The Sunday Mail
Some people walk with a stride of confidence. They speak with conviction and self-assurance. They set goals and go for them as though they were born to do great things.
They seem so comfortable in their skins, they are like fish in water. In meetings they articulate their thoughts and speak up. They sit at the front and do not look apologetic. They always seem to have a halo effect over their heads.
They carry an easy but confident smile and life just seems to smile back at them. They are not boastful but they brim with confidence. Even under pressure, they seem sturdy. They seem to look at life with an eagle eye.
You then turn and look into your own heart. You are just the opposite. You seem to be afraid, inadequate, incompetent, doubtful and incomplete. You seem not to have all that it takes and you wonder why me? Does this sound familiar?
This is not an isolated case, it is an epidemic that afflicts many, many people. It’s the hill that everyone needs to climb over. This disease eats at your image, burrows into your mind, inflicts feat and gnaws your guts. Does that sound familiar? This is likely the last time you will have this problem again. It’s time to turn a new leaf, breathe new air and bounce higher.
This problem of the majority is called “the lack of confidence.” Until you believe in yourself, you will always think that everyone doubts you and you are not good enough. God already believes in you, it is up to you to now act differently and believe differently. A lack of confidence has nothing to do with your body, mind, qualifications, dressing, parentage, skin, spouse or job. It has nothing to do with what is happening outside you. It has everything to do with what is happening inside you. Stop scaring yourself away from your greatness. When you snap the chains of this limitation called “lack of confidence”, new power will be unleashed in you to do great things.
Wear your shoes
You do not have to despise your shoes because others are wearing stilettos or moccasins. Be comfortable in your own shoes. Love what you are and what you have. Appreciate and count your blessings. You do not need to experience other people’s miseries to start seeing the blessings you take for granted. Enjoy the food in your mouth instead of wishing that you were eating the food on a magazine. Wear your shoes comfortably, speaking well of what you have and what you are. You are not inferior to anyone, neither do you need to look for someone to compare yourself with. Love your shoes and walk in them with confidence. They are your shoes and they give you support. You do not have to hate everything that is yours under the premise that other people are better.
Self-hate is a disease — an evil one. Speak positively and let your language be a language of appreciation. Lift up things with your words instead of always pulling them down. Quit feeling that you have to be complaining all the time. There is no need to be sour all the time. Count your blessings and be the blessing. Speak well about the things and people around you. Resign from the post of being the curator of criticism and librarian of complaints.
Speak the language and vocabulary of appreciation. Stop looking for the weak points and start looking for the strong points. Stop looking for what to mock and find something to praise. Stop looking for something to blame and start looking for something to praise.
Many have learnt to look for the wrong answers to check out and count everything they did not get right instead of counting everything they have which is right. Get a new language, it’s the language of appreciation. Appreciate the simple thing around you. Nothing is ordinary if you are willing to live a life of wonder. If you are having a difficulty with this, start with simple things and learn to say “thank you, thank you” at least 100 times every day. Gratitude will take you further than hate, bitterness and suspicion. Stop using your mouth to dig your own grave and kill your confidence.
Not everything you see is what is really happening. Not everything that looks bad is bad for you. Not every misfortune is unfortunate. Not every bitter food is bad for you. Medicine does not always have a chocolate flavour. You do not see things as they are, but as you are. Not everything that comes your way has appeared before a judgement throne. Be willing to just let some things be. Do not rush and do not be hurried. It is not always that you need to proffer your judgement. Suspend your judgement until you have all the facts. Suspend your accusations until you can see clearly. Do not stress yourself so much with burdens that are not yours to carry. Be willing to be neutral until you are ready to shift gears. All things have no meaning except the one you give them. Everything that comes into your life comes for a reason and season. Gracefully walk through this season, knowing that seasons do change. Gracefully await the reason for this moment until you have matured enough to harvest and share its lessons.
Stop looking out
Some people spend all their lives looking out of the window thinking that there is something missing from their lives. There is nothing missing, except that you are missing something. Appreciate what you have and enjoy it fully. Stopping looking out of the window and look into the eyes of the person you are with. Be present in life and you will be amazed at what you will begin to see. Be present in this moment and make the most of it.
Oranges are not apples
Stop comparing things that are not similar and drawing self-defeating false conclusions. Oranges are oranges and do not spend all your time criticising them for not being apples. Africa is not in America and India is not in Europe. This simple analogy could be applied to almost everything. No culture is better than the other. Love your culture, embrace it and enjoy being yourself. No place or language is better than the other. Each place you go to has its blessings and its vices. Be present where you are and make the most of this place, space and moment. No book is better than the other, enjoy the one you are reading and the subject you are studying. Let oranges be oranges and apples be apples.
So how then does someone develop confidence? Aim to be the best you can be. Dress yourself in what makes you comfortable and confident. Learn to speak up and respect other speakers. If you have something to share in a meeting, speak up and do not mumble. At first you may feel a little awkward but learn to share your mind and others will start respecting your ideas. Love your style, stop being a photocopy of others. Respect your thoughts and yourself. Allow yourself to be you and to express who you are and what you are. Go around life with an attitude that you belong here and you are a child of the universe.
You are a prince in your space; think royal. You are not a passing apology or a freak of nature, but you are God’s original idea. You do not have to do what others are doing just to fit in.
You are not being left out of anything. Be authentic — be you. Do what you believe in and be willing to be different. Be willing to share your thoughts and speak your mind with respect. Stand in your shadow without apology.
Learn to walk just a little faster and speak a little louder. You are not dead and do not behave like you are dying. Even if you were dying, please do not behave like you are dying until you are really dead! If possible, die in confident action, at least, committed to your greatness.
Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author, and executive coach. He is a cutting strategy, innovation, team-building and leadership facilitator and a consultant. His life purpose is to inspire greatness. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634. His website is: www.miltonkamwendo.com