That’s right – create confidence. How? The same way an athlete boosts her confidence after a less than stellar performance, or in the same way a businessman jumps back from a bad investment. We move forward, and recognize that one misstep (or a series of) does not define who we are as people. To believe in yourself then, no longer requires goal achievement.
By this standard, self-acceptance and self worth are essential. Carole Radziwill recently wrote about this concept stating that “confident women are made, not born”. I had never thought of it this way and really – the concept of confidence being created is something that should resonate for all of us – not just women. Previously, I truly believed some people were born more confident than others, but I realize now that maybe I’ve misunderstood what it means to be confident.
So many times we wrap our self-worth up in completing certain tasks or goals. Noting that once we achieve a certain goal or standard, that it will boost our self-esteem and therefore confidence and worth. This is true to a point, as achievement does feel good and is a strong motivator. However for those of us who struggle with perfection it’s a dangerous internal dialogue to have. To say that we are only worth something if we can achieve a specific thing we’ve randomly attached value to creates a rat race….and it’s a race that ultimately, we will never win. By this definition, we’ll always be chasing the next best thing, never satisfied, never fully confident, and always hungry.
What if we shifted our perspective to be more like those who are truly confident and happy with who/where they are? What would it take? It would take self acceptance. Goal attainment and confidence are two separate things, and the more we can assess these separately, the better off we are.
If we blindly accepted ourselves, without attaching achievement, how differently would we look and feel? What if we decided we were worth something not because we “earned it” but because we know who we are, and we know that’s someone worth believing in? What if we believed we were worth something simply because we are human, and know that nobody else out there is like us.
I don’t know about you, but I like it. I like knowing that I’m enough because I exist, and that it’s okay to believe in who I am because I accept and love all of me. Weaknesses, strengths, the whole package. There’s no other package like this – like me – like you. There is value in rarity.
In short, Accept who you are and use all of what you know to propel yourself forward, rather than focusing exclusively on goal attainment. Achievement is one small portion of success; confidence, on the other hand, is a matter of perspective.