Confidence is not to be mistaken for arrogance or “cockiness” where one presumes they are better than others or have a false sense of grandeur. Instead, it is the conviction of absolute contentment with all aspects of your being. Confidence is an unwavering belief in yourself, so that other people’s opinions or events will not shake the foundation of your belief system. You are awesome, and humble! And you know it!
Carla Schesser in her blog featured in the Huffington Post states,
“True confidence isn’t ego. It is the complete acceptance of oneself, faults and all. If you only feel good about yourself whenever you have been accepted and approved of by another individual, you can never be free. When you release the idea of trying to become who you should be as dictated by society, your parents, your friends, and so on, you gain a new sense of freedom. You stop running around in circles trying to please everybody and for the first time you don’t care what anyone else thinks. This is an absolutely beautiful state of mind to be in as you finally start to follow your own ideas and become who you were meant to be instead of fitting into the mold everyone else has for you.”
Attaining prestigious degrees from reputable universities or chasing beautiful physical characteristics to maintain confidence is a façade. True self-esteem is not dependent on any of these factors. In my opinion, and based on the winners I have interviewed in my book, confidence is mastery of your skills, years of experience doing something valuable, and knowing yourself deeply – choosing to focus on the positive qualities that you possess.
When I started EMPOWERED with my business partner Dr. Paddy, our first angle was to introduce the program to high schools to teach teenagers the skills for personal development. We invited a group of parents from a local high school to our presentation highlighting what we were offering their children. As we were talking the benefits the students would receive from learning with us, such as increased confidence and self-worth, higher grades, more positive body image, more ambition and better family relationships, I noticed some parents rolling their eyes at me and making snide remarks to each other. After the presentation, many of them revealed that they didn’t think their children needed further empowerment, as they were already doing great academically and athletically.
A number of parents felt offended that we didn’t believe their children are getting this kind of inspired upbringing at home. Furthermore, they resisted the idea that someone younger than them would be a better fit to teach their children about life. One parent commented that his daughter wouldn’t need any improvement as she was already a star student with massive self-confidence.
We left the event feeling disheartened with so much negative feedback. To be honest, Dr. Paddy and I felt discouraged and somewhat hurt by the comments we received that day, and we questioned whether or not it was the right target audience for our courses. However, instead of letting the criticism engulf us and feeling defeated, we resolved to keep trying to reach out to other parents. A few days later, one parent who was present at the gathering reached out to us, and shared that his daughter was in great need of empowerment. He revealed to us about her body image issues, and told us he was ready to sign her up to our courses. That first positive comment from one out of twenty parents in the room, was enough for Dr. Paddy and I to shift our perspective. We knew, with unwavering faith that as mentors, we could transform people’s lives for the better.
Pushing forward with our program finally paid off when we received interest from more teenagers who signed up for our training courses and seminars. After asking them how they felt about learning with EMPOWERED, both the teens and their parents praised our method and approach, confirming that they felt motivated and encouraged to strive for their biggest goals. Hearing that reinforced what I already knew deep down – our program is useful and necessary. And even though we haven’t reached many high school students yet, the few of them that we did reach are reaping the benefits of personal development by realizing their full potential. Despite our first encounter with uninterested parents, striving to make it with small increments was our winning formula for success. We are currently teaching a five-day summer camp “Empowered YOU” at Bangkok University and our students’ positive response is the best reward for us. As we continue to bring EMPOWERED to other high schools and universities, I sense that the program will be well received. I truly love my work and have conviction in what I teach!
You must be proud of who you are before others can respect you! You must believe in yourself before anyone can trust you. You must experience love inwardly first, before asking someone else to appreciate and value you.
“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”
~~ Muhammad Ali~~