If I had a dime for everyone I’ve worked and talked with who’s scared of being truly confident, I’d have a good number of dimes. I haven’t been counting; I don’t have the numbers in front of me, and a pile of dimes wouldn’t be much use to me in the UK anyway. The point is that people are often scared of becoming confident, even to the point of sabotaging themselves.
Here’s why you might be scared too.
- You’ll Become Someone You’re Not
You’ve spent a long time being the person you are right now, so the idea of being a different version of you is a freaky thing to process. What if you don’t like who you turn into? What if you want to go back to the way you are now? What if people hate the new you?
All valid questions, and they all share the same answer. It doesn’t matter.
See, becoming truly confident is NOT changing who you are, and there is NO risk that you’ll become someone you’re not. True confidence isn’t about contorting or twisting your personality into something it’s not, it’s about letting it shine.
Simply, powerfully, quietly and brilliantly YOU.
- You’ll Become Arrogant
What if something goes wrong and you end up being the person who enters the room thinking that everyone owes it to you to listen to you because you’re right, and that you’re just that little bit better than they are because you’ve got this whole confidence thing going on.
I’m always saying this, but I’ll say it again. Arrogance is noisy, confidence is quiet.
Arrogance is all about having people look at you, validate you and respect you based on nothing concrete. Confidence is not needing people to look at you or validate you, and having respect for yourself because you know what really matters.
There’s a gap wider than the Grand Canyon between confidence and arrogance.
- You Might Be Successful
“Holy crap” you think, “If I’m really that confident then what’s going to stop me going after the things I want?”
That’s a great question. Truth is, the fear of success is enough to put most people off. What’s even more scary and heart-breaking is the fear of being confident and ready to go after what you really want, and then not getting it.
I’ve seen a lot people try to sabotage their own self-confidence, people who hold back their confidence so they don’t have to face the possibility of success, or the possibility of failure in the face of success.
The thing is, real confidence is knowing that you can deal with whatever life throws at you and come out the other side having grown. Real confidence includes being open to risk, opportunity and possibility. Some new guy on the personal development block recently tweeted this proverb:
He might have a decent career in this business.
- Your Relationships Will Change
You’re scared that if you turn into this fully confident you, that your relationship with your partner will change. Or your relationship with a best friend. Or your Mum. Or your kids.
You know what, you’re probably right. Those relationships probably will change.
Gone will be the roles that you slip into based on what other people expect of you. Gone will be the need to validate yourself by being a bottomless pit. Gone will be the need to dance to other peoples’ tunes for fear of rocking the boat or upsetting them. Gone will be the stuff that you silently put up with.
In their place are relationships that are based on what really matters to you, based on what you need and what you love to give. Simpler, more honest, more you.
- You’ll Need to Let Go
What about the stuff you’re holding close to yourself? Those pangs of hurt. Those secret vendetta’s. The petty jealousies. The habits that make you feel good on some level, no matter what the cost.
True confidence brings with it radical self-honesty, the kind of honesty that many of us find hard to open up to. That honesty might lead to some tough, important decisions about what you have in your life and how well those things serve you. It may be that you reach the uneasy decision that you need to let go of some old stuff, stuff that’s been as safe and familiar as a warm blanket.
That’s okay. True confidence turns around the belief that letting go of these things will be painful and full of struggle, and replaces it with the quiet knowledge that letting go of the things that no longer serve you well is about freeing yourself up, lightening your load and opening up.
So tell me, what are you scared of?