“When you have a lot of confidence and you feel like nobody can beat you, it’s game over for everyone else.”– Jason Day
The dictionary defines confidence as “the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.” When we feel confident in ourselves, we know and trust in our ability to do what we have promised. Same applies when we have confidence in others, we know and trust in their ability to do what they have promised. This means that as is our confidence, so is our capacity.
I have two boys, Ntokozo and Sanele, twenty and seventeen years old, respectively. I keep planting these thoughts in their minds, to win themselves over and to never be made to feel they are nobodies or less than. For them to grow up knowing that, no matter what, their lives matter, they count and they deserve to be alive and to connect with the highest that’s within them in order express their gifts. You see, many of us struggle with confidence issues. In an age of social media, it can be difficult not to compare ourselves with other people and end up losing sight of what’s important. We might lack confidence at work, in public speaking, or in meeting new people, which makes us fear that we aren’t taken seriously or that we won’t meet new friends or a significant other. Confidence is the most beautiful thing you can possess.
Looking back over my life, I talked myself so many times out of things because I lacked confidence. I held back a number of times from saying what I wanted to say because more confident people were speaking up. If you were the one of the quiet ones at school then you will know what I mean. The loudest are the ones that are heard, and this continues throughout your adult life. Then I made a realisation, if I was going to do any of the things I wanted to do in life, I needed to find this confidence from somewhere. I realised that I was doing myself an injustice but didn’t know how to change it.
Many people are stuck in situations, careers, jobs and relationships that are not doing them any good, that are toxic to them. Why don’t they get out? I hear you ask, well, the main reason for all of this is the lack of self-confidence. They don’t see themselves outside of these toxic situations that daily drain their energy and kill their brilliant ideas, it’s truly a sad situation. Great ideas keep dropping into their minds without being taken seriously, they are never executed until they sort of rot in there. So, the mind becomes the graveyard of brilliant ideas. Our tendency is not to do anything about the incredible ideas that come to our minds. Years later, when we read that somebody else has turned an idea into a great success, we may lament to ourselves, ‘I thought about that once, Why didn’t I do something about it?’
The thought of picking a new career in mid-life is probably an impossibility in your own imagination. Part of this insecurity or lack of self-confidence is because we tend to develop a negative self-image based on our low position on the ladder of life. People think that if they were really brilliant, they would be president of some corporation.
I write and speak a lot about greatness. Greatness doesn’t depend upon your position in life, but upon your respect of the positive ideas that flow into your imagination.
After reading self-improvement books and articles, I slowly began to realise what real confidence is and how I could have it too. This is what I discovered:
- Confidence is not a personality trait.
Think of how differently you act in front of your family and friends than in front of strangers or in a room full of people. How confident you are completely changes depending on the situation and context. It’s not set and how you react to those situations can be adapted and developed over time.
- Confidence takes practice.
I use to be shy speaking in front of strangers and in a room full of people. I started attending Toastmasters International, an organization that helps people confront their fears and develop public speaking skills. Right now, that’s none of my worries. I speak in front of thousands of people now with so much ease. So, it’s all about practice, practice and practice.
- You don’t have to be loud to be confident.
Ever heard the phrase ‘Those who shout the loudest often have nothing to say’? You don’t have to enforce your point on others to be heard. You have to believe in yourself though. Confidence is contagious, so is lack of it.
When others are busy putting their money on expensive outfits and other material things, invest yours on developing self-confidence because the most beautiful thing you can ever wear is confidence.
Veli Ndaba is a Professional and Motivational Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of three books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to speak at your next event or to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org , www.velindaba.com or +27 83 304 9773