Confidence is a feeling. We are naturally born with this feeling as we are born with the potential to feel all the proclivities of feelings. And I point out confidence is a feeling specifically because most people define confidence as just "a belief in oneself" while completely ignoring that a feeling coincides with that belief. At The Internal Work, we think it serves to recognize that confidence is a feeling so we define confidence as the feeling that we CAN DO something. On the body this feeling has a more relaxed flavor to it compared what you would feel if you have doubt in yourself. In confidence we are not uptight nor on edge like you would feel if you were feeling insecure. It is a feeling that compliments being prepared and capable; therefore, it is a "stress" on the body of doing something but not the kind of stress that accompanies mind chatter and worry.
As adults, we can define this feeling as confidence. For babies, it's just the feeling of DOING. Babies cannot string words together or tap into beliefs so they are unable to define what they feel. Before confidence is influenced by external factors like parents, friends, or society in general... we’re in a natural state of confidence. Babies don’t question IF they can walk. They just try and do it. A baby has a sense of certainty that they can walk and this certainty isn't even a thought.
When our confidence is in its natural state, we’re outside the concepts of success and failure. When a baby is learning to walk, they don’t think, “I’ve fallen too much and I’m never going to succeed at this.” No. They get up and try again and again because they have the confidence or feeling that they CAN DO it. Falling is just part of the process and an important lesson for learning to walk. As babies, we didn’t judge ourselves or feel judged as not being good enough to walk just because we fell a few hundred times. We were in the energy of trying and doing it…for our sake.
Why do we *think* we have no confidence?
We have the baseline to feel all the feelings that are humanly possibly but not only that, we can recognize that we have in fact experienced the feeling of confidence many times in our lives. We feel we can do many things whether it is driving a car, walking to the store, cooking ourselves a meal, or teaching our children an important lesson. This feeling can be tapped into at any moment but we forget that. We interpret this to mean we lack or lose confidence but it is a matter of getting in touch with what already exists within us and not pretend that it's impossible for us. We are confident but our brain forgets. When you can recognize that our mind can lead us into feeling a certain way then it is easy to see how our mind can also not lead us into our feeling of confidence. We forget we are confident when our mind is distracted by our feelings of insecurity and worrying about what we can't or shouldn't do.
We have also misaligned this feeling of confidence with believing it says something about us if we don't do something well, do succeed in something, or fail. This misalignment taps into our insecurities and our beliefs about ourself and gets in the way of us just doing. Now this isn’t to be confused with thinking we can do everything. Obviously, I can’t fly even if I tried but there is no real inhibition or feeling inside of me telling me that I can’t try.
So how do we go from being babies that feel confident and not worried about whether we can do something, to becoming adults who have convinced ourselves that we can’t give that speech, we can’t dance, we can’t sing, we can’t act, we can’t run a marathon, or that we can’t cook a fantastic meal? We’ve convinced ourselves that we have no confidence or that we have lost our confidence. When the real truth is, we just forgot we have confidence. We allow thoughts and beliefs tied with our lack of self-worth to get between us and FEELING confident.
Why is the feeling of confidence useful to get in touch with?
At The Internal Work, we've chosen confidence as our first emotional "tool". When you can utilize and tap into the feeling of confidence then you can dig deeper into your internal world. It doesn't mean you won't end up feeling fear or insecurity. In fact, we hope it brings you there so that you can face those insecurities and make a choice about what you want to do with those feelings and the stories that surround those feelings. Confidence can also help you confront other feelings or emotions and help you get over the hump of being afraid of what you feel. Externally, tapping into your confidence will aid you in doing more things in your life and expanding your "can do-ness" into the things you did not *think* were possible to do.