Guest blog by Joanna Infeld
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog
THE FIRST CONFIDENCE
The first confidence stems from the very fact of being alive—having gender, strength, the ability to run, jump, grow, dance, derive joy from one’s sexuality, from parenthood and the many stages of life. There is a natural confidence that radiates from a person when they are happy, satisfied and carefree. The symptoms of this confidence can be adopted from the outside in, so that a person can become more confident by knowingly acting the part.
The confident act may be expressed in the following many ways:
To walk tall
To speak loudly and clearly
To speak with conviction
To walk lightly on one’s feet
To hold one’s head high
To have a firm handshake
To be comfortable in one’s clothes
To look the person you are dealing with in the eye.
THE SECOND CONFIDENCE
The second confidence stems from a person’s skills and abilities. The more they can do and the more they understand, the more confidence they will radiate and be able to draw upon in their dealings with others. When I conduct a workshop on confidence I usually ask those present to write down a list of their skills and abilities—as many as they can think of, no skill being too small or insignificant. It always surprises me that the lists are short and I help the participants add to their lists by suggesting that they do have the ability to walk, speak, read, write, tie their shoelaces, eat with a knife and fork, boil an egg, read a clock, drive a car, dance—all of which had to be learned and acquired at some time in their lives. When the lists are finally ready and complete, together we remind ourselves of all the things we are able to do—we produce our own certificates which are then awarded to each person amidst applause and confirmation from the other participants. This is always a most enjoyable part of the workshop.
THE THIRD CONFIDENCE
The third confidence stems from a person knowing themselves and having access to and command of the many qualities they radiate and display.
In this part of the workshop we create a list of all possible qualities that we know and value, such as, for example, care, honesty, compassion, determination etc. We then each choose a quality and attempt to write a definition of it in our own words, according to our best understanding of that quality at that time. In this there is no right or wrong, there is simply each person’s appreciation of each quality.
We then make a word map, finding other words that by association we think of when that particular quality is mentioned. This leads to a whole web of words and phrases. For example, patience could be seen to be associated with waiting, belief, understanding, hope and tolerance. The word map is then added to by associating two other words with each of the five, so, for example, waiting can be associated with reflection and pause, belief with faith and expectancy, understanding with education and knowledge, hope with future and optimism, tolerance with equality and acquiescence. The association game can then continue with these further words being added into the picture, associating, for example, pause with suspension and break, and so on.
Having created this word map, the next tasking is to write a further sentence, phrase, paragraph, description or poem about the chosen quality, using some of the words incorporated in the word map. Using the example of patience, the new definition could be something like this: “Patience is the ability to wait for the right time and the right season—to have the vision and optimism that the future leads to new opportunities and better understanding. It is a leap of faith and an allowance to oneself and others to make the time and space to become the best they can be.”
The most fascinating aspect of this exercise is the comparison between the first definition of the quality and the second, the latter having so much more depth and
THE FOURTH CONFIDENCE
The fourth confidence arises from the fact of being born and having a spirit, and is easy to find if you add up the odds against you being the unique you that you are.
Considering the many circumstances that have come together to make it possible for each individual human to be born onto Earth, how can a person not be confident that they are meant to be here, that there is a reason and purpose for their existence and that Creation wants and needs them to be here—with their unique fingerprints, DNA and characteristics?
There is another trace that might perhaps add to a person’s confidence, if they care to add it up: depending on how old you are, the planet has supported you for as many years, providing energy, air, liquid and solid foods. It is an effective process to sit down with a calculator and attempt to add up how much you have consumed throughout your life—how many loaves of bread, chicken, cows, fish, goats, grains, vegetables and fruits, how much water, tea, coffee, milk and juice? How much air and how much energy? All this has come from the planet and she has supported each one of us throughout our life, asking for nothing in return but providing a firm foundation for our every step. Should this not give us confidence to succeed and cause us to want to pay back for our many gifts?
The final step in the process is to bring it all together and ask the following questions:
Why would you want to have confidence? What are you confident about? Why?
Why is confidence a natural quality?