Liquid Footprints

Quiet Confidence is True Confidence

4 Comments

One day my best friend commented about how she won’t date a guy who lacks self-confidence. Since then I have pondered what people mean by “self-confidence.” While it seems obvious at first, when you really stop and consider what it means it wiggles away. Self confidence is mostly self acceptance and living other-centered. However, we mostly think about confidence as the providence of so-called alpha males or strong women. Confidence in the popular sense seem to be associated with an assertive personality. In many cases, assertive personalities are the complete opposite of confidence when you examine them.

Assertive individuals often are insecure. They compensate by taking control of situations and asserting their will.  It is a shield used to keep people from seeing their insecurity. Alpha males talk up themselves to hide their weaknesses. Confidence is not strut and bluff.

Although I run the risk of strutting and bluffing as I write this, I am quietly confident. I wouldn’t write such an open blog otherwise. ( With those statements I get a little too close to “thou doest protest too much.”) I am not completely satisfied with my physical appearance, but I am content with it. Satisfaction and contentment are different things. Lack of satisfaction does not mean a person lacks confidence. Rather it means a person seeks to continually improve themselves.

It is funny that self-improvement is looked down upon in American society. People who seek self-improvement apparently aren’t happy with themselves right? Actually, people who seek self-improvement think very highly of themselves.  Such people think themselves worthy of improvement. Self improvement is an act of self-love and self acceptance. Why self acceptance you ask? Well, true self-improvement must begin with contentment. Without contentment there isn’t a starting point for growth. Discontent with oneself leads to constant fretting over what is “wrong,” and growth cannot start with the wrong. Self improvement is the expansion and development of the good aspects we already possess. For example, with my physique I like my lean muscular build. Although I am too thin, I don’t worry about it. By expanding my strength instead of focusing on my thinness, I will automatically take care of what is “wrong.” Focusing on what is “wrong” only strengthens the “wrong” and erodes your self-esteem.

Quiet confidence is true confidence. Self acceptance cannot be announced. Saying “I accept myself for who I am” to everyone is a show of insecurity. Rather, self acceptance and confidence is shown in our behavior. Assertive behavior is not an accurate measure. Confidence is allowing people to have minds of their own. Relationships easily develop into insecurity and shatter self-confidence. There is much invested. However, assertive behavior, efforts to directly control the flow of a relationship, show lack of self-confidence. Now, this isn’t to say that people should do nothing when they are interested in someone. Rather, they should express their feelings but not seek to control the other person. Relationships are a mutual decision.

Quiet self-confidence is found in self-expression. As a person expresses their thoughts and emotions without seeking reassurance in return, they show how much they value their own thoughts. Confidence cannot be developed externally ( it can, however, be reinforced).  Confidence is a decision to accept yourself as you are right now. It is a decision to love yourself enough to grow your strengths.  Confidence  requires contentment with how we are now. Without contentment we cannot free our energy to grow; it is too tied up in self-pity and worry. Lacking confidence is just extreme self focus.

You, right now, are all you have. Be quietly confident. You are beautiful, unique, and have much to offer others once you step outside your self focus.

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Author: Chris

Wanders the world of Japanese culture and library nerdiness.

4 thoughts on “Quiet Confidence is True Confidence

  1. I agree with most of what you write. I did cringe though when you misused the word ASSERTIVE….Assertive people are HEALTHY, this is the kind of confidence one needs. The proper word would be AGGRESSIVE (often used for assertive…look it up 2 different words and actions) aggressive people are cocky and use others to make themselves look better or achieve more. Otherwise good article!…:)

    • Thanks! I have a bit of a different view of the word “assertive.” I agree it is different from aggressive. Assertive is defined as ” disposed to or characterized by bold or confident statements and behavior (Merriam-Webster).” Confidence is good and healthy. However, assertiveness is forceful confidence rather than quiet confidence. Quiet confidence is healthier than assertiveness. Assertiveness has elements of selfishness to the word. A confident person does not need to assert themselves upon others. Confident people will stand their ground but need not be forceful or bold. It takes a lot of confidence to turn the other cheek. I view assertive people as a short step from being overtly aggressive. Confidence involves standing up for oneself but not persuading people you are right. I prefer to stand my ground when pushed but not push back. It does little good from my experience. Pushing back is more a sign of the ego than of confidence. The ego acts out of insecurity.

  2. When I know something, I keep it to myself. I don’t believe in boasting about what a highly confidential person I really am. If I know I am, I have no reason to make it obvious to others. No-one taught me to be. I just am. I don’t show off in a room full of people. It’s the ones who tell you how popular they are, that should be questionable, because it’s as f a key as a man saying that he’s a nice person. If he really is a nice person, he wouldn’t feel any need to announce that he is. He would feel confident enough. He wouldn’t be asking me, whether he’s a bad person. He’s done this quite a lot. He obviously feels guilty about something or other. Otherwise he’d never ask me whether he’s a horrible person. Next time, it would be better if I ask him why he thinks he’s a nasty man. I need to know what he’s done. He sounds like he regrets something. Even though he puts on such a show, in front of our mutual friends, I can see through it. I think he knows this, because he puts an arm around me, after he’s done showing off. I really don’t admire this sort of character.

  3. When I know something, I keep it to myself. I don’t believe in boasting about what a highly confidential person I really am. If I know I am, I have no reason to make it obvious to others. No-one taught me to be. I just am. I don’t show off in a room full of people. It’s the ones who tell you how popular they are, who are questionable. If he really is a nice person, he wouldn’t feel any need to announce that he is. He would feel confident enough. He wouldn’t be asking me, whether he’s a bad person. He’s done this quite a lot. He obviously feels guilty about something or other. Otherwise he’d never ask me whether he’s a horrible person. Next time, it would be better if I ask him why he thinks he’s a nasty man. I need to know what he’s done. He sounds like he regrets something. Even though he puts on such a show, in front of our mutual friends, I can see through it. I think he knows this, because he puts an arm around me, after he’s done showing off. I really don’t admire this sort of character.

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