Today, I decided to write about a topic that seems to be buzzing around my existence. Confidence. I chose this topic because I have been talking to my son about his inner game. I had the conversation with him, because I have been working on my own inner game. Confidence is a topic that seems to be coming up in my reading and in my personal discussions. I am trying to help my son learn how to play tennis. In the past he has been very self criticizing if he didn’t hit his shots well. This weekend we talked about realizing that he is doing a lot right and that mistakes are really not a big deal. His tennis game improved a lot and we had a blast playing together.
I think confidence is important in my personal relationships. People tend to love being with someone who is confident about who they are and where they want to go. Confidence is not cockiness or arrogance. People are turned off by arrogance, rudeness, cockiness. But, people don’t really like insecurity and neediness either. What is appealing to others, is having a good enough feeling about yourself to say, “I find this direction interesting. C’mon, let’s go!”
I think an artist has to have confidence in his art work. You absolutely have to believe in your own work, before hanging it on a wall, or playing it in public. It doesn’t matter if it is accepted or not. You have to believe that your voice is valid, that what you’re doing is right. Then you have to hold onto that belief. Think about when Bob Dylan was hooted and booed for first playing an electric guitar. Everyone wanted the same acoustic folk singer of the past. But, Dylan moved on, confident that his new sound was his artistic direction. Dylan was right. If you stay with the accepted, you never go forward. You never break new ground.
I think finding this type of confidence starts by examining what you do well, how you want to build on your strengths and where you want to go. Get clear on who you are and where you want to be. Then get moving with confidence.