Where Does Confidence Come From? 5 Insights About Self-Confidence to Help You Grow This Year by Rabbi Simon Jacobson
Is confidence inborn or acquired? Is it nature or nurture? Here are a few insights about confidence that may help you see it more clearly and experience it more readily:
- Experience: Through experience and training – trial and error and repeating patterns – you gain confidence. Even when you are skilled in a given area, it is only with years of experience that you become confident in yourself and your accomplishments.
- Peer support: Peer support is another important factor in gaining confidence. Beginning in early childhood, the support we get from our parents (or lack of it) directly affects our level of self-confidence. When a child is acknowledged and encouraged, assured and complimented, that child builds courage and learns to trust themselves. As we grow older, we look to our friends and colleagues for support and confirmation.
- Confidence is mysterious: Even with experience and peer support, confidence remains somewhat of an elusive mystery. Many experienced people who have all the support in the world may still be insecure and lack self-confidence. Others have deep self-confidence despite their lack of experience and affirmation.
- What confidence isn’t: Confidence must not be confused with persistence or audacity, or with boldness and nerve, just as it shouldn’t be confused with cockiness or arrogance. Many bold actions can be driven by forces other than self-confidence.
- True confidence is rooted in the soul: How can we ever be secure and confident in a world where everything is always shifting and changing? The only permanent thing in your life is your soul – but all people have souls, so why are some more confident than others? Because security comes from a connection to your soul, resulting in a profound self-confidence in your soul’s capacity.
We have two voices within us: the secure voice and the insecure one and the confident voice and the unconfident one. The insecure voice is the one that identifies with the impermanent things in our lives. To tap into our inner sense of security in an insecure world, we need to connect to and practice conscious awareness of our soul.
If you feel you can’t easily access this inner resource that’s just beneath the surface, scrape away the outer “crusts” that conceal the energy within. Psychologically, this is called behavioral change; external change brings internal change. Shift your routines and this will in turn shift your inner moorings. Shift breeds shift.
One way to create such shift is to “fake” it. Project and believe in the possibility even when you are not in the mood. Act confident even when you may not feel that way. When you behaviorally “pretend” to act according to the true nature of your soul – when you align your outer self with your inner self – you actually give your soul the opportunity to be actualized in your life.
Choose a cause you believe in and jump in with confidence, even if you have fears. Project confidence, and true confidence will often follow. Believe in your soul. Believe in yourself. Everything is possible.
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