Every year the crocus pushes confidently through blankets of grass to remind us there’s life, colour and vibrancy beneath the Earth, ready to bloom. Much like our own natures, often hidden under layers of uncertainty and self-doubt, they need the right conditions to emerge fully.
Confidence is a quality that can be innate, however for many of us, it’s a characteristic that needs conscious attention for it to work in our favour.
Defined one way as “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities”, it clearly has a lot riding on our emotional strength [feeling of self-assurance] and on our analytical acumen [one’s appreciation of…]. A tall order when you break it down.
Let’s break it down then.
First it makes sense to establish what ‘one’s own abilities or qualities’ are. We all have them, though perhaps they are hidden, underused, or simply not talked about in glowing terms. An ability may be a skill, an achievement, experience, knowledge, ideas – it can be small or epic. If we make a list of our abilities, we can gather the facts. Same with our qualities. If we look hard, and pick out the qualities people like in us, or that we like about ourselves, we can list these too. Best leave out the lesser attractive qualities we possibly carry, this exercise is about finding ‘one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities’.
Always start with the good stuff. It brings us up. Makes us more confident.
Now we have a list of our abilities and positive qualities. Unarguably, there’s substance. Hard to ignore it. Next step is to locate our appreciation of the items listed. If self-appreciation is hard to muster, then think of others who’ve been thankful, inspired, pleased, or complimentary of said abilities or qualities. Write down how much these people appreciate them. This typically starts to feel good, knowing other people (even in small ways) appreciate us for our own abilities and qualities.
If they can appreciate us, we can appreciate ourselves too.
We are beginning to appreciate our own abilities and qualities, because we’ve listed them, and identified how other people appreciate them, now we come to the ‘feeling of self-assurance’.
Feelings are subjective, volatile, emotional… and powerful tools if we understand their value.
If we wish, and practice, we can master feelings to serve us well. A feeling of self-assurance is an ambitious one. However, with evidence of our listed abilities, qualities and a growing sense of how we and others appreciate these, our feelings on the matter are likely to mirror the facts. Try it.
In addition, the technique of positive self-talk is widely recognised as hugely effective for our confidence and self-assurance.
Speaking our appreciation of our abilities and qualities out loud (preferably to an empty room) is a sure fire way to imbue feelings of self-assurance. Keep repeating in a confident voice, till you start to feel ‘self-assurance rising’
“I am doing a great job on this, and am confident my abilities are helping me achieve a better result/a happier outcome”
Be confident. We all have it in us to be so.