Wanted: Confidence Elixir
Confidence makes us feel like rock stars. When we feel confident, we feel energized and ready to tackle whatever life throws at us. On the other hand, when we lose our confidence, we feel shrunken and shriveled, and we want to hide. At times like this, we wish we had a confidence elixir we could take to boost our flagging spirits.
What is Confidence?
What exactly is confidence? Confidence is the belief and conviction that you are enough and that you have what it takes to get the job done.
Feeling confident is sometimes difficult. Life is challenging, and we consistently face difficult things we have never dealt with before. We can get general guidelines from others about how to live our life, but no one can tell us exactly how to do it. This can make it difficult to feel like we are enough and have what it takes to get the job done.
I have increasingly realized that confidence is not a thing we simply do or do not possess. Rather, confidence is a state of mind we can cultivate by focusing on true and good ideas about ourselves.
Here are six true and good ideas that can help you feel more confident.
#1 You have Amazing Creativity, Compassion, and Wisdom Inside of You.
Often when we lack confidence, it is because we look at people who are successful, compare ourselves to them, and believe they have something we do not.
While comparison is a somewhat normal human tendency, it can become debilitating because comparison makes us think that we need more of something—money, a certain kind of beauty, talent—in order to feel confident about ourselves.
This is actually not the case. There are people who have lots of money, beauty approved by the fashion industry, etc., and yet they do not feel confident. On the other hand, there are people who do not have these things and are incredibly confident. How do they do it?
A couple months ago, I read this quote by Jessica Ortner, “You have everything you need to live an extraordinary life”. At first I resisted the idea, but then I realized it is true. Confidence does not come from any external source. It comes from knowing that you have something special inside you: it is the wisdom, love, compassion that all humans have and that will lead you down an excellent path if you let it.
This is really good news because this means that we never need to be more or have more to be confident. We just need to tap into what we already have: namely our wisdom, love, and compassion. The more we tap into these resources, the more we understand the steps we need to take next and the more we cultivate compassion and love for ourselves. This boosts our confidence.
If you are feeling especially unconfident today, here is something you can say to yourself: “I cultivate wisdom, love, and compassion every day, and these gifts give me all that I need for any situation.”
#2: You are Here for a Purpose
Sometimes we feel unconfident because we do not know why we are here or what we are doing. The second thing that can help you feel more confident is to realize that you are here for a purpose.
All people have the ability to transform their corner of the world for greater love, beauty, and justice.
Your corner of the world is unique to you. It is your family, neighborhood, job, friendships, spiritual community, hobbies, etc. When you commit yourself to loving yourself and loving others, you light up your corner of the world with love, beauty, and justice. This is how you transform your corner of the world.
Imagine if everyone committed to lighting up their corner of the world. The entire world would be a sparkly orb of beauty.
You are not responsible for anyone else’s corner; you are just responsible for yours. When you light up your corner of the world, your light has a tendency to spread to others and inspire them to light up their corner of the world. This is your purpose: to be and share light. It is okay if you are not exactly sure how to do this. Take it one step at a time.
When you are lacking confidence, you can say to yourself: “My purpose is to be and share light, and I can do it.”
#3 You Only Need to Know The Moment You Are In
Sometimes we lack confidence because we look at all of the decisions we have to make, the responsibilities we have, and what we want to become. We have no idea how we are going to do it all, and this makes us feel extremely unconfident.
When we lack confidence for this reason, it is important to understand that you NEVER have to know how everything is going to work out. Life is something we learn by doing, and you are only responsible for the moment you are in. No one knows how everything is going to work out in advance.
Life is a lot like learning to ice skate. If you want to learn to ice skate, you just start trying. You fall a bit. You learn balance. Eventually you skate. You fall some more. After a while, you learn to skate beautifully.
The best thing to do to skate well is to focus on the moment in which you are.
It certainly okay to think about where you eventually want to end up and how well you want to skate in the future, but if you focus too much on all of this, you will not pay attention to where you are and learn from the moment.
In every situation in life, we increase our confidence if we realize that we are only responsible for the moment at hand. When we stay in the moment with ourselves and learn from it, we become wiser, more compassionate people and have everything we need to cultivate wisdom, skill, and success.
When you feel unconfident because you are worried about the future, you can say to yourself, “I am present with myself in this moment. I am only responsible for right now.”
#4 Mistakes are Gifts
Sometimes we feel unconfident because we have made mistakes or are afraid of making mistakes. In addition, sometimes people can be very cruel and critical when we make mistakes, and this causes us pain. Worrying about mistakes can destroy our confidence because we know that we are bound to make mistakes, and yet we feel like we are bad or stupid or horrible if we do.
We can build our confidence if we realize that mistakes are a normal part of life, and they are actually a gift.
The important thing to realize is that the only way to avoid making mistakes is to lock ourselves in our room or hide in a cave. Doing this would certainly cut down on the number of mistakes we make, but it would also mean that we are not living our lives. So, if we are making mistakes, congrats to us! We are showing up to our life and living it. That is excellent.
It is also important to realize that mistakes are a gift for three reasons. First, whenever we make mistakes, we figure out how not to do something, and this means we are one step closer to figuring out the right thing to do. Second, when we makes mistakes, we realize something we do not know, and this allows us to search for wisdom and knowledge. Third, when we make mistakes, we figure out a weakness, and this allows us to seek wisdom and truth to help our weakness.
Anyone who has accomplished a lot will tell you that it takes a lot of mistakes. In fact, the more we make mistakes and learn from them, the wiser and more skillfully we can navigate the world.
Here is something you can say to yourself when you struggle with confidence because of mistakes: “Mistakes are a sign that I am living my life and learning. I learn excellent things from every mistake I make.”
#5 Help and Love are Always Available
Sometimes we feel unconfident because we feel like we are alone, and this makes us feel unsupported and scared.
It is important to remember that we are never alone. We always belong to something loving and greater than ourselves. You can think of this greater loving thing as the Divine OR, if you do not believe in God, you might think of it as the loving kindness and the loving human creativity that all human beings share (even if they forget it sometimes). The point is that despite the darkness in the world, there is deep and powerful love there, as well, and that love is always available to us.
Whenever we express love, hope, or wisdom, or a willingness to understand these things, we make ourselves visible and available to receive help. Mindsets like love, hope, and wisdom are joining mindsets. Love seeks out and loves to join with more love. Hope seeks out and loves to join with more hope. Wisdom seeks out and loves to join with more wisdom.
So, whenever we cultivate* mindsets of love, hope, wisdom, and others like this (or are even just willing to cultivate them), we tend to automatically double or triple these good things in our life. This gives us the help we need.
We do this because we make ourselves visible to the love, hope, and wisdom in the world, and we realize we are not alone. The cool thing about these mindsets is that you do not have to feel love, hope, or wisdom in order to cultivate them. You just have to be willing.
When we are willing, we will discover practices that cultivate and enforce these mindsets even further. We can be willing just by expressing an openness to learning about these mindsets and an intention to seek after them.
The next time you feel unconfident because you feel alone, you can say to yourself, “I am a part of something greater than myself, and I am willing to find love, hope, and wisdom.”
#6 As Long as You Keep Going, You are Doing It Right
Sometimes we feel unconfident because we are afraid we are failing at life. The important thing to realize, though, is that as long as we keep going, we are doing it right. It is normal to make mistakes and fail sometimes. It is normal to have good days and bad days. It is normal to feel confident and unconfident. All of these moments of life are common and normal, and it means you are doing life right.
Keep taking steps forward. As long as you keep going, or are even willing to keep going, or are even willing to be willing, you are on the right path, and you are winning.
The next time you feel unconfident because you feel like you are failing, you can say to yourself, “Good and bad moments are a normal part of life, and I accept them. I am willing to keep taking steps forward.”
We all have days in which we feel unconfident. The good news is that you do have to be or have anything else to be confident. Confidence is like a muscle that we develop through exercising it. The more you keep practicing the attitudes mentioned above and others like them, the stronger your confidence will become. Peace to you, Friend.
 In other blog posts, I have referred to these qualities as our Light. If you believe in God, you can think of your Light as the image of God in you. If you do not believe in God, you can think of your Light as something bigger than you that you are a part of—it is the loving kindness and creative rationality that human beings all share. Your Light is both the most real thing about you, and it is also something much bigger than you. This is great news because it means that