Confidence can be elusive. In fact, for many, it’s a constant source of frustration.
The stage lights are on, the audience buzzing as the contestant takes their seat. The Quiz Show is ready for live taping and everyone is poised for action.
The first couple of questions are easy as the contestant builds confidence in their quest to win the big prize. But with the fourth question the difficulty increases.
The quiz show host asks the question. It’s noticeably tougher and the contestants sense of confidence drops immediately.
“I’m not sure I know this one” the words escape before they realized they’d said it. They start the processing their options.
“I don’t think it’s A or B, so it’s a choice between C and D”, as they trawl through their depths of their memory to conjure up the answer.
“I think it’s C, let’s lock in C”
There is no confidence in the answer and everyone knows it’s an educated guess.
Surprise, surprise they get it wrong.
The next contestant jumps into the hot seat and takes up the questions. And it’s a toughie.
“I believe the answer is D”
Stronger than thinking you know the answer, but we still have uncertainty here. And the answer is correct, and the host prepares for the next question.
When asked, the contestant shows immediate confidence. “I know this one”. They proceed to answer and their confidence is matched with a correct answer.
The Quiz Show Continuum
Confidence can be elusive. In fact, for many, it’s a constant source of frustration. It evades many for much of their life, goes missing at important moments and thwarts the life they want and desire. Confidence is elusive. And when it’s needed most, it goes AWOL. It’s not there when needed.
And we know when it’s needed, don’t we? Asking our secret crush to a party or a movie, plucking up the courage to ask for a hand in marriage, asking the boss for a pay rise, surviving your annual performance review, being interviewed for a new job, asking a client for their business. Those times in life when we want to appear confident is often when we stumble and splutter over our words and our actions. We feel awkward. We feel crushed, crushed by our own lack of confidence. Our confidence certainly is not there when it’s needed.
From experience, I know confidence comes from within. It comes from knowing and being. It comes from our life experiences and it comes from our acquisition of knowledge. And when we lack these things we see pain and despair. We also see timid people living life under the radar, trying not to stand out, trying to avoid circumstances where confidence is required to produce a result.
The words we use reflect our confidence and consequently our results.
I’m Not Sure – I Don’t Think I Can Do That.
How often have we told ourselves that we aren’t sure we can do something? That we don’t think it’s possible. We have no confidence in ourselves and the words we use dictate this.
Using words like “I’m not sure”, and “I don’t think” in relation to achievement almost ensures we maintain a lack of achievement. Our words mirror our lack of confidence and serve as the precursor to our results.
When we don’t have confidence we use the negative language to express it, but as we move up the confidence scale our language improves. “I think I can do it” is vastly superior to the “I don’t think I can do it” but it doesn’t express real confidence.
Much has been written and expressed of the power of our own thought and much is true. To take the steps needed to become great we do have to think positively about ourselves and our outcomes. It’s simply the beginning. It starts our process and it takes some time to shift our thinking.
“You have to think more positive” is one of the most useless pieces of information I see trotted out from self-help gurus all the time. Thinking positive is a process and comes about from regularly doing habit forming exercise, just as your negative thinking has come about. Start the process because positive thinking does start the process.
Belief is stronger than thought, but it still means we’re uncertain. We may believe something that is simply not true, not proven, not substantiated. It may be spiritual, political and even personally. When was the last time you believed something bad about someone/something simply because someone told you or you read it?
Belief is strong, but belief does not bring confidence, it brings comfort. It may also determine how we live our lives, but belief does not bring total confidence. It brings comfort but confidence can only come from knowledge.
When you know, you have confidence of knowing. It’s certain. You know it. You know it to be true. Knowing is stronger than belief.
It’s simply not enough to know, you must show. The next stage is simply to do, to be, to show. It is not enough to know, you must show. When we take the confidence of knowing and put it into action your life will certainly change for the confidence. It comes from growth, it comes from a quest to learn, it comes from curiosity, it comes from putting action into your quest for a greater life. Learn, grow, do. Challenge your beliefs and know to grow.
Great article, Tony! Words are so powerful… Thank you!!!