Many people believe confidence is something you simply acquire over time. Sometimes you hear the well-intended advice.
- “Just grab life by the horns.”
- “Pull yourself up.”
- “Just do it.”
I’d like to know where the confidence store is so I can purchase some. But I am afraid confidence is rather something you build. Building confidence in a variety of areas gives a general confidence trait in an individual. Have you ever met someone who was unwavering and confident at work, but their personal life is messy? I would suggest that lack of confidence is a primary performance issue in the workplace as well. Other areas people could lack confidence in involves health and fitness, spiritual and religious views, community interests, hobbies, and the list goes on. While I do give dating advice, I feel like this analogy applies to life in general. Finding real confidence is a process, not an acquisition.
In fact, it may even be dangerous to your emotional heart to have confidence without competence. Just being brave is different than true confidence. Jumping out of an airplane takes bravery. Doing it with confidence is knowing when to open the correctly packed parachute- you know it will open! So “just jumping in” or “just do it” is brave, not confident. Confidence is a feeling. You know that you have the ability. You know how to do it with a quality outcome. You know that you will survive. So, there is a substantial amount of know-how in confidence. It would be best if you had both bravery and know-how to find true confidence.
Consider what could happen if you are baking bread and you mix all the ingredients but the importance of letting the dough rest and rise is unrealized. So, you mix and bake immediately. You end up with lumpy dense flour brick.
Next, you investigate and actually read the recipe and see the missing step is kneading the mixture and then letting it rest and rise. So, with this additional knowledge, you prepare a second loaf. And you bake it. This time it is better. However, you needed to guess when the dough looked and felt ready to bake. So, you baked it too soon or waited a bit too long. However, this time your bread resembles bread, and it is edible! Yet it remains dense, dry, and looks flat. Yet, a little butter and jam help you enjoy it toasted. You can hold on to these steps, it is bread, but will you wonder if you can do better?
After a while, feeling a little frustrated, you call your friend Diane in Texas, and she talks you through several ways to improve. Once again, you mix, knead, rest, and wait for your ingredients to rise. And your best loaf ever comes out of the oven. Fantastic with butter and jam yet scrumptious on its own. You always make bread like this and will never go back to making dense bread. You have confidence your process will produce a quality loaf. Thank you Diane.
Only after talking to Diane were you able to realize there was so much more to bread. You needed to learn what the oven-ready loaf feels like and practice. So, as you can see, confidence alone is not enough to make bread. Knowledge by itself lacks action and belief to get the desired outcome. The combination of knowledge and action that combines to make a loaf worth talking about. Better yet- it is bread worth the 3 hours to make. Building confidence then becomes gaining knowledge and bravely applying the knowledge, then doing it again and again. It is clearly going to take some time.
This is a great dating analogy. So often, people settle with their second loaf. It resembles bread. You can eat it, but it needs butter and jam. It is the best bread they have experienced. The steps work, and that level of confidence in the outcomes remains consistent. Imagine approaching the dating world with confidence, courage, and knowledge, as the dating pool proves less dense. Protecting your heart and being vulnerable at the same time takes confidence. Make something of quality. Don’t be satisfied with a dense loaf.
Transform your confidence, work with a coach.
(Original concept by Matthew Hussey)