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Mental Health Awareness Week – Confidence
To many people, confidence is a mystery. Confidence can be a powerful force, yet it is fragile in its very nature. Its presence can fuel your performance in life, lending strength to your actions, propelling you on a path of success. It can fill you with a sense of belief that allows you to proclaim to yourself and to the world around you, “I am capable.” Its absence can leave you feeling weak and defeated before you even try. Without it, you can be overwhelmed by an inner sense that you are incapable of the success you dared to hope for. Confidence can be crushed in an instant and take a lifetime to rebuild. However, it also has the potential to be boosted, or restored in a second. Ultimately, you need to be able to count on it when you need to perform at your best. Confidence does not guarantee success, make you invincible, or immune to setbacks. However, confidence can help you to seek new opportunities, develop new skills, feel better about yourself, be a better person to be around, perform to a higher standard and fulfill your potential.
Confidence is a question of attitude and belief, both of which are 100% under your control. You must believe that no matter what setbacks have beset your journey thus far, you can come back stronger. You can actually be stronger due to the experience and lessons you have learned the hard way from being dealt hard blows, falling short or coming off second best. Your story is not over. Much of it is still to be written. You can determine what the ending of the story is. You can determine what you have at your disposal.
The undoubted king of confidence is Muhammad Ali, the heavyweight boxing world champion. Before he had won that title, he said over and over again, “I am the greatest.” Later in life he confessed that he said that even before he really believed it, but he thought that if he said it enough times, he would believe it and more importantly, other people would believe it. His bold approach fueled him with enough confidence to make his assertions a reality, as he did become “the greatest.”
People forget that he achieved his glittering career against a backdrop of racism and he changed the culture of sport forever with his dynamic new “self hype” approach, which was more than frowned upon by a large section of society, as they sought to put him down at every opportunity. Nonetheless, his charisma and achievements are celebrated by a great many people today. The point I want you to take from all of this is that even though your fragile confidence may cause you to feel you don’t fit in, the truth is you can still convince people that you do fit in, by dressing appropriately, saying the right things (talking the talk) and by conducting yourself in the same manner as those that you perceive as fitting in (walking the walk). Then by looking like you fit in and sounding like you fit in, you will gradually develop the confidence that you do fit in. Why don’t you commit to trying this as an experiment. This does not require you to pretend to be someone else, but requires you to act the part of a more confident you. At first you may feel awkward, as if you are pretending to be something you’re not, but eventually it will start to feel natural. Your confidence will grow to match the potential and ability you already had to succeed in this area.
Please take some time to watch the 4 videos in this link. The topics covered in these videos are: the importance of self-confidence (13 minutes), how others perceive us (6 minutes), the confidence to overcome challenges (3 minutes) and a guide to speaking more confidently (10 minutes):