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  • Writer's pictureFreya Blom

April Insights

Confidence is not "They will like me." Confidence is "I'll be fine if they don't."

So many people mistake confidence for certainty, when really confidence is self-trust. In my experience, the word confidence is often used as a placeholder for other truths.

"I don't feel confident" can mean:

  • I am concerned that I am not yet competent at this (potentially correct! We can't be confident about driving if we have not yet learned how to drive or can do the basics but have not yet had enough practice to know how to deal with tricky situations!)

  • I am concerned about how other people will judge/perceive me (constantly attempting to see yourself through other peoples eyes is exhausting and fraught with assumptions and blind spots...not to mention it is quite fantastical as most of them are just thinking about when they can have their coffee/money/weekend away!)

  • I don't feel good inside myself (along with our physical health, this could be for many different reasons, and we usually know what they are and where they come from)

Remember: confidence is "I trust myself to do my best for myself" AND confidence is an outcome, not a pre-requisite.

"It is not life that causes suffering but our expectation that life should be the way we want." - Kudo Sawaki

Peace comes when you stop looking for people to give you what they are not capable of giving you - Freya Blom

Those of us who work with people, often end up having to say "Stop shoulding on yourself". In our human quest for certainty, we can so often be found clinging to fantasy rather than accepting reality and surrendering to things we cannot control.

Yet, when we relax our grip, our hands become free to explore. To pick things up and turn them over, examine them, see new tings about them, and sometimes form them into something new.

Holding things lightly, so as not to crush them, and to allow them to unfold in their own time, is simple, but often not comfortable or easy.

You go talk to kindergartners or first-grade kids, you find a class full of science enthusiasts. They ask ...What is a dream, why do we have toes, why is the moon round...profound, important questions...You go talk to 12th graders and there’s none of that. They’ve become incurious. Something terrible has happened between kindergarten and 12th grade - Carl Sagan

As children, we are told to position adults as people who know more than us. The people who "know" are in power. Teacher, police, parents, anyone older are the experts on high. We are taught that "knowing" is valuable, prestigious (and grown up). Knowing and asking can then easily become polarised. Asking becomes a sign of ignorance, or some sort of weakness, and those with perfectionist tendencies can then either attempt to suppress their own vulnerability by not asking questions (or pretending to know), and sit in harsh judgement on those around them who appear oblivious to the fact that they are "coming across as weak/stupid/challenging".

If we don't feel that questions are valued in our environment, why would we feel safe to act on our inner curiosity. And what price are we, our organisations, and the world paying for not bringing forward an energy of wonder and openness?

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