I have mixed feelings with the concept of “confidence”. Especially with “self-confidence”.
It seems that it’s the go-to solution for almost everything.
You just need to gain more confidence to…
Get over your shyness.
Make a video.
Get those clients.
Ask for that raise.
Speak in front of hundreds of people.
Tell that person how you really feel.
To me, having confidence means you have full trust and belief in yourself – it goes beyond assurance.
So let’s take a step back for a moment… during those instances where you needed to be “confident”, did you have complete trust and faith in yourself? Or did it feel like it was somewhat of a… false sense of confidence?
Were you trying to tell yourself that you were confident you can do something while you were somewhat unsure? Were you pumping yourself up while you felt some hesitance?
I’ll be the first to admit that this has happened to me before (and I’m sure to others as well). I just didn’t realize that this was happening in those moments - I’d start stating I can do it, became a bit more woo-woo, started using affirmations that gave the impression I was confident and assured with myself… while underneath all of that, something else wasn’t happening: alignment.
While there’s nothing wrong with using affirmations and positive reinforcement, it worries me when those types of actions and thoughts begin to hide how we’re really feeling.
Your thoughts and your feelings aren’t really aligned and this is where that false-sense of confidence can come in.
So I took “confidence” out of my vocabulary.
During the early years of my actor training, my acting coach always kept reminding us that he didn’t want to see a bunch of confident actors performing in these scenes. He wanted to see the courageous ones – the ones who dared to be vulnerable by showing who they really are.
To be present and in the moment, especially when you’re on-camera, involves some vulnerability on our part. And that’s not a bad thing – it’s quite the opposite.
We’re naturally drawn to raw, human behavior and emotions and this is what connects us all to each other. Being vulnerable is just not as easy as it sounds and that’s why it requires a tremendous amount of courage.
When I began to practice courage instead of confidence, I discovered that…
Vulnerability brings connection.
In fact, it deepens it.
It helps us become more aware and in-tune with ourselves and those around us.
Courage -> Trust -> Confidence.
If being on-camera terrifies you or makes you uncomfortable, you don’t need to put the pressure on yourself to appear confident to your audience.
Instead, practice being brave and dare yourself to present your true self to your audience (trust me, they’ll love you for it). The more you do this, the more you’ll begin to trust yourself to show up on camera with ease.
Be patient with yourself. The confidence you’re looking for will take time and it will gradually appear once you begin to trust that you’re good enough to be on video.
Focus on strengthening your courage instead.
Presence will come naturally after that.