Action Catalyst Blog

The Misunderstood Truth About Confidence

There’s something surprising about confidence that I wanted to share with you.

Believe it or not, but I struggled with confidence in my life in different ways.

I didn’t really understand confidence, so because of that misunderstanding, there were times in my life when I was under-confident.

There are other times when I might have had too much confidence, again because I didn’t understand what confidence was.

If you don’t understand what confidence is or where it comes from, having enough or too much confidence might be a problem.

There’s an impact on your life when you don’t have enough confidence because you’re not stepping into your God-given purpose.

You’re not living up to your potential.

You’re not performing at the level that you’re really capable of and you’re not helping and influencing the amount of people in the world that you really could be influencing.

On the other hand, too much confidence means you’re arrogant.

You’re no fun to be around.

You’re self-absorbed and constantly make people feel lower than you.

I’d argue that too much confidence is the greater problem.

The first question is: What’s confidence and what is it not?

The second thing is: Where does confidence come from?

Here’s what I’ve learned about confidence.

We often think that confidence is walking into a room, assessing a situation, comparing ourselves to whatever it is we see and ranking ourselves against that.

Maybe it’s other people, possessions, job titles or a perceived amount of income.

Sometimes we personally have an obscure or maybe even a clear ranking system, but that isn’t what confidence is.

Confidence isn’t comparing yourself or your situation to other people and then determining where you rank.

Confidence isn’t having to compare yourself to other people in the first place.

That’s what confidence is really all about.

It’s not about comparing yourself.

It’s not about saying, “Oh, I’m better than that person,” “I’m good enough to be here,” “I’m as good as that person,” or “I deserve that or I deserve more than that.”

In fact, confidence isn’t about you really at all and it’s a truly confident person who compares themselves to other people.

What confidence really comes down to is a selfless perspective.

It’s about a service-minded perspective.

Confidence comes from saying, “It’s not about me. It’s about the people I’m serving.”

It’s asking, “Who can I help? In what ways can I support them? Who can I encourage?”

It’s asking, “In what ways can I lift others up? How can I inspire and coach and teach?”

And that’s where real confidence originates.

It’s a real confidence.

Again, if you have to think about it – don’t think about yourself.

If you’re thinking about yourself, focus on your activity, not on your results.

Put your confidence and your self-esteem into the things you can control and into the work you’re doing.

Put your confidence into your desire to serve and your willingness to help others.

Base your confidence in that so you won’t be comparing yourself to other people.

You won’t be comparing yourself to external circumstances.

You’ll only be focused on the things that really matter, which is doing the work, really providing service and figuring out who can you help.

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