1. full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: We have every confidence in their ability to succeed.
2. belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance: His lack of confidence defeated him.
3. certitude; assurance: He described the situation with such confidence that the audience believed him completely.
The definition we are concerned with at this juncture is the second one. It is something we all struggle with from time to time. I tend to have a lot of inner conflict in this area. There is a good portion of me that is rock solidly sure of myself, my powers and abilities, and has a healthy portion of assurance that I can rely on myself. (Hey, wait a minute, did they just define Confidence as self-confidence? Can they do that? Define a word by using it in the definition like that? Surely not? I am pretty confident of that at least. … I digress). Then there is a smaller part of me that is all too vocal internally, and takes it upon itself to express complete lack of confidence in my powers and abilities, and doubts how much I can be relied upon.
So when I saw a post on a group forum today about someone having a ‘confidence melt-down’ I knew exactly what it was they were experiencing. This group forum is for parents, which gives us the context for this ‘melt-down’. Anyone who has been, or still is, a parent has surely experienced this in one form or another. As a stay-at-home-dad for some sixteen years I know what this is like. Being a stay-at-home-anything is a tough experience that is bound to test the mettle of even the most self-confident amongst us. Where is the peer group providing a monthly performance review? Let’s face it, it’s ourselves, right? By and large, anyway. And we don’t go easy on ourselves do we? No we do not. Not if we value what we do. Which we do. We value it highly, that is why we do it. Given that, then we tend to expect nothing but the best from ourselves. The trouble is, we can’t always deliver. So when we fall short of our unreasonable expectations we are prone to getting on our own cases internally.
The truth, however, is that we are more than capable. We have proven this through our steadfast effort, and through all the time we have invested. There is still some part of us that knows this, despite those internal assertions that try to chip away at our confidence. There is an ongoing struggle between the opposing points of view. The truth, however, has already won the debate. And yet, there is no silence on the losing side. Sometimes it only takes a few empathetic words from another to help us remember the truth, and to silence the dissent.
I tend to struggle with confidence in many areas of my life, despite having a strong sense of faith in myself. It’s an odd predicament indeed. I find the slightest form of encouragement from another to be a huge boost for me. I would probably do well to make some effort to acknowledge others in this way, for I feel sure I am not in the least bit alone in this regard.
In closing then, I am reminded of what a wise friend once told me … “You are only as alone as you think you are.” … I do not recall feeling in the least bit alone since the day he told me that.
Bless Bless og Sjáumst!