Confidence: Living in the moment?

Does confidence enhance our ability to live in the moment? If so, what are the benefits of being confident enough to live in the moment?

Low confidence

You know from personal experience that when your confidence is lacking you’re more likely to experience:

  • Fear
  • Scarcity
  • Frustration

Let’s explore each of these in more detail.

Fear

People whose confidence is on the low end of the spectrum experience more fear than those who are confident. They are regularly plagued by thoughts of the things that could go wrong with little, if any, thought to what might be gained. Similarly, they fret over previous mistakes so frequently that they reinforce their belief that they are ill-equipped to deal with what life presents them…whether it’s an opportunity or a challenge.

These thoughts often leave the person living primarily in the past. Their thoughts regularly revert to earlier disappointments, prior mistakes and the feelings of inadequacy they engender. The future doesn’t hold much promise for these folks because they feel that they’d likely “screw up” any opportunity that presented itself. Consequently, the future looks much like the past. It’s doesn’t require prescience to imagine how difficult it would be to live in the moment for a person who feels they have inadequately dealt with the past.

Now imagine how different it would be if you felt confident…if you were aware of the fact that you had never failed to generate a positive result. That you produced a good result even when things didn’t go well initially, even when you had no background or experience.

With this level of confidence, you’d KNOW that you can deal with anything that comes your way. This knowledge allows you to live in the moment, to accept things as they are, without judging them as good or bad, comforted by the knowledge that you can deal with them. That’s why confident people find it easier to live in the moment than those with low levels of confidence.

Scarcity

Imagine for a moment that you’re playing a zero-sum game. In other words for someone to win someone else has to lose. In situations like this the natural human tendency is to protect what we have. We see it time and again in sports when teams have amassed huge leads, then shift to a defensive mode to protect that lead. The result is often a devastating loss; not only the loss of the game but of confidence as well.

Conversely, highly-confident people realize that if things don’t go as planned, but they learned something, they still won. They gain knowledge, skill and greater ability to deal with similar situation in the future.

Their awareness that the immediate outcome isn’t the final outcome enables them to live and learn in the moment. They, like Edison, learn what didn’t work and used that knowledge to propel them to their ultimate goal. Because they don’t experience loss, just redirection, they are able to live in the moment and enjoy lessons learned for what they are…stepping stones to what they desire.

Frustration

We all experience frustration, but people with low levels of confidence tend to nurture these feelings with thoughts like:

  • Why me?
  • Just once I’d like things to work smoothly.
  • Why do things have to be so difficult?
  • Why couldn’t they just…?

Their language bespeaks their feelings of consistently being a victim. They see themselves as someone who has been singled out for disappointment and unhappiness. Again, we see these folks living in the past. Their current frustration is yet another example of how they’ve historically been victims. Yet they find it easier to assume this role than to look internally for the source of their frustration. Which results in them continuing to live in the past.

Even confident people experience frustration. It’s an emotion. By definition emotions are automatic responses, we can’t prevent them. But highly-confident people quickly set aside their emotions to return to productive behaviors. They realize that as soon as they set aside their frustration, they’ll find a way around whatever obstacle presented itself. They relish this ability that serves them so well. That’s why they can so easily set aside their frustration and, once again, live in the moment where they learn, adapt and produce a favorable outcome.

For you

We often hear the phrase “Live in the moment,” but aren’t given much guidance on how to do it. Nor are we made aware of the benefits of doing so. Hopefully I’ve given you some ideas of the benefits to be gained from living in the moment.

Gaining confidence is one of the ways people naturally move into the habit of living in the moment. One of the critical keys to gaining confidence is to recall that your true power, your true source of confidence, is your ability to learn and adapt.

By consistently reminding yourself that you have never failed to produce a favorable result in any situation you’ve faced, especially when you’ve had no background or experience in dealing with that situation, you train your mind to live in the moment and enjoy all the benefits that living that way afford.

For our kids

As you see your kids experiencing fear, scarcity or frustration, help them quickly set aside these emotions by helping them recall that they have repeatedly demonstrated the ability to produce a favorable outcome. Then remind them that was the result of their ability to learn and adapt. Soon they’ll learn to trust that ability and, in doing so, begin to live in the moment.

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