The word confidence keeps popping up in my life...in books, conversations, magazine articles--you name it. To be honest, the concept of confidence has always seemed illusive to me. I've never been able to pin it down or sustain it in long doses...probably because it's been tied to circumstances--how successful I was feeling in the moment or what size pants I was wearing. Most of the time it's felt like my quest in life is to arrive at a point where I will have outsmarted it and trapped it in a bottle to hold onto forever and forever amen. But this week, when I picked up my newest copy of Darling Magazine and began reading an article on Joanna Gaines (of HGTV fame), my thoughts on confidence shifted. Joanna is known for being incredibly talented at what she does while also being generous, humble and strong. One of the questions in the interview asked her what she thinks confidence is, to which she replied,
"I think confidence can be confusing. Some think beauty is confidence, others think the perfect possessions bring confidence...when really confidence is mindset of, 'I am created to do what I do, to be the best at what I can.' It doesn't come from your giftings or your talents, it comes from knowing who you are and that there's a purpose for your life."
A few days earlier I was looking up the etymology of the word confidence (yes, I'm that girl. #wordnerdforever) and learned that it's original definition from the Latin "confidere" meant "to have full trust, firmly trusting, bold". Queue the lightbulb. It was as if this thing that's evaded me for years suddenly became clear. Confidence is just having full trust in who you were created to be. It isn't about the addition (or subtraction) of traits or possessions, but a foundational belief that you have value and were created for a purpose. Yes, we can grow and become better versions of ourselves, but there's no need to strive for confidence, it's simply choosing to hold this belief, and that is so freeing.
As you know, I'm all about practical application and tools we can use to transform these concepts into realities in our everyday lives. Perhaps it would be useful for us to think upon who we are and what the purpose of our lives is. So often we make lists of who we want to become and things we want to accomplish (not bad at all--I think goals are so helpful and give us vision), but I've realized that sometimes this makes me overlook the innate qualities I already possess, or the things I'm already doing that I should recognize and celebrate. It can be an intimidating process, but I would encourage you to look for patterns in your life--are people always commenting on how you good of a listener you are or your problem solving skills or your hospitality? Chances are you'll see some recurring traits about who you are and how you're built. If you want to share your list, I would love to see it and encourage you in those things moving forward. You can send me a note here or post in the slack community group. I have confidence in who you are...go make your unique noise in the world!