Hey guys, I thought I’d do a little writing to take some stress off my mind, so here goes nothing. I was requested to write this (very short) post by a friend, which I was quite surprised by – ‘confident’ isn’t a word I would straight away use to describe myself. That said, there is one thing I think about which helps me to be confident in the things that I do and the choices I make day-to-day, so I thought I’d share it here. I hope you find them useful!

I usually associate confidence with public speaking or performing in front of an audience, but really it’s a state of mind that can be applied to any situation. To be confident, you first have to understand why you need it.

Why do we need to be confident? The answer is quite simple: you need to reach your full potential. That means gaining skills, finding hobbies, and making relationships that make you the best version of you. They all require some level of confidence within you. Without confidence, opportunities will be avoided and potential will be lost – whether that’s being able to influence others through public speaking, or trying out for a school sports team.

Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

Overcoming the Major Obstacle

There is one thing that usually hinders my ability to be confident in a situation: the thought of failure. Failure however, can mean a lot of things in different contexts:

  • failing to complete a difficult task
  • failing to meet expectations – from yourself, your family, friends and even strangers
  • failing to be the best/better than others – comparing yourself with other people

And the list goes on.

Although, in truth, most people aren’t actually worried about the failing part. It’s the consequences of failing that matter to most people, like having to re-do something after expending so much effort, disappointing other people or even embarrassing oneself.

I boil down my confidence in these situations to simple principles. If I am doing something I know is difficult, it’s because I know it’s worth it – the potential benefits I can get (the skills, relationships, knowledge etc.) outweigh the risk of failing. I would have cowered away a long time ago if it was truly too much for me to even try. This leads me to focus on something known as the ‘dichotomy of control’. I should worry about the things that are in my control, because that will determine whether I succeed or fail, and worrying about the outcome will not help anymore – I already know the risk of failure is worth it. All I can do is focus on giving it my best. I can accept whatever happens and continue to learn regardless.

I know it’s cliche, but I think we truly forget it sometimes. I have gone around a lot of my life trying to please others, instead of living it for myself and trying the things I wanted to do. As it turns out, that was in my control the whole time. What people thought of me along the way, however, never was. When you rediscover what you can and can’t control and start to steer your own ship, confidence is a piece of cake.

Till next time!

– Verrel

Featured image by Miguel Henriques on Unsplash

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