Mondays are the day I usually need to give myself a little pep talk. These pep talks consist of positive affirmations – ones I’ve created specifically for me, my life and my dreams – and a brief reminder to keep my thoughts on track with my dreams (a.k.a. goals). Coaches and self-help gurus always preach the power of positive thinking but I’m not certain they reassure people that adopting such an attitude is not an overnight transition. In fact, it could take some individuals years to reach a place where they don’t have to actively self-talk themselves into a positive mindset.
For me, as long as I pay close attention to my thoughts and inner voice, I do not have many lapses into negativity or self-doubt. Another area where I have few problems is confidence. The first 21 years of my life were filled with shyness, insecurity, jealousy and all the other bedfellows of people lacking confidence. There were countless reasons for my low self-esteem, none of which further this post’s objective so I won’t go into detail, but one day enough was enough.
I took a really long, hard look at myself and realized I was way more than I gave myself credit.
From that day forward I refused to be insecure. I refused to let fear dictate my path through life. And I refused to care what anyone else thought about me. The emotional freedom one experiences when the chains of conformity are broken is indescribable. I can only liken it to the feeling I get after tearing off a turtleneck that choked my neck and at which I constantly tugged and pulled. It’s being able to breathe without the weight of someone else’s approval around my neck.
Nowadays, when I look in the mirror I see everything I like about myself instead of every single imperfection my ego can dig up and pick apart. I make mistakes but I don’t dwell on them. If I’m not in the now then I’m planning for the future and ways to make those nows even better. I only look back to evaluate and learn from my past mistakes and failures. And until I read the below article I never really thought my self-confidence had anything to do with my ability to cope, adapt, be happy and move forward.
Everyone deserves to be a truly confident person; I think the majority just don’t know how to be that person. Hopefully, the following article will help you see the ways to do so.
The below article is from the 4/21/2010 edition of the Self Growth newsletter.
7 Attributes of the Truly Confident Person
by Elaine Sihera
A lot of people might believe they are confident, depending on how they feel on any given day. But confidence is not a fleeting thing that is here today and takes a holiday tomorrow. Confidence is all pervasive. It shows itself in every aspect of our lives: the way we view ourselves, perceive our world, approach crises, the way we treat others, our readiness to exercise compassion and forgiveness, and, most important, the way we treat ourselves.
True confidence is an incredible feeling because it has a few key attributes embedded in it, seven of them, in fact, which are the hallmarks of the truly confident person. You cannot say you are confident unless you score highly on each of those seven aspects.
This is the first crucial attribute. If you have no self-love, you have no confidence because this is at the heart of confidence: self-love and self-acceptance, which then decide our self-esteem. It is not possible to be happy and confident yet dislike our bodies or ourselves. Any lack of self-love is a prelude to misery and dissatisfaction with our lot. Happiness begins from within and when we love ourselves and do not seek the approval of anyone, we are halfway to real contentment and the next key attribute, self-belief.
With self-love comes amazing self-belief in what is truly possible. The Universe is our limit, as we become unstoppable and fearless. People who think highly of themselves do not see barriers to achievements or obstacles in their paths. Anything which blocks their journey can be removed because confident people already believe they have the tools to remove those blocks. They can cope with crises too because they believe they can. That is the main difference between a confident and a fearful person: one believes they have the power to affect their life, whereas the other person looks to others to do it for them.
3. Comfort in Themselves
Confident people are happy in their own skin. They love who they are, they do not wish to be anyone else and they seek no one’s approval to be whom they wish to be. That is a sure sign of a strong sense of belonging and personal security. Even when there is a setback, they know it is only temporary and they will be back in action again because they value themselves and their talents, regardless of what other people think. They tend to do what they please without following the fashion or being lemmings. Being natural leaders, they tend to set the pace for others and to inspire them.
Confident people know their limitations and their potential. That is because they do not sit and dwell on their weaknesses, like people of low esteem. They identify their strengths and nurture them while acknowledging their weaknesses as important to their personality. They are fully aware that the unique beings they are is the result of BOTH their strengths and weaknesses, so they do not dwell on the negative aspects of their personality. They know what makes them happy and sad. Being leaders and optimists, they are more assured in their direction and objectives because they understand who they are and what they want, which is the first key step to boosting achievement and personal development.
Confident people tend to be pioneers, fearless in their approach and their actions. It is not that they do not have the usual fears of survival. What they don’t have is the limiting and paralyzing fears regarding simply living their life to the utmost which plague insecure and non-confident people. Those with high self-esteem are keen to get on with it so they tend to act first and be afraid later! Willing to take risks and to make sacrifices, they have very little fear in living their life to the max.
Really confident people love to experiment, to try out new situations, innovate and create. They are always pushing the boundaries of their talents because of their self-belief. Unlike people of low esteem, confident ones do not care about making mistakes, because they know that’s how they learn and grow. They are not worried about being wrong, but at arriving at a solution or a different result, no matter how many times they have to change their approach. They recognize that mistakes are part and parcel of success on their personal journey. Failure is not in their vocabulary and so they will achieve their desires no matter how long it takes, because they have the tenacity, self-belief and determination to keep trying even when many others have given up.
Confident people are truly happy with their life. It doesn’t mean they are never sad. It means that if they are down it lasts very briefly and then they are back up again. They know they can always do something else and change the result. People of low esteem always blame themselves and reinforce that with even poorer thoughts of their abilities, so they stay in the doldrums much longer. They are not truly at peace so they take the knocks badly. Confident people know that setbacks are temporary and all they need to do is brush themselves off and start over again, while keeping their eye on their goals. Above all, being contented with themselves and their bodies, confident people tend to be truly happy, approachable, often cheerful and with a ready smile.
How confident are you? Why not try our confidence quiz?
AUTHOR BIO: Elaine Sihera is the most noted and quoted British woman on the Internet, being the world authority on emotional health. Nicknamed Ms CYPRAH (or Cyber-Oprah by admirers), Elaine is the first Black graduate of the UK’s pioneering Open University and a postgraduate of Cambridge University.
A qualified senior high school teacher and former education manager, magazine editor and equality consultant, she is the prolific author of six books and nearly 1100 articles on emotional health, self-empowerment, career advancement and people management.
An Internet agony aunt, freelance broadcaster and columnist, Elaine is also the Change Expert for http://www.fiftyforward.co.uk/change.php, being a very keen advocate of changing perceptions on aging and boosting people’s feelings about themselves.
Elaine enjoys her work very much by living to purpose and in line with her own advice. She believes a smile and laughter are the best medicines and does not take herself too seriously too often. She is divorced with two kidults, Andre and Nicole.
Are you truly confident? Or do you lack one or more of the seven attributes?
What stops you from being a truly confident person?