Many people come to therapy saying that their confidence is low. People seek a technique or solution that will improve their confidence and hope their problems will be largely solved.
There is no easy way to walk through a door and voila! I’m now that self-assured person I dreamed of being. All meaningful changes are a process of becoming more insightful and wise, shaping your efforts as you go, and continuing growing through a range of experiences. In other words, Life.
The often misunderstood word confident actually means “having faith or trust with.” It does not mean assertive, outspoken, fearless, self-praising, or unquestioning.
You undoubtedly feel more confident in some areas than others. And it may seem that confidence comes from expertise, skill, experience, or some innate gift.
But consider that you surely made many mistakes on your way to mastery. Your confidence did not magically appear from skills or gifts alone; rather, it emerged from the process of
failures, growth, and resilience: your own proven ability to get up, learn, and try again.
Skills and expertise shouldn’t be the only basis for confidence because what you’re really afraid of isn’t some imagined failures or shortcomings. Lack of self-confidence is about the belief that if we fall short, then we ourselves are inadequate and that would be awful. Our embarrassment or mistake would be intolerably catastrophic because our performance is the measure of our worth.
But can you not keep faith with yourself -- have self-confidence-- even if you make mistakes or don't succeed every time? Even if you're objectively bad at something??
While subject mastery does help, self-confidence is actually the belief that even if you “fail”, you yourself are okay. Embarrassment won’t kill you. A setback is part of living, just like breathing.
Remember all the times you stumbled and got up and grew again. Look how much learning you had to do in an area where you are confident now. Confidence grew from trials and errors. Even with bumps in the road, you yourself remained intact and resilient.
Don’t base your self-confidence on performance mastery alone; instead, you should bet on you.
Know that no matter what happens, you can keep faith with yourself and your own resilience.