A word frequently associated with confidence is quiet. In fact, I can think of no other word so strongly attached to confidence as the word, quiet. Why is this so?
It’s because confident people go about their business quietly, confident in their abilities and comfortable in who they are. Their efforts are designed to achieve the life they desire.
While they enjoy recognition, they don’t pursue it. Nor do they laud their success, they allow their success to speak for itself. Let’s consider these in more detail so that you can assess your level of confidence. After all, self awareness is essential to confidence.
Confident people establish goals for themselves, then quietly go about achieving them. They know that they have the capacity to achieve anything they want in life. This knowledge enables them to avoid the emotional swings and outbursts that less-confident people exhibit.
The challenges they face in the pursuit of their goals are of no concern to them. Challenges are simply things to be dealt with. Confident people realize that learning is essential to success and that challenges are opportunities to learn what’s needed to succeed.
One of their goals is using their confidence to assist others in their time of need. Confident people listen more than they speak…reinforcing the perception that they’re quiet. They listen carefully knowing that the solution lies in what the person is saying. When they hear the solution, they share it without fanfare. They do so because they aren’t seeking recognition for their efforts. Oh, they appreciate recognition, but that’s not what motivates them to help others.
Because confident people are satisfied with their success or, if yet unattained, their progress toward their goal, they don’t seek others’ approval. Consequently, they are viewed as quiet.
We’ve all known people who drive us mad with their constant need to update us on their progress, to tout their success, or to seek our counsel because they lack the confidence to move forward on their own. These are not quiet people.
Confident people don’t need others’ approval to feel good about what they achieve. Indeed, they often consider themselves fortunate to enjoy the success they have. They don’t deny the effort that they put into achieving their goals, but they also feel fortunate to have discovered the things that enable them to enjoy success.
I found it intriguing that Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, upon hearing that he’d become the wealthiest man in the world said “How strange. Well back to work…” It’s an example of the attitude that confident people have. It’s an indication of how comfortable they are in their own skin.
Comfortable with who they are
Like Elon Musk, all confident people are comfortable with who they are. That’s true regardless of what level of success they enjoy. We can’t all be Elon Musk’s, but we can all choose what we want in life. Confident people who attain the life they desire are every bit as comfortable with their choices and what they’ve accomplished as Elon Musk.
Their comfort with who they are is what makes others’ recognition nice, but unnecessary. Comfort is what enables them to listen carefully as they assist others. It’s also what enables them to focus their attention on their goals. The fact that they aren’t upset by challenges, don’t need others’ recognition and find joy in designing a life of their choosing enables them to go about their business quietly.
You may be wondering “What does this have to do with me?” My goal in writing this is to help you gain greater awareness of where you are on the confidence spectrum, a spectrum that runs from rarely confident to consistently confident.
Obviously the most confident among us, the ones on the consistently confident end of the spectrum, are the most quiet. If you’re not experiencing the quiet described above, you now have a sense for what you need to do to become more consistently confident.
If you’re easily upset by challenges, each morning remind yourself that challenges are what make it possible for you to learn what you need to learn in order to be successful. At the end of the day, recall your successes in dealing with that day’s challenges. Focus on the successes and use your missteps as part of your learning.
If you feel the need for recognition, each morning recall the fact that you willingly help those who don’t seek recognition and avoid helping those who do. It’s a natural tendency we all possess by virtue of our humanity. We enjoy helping those who aren’t acting selfishly.
If you’re not comfortable with who you are, remind yourself of the good qualities you have. None of us is perfect. Indeed, I can’t think of a more boring existence than being perfect. By focusing on your good qualities you make it easier to be honest with yourself about the less attractive aspects of your nature. You’ll also enjoy the progress you make in overcoming the less-attractive behaviors.
Acknowledging your weaknesses enhances your confidence. You not only become more comfortable with who you are, you become more tolerant of others’ as well. Incidentally, as you become more tolerant of others, they become more tolerant of you. This mutual respect makes it easier to become comfortable with who you are…warts and all.
For our kids
Make your kids aware of why confidence is quiet. When you see quiet confidence, point it out to them. This will help them become aware of how confident people behave and how much they admire the person’s success and comfort in who they are. Kids tend to mimic behaviors…especially those that produce the results they desire.
Helping kids develop quiet confidence is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.
Feel free to share this blog with those you feel would benefit from this message. It’s an easy way to say “I love you. I’m thinking of you.”
I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, please share your thoughts in a comment.
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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 (opens in a new link).
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