I love this poem. It makes the idea of confidence seem so simple and complete... And is able to identify that ever so fine line between that of a loud confidence and that of a quiet one.
I don't know about you, but I am always catching myself utilising the first example of confidence mentioned here rather than the desirable second. It is way too easy to place value on the things we do (achieve) in this world. It seems to be an inevitable trait we all receive at birth... the need to impress others with our performance. And we seem to have the whole 'judge others based on their success (or lack there of)' down pat too.
As natural as it is for us to behave this way, there is a better way! And it comes as a choice, a move against the grain. How wonderful are those people you meet, who have a quiet confidence... they just seem comfortable in their own skin without needing to toot their own horn. They seem to know their place, stick to their strengths while treating others with great esteem. I know, I can't stand them either! No no... that is not true - in fact I get mesmerised by the likes of them... I want to be just like them.
Maybe some people are born with a naturally quiet confidence as apposed to the brassy kind. I envy you if you are one of them, because I most certainly am not. It is a learned behaviour for most. To even be aware of the difference between the two isn't common.
I realised the difference one day when I chose to make a change in the way I viewed life and this genuine confidence that is quiet and pleasant, not harsh or grating, has been a choice I have had to make daily ever since. It has become a lot easier than when I first started - almost natural, but always a choice.
I used to have conversations with people, without actually listening to them. I would be forever in this limbo of thinking about what to say next and how I can speak of my own experience even if it didn't really relate. I believe that sort of anxious 'feel-the-need-to-fill-every-gap' style of conversation comes from a fear. A fear of feeling boring, or uninspiring. I don't know about you, but it isn't pleasant being on the other end of that. Yet I used to so freely give it out. I am so sorry to all those people who had to experience that ;).
Thank goodness I became aware, and made a choice to change. Instead of jumping at every opportunity to add my point of view, I bite my tongue and think before I speak. Sometimes I don't say much at all, and I try to be genuine in that moment if I do say anything. The wonderful things I learn about the people around me is so rewarding, now that I am actually listening.
So the beauty of this quiet confidence is that you can just be. You don't have to pretend to be confident, or something you are not. You just have to choose to trust yourself, and be genuine. I read this great book called 'Fearless Loving' by Rhonda Britten which spoke about this in so much more detail. I would suggest every woman read it! It helped me learn how to interact with those around me without being driven by fear. You know those people who are reactive, always defensive, and hugely competitive... that used to be me - a sure sign of a fear-ruled life!
If you struggle with that too, I would love to help by blessing someone with a copy of the book I mention above... But I need to know you are willing and committed to making that choice! Comment below with your thoughts and let me know how willing you are (please also leave your email address so I can contract you).
I think I will be writing more posts on the topic too! Until then... here is another poem for you to ponder: