I freely admit that I am a personal development junkie and love to explore different perspectives. Recently, I came across Augusten Burroughs' newest book "This is How-Surviving What You Think You Can't". I really appreciated it so much. It's a fresh take on the "self-help" genre- it's a mixture of honest, funny and poignant advice.
In particular, I absolutely love his take on confidence.
As an Introvert who helps other introverts plug into their inner wisdom, the quote below from this interview nailed the concept of confidence for me:
"Most of them (self-help) just have people chasing after the ever elusive confidence, and most of the time they end up confusing it with competence, which has nothing to do with it. It's funny, people look at me up on stage giving a reading or a talk and they say how confident I am. There's no confidence involved in what I'm doing - I'm just focused on what I'm doing and not worrying about anyone else. You've just got to stop worrying about what other people may be thinking of you and stay focused on what you're doing in the moment."- Augusten Burroughs
Focusing on staying "in the moment" can be tricky for introverts since we are in our heads so much but using elements of improv can really help. With improv exercises, it's all play and no pressure to come up with the right answer and helps us to stay in the moment. This is just one of the tools I use when working with my clients.
One of the things I discovered in my work is that more often than not, introverts do NOT lack confidence, they lack clarity. Huge difference! Often, introverts are told to show up in the world as extroverts which of course does not mesh with our personality. We know that we are smart, capable, and competent as Augusten Burroughs states above but we get overwhelmed with all of the common advice of how we "should" act. This causes confusion, anxiety and stress.
Try this: Start with your competence. What comes easy for you? Lead with that.
You don't need to be fixed. Train yourself to stay present and to stop caring about what other people are thinking. Easier said than done I know. With practice, you will learn to plug into what I call your Revolutionary Wisdom. It's where clarity and illumination live.
Confident, competent and brilliant.
All my best,
Christian Marie Herron, is Story Mentor and Creative Consultant for entrepreneurs, thinkers and creatives.