What is it anyway? We all interact with personalties that are “confident.” They seem successful, focused, sure of themselves, maybe even fearless. But I was surprised to learn the etymology of the word, and once I did I could finally put my finger on the “it” factor self confidence seems to radiate.
Confidence comes from the Latin word ‘fidere’ which means “to trust”; therefore, having self-confidence is having trust in one’s self (per Wikipedia.). Completely broken down, confidence actually means I can count on myself no matter what.
No matter what? Yes. People who are confident seem “sure of themselves” and “fearless” because they are self reliant. They know storms inevitably roll in, and they trust themselves to rise to the occasion when needed.
Confidence arises out of diligent practice, making the best decisions, taking the next best actions in the face of adversity, over and over and over again. It’s a relationship we build with ourselves: We do what we say we will do, not just in the context of others, but within our own lives.
Drawing this new understanding of confidence out, and applying it to the “Discipline v. Regret” post 2/6/21), I conclude that our relationship to ourselves may be the most important one we build.
Being confident is facing the day and whatever it brings with the self trust that I can handle it. If I am wavering on a commitment I have made to myself, and seem to (repeatedly) break that commitment, by “starting tomorrow” or not doing the thing I told myself I would, I am teaching myself that I can’t be trusted, or relied upon.
If I can’t trust myself, how can I go out into the world and expect others to trust me, my word, or my commitments?
Try focusing on being faithful to yourself. Think carefully about making a commitment first, but once you do keep it! And watch how this confidence that you build, consistently, decision after decision, builds your self trust. It may just change the way you are perceived by yourself, and those around you.