By James Greenshields
Confidence comes out of a sense of conviction or purpose. Once you’ve done something a number of times you know in yourself you are more ‘confident’ at performing the task. But there are some things that, even though you know how to do them effectively, you may not have a certainty or sense of strength behind what you are doing.
Have you ever known what you have to do to get something you want but not had the confidence to do it?
Have you ever just been about to do something only to have someone else jump in first? Maybe it was an opportunity at work or that beautiful person at the bar.
For me self-confidence was something that people perceived I had, but really was wafer thin under my façade. A façade I felt I needed to create so as to gain approval from my peer group, from my bosses and from the women in my life.
As a young Army Officer in training, learning how to wheel and deal armoured vehicles, I was very good at what I did. But in this new world, my confidence wasn’t high, so I concentrated heavily to ensure I was focused and grounded in what I did. As such I performed to the point of excellence, which resulted in being given the honour of the first in my peer group to lead an organisation called a Cavalry Troop. It consisted of six Armoured Vehicles, or little tanks, and about 30 soldiers.
My first year was a ‘hit and miss’ year, so I would simply look at the successes and try to replicate them. Unfortunately, there were more misses than hits by the time the Christmas break came around. I was in unfamiliar territory as I had never been one to ‘fail’ at something I enjoyed. And the enjoyment quickly left me. I was under a lot of pressure to perform, or lose my position. Luckily for me there were a number of people who saw through my performance and who knew that, given a chance and a bit of decent guidance, I could do really well.
When I came back after a break I chose to operate very differently. I chose to trust in my abilities and in those of the people around me. And didn’t my world shift for the better?! I very quickly went from the bottom of the pile to being sought after for the hard tasks again.
I’d found my inner confidence.
My internal issues were many, as anyone in a similar situation would attest. But one of my biggest issues was that I gave myself no credit for my good performances and achievements.
I did this because I detested arrogance. I saw it around me a lot in my organization, and I despised it. I ran from anything I would judge to be arrogant – which meant any recognition.
At the same time I craved recognition. I just wanted to be seen as capable.
But who did I really crave the recognition from?
You guessed it – myself. And without being able to receive recognition in a humble way internally I would fail to recognize even the slightest form of recognition in my external world.
Truth be told, I had the ability to be arrogant at times – I was often dismissive of people’s opinions when I thought they were wrong. So this inner turmoil with arrogance was having two major negative effects on me:
1. Making me choose to ignore or discredit my successes; and
2. I was unbalanced or ungrounded at times with confidence, which led to a display of arrogance.
A confident person assists others to excel, not at their own expense, but in a deep strength of confidence that knows they are enough and helping others will yield a better result.
From the workplace into my personal life, my lack of self-confidence had its effects on my interaction with women. Especially women for whom I felt something and with whom I would have liked a deeper relationship.
I thought the ‘Bad Boy’ always got the cool chicks. And on the surface that’s the way it appeared. At the time you certainly couldn’t have argued with me because I would have cited many examples in favour of my belief.
The thing was I misread the whole situation – Women Don’t Want The Bad Boy, they want the confidence that he puts off.
Masculine energy is all about setting direction with firm and loving strength.
Just look at a confident Dad around his daughters. He will provide them with firm, loving guidance and he will demonstrate, better than any sit down lesson, how a real balanced man should treat women – with love and respect.
But a man who’s not balanced and therefore lacks confidence will give in under the emotional pressure that women often put on men. OR even worse he will attempt to regain control he perceives he’s lost through domination – the coward’s way.
Why the coward’s way? Because he hasn’t the inner confidence to stand as the rock for the crashing waves of his woman’s emotions. He may think she has just changed her mind over and over again, but he is totally misreading the situation. She is speaking with her feminine voice that is rising and falling with the waves of emotion. She is deeply connected to this.
A real confident man knows this; he reads the situation and loves the lady he is partnered with even more because of her passion – he’d have it no other way. Because he knows that it’s a test of the highest magnitude – a test of his inner confidence as a man.
If you want evidence of how this knowledge is so needed in today’s society, just look at the divorce rate. Leaving aside those couples who were always destined for separation; many relationships falter because one side doesn’t have the inner confidence to see what is really going on in their relationship.
If a woman complains about not getting help around the house, it’s generally not what she’s talking about. This isn’t to say she doesn’t have a point and you should not get off your arse and help more; but she is generally making a cry out for recognition, for a demonstration of love from you to her. And if you don’t have the inner confidence to see that them the issue will never be resolved.
So if you are a man reading this, here’s a call to action.
Be the rock. Be the one with the inner confidence to not let mud thrown at you stick, be that in the workplace or, more importantly, at home.
Understand confidence comes from an inner knowing or grander purpose. And it’s your job to find it.