One of the best part of my job is the privilege I have of guiding young people through a program called ‘The Making of a Champion’. This program is all about helping these fantastic young people develop skills, habits and attitudes needed to pursue dreams and worthwhile goals, and to help them be the very best version of themselves. I love it!
One of the lessons in the program is about Courage, and facing challenges with confidence. A few times when I have facilitated this session there are great conversations about all things confidence, and what this means and also what it looks like. It has struck me many times how confidence so often is defined by how outgoing someone is. If you are the one in a friendship group who is the loudest and most likely to ask for the bill or stop a stranger to ask for direction, the one who seemingly without any nerves stand up and make presentations in front of the class, you are most likely being defined as the most confident person in the group. Is this a great measure of how confident someone is, or is it telling us more about how comfortable someone is in a social setting and in dealing with new people. Off course this can be linked to someone’s confidence, but if it’s the only way to define how confident someone is we are excluding introverts from anything to do with this.
So what is confidence? To me it is about trust, trust in yourself! Being comfortable enough to be you, whether that is an outgoing person or not. To be your authentic self, having faith in your own strengths and ability, not letting the judgements and opinions of others hold you back and make you try to be and act differently, that to me is Confidence.
As with so many things we often define ourselves as this is me or not, and that’s that. But I love that you can work on and grow in so many of the things that we often exclude our self from -we all have potential! Anyone can, and should be, their own number one fan, their own Cheerleader. The root to confidence seems to be positive thinking and positive self talk. Confidence in your ability happens through practice and work. Every week we get the young people to set a goal, one for school/work and one personal one, why? Because goal setting is about moving towards something that you have defined as important to you, something that matters. When we accomplish a goal it makes us feel good, makes us proud, it breeds positivity, and it has been proven to be good for, amongst other things, building confidence.
Set a goal today, or over the weekend, do something that matters to you, or something you are good at. Write something positive to yourself, make a list of your accomplishments, and work on eliminating the negative language we have made far too normal. Learn something new, be curious! Confidence doesn’t happen in one moment, but it happens by all the little things we say and do everyday!