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The Hidden Psychology of Self-Confidence…

7 March 2011 No Comment

African american woman smiling in field

“Without self-confidence, you’ve lost in the race of life. With self-confidence, you’ve won even before you started…” ~ Marcus Garvey

Self-confident people use their minds differently then most of us. The key phrase here is “use their minds,” because self-confidence is less of a physical thing we can actually observe and more so the intelligence and perception underlying whatever they experience.

Again, this post is called The PSYCHOLOGY of Self-Confidence because that’s the hidden aspect to it: you can try to emulate self-confident behavior through modeling or do step by step exercises to build it when it’s not already there, but underneath all of that is a deeper, more fundamental worldview (and self-image) that you need to understand in order to have it for real…

Let’s Get More in Depth

African american woman at laptopSelf-confidence is a characteristic that emanates from self-esteem: if you want to BE more confident in situations, you have to FEEL more confident inside of yourself.

You have amazing abilities inside of you: you have talents, skills, powers and capacities so brilliant and so unique to who you are that if you were to unleash it, you’d be virtually unstoppable.

But UNLESS YOU HAVE BELIEF INSIDE OF YOU too, none of that makes a difference at all…

Unless you feel at your core that you’re a force to be reckoned with – a force to be heard and respected – you’ll never muster up the courage to do anything of significance. So here’s a few mindset tricks to help you get in touch with that feeling:

Failure Doesn’t Exist

I’m serious: failure doesn’t exist…it’s just a concept that humans invented. It’s a lot like what people say about time: just as the only time that REALLY “exists” is the present (and “the past” or “the future” can only be experienced in our minds), the only failure that really exists is LEARNING (and feeling as though you “failed” is only one way of perceiving an educational experience).

If you sit down and think about this, you’ll realize it’s true. All learning requires failure:

>> Learning how to ride bike requires “failing” by falling off one,
>> Learning how to have relationships requires “failing” by getting dumped,
>> Learning how to write poetry requires “failing” by drafting weak prose,

…so on and so forth. You have to learn how to be smart financially by losing on investments and going through hard times, and you can’t even appreciate what health means until you know what disease feels like.

We could go on for days, but I think you get the point: stop fearing failure because it doesn’t even exist – it’s a natural part of the equation you need to reframe in your mind as simply learning (which is a good thing).

Think “There’s Nothing Impossible for Me”

African american male child smile...Confident people think “nothing’s impossible for me.” Confident children say, “anything you can do I can do better” and they’re right, because they can become capable of what they’re currently not capable of.

Eliminate the word “can’t” from your vocabulary, and on a deeper note, don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do (not even your parents). If someone assumes you have limitations just because they know you, challenge them on it…invite them to put their money where their mouth is.

Think like the world is open to you, so if someone says something is impossible – for you to have a successful career around your artistic ideals, for you to speak to a specific audience with a specific message or for you to simply maintain your integrity as you push forward – make it a point to prove them wrong. Just tell them “watch me.”

The other day my homegirl told me “don’t short change yourself,” and part of that is not letting anybody else short change you either…

Think, “The World is on My Side”

Dwayne Wade on court thinking...Last night, after Miami lost to Chicago, Dwayne Wade said something along the lines of, “We lost…the world can be happy now.”

Now I’m no expert sports analyst or anything, but after hearing him say that, I can GUARANTEE you that Miami isn’t going too far this year (even with two of the greatest players in the league). Why??? Because they believe the entire world wants it that way…

Thinking that the world is against you is akin to thinking that God himself is against you. When you think like that, you’re now playing against a force beyond your opponent’s mind and beyond the task (in this case basketball) itself. You start believing you were meant to lose “before you even started.”

(I think the coach actually came out and said that a couple of guys were crying in the locker room…not the smartest thing to admit publicly in my humble opinion).

So stop focusing on the “haters” who want to see you fail and stop imagining your efforts as being against some mysterious, evil world-force that’s all about tearing you down. You might be all that, but you definitely ain’t messing with God fool.

Focus on the “lovers” instead. Focus on the people for whom your success would uplift, create opportunities for and motivate to do great things themselves.

The other day I showed one of our clients here at work my blog and she told me I gave her hope for the next generation. She told me she had ideas of doing some writing herself, that I motivated her to get back to it and that she was impressed with me and everything I’ve done so far…

Remember, people want to see you succeed. People want you to win, and even if you’re at a point where it doesn’t feel like that right now, remember that I do (that’s what all this is about). Remember that the people that are against you are IN THE MINORITY – that they’re the rare few nobody can help – and that when most of us see shining and get unconscious permission to do great things ourselves.

The world is with you: we’re rooting for you and want to see you do the best you possibly can, so go ahead and get to it…


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