Seeking High Confidence
In today’s society, high confidence is a rare commodity. We all constantly seek approval, success, and achievement everywhere we go and in everything we do, just so we can finally feel better about ourselves. Feel that we’re doing what we should, that we are the person we’re supposed to be, and that we’re finally good enough the way we are.
But, as much as we succeed, and as many achievements as we collect, something is still missing. For some reason, our self-confidence remains fragile, and we just never feel like we’re good enough. So we try harder and harder to become better and collect more and more achievements. But as much as we achieve, and as much as we succeed, there’s always something more. The pursuit for self-confidence becomes an endless race, and true self-confidence remains beyond our grasp.
There is another way though – a way which doesn’t run in circles, but instead, goes straight to the point.
This article will present you with a different way to achieve self-confidence. The type of self-confidence that isn’t based on success, and isn’t threatened by failure.
Back when I was young, I took some judo lessons, and I will never forget my first lesson. In this lesson, we learned how to fall correctly. I still remember how in the beginning all I could think of was that this must be some kind of a joke, this is not Judo, right?! I’m not here to learn how to fall, I’m here to learn how to win – I need to know how NOT to fall! But I was a good kid, so I followed through and did as I was told.
After falling on my ass time and time again, I finally got it. In the beginning, each fall was hard and painful, and it would have taken me about a minute to recover and get back on my feet. But after a while, my falls became softer, gentler, more elegant, and completely painless. Falling didn’t scare me anymore, and sometimes I even enjoyed it.
At this moment, I understood what true confidence really is. Standing there, ready for a challenge, but this time truly knowing that it doesn’t matter whether I win or lose. Because this time, I knew that whatever happens – I will not get hurt. Confidence was never about being the best, the strongest, or the one who never falls. True confidence is simply knowing that you can fall, and you’ll be OK.
This lesson wasn’t actually about falling at all, it was about getting up. It taught us that falling is only painful when you do it wrong. And it’s only once you know how to fall, that you’re finally free to do as you wish.
Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.
Learn how to fall
The truth is that when chasing successes, failures can’t be avoided. Failure is an inseparable part of success, and so, a person can only be as successful as they allow themselves to fail. But to allow ourselves to fail, we must first find a way to fall without getting hurt.
When we fail, we punish ourselves, condemn our behavior, and criticize our decisions. Resulting in self-directed anger, frustration, and in severe cases even self-hatred. All of these are painful obstacles to our success. To become a successful person, rather than just a person who happens to succeed, these patterns must be changed. We must adopt a belief system that supports improvement, rather than stand in our way, and greet failure with compassion rather than punishment.
These are 7 of the most fundamental beliefs a person must adopt in order to enjoy high and stable levels of self-confidence.
1. Don’t punish yourself
Punishment is not an effective way to motivate children, and it’s a horrible way to motivate adults. These patterns you carry from your childhood are the first thing you ought to get rid of. Punishment brings fear and anger, which activate the fight or flight response and by that, override the conscious brain. The more threatened we feel by the expectation for punishment, the harder it is to make logic decisions, and the more imminent failure becomes. So the first thing you must do is stop punishing yourself.
2. Practice Self-compassion
Let me tell you a little secret – everybody fails.
Even the great Warren Buffett has just recently lost 1.4 Billion dollars in a single day of business, which is far more than most of us would earn in a lifetime. So how come after such a colossal failure that could make most people jump off the Empire State Building, Buffett remains undisturbed? The answer is self-compassion.
Be understanding, and treat yourself with forgiveness and compassion. Don’t expect everything to be perfect all the time, because it won’t be. Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody fails, but successful people don’t hate themselves for it.
3. Don’t reinforce success
Treating yourself with some new merchandise after you close a major deal can definitely make you feel nice, but it’s conditional. Meaning that the absence of these treats induces a feeling of punishment, which in turn causes fear and anger as well. So try to treat yourself for effort rather than success, and make yourself feel good even when things don’t go your way. After all, not everything is under your control.
4. Look at the big picture
Everything has two sides, good and bad, pros and cons. Every success requires a sacrifice, and every failure holds a lesson. Make sure you always see both sides and don’t let either of them escape you. Even if you didn’t reach your goal, you’ve learned something. You’re now smarter, wiser, and more experienced. Often, that wisdom is even more valuable than reaching another goal.
It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.
5. Self-Acceptance, no matter what
Life is like a game of poker. Each of us receives a different set of cards and has to do their best to win with what they got. But unlike poker, in life, we only get one hand. So make the best with what you got, and whatever happens – DON’T FOLD. Accept yourself as you are, and always remember, it’s not the cards that make a winner, it is how you play them.
6. Aspire to Self-Honesty
Whatever you do, don’t lie to yourself. This is probably the most important part, but without all the others, it is impossible. When it comes to your communication with yourself, always be as honest as possible about your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Although pretending to be better than you actually are might make you feel better, in the long-run it isn’t worth it. Having a clear idea of your strengths and weaknesses is crucial for making good decisions. And good decisions are the single most important part of confidence and success. So if you can handle the truth, settle for nothing less.
7. Enjoy the journey
Every journey becomes much better when you enjoy the way and not just the destination. Success is no different. Focus your efforts on goals that make you feel good. Things that you’re passionate about. Ignite a certain excitement within you. Because if you don’t like what you’re doing, you will never feel successful.
Forget about being a person who succeeds and let yourself become a successful person. A person who’s allowed to fail, without judgment and without punishment. One who’s free to pursue anything, simply because when you fail it doesn’t hurt.
Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.
Robert T. Kiyosaki