Have you ever heard the phrase “a woman is like a tea bag”?
It ends: “you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water”.
Thankfully, of course, that hot water is metaphorical, but the quote rings true – there is no way of being certain in how you will deal with a situation until you experience it.
We don’t need to fear the unknown, but we do need to be realistic about it. However much you may want to tackle situations and issues head-on with total and complete confidence, I have news for you: 100% confidence doesn’t exist, in anyone.
To clarify, it’s important to define what confidence is – for you.
For me, confidence is the attitude that you adopt to take action and turn your thoughts and wants into actually ‘doing’ things.
Confidence is what stops you allowing self-doubt and worries from consuming you and instead allows you to move forward, grow, and flourish.
Building confidence means tackling and working on different areas of yourself, and it’s all about developing the confidence to do it in your own way.
We all lead multi-faceted lives
No one has a single area of focus in their lives, and so it’s fair to assume that you can be 100% confident in one aspect of your life and more like 20% in another. This, of course, varies from person to person and is unique for everyone.
Should you feel as though you have absolute confidence in everything you ever do, face, and consider, it is actually possible that your natural defence mechanisms (your brain’s built-in aversions and assessments of risk factors) aren’t working in the way they should be.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t adopt a positive mental attitude toward everything you face in life – but it is still important to hold a healthy degree of self-awareness and to understand that you cannot (and should not!) be everything to everyone.
You may choose to not divulge vulnerability in any aspects of your life that you feel or experience it in, but that’s not to say it doesn’t exist.
Embracing continuous improvement
If you believe, as I do, that no one can be perfect and everyone should strive to always do, and be, better, then you can embrace the concept of continuous improvement in your life.
You can be top of your game in your career, your studies or your area of expertise, but there’s never no further room for improvement. There is always more to be done – and this is a good thing, because it encourages you to remain self-aware and to know yourself however you develop, grow and change throughout your life.
Progress in all of us is incremental. It takes time. Our confidence grows with every positive move we make, action we take and learning we absorb. Every time we succeed at something, we are able to move on to the next level of confidence; and of being.
Ups and downs
It’s important to acknowledge that your ascent to confidence and the new, improved you isn’t a linear journey. There will be bumps in the road and there will be storms in your sea: it’s how you travel through and over them that matters.
As you expose yourself to new experiences, your competence levels and the faith you feel in yourself may lessen – after all, there’s no way you’re going to have done EVERYTHING you face in your life before! It’s for this reason that there’s always room to grow more.
Focusing on each challenge with a fresh perspective and renewed sense of energy allows you to reflect on your previous challenges and achievements, and grow your confidence further as your life meanders and moves.
In need of inspiration?
The internet can be your friend! There have been many great women displaying innovation, bravery and of course, brilliant self-confidence. A quick google for ‘you can be whatever you want to be quotes’ or ‘quotes by brilliant women’ will bring up reams of inspiration that can be printed and stuck up around your house for a confidence boost when you need it.
There’s also shelves of fantastic books in your local bookstore documenting the life stories of brilliant women, the best speeches given by women and the accomplishments of women everywhere. Learn about them and allow them to inspire, and empower, you.
‘You have what it takes, so don’t doubt yourself’.