Our life experiences so far would make for a pretty skyline, what with the mighty highs and sudden lows, gentle climbs, and at times, unexpected descents – all with a purpose, nothing wasted, all leading to something that goes beyond self-confidence.
On that note, enough said about confidence. Numerous programs, podcasts and blogs tell me how to be more confident. Yet, when it comes down to the wire, I find we draw on something that goes beyond self-confidence and having practiced our craft to an art almost. In that moment we leverage self-belief and our awareness of who we truly are. We fall back on the most firm footing we can find that comes from within and not from what we've done or how skilled we are. In that moment we know that we know and that we can get through whatever stands in our path.
Just like you, I also enjoy being confident and learning new ways to be so. But before that, it helps to know what we are about and who we are becoming in this process called life.
Knowing ourselves is one of the most powerful ways to be confident. Do comment share what makes you feel confident and also helps you build self-belief.
Here's how I got started on this thought process. When I stepped into a new and challenging role or made career shifts or changed our home base, confidence alone failed to pull me through. A bit frustrating because we know we are confident, and yet there is this sense of uncertainty, fear and nervous energy that is hard to ignore and interferes with good judgement. That uncertainty and the unreliability of my confidence began my journey to question confidence and if that was the best I could aspire for.
Related article: In Defense of Self-doubts and why Women Mustn't Abandon them Yet
In the last few years, with the tugging of age and fueled by my uncertainty, I began to explore the seductive depths of my true self. I had little choice because when confidence alone didn't cut it, I had to ask myself some tough questions, for example - Did I really want to do this? What if I said no? What would I be doing if not this? Why did I say yes, when my heart was telling me to say no? Am I being honest with myself? Am I being honest with those around me? Who am I really and do I know that person for sure? Not that I found the answers right away, but I am glad I started this process of self-discovery.
For many years, my true self meant being confident. In some ways, I was right and still am, though that’s just one dimension of who we are deep down. Confidence helps our true self express itself – it’s the visible part. But, when I stretched my potential and ventured into unfamiliar territory, exploring myself and being honest about who I was proved much more useful and enduring than just being confident.
Here's the key, only we know what we are capable of, because only we can look within and see it, only we have the power to pluck our true self out of its hiding place.
In doing so, I discovered that beyond confidence lay deep self-belief and awareness – the awareness of knowing myself and the belief that I could harness my inner self when I needed to. Of having the courage to travel the length and breadth of my being - and coming face to face with what I found there, irrespective of what confidence made me believe. This brought a sense of security and grounding that confidence reflected, but couldn't always generate or sustain for me. To reach this rock solid place, I had to deepen my faith in myself, in who I was and the person I wanted to become.
I discovered magic when I went beyond confidence. A kind of magic that sprinkles our talents, strengths, our work and our lives with the divine. There is nothing quite like that which springs forth from the depths of knowing ourselves. It can weave magic in the minds of our audience. The magic is unique, like our thumb print, no other quite the same. In every era, and every economic phase - originality is a big ticket to big success. So knowing ourselves is half the battle won.
This is what can help to uncover ourselves. Be outrageously original. Find in ourselves the courage to speak up in the face of what’s popular, and walk in the opposite direction, if that’s what we feel certain we should do. Not to be a non-conformist for the heck of it, but to conform to our own true self. That kind of advantage is foolish to ignore. Following our sense of confidence alone, on the other hand, is a greater folly perhaps.
To help our original, true self to emerge, it's probably best not to focus too hard on what works for others. What works for them is their own truth, it's their magic. Maybe, our true self is yet to be uncovered from the depths of our being. When we do discover our deepest self and our real worth, the magic begins.