Are you confident enough to choose happiness? Implicit in that question is the presumption that confidence is essential for happiness. Is that true? Let’s find out.
Confidently Handling Emotion
Like everything else in life, emotions have the potential to be helpful or debilitating. How we deal with emotions determines which result we get. When it comes to emotions like doubt, fear, anxiety, frustration and anger, many of us tend to nurture these emotions.
It’s a natural human tendency to allow these emotions to spiral through a cycle of excitement, hope, doubt, fear, anxiety, then back to hope until we exhaust ourselves emotionally. It’s this exhaustion that enables to deal with these limiting emotions effectively.
Confident people short circuit this process. They realize that emotions are messages from their subconscious mind. Because they’ve learned what these messages mean, they quickly convert the emotion into productive behaviors. Consequently, they rid themselves of energy-draining emotions and replace them with the energizing emotions of desire, interest, excitement and a sense of purpose.
By choosing to set aside debilitating emotions, they are choosing happiness.
Source of confidence
It’s difficult to pinpoint how much of this is a natural human tendency and how much is societal influence, but far too many of us look to background and experience for our confidence. The most confident among us realize that it isn’t background and experience, but our ability to learn and adapt that is the true source of our confidence.
If you doubt that statement, recall times in which you’ve faced situations in which you’ve had no background or experience and still produced a favorable result. That doesn’t mean it was a perfect solution. You may have thought of better ways to deal with the situation later, but the reality is that you produced a favorable outcome given what you knew at the time.
These different perspectives on your source of confidence dramatically influences your ability to be happy. Those who look to background and experience often forego sources of great joy and personal achievement because they’ve discounted heavily their own abilities.
Conversely, people who draw upon their ability to learn and adapt for their confidence move forward confidently with all the excitement and passion new endeavors afford. While their counterparts experience the disappointment of another unrealized dream, confident people experience joy, excitement and fulfillment both in the pursuit and the attainment of their dream.
As you can see, the behaviors of confident and less-confident people, vary dramatically. What few of us realize is that the results we get are the byproducts of the choices we make. That’s in part because many choices are being made at the subconscious (emotional) level. The good news is that you can train your mind to make these conscious choices.
The next time you experience doubt, fear, anxiety, frustration ask yourself “How can I convert this emotion into productive behaviors?” By asking this question, you break the spiral in which emotion gets nurtured. With emotion out of the way, your mind begins considering solutions. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you discover effective ways of dealing with the situation you’re facing.
When your doubts and fears stem from your belief that you lack the background or experience to be successful, remind yourself of all the times you’ve been successful despite the lack of background or experience. That awareness will renew your confidence and propel you toward achieving what you desire.
Through these simple efforts you’ll gain confidence…and the ability to choose happiness.
For our kids
As you observe the kids in your life experiencing debilitating emotions, help them understand that they have a choice. They can nurture the emotion and prolong the displeasure they’re experiencing. Or they can choose to set the emotion aside and decide upon a course of action.
When you discover your kids taking themselves out of the running for something they want to do, use examples of things they’ve accomplished when they had no prior experience. Teach them that it’s their ability to learn and adapt that makes it possible for them to accomplish anything they desire. Then they too will learn to choose happiness.
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