Self confidence.

For me, that’s one of the most misunderstood concepts in life. I used to associate self confidence with arrogance. I wrote about something similar to this in a blog post a few months ago.

But of course, it’s not anything like arrogance. In fact, arrogance may very well be a lack of self confidence that’s being painted over by assholiness.

Arrogance is acting like you’re better than everyone else. Self confidence doesn’t involve a comparison to anyone else and therefore doesn’t involve better or worse. Arrogance is acting like you’re great at everything no matter what. Self confidence is knowing you’re good enough despite not being good at everything.

Arrogance is an unholy act. Self confidence is a holy belief.

Arrogance and self confidence couldn’t be farther apart from each other. And no, self confidence doesn’t lead to arrogance. It’s not a slippery slope. They are completely separate.

Arrogance is bad. Self confidence is good. It’s a very good thing. Not only is it a good thing, it’s a necessary thing. We all need to have self confidence if we really want to feel good about ourselves and if we want happiness.

But this is where my second misconception shows up. If I can agree that self  confidence is good then my next thought would be that people who have self confidence are so lucky. They are blessed. They’re gifted with self confidence.

But this simply isn’t true.

Self confidence is a skill. It’s something we all learn. We all can and should teach it to ourselves. And to do this, all we need is to shift our perception.

Look, everything we experience in this world is a  perception. What we call reality is actually just how we perceive things. Our brains are completely enclosed in our skulls – there is no light and no sound. But we perceive things through our eyes and through our ears that our brain translates to sight and hearing. Even our most basic senses our perceptions. And our thoughts and feelings toward the world and toward ourselves are perceptions too. They might be accurate but they probably aren’t. But the accuracy isn’t important for this discussion. What is important is understanding that we all have the power to change our own perceptions of ourselves.

This ties very nicely into yesterday’s blog post (Be Your Own Hero). We all have the power to change our perception and therefore we all have the ability to become self confident. Self confidence is a skill. And like any skill, to develop it all it takes is patience and repetition.

To begin to be self confident we have to observe our thoughts and point out our own negative self talk and then change that negative self talk into positive affirmations.

I know for me, thinking positive self affirmations seemed really cheesy at first. And it didn’t help that I grew-up in the generation watching Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live.

Here’s a quick clip:

Yeah, I laughed at that when I was a high school and college kid. And it is super cheesy.

But, positive self affirmations absolutely work. And luckily my affirmation and your affirmations don’t require us to wear those clothes or to style our hair that way, and we aren’t going to be seen or heard by anyone else.

So, perceive it as cheesy if you want. But use self affirmations anyway. It will lead to self confidence and self confidence is a huge step toward happiness and fulfillment.

And that’s what this week’s Ted Talk Thursday is all about. Self confidence – it’s importance and how to get it. This is one of the shorter Ted Talks (by just a few minutes) but it teaches a great lesson.

Because in the end, everything begins and ends with you. Just like it begins and ends with me. We all have the power to build mountains and climb them and to wage wars and win them. Anything you set your mind to you can accomplish.. Dream big. And know you can achieve your dreams.

Believe in yourself. That’s self confidence.


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