  It’s a wonderful thing to feel good about yourself; it’s even more important to know how to speak to yourself so that you will maintain positive feelings about you, and an attitude of “Good for me!”    Being honest and positive about what you do possess that is of value, or what it is you’re trying to learn and cultivate as a new strength, is very, very important. 

How you speak to yourself—hour after hour, day after day—will completely influence your level of self confidence.  So, if you want to feel confident, then speak to yourself in supportive ways.  Confide that which will validate and uplight you.  Remember, what you say to yourself will exactly determine how you feel about yourself.  So, if you desire healthy, wonderful self confidence, (I hope everyone does), confide in yourself that which will help you grow.

(c) Nicki McClusky, Aug. 23, 2010

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