The One Thing You Need to Live a Confident Life on Your Terms
Be humble in your confidence yet courageous in your character.” — Melanie Koulouris
First impressions are sometimes all we have. At least in the eyes of those we aim to influence. Like it or not, this is often the way society chooses to measure and judge us. It’s not fair. But it is reality. We see things through the eyes of our experiences and emotions, thus we cannot fully capture the emotions and feelings of another individual, no matter how hard we try.
When we think further about first impressions, really what we’re talking about is presentation, which in and of itself, is about confidence. Surely, kindness, professionalism and charisma matter, but all of those things emanate from the inner and outward demonstration of confidence. For me, confidence is about belief in ourselves and what we’re doing.
Confidence is attained when we’re prepared and self-aware enough to appreciate who we are, faults and all. Confidence is desired in all kinds of relationships, and it’s the ingredient that colors our view of ourselves, as well as how we are perceived by society. So, it is confidence that is worth cultivating and being, in order to live in each moment of the day.
Ahead of the Game
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit” — E.E. Cummings
While going on an interview recently, my brother said to me,
“You already know another company wants you and is going to make you an offer, go in with confidence, you’re playing with house money.”
The concept, of course, comes from the world of gambling — using the money from the casino to fuel and drive future earnings. Remember, Las Vegas wasn’t built on winners! But it is the winners, that “let it ride” in thought, speech and action — those who lead with confidence — who define how they wish to live their lives.
Playing with house money is a gift, yet also a choice we have to make in how we handle our business. It’s one much easier made, from a psychological standpoint, when we’re not fearful of losing anything, even though we wouldbe losing what we just earned! It’s a mindset of confidence that soothes anxiety and fear of loss, in addition to our aversion to risk.
What we find in life as humans is some degree of aversion to risk; a fear of the unknown and a conservatism toward taking chances, that if taken, often pay off handsomely. Just maybe not always at the Blackjack table!
We are all programmed with a keen sense for survival, something that is taught and cultivated by our parents, family and the wonderful people who raise each of us. Many of us are given conservative guidance and advice, designed to position us for success and future happiness. Most of the time, this is prudent, because it keeps us out of trouble and eliminates potential obstacles from our path.
But too much conservative advice and coaching toward risk aversion can be dangerous. To live is to risk and to risk is to often take big chances that rely on our natural abilities, but mostly on faith, or belief in self and a higher power. For me, that higher power has always been God, who I trust in and feel is responsible for creating all of us and governing the world and eternity.
Confident State of Mind
“If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that…I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.” — John Lennon
You see, playing with house money is a state of mind, a way for living that I’ve found to be both a builder of confidence and an enabler to greatness. We can apply this thought process into the way we approach so many situations in life. You can integrate a mindset of confidence into your mental approach to how you tackle tasks and how you present yourself in relationships.
How we approach exams at school, the courage to ask a boy or girl on a date, the way we approach an athletic competition — entirely bereft of bad fear — to how we make our decisions on where to live, where to work and the close circle of people we desire to surround ourselves with for the rest of our lives.
I’m not advising against a conservative approach in some areas of life. Oftentimes with our finances, we need to stay a conservative course. The same can be said for advising someone recovering from sickness, injury or depression.
But when we really break down our choices and the paths for how our lives can unfold, I encourage you to consider the prospect of winning several hands of poker and playing with the “excess” money that comes your way.
You’ll find you’ve cultivated a state of mind that knows no worry, believes with a winner’s mindset and possesses the confidence that prepares you to experience happiness and success.
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