A belief or feeling that you can do it. A trust you have in yourself and your ability or abilities to succeed.
The word confidence gets thrown around in various ways. Means different things to different people, but today, for right now, this is what I’m referring to. That confidence that comes from within. The confidence you have in yourself, and in your ability to achieve what you set out to do, to achieve what’s on your heart. To cultivate the life you dream of.
In my Confidence Challenge post, I said,
“Confidence is not something we can give to someone. Not something we can get from someone else. it’s something we give to ourselves.”
Now, as friends, supporters, encouragers, parents… we do have the ability to cultivate an environment for others to grow and bolster their confidence. And conversely, we also have the ability to tear down and damage another, if their confidence is not rock solid.
But deep inner confidence, that comes from within. Is built from within.
Confidence helps us embrace challenges, pursue our dreams, and find fulfillment. True inner confidence is not about achievements or external “success”, or even about validation from others.
But that deep inner confidence comes from within. From knowing and accepting one’s self – and believing in our abilities, and our ability to figure it out. There is a deep faith, a deep knowing, that you are capable, able, and can figure out or worth through any challenges that you will face.
Why Confidence Matters
Our belief in ourselves, our abilities – our confidence – allows us to navigate the journey with authenticity and resilience, to make our difference – our impact – in the world, despite the challenges or obstacles we may face.
Confidence empowers us to take risks, step out of our comfort zones, and follow opportunities to reach our goals and the dreams that are on our hearts. It bolsters our resolve, when all other indicators or nay sayers, say no.
And our confidence empowers others. Encourages them. Inspires them. Helps build their own belief in what is possible.
True inner confidence radiates from within, it’s not arrogance, or cockiness, or stand-offishness, it’s simply there. It shows in how we speak, how we stand, how we move. Confidence shows up as an energy and fuels our drive, and impacts the opportunities that come available to us.
When we feel confident, it reflect positively in our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. But the converse is true as well. When we aren’t feeling confident, when our confidence has been damaged, then it also can negatively impact all aspects of our well-being.
What Factors Influence Inner Self- Confidence
The voices around us and the voices within us all can impact our self-confidence. Our self-talk, how we respond to “failures”, adversity, and challenges, all impact our self-belief.
How we re-frame, repeat, and remember our past experiences influences the strength and tone of the memories we use to draw upon our confidence.
This is another example of “what we focus on grows”. If we continually repeat negative self-talk, beating ourselves up about things that didn’t go right, it erodes our confidence.
If we are focusing on our strengths, expressing gratitude for the blessings and what went right, and reframing the negativity or putting it context, then we reinforce our confidence and belief in ourselves and the world at large.
We can choose to focus on what is going right, the positives, and on finding solutions or resources to help us along the way – reinforcing our confidence and increasing our successes.
It’s very easy to focus on the negative, on what isn’t or didn’t go right. But it tears us down. And from a biology perspective, reinforces and strengthens those negative pathways.
We want to reinforce the positive pathways, the positive memories. Reinforce the belief in who we are and our belief and faith in ourselves and what we bring to the world.
Self-awareness and self-acceptance is an important part of this process. Recognizing we are not perfect. No human is perfect. But we are perfectly designed, perfectly created as individuals. And the beauty of being human is our individuality.
Cultivating both an inner and external environment that supports us, within who we are – our imperfect selves – with grace, compassion, and kindness helps nurture our confidence.
As we set forth in our goals, in our daily lives, and in pursuing our dreams, we can cultivate environments, routines, and support systems that nurtures our inner confidence, helping us grow and reach success – however we define it.
Self-Care and Inner Confidence
Part of self-acceptance is self-care. Understanding, accepting, and prioritizing our physical, mental, and emotional needs – taking care of ourselves – is a cornerstone of confidence. In some cultures, the word “self-care” is tainted as being “selfish”. And yet, we can not pour from an empty cup.
Our energy and mental and physical health matters. It nurtures us, rejuvenates us, and allows us to grow and develop as humans.
Whether it’s cultivating calm, practicing mindfulness, or nurturing our bodies with movement and nutrient rich foods – it all impacts how we feel. And if we don’t feel good – physically, mentally, or emotionally – it impacts our belief in our abilities. It impacts our confidence.
When our bodies and minds feel good, when we have energy and vigor, it’s much easier to feel confident.
To draw upon our inner confidence, our inner belief in ourselves and our abilities to achieve our goals – to make our difference in the world.
Rather than being “selfish”, self-care allows us to create more positivity – more good – in the world, by moving towards our goals with confidence.
Compassion and Grace: Embracing Imperfection
Part of our self-care and self-acceptance is embracing our imperfection and our individuality. Rather than being flawless, we acknowledge, own, and even celebrate both our strengths and our weaknesses, and our unique qualities and abilities.
Recognizing that not one of us is perfect.
That doesn’t mean to use our imperfection as an excuse, but instead recognize that perfection is not the goal. We are not meant to be perfect individuals. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, areas they are strong in, and areas that are a struggle. And that is part of being human.
Even those with the most amazing highlight reel struggle, face challenges and adversity.
Knowing that means we can give ourselves grace, and treat ourselves with kindness and compassion when we fall down, or miss the mark.
Embracing self-compassion and extending grace to ourselves when we stumble or make mistakes builds confidence. Gives us key tools to draw upon as we navigate the challenges and difficulties we face.
With kindness, self-forgiveness, and understanding, we develop self-acceptance and resilience – further belief in our ability to accomplish our goals, to do what we set out to – no matter what we may face.
Compassion, Grace and Self-Care Nurtures Confidence
Just as confidence is not something we give to another, it is also not something we obtain once in a lifetime and it’s there forever. As we grow and navigate – and experience – life, our confidence must be protected and nurtured, and sometimes re-built.
That too requires compassion, grace, and self-care.
Building a supportive inner – and external – environment that feeds positivity, encouragement, compassion, and grace…
That supports healthy mental, physical, and emotional self-care, and
Celebrates our individuality – in all of our strengths and weaknesses…
Allows our confidence to flourish and grow over time.
Confidence is not a destination, an achievement to obtain, but a process of self-discovery and growth.
Nurturing inner confidence is a lifelong journey, a continual process through all the season of our lives. A worthy investment in ourselves, in our goals, and in our impact in the world.
Shannon Stoltz is a writer, trainer, and entrepreneur. But her favorite role has been that of work-at-home mom to four fabulous, homeschooled, and now grown, kiddos. Shannon is fascinated with how humans learn, grow, and communicate, and passionate about the importance of embracing our unique gifts, talents, and individuality. She lives in the countryside outside Houston, Texas, with her family, and their menagerie of rescue animals.