More often than not, we associate the word courage with some form or showing of physical ability or response to a less than inviting situation. But there’s a kind of courage that happens more often and that is psychological courage. It’s the willingness to follow your heart, stand up for what is right, take on insecurities, emotional uneasiness, and disapproval. And to have courage you must first have confidence!
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;"
-Rudyard Kipling, "If" (First Stanza)
This first stanza of Rudyard Kipling’s “If” is all about self-confidence. To be confident, you must have the courage to face disapproval and disagreement. It also, advises us to not be too confident in a way that you under value others ideas and/or feedback. Kipling also creates a paradox as he urges us to ignore doubt and make allowance for it simultaneously. These thoughts are what you need to consider when you are at the brink of letting someone else cause you to lose or second guess your confidence, skills and/or talents. The only kind of people who try to cause you to lose confidence are those who are lacking in the area(s) they are judging you on and quite possibly they themselves are insecure and less confident in their own abilities. There are also a significant group of people, those usually closest to you, that will try to convince you that they know you and your abilities (better than you do) but the truth is, they only know half of which you've shown them.
"Some have so little confidence in themselves, whether because they were born that way or because of the malice of others, that they think they can succeed at nothing. They insult their luck and their talent by not putting either to the test. Everywhere they find something to fear. They sooner find obstacles than advantages, and surrender so quickly to the muchness of their smallness that they attempt nothing on their own, and give others power of attorney over their actions and even their desires. These are the people who dare not dive into the water without a float, much air and little substance."-Baltasar Gracián, A Pocket Mirror for Heroes
Confidence is important, but has to be based on a realistic appraisal of who you are. Once you have confidence, you must put your best foot forward in the attainment of your goal(s). “Going Halfway with Half a Heart Digs the Deeper Grave. If you enter an action with less than total confidence, you set up obstacles in your own path.”-Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power
What you possess is unique to you and you only and it is very often that we don't even realize the true potential of our own abilities for a number of reasons including not giving our best effort but mostly because of negative self-talk and/or buying in to the negativity of others. One analogy that I've used many times this month is a basketball reference and in its most simple form is explained as "you can't score if you don't shoot." Confidence comes from not only your ability to persevere but also in your ability to be consistent and persistent, keeping your mind and heart on the wanted result(s). It is within all of us to harness this ability in any undertaking that should interest us. We have to learn to use fear, doubt and adversity in a positive way simply because we'll never be without them.
“Failure to observe what is in the mind of another has seldom made a man unhappy; but those who do not observe the movements of their own minds must of necessity be unhappy.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.
Be confident enough so that you don't fill the need to judge others, instead use your confidence and abilities to help them. Help them believe, motivate them to do and show them the way. A person possessing true confidence never falls short on this. What you should begin to realize is that there is more to gain by teaching and aiding others in the areas of personal development and overall growth. A quote I hear often is, "people see your truth long before you do" and because of this, many people choose to demoralize others because they themselves are intimidated or afraid of the other persons potential. What’s needed if for people to learn how to appreciate because there is always someone greater than the greatest.
“There is but one form of egotism that is acceptable. It is the habit of expressing one’s ideas in deeds helpful to others, not in words. Self-confidence is one of the most desirable and necessary traits, but it must be controlled and directed to definite ends, through methods that do not antagonize others. All forms of self-praise are easily recognized as evidences of inferiority complexes, therefore one’s motto should be “Deeds, not words.”-Napoleon Hill, How To Sell Your Way Through Life