Confidence Deconstructed

“They don’t trust me. I can feel it”.
It never feels good to be untrusted, whether it’s by your boss, your spouse, your kids, your colleagues, or even the anonymous public. We crave trust because it is the foundation of any relationship. It’s the bricks & mortar vessel that holds all interactions. Without it, we are dismissed and perceived as not worthy of a relationship. This matters to people so much that some will even engage in deceitful and dishonest means to gain the trust of others, in the form of excuses, false claims and even résumé padding. Try that on for irony!
But what about trust of self?
I had a conversation with a client the other day about his struggle to stay on track with his business development work. He said that his inability to push through the uncomfortable times wasn’t possible because his confidence is too low. He was afraid that even if he did everything he needed to do to develop his fledgling business, it could still fail. Never mind the self-fulfilling prophecy of this one for the time being, let’s just look at cause & remedy here.
Confidence comes from the Latin work fidēs, which means “faith or trust”. So if you are talking about self-confidence, it’s simply about possessing a faith or trust in yourself. Sounds silly, right?  I mean, you know yourself! Your behavior is dictated by the very entity whom you do not trust? (Stay with me here….)
First, how does one gain and nurture the trust of others? It is by continually and consistently showing up. If you want your boss to trust you, you have to meet deadlines and consistently show up prepared. Your spouse? You must listen earnestly to them, stay faithful and consistent in your devotion to them and the relationship. Kids? Stay consistent in your use of accountability. You must not be punitive or ingratiating to kids, or they will never trust what they get from you as their parent. You get the idea. It’s all about consistently showing up.
The same rules apply for trust of self, or confidence. The more you consistently show up, no matter what the challenge is, the more you nurture your trust of self.
“But what if I can’t be sure of my success? What if I try and try and try, even though I still could fail?”
Scary, right? Uncertainty is the main ingredient of fear. And the only way to overcome fear is to confront it. After all, courage is not the absence of fear. It is the acknowledgment of the fear and doing it anyway. (Tweet this!) And as Dr. Neel Burton points out, “a courageous person has limitless capabilities and possibilities.”
Let’s cut to the chase:
Confidence in yourself requires that you trust yourself. You can only trust yourself if you show up regularly despite your fears. That is courage. And the more courage you show, the more confidence you will have in yourself, so you will be more inclined to show up again next time despite the fear you feel. And on and on it goes. Courage begets confidence which begets courage.
The answer, my friends, is to take action. Get out of your head. Your thoughts and ideas alone don’t breed your trust in yourself. Only your actions do. That’s called confidence. (Tweet this!) So show up. Fail often. Make your adjustments and show up again. Rinse. Repeat.

Lean into your own Growth Edge. Let’s talk.