This week I have been reflecting on the topic of confidence as it came up in a session with a beautiful, talented client. She pinpointed that a lack of self-confidence is holding her back from achieving her ideal life and she’s sick to death of it.

It stirred me up and got me thinking. How can someone so talented, beautiful and blessed with so many gifts lack confidence? If my client has it all on the outside, why has her ‘inside’ suffering every step of the way?

It comes down to a belief about being ‘good enough’. If you’re carrying around the opinions of others inside your head when you’re trying to make decisions, move through your day and achieve all that life demands of you, then it’s 10 against 1. You’re literally carrying the weight of the world around with you.

Why not make your own choices and decisions and then let others argue later if they have the time. When was the last time you questioned a confident person? We tend not to. It’s interesting how the only people we tend to challenge are those who are self-doubters. It’s easy, we know they’ll re-consider, pause, hesitate. It’s sport.

While I know that we all need a good dose of confidence to perform well on a daily basis, I also know that vulnerability is a very important and often underestimated character trait. So what we’re talking about here is definitely not assuming a false air of self-importance. Or of being over-bearing or boastful or arrogant. Vulnerability is a strength and can be the source of great confidence.

So let’s consider some different types of confidence.

Confidence can mean certainty – for example, in a clinical trial, you need statistical evidence to show that you’re confident that a certain result will occur. I also need to be confident that the brain surgeon operating on me has done his training – proof of that will give me confidence to go under the knife.

In the public speaking arena, confidence is critical. You need to assume a persona or air of confidence in order to get up in front of many people and talk. We all need to feel a certain amount of confidence about everyday occurrences – like the sun is going to rise in the morning and ‘everything’s going to be o.k.’

So to lack confidence, means we’re going against the natural order of things.

If for instance, we’re carrying around a load of self-doubt and thoughts like ‘he or she might not like what I’ve decided here’. The question is: who are you going to value more – them or you? Who are you going to back? And if you abandon the driver’s seat of your own life, who’s going to step in? And are they going to do a better job than you? Probably not.

Time to take control of the wheel and drive the bus where you want to go. Passengers can always disembark at the next stop if they don’t like your destination. And they can always get back on board when they realise that you’re committed to the journey you’re on.

What does confidence mean to you? Who do you know who’s confident? What is it about the way they think that makes them so? What would happen if you stopped worrying about what others think?