Confidence! (or the lack thereof)

The funny thing is that it’s just a feeling.  There aren’t always facts and evidence to support it (although sometimes there are)–but it creates a reality of its own.  The fact is, the mere existence of confidence makes you more likely to succeed, and a faltering of confidence almost ensures that you won’t.

It seems like it should be something you can control, but I’ve found that my grasp on confidence is tenuous at times.  I need to gather a mountain of facts and evidence–past successes, or excessive amounts of preparation–to counterbalance the weight of my self-doubt.  On bad days, it’s a losing battle.

But I have good days, too.  On those days, I find that successes build on each other–each building confidence and making the next that much easier, until it seems that nothing I do can fail.  Sometimes I wonder whether just capturing that feeling could change the course of a rough day.

The phrase “fake it ’til you make it” comes to mind–that clichéd advice that acting the part will make it come true.  In a sense, there’s no other way to move forward in a world that has no patience for the timid.  But here’s the flip side: some of us are not natural fakers.  It’s painful to go through life acting one way and feeling another, so we are left with no choice other than this: to work extra hard to become the real deal, to do excessive amounts of preparation, and to build ourselves, one success at a time, a mountain of evidence that proves we are worthy of the quiet confidence we hope to command.

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