I was inspired to write this post by the women who were in the test group for my newly developed confidence course. I was the one leading the course but I learned as much from them as they did from me on the topic of self-confidence. It’s an area I’m increasingly interested and passionate about especially because of my background as a fitness professional.
Isn’t it funny how we just assume others see things the way we do? When I decided to create this course, it was because I had these two thoughts:
- Everyone wants to be more self-confident.
- Fitness/Weight Loss isn’t the answer.
What a shock to learn that not everyone shares those thoughts! There were women in my test group who went into the course not agreeing with me on at least one of those two points.
Now I wasn’t so surprised that some of them believed they really just needed to lose weight and they’d feel better but heck they’ll give this course a try anyways. If I’m being totally honest, even though I’m in a place of more self-love and self-acceptance than I ever have been in my life…deep down I believe that I’d be happier if I weighed 15 pounds less. I don’t act on it because I know better but it’s still there and probably always will be. And that’s okay.
But I was very surprised to learn from one woman that, until taking my course, she had viewed confidence as a negative character trait. That blew my mind. Then it opened my mind. To the fact that we aren’t all on the same page when it comes to self-confidence, what it really means, and whether or not it’s something to strive for.
So I’ve come up with this list of common misconceptions that some people have about self-confidence.
- It Is Synonymous with Arrogance.
Being self-confident doesn’t mean you think you are better than everyone else. It’s not thinking you are less than anyone else either. It’s about not comparing yourself to others at all. I think the opposite is actually true and that arrogance and “cockiness” come from a place of low self-confidence. If anything, humility should be synonymous with self-confidence.
- It an Extrovert Thing.
Some people assume that all extroverts are confident or that you somehow need to possess the qualities of an extrovert in order to confident. I’m a huge extrovert but I haven’t always been confident. In the same way, introverts aren’t any more or less likely to be self-confident simply because they recharge by being alone. I don’t think there’s a connection there. I’ve seen confidence express itself in loud ways and in quiet ways. It can be bold or it can be understated. It just depends who is carrying it. I think confidence attached to any personality type is beautiful. It’s equal opportunity and available to all.
- It Cannot Co-Exist with Doubt and Insecurity
This is a huge one. A lot of women assume they’ll be self-confident when they reach their goal weight. But it will never be enough. That line of self-worth will just keep moving further away if you’re measuring it by the scale. It’s not just body image either. If you are waiting for any of your self-doubts and insecurities, in any area of your life, to go away so that you can be confident then you’ll be waiting forever. Self-confidence is about acknowledging the insecure feelings and fears that exist within us but not allowing ourselves to be controlled by them.
- It Is Something People Are Born With…Or Not.
Actually, I think we’re all born with it but then we lost it. I look at my 6 year old niece and how she carries herself, how fearless she is in approaching people of any age, and how it never occurs to her to not be totally confident in herself. Who care that she’s missing nearly all her teeth?! She sure doesn’t! Look at any child and they are this way. I’m not sure at what age it goes away. To me, building self-confidence is less about learning and more about UN-learning. It’s about getting our confidence BACK that we had as a child, when we were just being ourselves and not looking for approval for it.
- It Means Not Caring About Others…and That’s Just Rude!
This was the misconception that the woman in my test group had. She understands now that self-confidence doesn’t mean you don’t care about other people. Being self-confident means you don’t base your self-worth on the opinions of others. It means that you value yourself enough to balance your needs with the needs of others. It means that you set boundaries to honor yourself even if others disapprove. Self-confidence has nothing to do with being unkind to others but it has everything to do with being kind to yourself.
What do you think? Did this help to clear up any misconceptions you might have had about self-confidence?