"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
- E. E. Cummings
Today I had an interview for a part time job to supplement my full time one. In the upcoming months I'm hoping to save as much money as I possibly can, as I have very big plans for myself that are in the not-so-distant future. Although the interview wasn't for a job that's high-profile by any means (it's in a bakery) I still felt nervous, which I guess is a natural response for almost any individual.
Growing up, whenever my self-confidence was feeling low my mother would tell me to "walk like every step you take is exactly where you want your feet to go," which is advice that has transcended into every other facet of my life. In times where I've been confronted with adverse situations it has helped me face them with grace, positivity, and above all: confidence.
I feel that confidence is something that's always there -- something that's born within us and sometimes gets lost along the way or else worn down by others. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find it again. Confidence was our original nature before it was chiseled away by time. Once we develop a sense of being self-aware, we start forming doubts and insecurities about how other people see us.
People will often say "fake it until you make it." But I say fake it until you become it.
Just like with anything else, in order to build confidence you must practice it -- it is a mindset. Learn to embrace uncertainty of what could potentially happen or not happen. After a while, you begin to trust your understanding as well as your way of learning, which in turn makes it much easier to approach new situations and people. Even if you feel like receding back into your shell when you're confronted with intimidating situations, your posture and body language says everything. Keep your head up, shoulders back, gaze firm, and voice steady. By making yourself look "bigger" or more "spread out," it will give the aura of confidence (which is a tactic we often see in the animal kingdom.)
To me, having confidence isn't knowing your abilities (or lack thereof.) It is having a correct perception of the world around you and of yourself. Having confidence does not entail knowing that you will succeed. Rather, it means knowing that failure cannot stop you.