Somewhere along the line what we recognized as confidence may have been misconstrued a little. We started associating traits like aggressive, loud, opinionated and arrogant with being a confident person. You’ve probably seen the type, or maybe you are the type. They know FOR SURE that what they believe is the unequivocal truth. Therefore they need to tell everyone about it…constantly.
When they aren’t able to convince someone to believe exactly as they believe they may be caught calling others, “asleep” or a “sheep” or any other plethora of derogatory names that I probably can’t mention here. We also may have misconstrued what it means to be humble a little bit too. Being Humble is associated with weak, shy, meek, and someone who cowers to others. Someone who is so unsure of themselves or their beliefs that they keep them to themselves and are too insecure to tell everyone they meet their opinion on everything. Is there a way to be both? Can a confident person also be a humble person? In order to answer that question we must dissect what it means to be truly confident, and how does “artificial confidence” come about.
“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself the whole world accepts him or her” – Lao Tzu
There are many reasons a person may develop artificial/arrogant confidence. One may be cognitive dissonance, which means they may be holding on to a belief so tightly that when evidence is presented that contradicts this belief they may be completely unwilling to look at the new evidence. They may have become so attached to this belief that it has become a part of their sense of self.
Since they are completely attached to who they think they are it may be a painful experience for them to open their mind up and see things from a different perspective. The actual energy behind holding on to a belief so tightly that you are unwilling to let it go is fear.
The human ego is always afraid to be found out, so to speak, therefore, any threat of someone or something coming along and debunking one of its belief attachments may bring about a negative emotional reaction such as anger. Anytime anger is involved we can be assured that fear is the culprit behind it.
Genuine confidence doesn’t need to get angry because there is no part that fears being wrong or that others aren’t believing them. Another reason a person may develop artificial confidence is because they are insecure. An insecure person may not truly believe in their theory or themselves so they feel if they can convince others that they are absolutely the right one they can at the same time convince themselves.
This is often done in an aggressive manner, because they are attached to the outcome of people believing them. Again, the fear behind not achieving the outcome they desire is causing them to act in a rude or aggressive manner. Genuine confidence can remain quiet, kind and humble because there is no underlying fear that needs other people to believe exactly what they are saying.
Genuine confidence is humble. It kind of realizes that most people are operating from their own level of understanding and trying to convince them that they are “stupid” or “wrong” usually won’t work anyway. The humble part of them realizes that LIVING and BEING their truth is always more effective than incessant talking or convincing ever will be.
Also, humble confidence isn’t attached to being right. In fact, it happily welcomes new ideas and beliefs because it knows that only when it opens itself up to seeing things from all perspectives is it able to perhaps learn something new.
“The time which people spend in convincing others, even half of this time if they spend on themselves, then they can achieve a lot in life.” – Arvind Katoch
In order to maintain humble confidence about our beliefs we must do two things. One is question ourselves….constantly. You may ask yourself, “Do I know absolutely without a doubt that this belief is true?” Meaning, “Did I see it with my own eyes”- normally the answer to this will be no. So not to say that you won’t have some beliefs about things that involve situations that you weren’t physically there, but it just means that you always maintain a healthy sense of doubt about your beliefs.
This doesn’t mean that you’re unsure of yourself, it means you are wise, because it means you are open to hearing new evidence. Or you can ask yourself, “Is it possible that I am so attached to this belief that it has become a part of who I think I am?” Or even, “Does it matter if the person I am telling about my belief believes me or not? In this present moment does the fact that they are convinced or not convinced change anything in this exact moment in time?”
You may find that most of the time, the answer to that is “no.” The other thing a person can do in order to remain humbly confident in their beliefs is to realize that every person they come in contact with can only understand things from their own level of understanding. Which means they are only operating from their own personal programming which may or may not be completely different than yours.
So yes, there may be times when you tell someone something and you enlighten them to something that they hadn’t thought of before but there will also be times where any effort to convince will fall on deaf ears. When you are unattached to the outcome, you will be fine with either without getting frustrated or angered. Once we realize that our “truth” may not be someone else’s “truth” we can completely relax into interpersonal relationships and take every interaction with a human being as a potential learning experience, which will allow us to always be learning and growing as a person.