In order to answer the question: Is Confidence Comfortable?, we need to define comfortable. While we all know what comfortable feels like, most of us (me included) would find it difficult to come up with a definition without referring to a dictionary.
Fortunately, I’ve found a quote that captures the essence of comfort. It’s by Lao Tzu. He says:
“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others.
Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval.
Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”
What I find so attractive, and true, about Lao Tzu’s message is that being comfortable doesn’t rely on what others think. Others may question our abilities, or motives, but their opinions don’t matter as long as we believe in ourselves and hold true to our values and beliefs.
Similarly, when we are content with ourselves, we no longer seek others’ approval. Nor are we made uncomfortable when others disapprove of what we’re doing or saying. We respect their rights to their values and beliefs even though they vary from ours.
Being content with oneself does not mean that we aren’t continuously seeking ways to improve ourselves…to become an even better version of who we are. Everything around us is dynamic and we should be as well. Those who are most comfortable with who they are continuously pursue new ideas, new perspectives, new information that may alter their current beliefs.
Confident people are not delusional. They do not think that they know everything or have all the answers. They are well aware of the limitations of their knowledge, yet they are supremely confident in their ability to gain the knowledge needed to deal with anything that comes their way. Imagine how comfortable it feels to know that your ability to learn and adapt assures that you get a favorable result with any situation you face…a fact borne out by your experiences.
Being content with ourselves enables us to accept ourselves, and present ourselves, genuinely to all whom we meet. Confident people are comfortable with who they are and admit their weaknesses as readily as they acknowledge their strengths. It’s the genuineness of their own assessment of themselves that enable others to accept them as they are…and to trust them instantly.
As you can see, confidence is comfortable according to Lao Tzu’s definition. Now let’s see how you can benefit from his wisdom.
Each of us already possesses the qualities Lao Tzu espouses to some degree. To make his message one that you experience daily, throughout the day, for the rest of your life, employ these simple steps:
Shortly after rising:
- Recall challenges you’ve faced in your life and how you found a way to deal with them. In doing so you remind yourself that you’ve always found a way to deal with any situation you’ve faced as well as even better ideas for dealing with that situation should it arise in the future. This will help you believe in yourself as new challenges appear.
- Recall all the good in your life. This will foster feelings of contentment with what you’ve already achieved while you continue to pursue what you desire. This balance of contentment and desire is what makes life worth living and others’ opinions irrelevant.
- As you complete the first two steps of your morning routine, you’ll find that you are accepting yourself as you are while striving to become an even better version of yourself. Because you are comfortable with who you are, others become comfortable with you. They realize that there is no hidden agenda in you.
Shortly before retiring:
- Review your day. Pay particular attention to what you accomplished and lessons learned. Remember, we learn more from our mistakes than what goes well, so be grateful for the mistakes you made for they make you increasingly more capable.
- As you did in the morning, recall all the good in your life and enjoy the contentment these memories afford.
- By recalling all that you’ve accomplished as well as what you hope to achieve, you’ll accept yourself for who you are while working on who you want to become which enables you to be more open and genuine in your dealings with others.
For our kids
In age appropriate terms, lead your kids through the morning and evening routines. Be sure to share your thoughts about your day so that they can see both how the routines work and how comfortable you’ve become in who you are as you strive to become even better. It’ll become a way of life for them from a very early age and serve them well throughout their entire lives.
What greater gifts can you give a child than the tools to become confident and comfortable?
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