If you want to be confident, associate with confident people.
Different language, same meaning
The late Jim Rohn said “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”
The Williams sisters said that sometimes you have to leave old friends behind because they don’t dream as big as you do. They go on to say that you need to befriend people who belief in you and encourage you during the dark hours of disappointment and frustration.
Regardless of the language used, the message is the same. You need to associate with people who are aligned with you in your values, interests and desires.
I’m not suggesting that you associate exclusively with people who share your values, beliefs and interests. That would not only limit your ability to learn and grow, it would prevent you from helping those who are struggling. That’s contrary to the spirit of confident people. They are avid learners who treasure the moments in which they know that they’ve favorably impacted the lives of others.
Confident people experience so much joy that they inevitably want to share their good fortune with everyone they meet. Hence, they are happy to meet with everyone. But they associate only with those who are confident and share their desire to enrich the lives of others.
They do not associate (continue to spend time) with people who:
- Are naysayers…who attempt to squash any idea presented, yet offer no alternatives.
- Consistently see the glass as half empty.
- Seem to enjoy their role as victim.
- Discourage rather than encourage others’ pursuits of their dreams.
- Offer sympathy rather than belief in others’ ability to achieve what they desire.
Remember that everyone is confident at times…whether they realize it or not. But what you’re seeking are people who are consistently confident. How can you assess a person’s level of confidence? Here are some qualities to look for:
- How readily does the person admit his/her shortcomings? Confident people aren’t afraid to acknowledge their deficiencies. They know that no one comes with the complete package so why try to hide the gaps in their skills and abilities.
- Is the person energetic? Confident people possess higher levels of energy because their energy isn’t being drained by negative emotions…emotions that less-confident people tend to nurture.
- Is the person egocentric or other-centric? People who are confident can’t wait to share their good fortune with others whereas the less-confident are regularly concerned about their own welfare.
- Is the person an encourager or discourager? Does the person encourage others to pursue their dreams stating their belief that the person is capable of anything they choose to do? Or does the person point out all the reasons why a dream shouldn’t be pursued?
- Does the person see opportunities instead of problems? Confident people see the challenges they face as opportunities to learn, grow and gain satisfaction from their achievements. Less-confident people see challenges as problems that disrupt whatever satisfaction they were experiencing.
As you read descriptions of both those to avoid and those to embrace, you could feel the difference in energy, couldn’t you? It’s palpable. You have experienced it before in earlier associations which is why these descriptions elicited the emotions you experienced. That means that you don’t have to trust what I’m saying, you have first hand knowledge of the differences between consistently-confident people and less-confident people.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you…and tap them as a resource when needed. Be conscious of the qualities a person possesses. Use these qualities to determine how much time you want to spend with this person.
If it’s someone who fits the ‘avoided’ category, recognize that protracted involvement is likely to drain your energy, cause you to doubt your own abilities and prevent your from pursuing what brings you joy. Also recognize that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. While you may have the wherewithal to help someone, you can’t unless they’re open to making a change.
Conversely if it’s someone in the ‘embraced’ category, you’re likely to be energized, inspired and encouraged by your interactions with them. You’ll also find that you’re able to help other confident people who happen to be struggling at the moment. They’ll be there for you in your times of need. We all need help at times.
With whom you associate is your choice, choose wisely.
For our kids
As you surround yourself with confident people, you become more confident and your kids will as well. We are, to a great degree, products of our environment. You create that environment by openly praising those who are consistently-confident. The more frequently kids experience a confident, caring environment, the more confident and caring they become.
Avoid being critical of the less-confident. Instead, help your children understand that everyone at one time or another experiences doubt, fear and anxiety…in other words, takes a hit to their confidence.
Let them know that in situations like this they need to be the encourager, to express genuine belief in the other person’s ability to achieve what they desire, that the challenge the person is facing is a temporary setback, not a failure.
Also let them know that if, despite repeated attempts to help someone, the person persists in wallowing in self pity, that person is not ready to be helped. Teach them that when they realize the person isn’t ready, they should discontinue their attempts to help knowing that they done all that they could and the rest is up to the person they’ve been trying to help.
I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, share your thoughts in a comment.
If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs.
If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program.