by Faith Monson
It takes a lot of confidence to set out to climb a mountain, whether that is your local really large hill, or Mt. Everest. You have to believe in yourself, your body, your skills, your endurance, and your guide.
Most of us don’t climb physical mountains, but we all have perceptual mountains to scale that are every bit as tough. As with the case of ascending Everest, getting over those “other” mountains—job change, age, disability, life situation shift, etc.—takes everything we have, and to be successful, we have to have the confidence that we’ve got what it takes.
Climbers who get to the top of Mt. Everest don’t do it alone. They have a guide—a Sherpa—who knows the way and helps them find the path safely. As a success coach, I’m a Sherpa of another sort, helping my clients get over the mountains that stand in the way of them achieving their dreams. Confidence is one of the first skills we need to sharpen in order to succeed.
Many of us grew up in a time when “confidence” was wrongly confused with “arrogance.” As children, we were admonished not to “blow our own horn,” to be self-effacing and to modestly diminish our accomplishments even when praised. Women especially were chided for anything that resembled self-assurance.
Thankfully, those days are gone.
Showing self-confidence is a healthy attitude that empowers yourself and others. A self- confident person attracts people because others are drawn to someone who is comfortable being his or her personal best.
I’ve found that many adults still hear the old voices in their minds saying that it’s wrong to be confident. Nothing could be further from the truth. True confidence isn’t arrogance and it isn’t pridefulness. A truly confident person knows herself, both her abilities and her limits. She is sure of what she can do, and aware of where she will need help. Confidence means being comfortable inside your own skin, being happy to be you.