Confidence doesn’t come from anything external. There are tons of people who are objectively rich, successful, attractive or “have it all”, yet they struggle with feeling confident because they don’t see that within themselves. Our confidence comes from how we perceive ourselves, regardless of what reality is. Read that again. Reality doesn’t matter. But how you perceive yourself does.
This means that how we see ourselves sets the stage for how we feel about ourselves in situations.
We often hear people say, “fake it until you make it” or “present yourself as if you are already X” and you will become these things. And these methods work in the short term. But truly becoming confident is an inside job and all about how we perceive ourselves and how we relate to the world around us.
Mark Manson has a great article on how to be more confident that you can read here. He points out that the only way to be truly confident is to become comfortable with what you lack. We know that failure is our best teacher, and we shouldn’t take failing at something as if we are failures. The failure is simply part of the process or a reflection of lack of knowledge.
Confidence is also closely tied to resiliency. Being resilient is our ability to “bounce back” from challenges and pressures in life and remain positive. Being highly resilient allows us to feel more confidence because we trust in our own ability to overcome setbacks and disappointments.
So how do we become more resilient? First, it is helpful to get some guidelines as to what kind of resiliency challenges we may have that came from our childhood. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be, which means the more challenges you may have with resiliency later in life. NPR has the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) test that you can take here.
What’s interesting about the scoring of this test, is that it really is just guide because so many other events that happen can mitigate a high score. For example, a person may have a higher score, but having a trusted relative who is your cheerleader or teacher who mentored you and believed in you can make all the difference in mitigating any long-term effects of past childhood traumas. And these people do very well in life, too.
Developing resiliency within yourself takes time. Facing struggles and challenges strengthen our resiliency because we learn through practical experience that we can get through it and be okay.
If you are struggling on where to start, I have a post on steps you can take to start building your resiliency that you can find here.