Confidence and the Courage to Take Action
There is an important relationship between confidence and courage? Have you ever felt that a lack of confidence was holding you back from living up to your true potential? When you think of reaching out for your greatest goals and dreams, do you fear that you won’t have what it takes? Courage is one way to overcome feelings of low confidence, but what kind of courage are we talking about? We’ll get to that in a moment.
First, I just want to say that if you find yourself struggling with confidence, don’t be too quick to assume that your feelings are based on any kind of personal inadequacy. There are many reasons why confidence is such an issue in people’s lives, and a lot of them have to do with conditioning. In many ways our society teaches us to doubt ourselves. It’s all part of the conditioning process that is designed to make us dependent rather than independent.
Don’t be afraid of your own greatness
I personally know quite a few people who have had the courage to push forward toward their dreams even when they didn’t feel especially confident. You know what happened? Not only did they make amazing progress, but they were also able to build their confidence along the way.
There is something we can learn from this. Taking action is one of the most effective ways to conquer self-doubt. There is power in doing. Taking action is how we prove to ourselves that our lack of confidence was based on perception, not reality. Your personal greatness lies beyond the wall of low self-confidence. Do you have the courage to start climbing that wall?
Where did the wall of low confidence come from?
Our social structure is actually designed to produce people who undervalue their own abilities. Our children are taught to look to external sources for validation that they are worthwhile human beings. They grow up believing that their personal value depends on the approval of other people along with things like grades, looks, and being friends with the right people.
Why is going to school about learning to regurgitate useless information to get a good grade on tests that are meaningless? Wouldn’t it be better to learn creative thinking and problem solving? What do you think happens to an extremely creative child who gets a D grade on his report card while those who are much less creative are getting A’s and B’s? Lack of confidence and a low sense of self-worth, that’s what happens. They are punished emotionally for their creativity. They are rewarded for conformity.
What do you think happens to the employee who comes up with a brilliant way to reorganize his employers business and then gets fired for making his boss look bad? Meanwhile, his less motivated coworker is promoted because he panders to his boss. Again, confidence is squashed and creativity is stifled.
Why are we sending mixed signals?
It’s interesting to note that the same society that seems to discourage creativity outside the box also honors those who display this quality. From Henry Ford to Bill Gates, those with the confidence and courage to follow through on their dreams have been honored. Do you think famous people like these ever suffered from self-doubt or a lack of confidence? Maybe, but even if they did, they never let it stand in their way and neither should you. They had the courage to take action and the rest is history.
Did you know that Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, and Albert Einstein didn’t do well in school? These are famous, highly honored individuals who had the courage to follow their creative dreams regardless of popular opinion, even in the face of ridicule. They mustered up the courage to take action and overcome self-doubt.
What can we learn from this?
It’s perfectly normal to harbor feelings of self-doubt considering how most of us were raised. These feelings can be overcome, and taking action toward your dreams is a big step in the right direction. You need to believe, really believe, that there is something wonderfully unique and valuable about you and your creative abilities. You also need to recognize that it will take some courage to prove that to yourself. If you have the courage to take action, confidence will follow.
I want to encourage you to push beyond the limits of self-doubt. I want to encourage you to expand your beliefs about what you are capable of, so that you can discover the personal greatness you were born for. I am asking you to give yourself permission to become the best possible version of you, and then to take action in the direction of your dreams.
If you do that, you will soon discover that there’s no more room in your life for self-doubt. You will feel confident in your ability to be yourself, and that is the most rewarding thing any of us can ever be.