Confidence is…

Confidence … is directness and courage in meeting the facts of life. John Dewey

Confidence is the natural outcome of ability, courage and enterprise and gives an individual both character and success. Many of us though underestimate either all or all of the above qualities in us and hence lose out on realizing our full potential. Others, on the other hand have a misplaced sense of their own abilities and venture into bravado rather than exhibit confidence.  There are still others who hate the spotlight, shy away and prefer to be recluse thereby robbing the world of appreciating their talent and quality of work. At this juncture each of you reading this post must decide where exactly we fall in any of the above broad categories. This will enable you to read further with the right perspective.

Look at the initial episodes of any reality TV show where finalists are being screened. Be it a ‘So you think you dance’ show or an’ Indian Idol’ show what amuses and shocks us is the audacity of people to hog the lime light albeit for a few moments with ridiculous antics, terrible talent and sheer arrogance.  Ironically the same episodes will also feature the genuinely confident and at times we get rare glimpses of people who never feel comfortable when the arc lights are on them. If you were to identify your strongest talents and participate in showcasing it would you be able to truthfully say that you could give off a confident and quality exhibition of your talents or would you be over awed by the occasion and foul it up without remorse?

Closer home, how do you react to mistakes you make? Can you truthfully acknowledge it to the authorities be it a boss a parent or a friend?  Are you fearful of the consequences and prefer to remain silent or misrepresent fact so as to distance yourself from the mistake?  Confidence is all about coming clean, acknowledging faults, taking responsibility and correcting your actions. Look around and you will find plenty of successful people and each of them will have at least one major failure story to share. What is the bigger lesson is how they overcame failure and confidently pursued their beliefs. It is important to remember that while we can for some time color the facts, misrepresent it, hide it, camouflage it, distance one’s self from it etc. when the truth is revealed the facts are always stripped bare and perhaps you will be caught in the spotlight without even a fig leaf. Why not exhibit confidence and bite the bullet so that the ordeal is tackled with élan and panache.

Finally one must never confuse confidence and arrogance. They are as different as apples and oranges. While confidence is positive in connotation, has a quiet dignity and reinforces a point emphatically arrogance is crude, vulgar and often an uncouth display of power masquerading as confidence or fear putting on a crude façade of a an ‘on your face’ type of confidence.

Remember: “Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” Peter T. Mcintyre

Try this:

  1. Observe 3-7 things that you envy in some friends or close associates or well known personalities. Ensure that there is at least one item of their dressing, one item of their mannerism and one item of style. Eg. They wear a bowler hat or they use a classy cologne. Your challenge is to be able to replicate that in your lifestyle at least briefly but with confidence and not diffidence.
  2. For the next fortnight consciously avoid blaming anyone or any circumstance for any mistakes that you may have a made. In fact take responsibility for every mistake made by you or your subordinates. Do you feel that you are more confident that you can take on more responsibility now that you have learned to stop fearing failure?

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