Confidence can be defined as the state of being convinced either that a hypothesis is correct, or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Confidence that relates to ourselves, however, is called self-confidence, and this type is referred to as the understanding that you trust your own judgements and abilities, and that you value yourself and feel worthy, regardless of any imperfections or of what others may believe of you (Mindtools).
If someone has ever told you to be confident, most likely they were referring to self-confidence, although it can depend on the context. In this post I’d like to focus on this kind of confidence, why it is important, and why I believe it is the gateway to freedom.
It goes without saying that self-confidence is an important aspect of life. Just look at the benefits. Self-confident people are known to exhibit more self-love, be more outspoken, take on risks with ease, and generally lead happier lives. Without self-confidence, we won’t feel that we are capable of achieving our goals and dreams. With self-confidence, we are able to more boldly pursue our desires and can even inspire others to do the same.
So, where does self-confidence come from exactly? I believe that it is an inherent quality we are all born with, however, what we experience as we grow and develop determines how much of that confidence we retain or later have to re-acquire. In the case of many of us, self-confidence is something we have to re-learn through additional experience, and it is only once we reach a certain level of self-awareness that we are able to reflect on past experiences and assess in which areas confidence is still lacking.
Furthermore, while we can develop a pervasive sense of self-confidence, I believe that there can be circumstances that challenge us to expand even more. For example, a person may be faced with leading a complicated project at work, and although they are self-confident, that challenge could push them to again go into the space of self-analysis and think about how they can advance more confidently. Life is great in that it is always presenting opportunities for us to healthily optimize our degrees of self-confidence.
There are many techniques out there on how to develop self-confidence. Many teachers suggest visualizing yourself at your highest potential, while others recommend the more practical approach of faking it until you make it. There are also some that swear by simple self-care and say that being patient with ourselves during the process of self-development can go a long way. Instead of getting caught up in various tactics, though, I will just say that regardless of the means you choose, always remember one thing: You are worthy and capable of achieving anything.
As stated in the title and earlier in this blog, I move that self-confidence is the gateway to freedom. But what does this mean exactly, and how does this perception apply to you?
Well, it’s actually quite a simple idea. Essentially, the more self-confident we are, the less we are influenced by outside circumstances. Because we have a level of certainty in our abilities, we also have a grasp on our strengths and weaknesses, and therefore we are free to exist, experience, and progress in whichever way we believe is beneficial and self-developing. This kind of freedom is priceless and can take us to heights we probably wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise.
Whether it be in our work, with our families, or simply in the mundanity of life, let’s all take hold of opportunities to develop self-confidence and bask in the freedom that it offers!
Born and raised in Texas, USA, Chelsea from an early age took an interest in learning about people of different cultural backgrounds. After studying International Relations in college, she sought out various opportunities to travel and work in different settings. Inspired by the history and culture of Japan, she decided to move to broaden her career in the summer of 2018. Currently, her hobbies include cooking, hanging out in neat coffee shops, design, and continuing to study Japanese! She loves feeling settled in Japan, spending time with friends, and believes that every moment is a precious opportunity to learn something new.