Confidence is kind of overrated.
You read it right.
I mean…if we are going to be objective…
What do you really need confidence for?
I can almost see your brain stutter. I can ACTUALLY hear your brain stutter.
How DARE HE! THE UNLIMIGATED GALL! OF COURSE YOU NEED CONFIDENCE!
Fine. Let’s go with that line of reasoning. I’m willing to accept that you, the reader, have bested me.
But before I go into the corner of philosophical shame, I’d like, if you would permit, to ask a few questions.
What can you do with confidence?
Can you eat it?
Can you exchange it for something of equal or lesser value?
What in the name of genetically-modified-fries can you do with confidence?
Please save all the self-help esteem raisers. I’m over them.
The idea of needing confidence to achieve anything is cute– if you’re into that kind of thing.
But it’s not really necessary to accomplish anything.
In fact, some of your most amazing feats have had nothing to do with confidence.
Walking, for example. Have you ever thought about the audacity it takes for a toddler to walk?
No “Ten Ways That Your Diaper Can Slow You Down” seminars.
No self-help books.
Simply because you saw it done, that was enough for you to believe you could do it.
That’s it. That’s all.
So you—cute, chubby-legged you—forsake the sturdiness and sureness of all fours, and just DECIDED that two would have to do.
I mean, everyone else is doing it.
Now, if your parents are better than mine (love you Ma!) you have videos of your failed attempts.
The awkward falls. That whole wobbly thing that babies do when the onesie and gravity are in disagreement.
And if you continued to watch your younger self, something amazing happened.
You never gave up.
You never quit. Might have cried, might have been frustrated. But it never occurred to you in your beautiful, toddler mind that walking wasn’t possible.
Falls weren’t reasons to quit. Falls were in the way of success.
You didn’t walk because you were confident. You walked because you were so convicted of your choice, it never occurred to you that it wouldn’t happen.
Just a matter of when.
But somewhere along the way, you began to overvalue your failures. Somehow, someway, you began measuring things in terms of how much they hurt or how embarrassing they were. Your falls became your excuses.
I encourage you to really look at your toddler self. No self-confidence just will be applied to action. Blind, beautiful, simple, courageous devotion to an idea.
So, stop waiting for self-confidence to somehow elevate you. Stop over-valuing your failures. Stop believing that by believing somehow things just…happen.
Sure, you can wait for the confidence of a multi-millionaire tycoon.
You can have the simple, unwavering, resilience of a toddler.
Because defeating gravity, ….that’s pretty awesome.