- full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: We have every confidence in their ability to succeed.
- belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance: His lack of confidence defeated him.
- certitude; assurance: He described the situation with such confidence that the audience believed him completely.
Confidence is widely perceived as one of those taboo topics, like Amarrian anal love beads. Everyone knows what you’re talking about, but it’s only talked about in hushed tones and with great apprehension.
We all place confidence in people or things. I have complete confidence that when I fire my autocannons, they are loaded and calibrated. They will fire. I have complete trust in my weapons systems. I have confidence in my crews, knowing my ships will perform as expected, when expected. I have complete confidence in the Jovian technology that transfers my consciousness at the moment of death to a new body. I have to trust and have confidence in my fleets, knowing that we all perform the roles assigned, that we all follow the orders of our fleet commander. I have confidence that as I pay the rental fee for my captain’s quarters on station that power and air will be supplied to it. I have confidence that the food I buy and eat has been checked for contamination and meets cleanliness and nutritional standards. I have confidence that when I put one foot in front of the other, I will move forward.
You may be thinking these are silly examples of confidence because they are things we all take for granted.
I also have complete confidence in myself. Oh you arrogant bastard!
We’ve reached the taboo.
I’ve watched parents promote the quality of confidence in their offspring. There are campaigns against bullying, standing up for yourself, being confident in who you are. Heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, trisexual, be confident in yourself. I’ve watched as corporate employees surpass their peers as they climb the ladder and it’s not about them being better necessarily, it’s about their confidence, their assuredness in what they are doing. I’ve seen military officers give commands and their teams follow orders without hesitation, having confidence in their commander. I’ve watched politicians and religious leaders win over audiences not because what they say is true, but because they instill such confidence in their words that to debate or refute their views seems implausible.
Yet when it comes to our own self-confidence, we are shy and hesitant, afraid to embrace this particular aspect of our humanity.
Societies have always had a propensity to tear down the confident. The easy answer is petty jealousy – we tear down those we perceive as better than ourselves in order to make our own existence suck less. That’s perfectly natural, perfectly human. It’s also shitty. Another reaction is to applaud those that rise above, that exhibit the qualities we wish we possessed, to emulate their behaviours in an effort to improve ourselves, to “fake it til we make it.” This is a much better attitude though still keeps the focus elsewhere.
Negative reinforcement is a powerful thing. For the minority, like myself, negativity and failures motivate me to do better. That doesn’t work for the majority. Most of us require approval, encouragement, the constant pat on the back that we are ok, we are normal, we are doing well. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I enjoy a good “well done” as much as the next person. I simply don’t require it in order to be self-confident.
Can you imagine a version of yourself that doesn’t require motivation from anyone other than you? Can you picture the future you possessing complete self-confidence, knowing that you will succeed in anything you apply yourself to? I honestly hope you can. That’s the first step to realizing your potential.
Look at those that you admire for their confidence, the ones you see and may say to yourself I wish I was more like them. I’m going to let you in on a secret. They are no better than you are. Not in the least. I know I’m not.
The difference is confidence. They possess the drive, the consistency, and the will to do more for themselves. Fortunately, that’s something we all possess as human beings, something we can all tap into if we can simply get over ourselves.
Of course, as in all things, there must always be balance, and this is where most of us get confused in our perceptions. The typical response to observing confidence in another is attributing it to arrogance. Most of the time this is inaccurate, but as I started out saying, we do this for many reasons, mainly to make ourselves feel better.
As Roc’s Rule #393 clearly states, and I quote:
Confidence is knowing what you’re good at. Arrogance is making sure everyone else knows it too.
Nobody likes a blowhard. Or someone that has to outdo everything you’ve ever done. Confidence can be a quiet thing or something shared with those that support you. Really, it’s a waste of words to anyone else so why bother? There is a certain humility that comes with confidence. It’s not about making yourself better than everyone else; it’s about making yourself better.
Sure, it all sounds easy when you’re reading this, maybe you even feel motivated right now. Hold onto that. It’s a precious treasure. We all have our own baggage, our own poor self-image that threatens to negate any behavioural changes we want so desperately to make for ourselves.
Crush it. Stop listening to it.
Share your victories with those that support you. Ignore those that don’t. Surround yourself with those who want to see you grow, see you reach beyond your potential, see you succeed.
Do whatever you need to do. Print out posters that remind you of the things you want to improve. Set daily goals. Say detailed prayers. Model your own physical progress after your own fictional hero. Make progress on the piece of art that is you, each and every day. You deserve nothing less.
Be confident. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. Ever.