What Does Confidence Mean to you?

Confidence is being able to walk into a room, even feeling unsure, and being able to carry yourself in a way that makes people gravitate toward you. Or, from my dancer’s mind, getting up on stage without any indication of fear and perform a three minute solo without feeling like you want to vomit. Or even standing up and setting boundaries for yourself without feeling the pang of guilt or the shame of insulting someone else.

At least that’s how I perceive it on it’s face.

The definitions of confidence are as follows:


the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.

the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.

a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

So if I were to translate those into real life examples they might sound like this:

Knowing that when I step outside, the ground will be solid and the air will fill my lungs.

Knowing that the Earth will continue to spin, at least throughout my lifetime.

Knowing that I am capable of doing really hard things … if I want to. And that I have the ability to adapt … if I desire it.

Confidence is Perceived

And after reading those a half dozen times over, I have realized that our confidence in our world, in others or in ourselves relies heavily on perception. You could argue that we have absolutely no promise that the world won’t end sometime soon. Or that our loved ones won’t leave us or that we won’t fall into some unfortunate situation and not be able to provide for ourselves. But, I’m trying not to fall back into my pessimist, pragmatic voice (you can’t really ever have confidence in anything or anyone). Positivity and idealism always feels like a trap to me.

What we have control over is ourselves, ultimately. And that is it. So confidence means knowing that no matter how hard yesterday was or today has been or tomorrow might be, I have the ability to take whatever it is that happened and turn it into a learning experience. If I want to. I am capable of making huge shifts in my life. If I feel moved to. I have the strength to take care of those I love, even at my own expense. If I care enough to.

What Confidence Really Means to Me

Confidence means being able to count on myself to come through for myself and those close to me when it matters. But not mindlessly or without feeling. Confidence does not mean being a drone, completing countless tasks without stopping to inquire, even inwardly, about how they are valuable or might effect ones environment. I am also confident in my ability to feel and to move through those feeling. To transform them, if necessary into something constructive, creative, strong and valuable.

After reading my first paragraph a couple of times, my initial perception of confidence sounds a lot like numbness. Moving through life without feeling. But, isn’t half the value of art, or anything we do, in the feeling? After all, what good is a dance if the dancer appeared to have no feelings about it?

Tell me what confidence means to you.

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