Confidence is all about trust; in yourself, in others and in institutions. As social beings, trust is critical to our healthy existence. I think a great deal of the current emotional angst in the world is because we have lost confidence in what we thought was true. In fact truth itself has been under attack as one group or another has claimed they are the arbiters of truth. Tricksters in politics and business seem to be everywhere. Alternative truths (see: Lies) shatter confidence.
My mom used to like playing a version of the game of confidence. She would bait me into a conversation by asking me a question to which she already knew the answer. If it was about something I’d done she wouldn’t reveal she had inside information until I stammered out some nonsense story. It was a trap, and I fell for it for a long time. People get conned like this in phone and email scams. Why? Because we are generally trusting people and we have confidence that others will not harm us because, hey, we’re nice people.
On my best days I have an abundance of confidence. I feel capable even in potentially uncomfortable situations and I know my worth without being arrogant about it. When you see that in others it’s often referred to as charisma. When you feel it in yourself it’s close to being magical. Maria, in the film The Sound of Music, sings about this bursting urge to shine her light of confidence on everyone. This scene captures perfectly what I’m trying to say.
Having confidence in yourself and your belief system may make you naive but not ignorant. You don’t have to turn into a cynic because the rest of the world seems mean right now. I take care with whom I put my trust. Being older carries a certain amount of advantage when it comes to recognizing a charlatan when you meet one. Just the mere act of aging can be a real confidence builder. It seems to come as no surprise when we get congratulated so soundly for ‘making it’ into our seventies and eighties or nineties, even though we really haven’t done anything to merit the award.
I think of courage as different from confidence. The former is a spontaneous brave response that blocks out all danger. The latter suggests that you believe you can do something, even though you may feel fear at the same time. Confidence can be learned, bravery is quite simply miraculous.
Considering all the hurdles to jump in forming a relationship, I believe gaining someone’s confidence is the first step. When I think of how my love for my wife has grown I know it started with a trust that I could speak confidentially without fearing judgement. I had to see that she had as much confidence in me as I had in her. When someone believes in you, it can be such a boost to your confidence that anything possible can become a phenomenal reality.
2 thoughts on “Re: Confidence”
I read this while watching the CBC show about Dr.Haley Wickenheiser – “a girl can do anything a boy can do” – one of the greatest examples of confidence…
I approve of your example Mr.T. and I also salute your ability to multitask