Confidence – a key to happiness
Confidence–a key to happiness
Many of us strive to achieve confidence. We want to be confident in all aspects of our lives. Work, relationships, personal aspects. Confidence is an admirable trait that most strive to achieve.
Confidence is one of my keys to happiness. Once we have established confidence in the areas of our lives that matter the most to us, we are one step closer to finding true happiness.
What is confidence?
Confidence is having faith in an ability.
If you have faith in your ability to do something, then it’s backed up by your confidence.
Having faith in your ability to do something gives you the strength and perseverance needed to pursue it and ultimately, to achieve success.
Confidence makes performing tasks that much easier.
A doctor is confident he can treat his patients and give them sound and helpful information. A doctor confidently provides this medical advice because he has faith the advice he provides is both relevant and helpful.
It’s this confidence that allows for people to trust in the doctor.
If we faced a nervous, anxious doctor, we wouldn’t be as trusting. Despite his experience and qualifications, his lack of confidence makes it hard for him to become successful. People observe this lack of confidence and have a hard time trusting in his abilities to be of help.
Let’s go back to the confident doctor. The confident doctor speaks clearly and probably knows what’s wrong before you can even start identifying any symptoms.
Having confidence in his work is great, but does that make him a confident person overall? Not necessarily.
Most of us see confidence as something you either have or you don’t. Truth is, we are all confident in some parts of our life and completely lack any form of confidence in others.
The confident doctor may be confident with what he does for a living, but chances are if you were to ask him to audition for the next Disney on Ice musical, he might not be as confident.
This brings us to our first important point:
It’s not practical to be confident at everything.
It is completely natural to feel confident in some parts of our lives and not so confident in others.
I am confident in my ability to make people laugh or help people feel better when they’re feeling down.
If you were to ask me to help you decode some html script, then I’d probably give off a quirky giggle before changing the subject.
I have little to no confidence with any language not found in a dictionary.
Does this lack of confidence make me any less of a person? Does this lack of knowledge make me lazy or unambitious?
It does not.
At this point in my life, I don’t have an interest in programming. I find it fascinating, but it’s not high on my priority list of things to learn, right now.
Life is not one big DIY project, we focus on what we’re good at and love and outsource the things we not.
Because it’s not very important to me, it’s not something I’ve invested a lot of time in.
This brings us to the second point:
Confidence is gained through practice.
I’m sure we can all agree that nobody is born a programmer or a doctor. It takes months, if not, years worth of practicing before they became confident in their skills as either a programmer or a doctor.
Both the programmer and the doctor have one thing in common:
They discovered what they loved and decided it was worth investing time, money and loads of sacrifices to one day become confident in their skills.
Our third point:
Confidence is personal.
Besides practice, there really is no secret formula to confidence, but it’s crucial you choose to become confident at something you value, respect, long for, or love.
I have no interest in becoming a programmer. That doesn’t mean I can’t set out and learning everything about coding. We can learn anything we want, but ultimately, our success is determined by how badly we want it.
A quick brief recap:
The doctor’s confidence helps him succeed career-wise. It’s impossible for him to be confident with medical matters and everything else.
Most importantly, his choice to be confident at anything is a personal decision, and around something he loves and is dear to him.
Let’s go back to the confident doctor. We’ve established he is pretty confident at what he does for a living. Does this mean he’s found happiness?
The key to happiness does not just lie in his confidence professionally.
For him to find happiness, he needs to find confidence in all aspects of his life – all aspects important to him.
Let’s assume this doctor values time spent alone. He uses this time to meditate, which helps him clear his mind.
He values meditation, in fact, he loves it. The only problem is that he never seems to have enough time to do so and when he does, he can’t switch off and stop stressing about ‘time wasted.’
If he values time spent alone, then this doctor needs to build his confident around this aspect of his life.
How does he do that? Through practice. Because he is not used to allowing himself any ‘me’ time, the first few times he spends will be difficult. He will probably find himself restless or unable to stop worrying about work and everything else going on around him.
The more the doctor practices spending time alone, the easier it becomes. After a bit of practice, he reaches a state where his ‘me time’ is taken into consideration before agreeing to see any patient.
This is a simple, yet effective example of someone finding happiness within themselves through building confidence in what they love most.
Now I could have said, we need to find confidence in all aspects of our lives, professionally, in our relationships with ourselves, with others.
The above applies to me, but it would be naïve of me to assume I know which aspects of the doctor’s life mean the most to him.
Remember, confidence is personal and different people will want to achieve confidence in different aspects of their lives.
Provided you are completely honest with yourself and these areas complement a healthy self-esteem, only you can decide what areas are most important to you.
There are two things that contribute towards our self-confidence:
Self efficiency and self-esteem.
In the above paragraph, I mentioned that it’s important to build our confidence levels around what’s most important to us and what we love most, provided what you love compliments a healthy self-esteem.
You could loooove letting your inner asshole loose, but that does not mean you can now practice being rude to others, hoping you can one day confidently insult those around you. Furthermore, honing in on your skills to make those around you feel miserable will not make you happy and it certainly doesn’t contribute towards a positive self-esteem.
There are three rules to confidence.
1) It’s impractical to be confident at everything.
2) Confidence is only gained through practice.
3) Confidence is personal. Increase your confidence (through practice) around what’s important to you
Related posts: Confidence vs arrogance
I will expand on confidence and the effect it has on our happiness in my upcoming book, Unveiling happiness. Be sure to subscribe to be the first to receive this book at the launch price of $0.99