The audience’s deafening applause made Joe’s palms sweat. He hadn’t been that nervous since the time he had to tell his girl friend’s (and now wife) father that she was pregnant, or since he had to kick the game winning field goal in his high school game. He knew this because it was the last time his abdomen twitched simultaneously with his right eyelid. Slowly, he closed his eyes, took a deep breath and went out to tell deliver his first line. That night at the “improv”, in front of the largest audience yet, Joe gave the best performance he knew how. At one time Joe would have been considered the timid fellow scared of his own shadow. However, this was before he mastered the Illusion of Confidence.
Interestingly enough, we rarely consider ourselves “confidence” in a given situation. Mostly, we measure some level of un-confidence. When we are participating in activities in which one might explain us as confidence, everything seems to FLOW very naturally and our confidence is, indeed, – effortless.
If you are by yourself, you can neither be confident or un-confident. Your level of so-called “confidence” is completely neutral. Therefore, we may deduce that confidence, in reality, is based upon other people’s perception.
The example of Joe shows us that many different situations in life will be faced and all will greet us with a certain amount of uncertainty. Our level of confidence that others perceive in us, however, does not have to vary. Even in a situation in which we may feel very unsure of ourselves, rest assured the confidence we display is not a reflection of how unsure you feel, but of how unsure you are perceived. The outcome is fairly negligible. Most others do not care if you win, lose, make a fool of yourself, or look great as long as it doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable.
Take this with you. Confidence is an illusion. Try even faking your confidence if you feel any fear or uncertainty in a given situation. You will find, soon your “faking” will turn into your effortless reality. With many holiday gatherings and possible encounters with odd family members you can have a great time practicing your skills of illusion!
Happy Holidays to all and thank you for reading Living Infinitely.
[The Illusion of Confidence]