I’ve been preparing for a corporate training next week and the theme they want to explore is confidence. There are two things that occur to me about confidence right now:
- Confidence is our natural state.
- It doesn’t matter if we feel confident or not.
Regarding confidence being our natural state, I used to think the exact opposite. I thought that confidence was something I was lacking, and I needed to find it, create it, and fix my issues so that I could experience it. This was a very painful way to view confidence. It reinforced my belief that I was not good enough. Now I see when I am experiencing confidence, it means that I am not caught up in the noise of my insecure thoughts. There is nothing special about me when I am feeling confident. I am simply not buying into limiting thoughts about myself. Confidence is a quality of who I am, but for those thoughts. It is who we all are, but for the illusion of our negative thoughts.
If confidence is our natural state, we don’t need to do anything to get it. It is also not dependent on anything outside of us. If you experience that your confidence is based on something outside of you, you will be on rocky ground. As soon as confidence becomes externally referenced, you open the door to insecure thoughts. If my confidence is dependent on my experience, my skill level, my earnings, my age, my looks, my success, there will always be the possibility of more and better. This is fertile breeding ground for insecure thoughts. And puts us in the position of striving in order to feel good enough. If only I were “x” then I would be more confident.
Freedom, however, comes from seeing that confidence is simply a natural quality of you are. It is your natural state. You don’t have to work on it or improve yourself in order to earn it. It has no relationship to anything outside of you. It is a state of being that results from a mind that is not engaging with insecure thoughts. Confidence is a non-issue when we feel good.
Moving on to #2. It doesn’t matter whether we feel confident or not. Our feelings do not have to get in the way of our performance. If confidence is the natural by-product of the absence of being caught up in insecure thoughts, then a lack of confidence is the experience we have when we are caught up in insecure thoughts. I doesn’t mean anything more than that.
I remember when I was really suffering from a lack of confidence related to public speaking. I thought there was something wrong with me that I felt that way. I thought my insecure thinking and feelings were a personal flaw that needed to be fixed. When I sought help for my problem, Linda Pransky helped me to see I wasn’t broken. I recognized there was nothing wrong with me. I had no issues to resolve. I was simply doing what all humans do — bringing my thoughts to life and experiencing them. My attempts to stop my insecure thinking and my judgment against myself for having them was only serving to bring my painful thoughts to life more fully rather than letting them float by.
I genuinely believed there was something wrong with me because I felt insecure. I thought it meant I was inadequate and unworthy. I felt shame. When I saw there was nothing wrong with me and understood insecure feelings are simply part of the normal human experience. They happen to anyone who brings their insecure thoughts to life. They don’t mean anything about me or what I am doing. I felt tremendous relief and inner freedom. I could be myself — all of me, including the me that has feelings of insecurity and unworthiness. It didn’t matter. It was nothing more that a temporary experience that would pass as soon as the thoughts passed. And the less bothered I was by my experience, the less inclined I was to give attention to those thoughts by trying to stop them or change them so the quicker they would disappear.
Understanding this allowed me to be okay with my nerves and anxiousness. It didn’t bother me if I wasn’t feeling confident before giving a talk. I knew it didn’t mean anything more than I was having anxious thinking. Even the physiological symptoms of dry mouth, sweaty palms, racing heart, did not cause me concern. I knew they would pass. I knew I would be okay, and most importantly I knew there was nothing wrong with me.
This allowed me to engage. Eventually the feelings would pass, and I would find myself enjoying the experience. I would drop out of engaging with my insecure thoughts and drop into the present moment, effortlessly. As soon as I fell into presence, confidence was a non-issue. I was simply being myself, listening to my wisdom, paying attention to my common sense, responsive in the moment, just as I would be in any “regular” conversation.
So there is no getting it wrong. Confidence is your natural state. It is not dependent on anything outside of you. It comes from being present and connected to your true nature. When you are just yourself, you are connected to your wisdom and it gives you exactly what you need real-time. That is the foundation for confidence. You have everything you need inside of you, and you don’t have to work at being yourself. You are already there.
And when you are not experiencing confidence, that isn’t a problem either. It just means you are temporarily engaging with insecure thoughts that have no foundation in reality. You are having the thoughts, but they don’t mean anything about you. Seeing this makes it easier to engage no matter how you feel, and in the engagement, you will eventually forget about your insecure thinking and get present to what you are engaging with. So lack of confidence is not an issue here.
It is win-win. Your natural state is confidence. You can’t escape it. It is who you are. Even if you lose touch with it, you will alway come back to it. It doesn’t mean anything about you when you don’t have it, and you can enjoy the inner freedom you experience when you do. Either way optimal performance is available to you.
Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their true nature. She is a psychotherapist, a transformative coach, and author of Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1). She has an international coaching practice helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of wellbeing, resiliency, and success. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, watch her Vlogs with her husband, Angus Ross, and subscribe to her weekly blog on her website, rohiniross.com.