The more I think about what confidence is the more confused about it I feel. As I have said several times, people keep telling me how confident I come across now. Apparently my body language has a confident posture; the way I look, the way I carry myself, the way I communicate and express myself.
I certainly have my drive back – and them some. I’m doing things now I should have done several years ago. “Carpe diem” and all that.
Regular readers will know that I have never felt confident. I still don’t (think I) feel it. What I do feel is a new zest for life, a determination to make it happen. Walking out on my job and being determined to give my dreams my best shot is another part of that.
I don’t know that it is confidence any more than it is any of the following:
* I’m a few years off of 40 and had better get cracking
* Feeling focussed
* Fire in the belly – wanting to make every moment count
* Not wanting to waste my skills and talents
When I bought The Confidence Gap by Doctor Russ Harris, it felt like a natural step after finishing, absorbing and putting into action all of the lessons from Melanie Fennell’s book. My self-esteem was on the rise; I’d woken up yet I still had little confidence to do stuff. Now, if people tell me I am oozing confidence I’m not sure I need this book at all for its self-help qualities!
But I’m reading it now, if only for curiosity in trying to discover what confidence is. Is it something attainable? Is it a goal or a value? Is it something you feel with clearly defined, tangible indicators like the feelings you when you are in love? Or depressed? Or have a cracked rib? Or a cold?
Early on, the book asks the following questions. This is how I answered them:
In a world where you had unlimited confidence:
How would you behave differently?
Compared to right now? Actually, nothing because I’m giving up everything of my old life and returning home to start a new one. I’m exploring my options and determined to make a go of it
How would you walk and talk differently?
I’d be more willing to express my views and stand up against what I see as wrong. I’d walk with my head high and a determined expression (some say I already do)
How would you play, work and perform differently?
Work: Seeing as I am about to give up my job; I wouldn’t.
Play: I am spending more time doing things I’ve always wanted to do and I will continue doing new things
How would you treat others differently?
I’d be less forgiving of bullshit and less accepting of people taking advantage.
How would you treat yourself differently?
I’d be a lot kinder on myself. I am a lot better than I was but I still have my moments
How would you treat your body?
Don’t know. I’ve been physically a lot healthier for over six months now and feeling in the best shape since my childhood
How would you talk to yourself?
Less self-critical. As with two questions back, I’m getting better but I still have my negative moments
How would your character change?
I have changed a lot in the last year. Would it change further? Not sure at the moment… let me re-evaluate at the end of the book
What sort of things would you start doing?
Meh. Too late for that; already doing a lot more stuff than I was last year. Though I would probably “go for it” a lot more
What would you stop doing?
Holding myself back because of self-doubts. I would also stop being afraid of failing (I still do this sometimes)
What goals would you set and work toward?
Err, again I’m already there and when I’ve reached those I have a new stack ready to move in
What difference would your new found confidence make in your closest relationships and how would you behave differently around those people?
I’d be more open about what I’m feeling instead of thinking “they don’t understand me”, explain what I think and what I want without letting them talk me out of it.
Im sure I’d be more of a flirt when I’m attracted to somebody – my second date with ubergeek revealed this side of me
What difference would your new-found confidence help you to make in the world?
Not in the world, but to myself in achieving my own personal goals.
So there we have it, whatever it is, it seems I am already on the road toward it. And I’m still none the wiser at this early stage.