Someone once said that confidence comes from competence. You will emit a sense of confidence when you engage in things in which you are highly skilled and accomplished.
If you are an expert chemist then you will feel confident in a laboratory but might feel insecure in a foreign war zone or in a club.
Confidence, when linked to competence, is dependent on the situation. Once we leave the zone of the known and dive into the unknown, we will lose this situational confidence and have to build it back from scratch.
While this is true for most instances of confidence, we clearly all know people who just seem confident in everything they do, even if it’s their first time doing it. And while some activities translate well into others, not all areas of competence should be that easy to duplicate. So what is going on here?
Confidence has two major classes which will explain the surface differences seen in confident people.
- Comparative Confidence
- Visionary Confidence
1. Comparative Confidence
This type of confidence is closely linked to the situation in which you are in. If you have acquired a high level of competence in a certain task then you will emit confidence. The key basis for this type of confidence is that you are comparing your own skills to the skills of others.
If you have been playing football for 20 years then you might be very competent at it but you will only be confident if your skill level is comparable or higher then that of your teammates.
If you play with world-class football players you might feel insecure. If you play with your buddies you might feel confident. Even though this type of confidence stems from competence, it heavily relies on how you compare to others and their level of competence.
The advantage of this type of confidence is that you will become competitive because you seek to surpass your peers by raising your own skill levels but it also comes with significant disadvantages:
By always comparing yourself to your peers, you will subject yourself to a very bumpy, emotional ride. If you do well, you will feel good. If you do poorly, you will feel bad. If others perform poorly, you will feel good again.
Other people become the enemy rather than teammates. This will inhibit your personal growth because you see the skills of others as a threat instead of an asset which you can learn from.
2. Visionary Confidence
Visionary confidence is not based on how well you perform or how high your skill level is but on how clearly you can visualize the level you want to reach.
It does not matter if you are currently sitting in the gutter and are too broke to buy food or if you are so sick that you are unable to walk. What matters is that you have a clear vision of the future. Do you know exactly where you want to be?
If yes then pursuing your vision will simply require learning and experimenting. That’s all. No comparison, no ups & downs and no uncertainty. You just move on, learn and grow.
Every challenge you face will be addressed by variation and experimentation. There is no wall which can hold you back if you have enough time to figure out its weakness.
There is absolutely no reason to compare yourself to your peers other than to learn from them because you have no interest in gaining anything right now. All you care about is to gain things in the future. If you are the worst of the worst today then you will take it with a smile because you know your potential. You know where you will be.
Visionary confidence is all about patience, delayed gratification and persistence. You remove your self from todays’ equation in order to transcend your desires and limitations. You do not compare yourself to others for the purposes of determining your self-worth but only to assess your skills and to work on your inadequacies.
Emotions are a tool and should be used as an asset rather than as a fuel. If you focus on Comparative Confidence then you will always rely on emotions to fuel you and seek a comparison that makes you look good over a comparison that makes you look bad.
Emotions can be the key to everything that you want to achieve in life but if you use them as fuel then they will become an addiction and your greatest limitation.
If you follow Visionary Confidence then you are not playing anyone’s games, are not engaging in any detours and are not wasting a single breath or thought on the here and now. You are calm, content and happy as long as you are moving forward.
You can clearly see your vision as if it was a person who’s sitting right next to you at this very moment and is interacting with you as if it was a dear friend. Your vision is what you are dedicated to and it is not dependent on the people, the hormones, the relationships or the resources that you have right now.
If you cannot see your future then no one else can.
If you do not build your future then you have none.
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