IBQ Writing Prompt: Confidence

introvertChallengeThis week’s prompt is:

Confidence

Noun:  a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

From the Latin confidere ‘have full trust’.confidence2

“If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson
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How Does It Work?

The rules are on the IBQ page, but they are simple:  blog about what the prompt means to you and then come back here and leave a link.  There is no word limit.  Each week I will have a specific word or expression to get the creative juices flowing.  Think about them in terms of the relevance to your life.  Then sit down and write a blog.  You get extra credit if you include a photo or graphic.  Tag it with IBQ.  After you’ve posted, come back here to that week’s specific prompt page and add a link to your blog in my comment box.  Then check out what other introverts are saying.  Remember to “Follow” my blog to get your weekly reminders.

Here is my contribution.  Come back and leave a link to your contribution after you publish it.

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Confidence.  The word popped into my head as I was driving to the office this morning.  Night still reigned supreme.  There wasn’t a hint of dawn yet.  Traffic was light so I was able to cruise on autopilot.  Confidence.  It kept sounding in my head.  Soon the single word was followed by fabulous voice of Julie Andrews singing “I Have Confidence” from The Sound of Music.

(Yes, I often have a noisy imagination.  Let’s pause for a moment and enjoy one of my favorite singers, Audra McDonald, performing the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.  Feel free to sing along.  Please enjoy!)

Confidence is a complicated discussion for all of us, introvert and extrovert alike.  For me, it’s an intangible that’s hard to keep my fingers gripped tightly around.  When it comes to what I do for a living, I have a lot of confidence.  I’ve been in the same profession for more than twenty-five years, and I’ve had a lot of success at it.  I have confidence because I’ve proven to myself time and time again that I can do a good job.  I have the accolades.  I’m an expert.

Now drop me into a party with plenty of people I don’t know, all of whom look like they’re having a lot of fun and my confidence meter has just fallen to zero.  Zip.  Nada.  Nothing.  Zilch.  I don’t have a lot of experience or success at parties, but to be honest, I also don’t have a lot of interest in parties.

You must always do the thing you think you cannot do.  — Eleanor Roosevelt

I would say that for the most part I’m a confident person.  I can and will tackle new situations.   I like to explore and reach beyond.  I think that at the core of me there is something wonderful.  I’m a caring person who tries to give back and make this world better.  I’m smart, happy, willing to trust and love.  I think being able to recognize and appreciate what is inside of me forms the basis of my confidence.  I’m not looking for external praise.  In fact, it embarrasses me when people do make a fuss over me.  That’s the introvert in me.  It’s nice knowing I’m valued, but please don’t ask me to stand up in front of everyone with my award.

If I didn’t have the awards at work, would I still feel confident?  I’m not sure but I think I would be.  I’ve done my work long enough that I know what I am capable of.  I know I am so good at it that I make it look simple, like a well-performed magic act.  I’m always a little shocked when people tell me how good I’m doing because to me, I’m just being me.  That’s confidence personified.   It’s become second nature, and that confidence shows.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote “Outliers: The Story of Success”, in which he states that the super-acheivers in the world have become that not because of some unique talent, but because they took the talents they have and practiced, practiced, practiced.  He says the magic number is 10,000…. 10,000 repetitions, 10,000 hours, however you can measure your effort.  The point is to keep at something until it becomes ingrained, innate, integrated into the essence of you.  That’s confidence.

confidence5

Cee and I just did some rough math to see how 10,000 relates to a successful relationship.  We figured that couples spend maybe four hours a day together (subtracting work, sleep, errands, etc.) during the work week and ten hours on the weekends.  So thirty hours a week of time really spent together.  That means you have to make it past the notorious “seven year itch” to get in your 10,000 hours of quality time.  Just an interesting idea.

I am confident in me.  How about you?  Where is your confidence coming from in you?

Hi.  I’m Chris.  I’m an introvert.  Look for my ongoing series celebrating introverts (Sunday), writing prompts for introverts (Wednesday) and introvert cartoons (Thursday), plus anything else interesting that I find in the meantime.  Come and share with like-minded introverts.  I also contribute to the new food blog Three’s Cooking, learning to cook from the heart, for the soul.

32 thoughts on “IBQ Writing Prompt: Confidence

  1. Pingback: IBQ Writing Prompt: Confidence | In my world

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  3. What a great expo on confidence, Chris! I definitely share the same problem with parties, they are horrible experiences for me, too. It’s really great to feel comfortable and confident about your work, though, isn’t it?!
    My response to your challenge is a post from my crazy lifestory, it’s all about gaining confidence. Thanks forthe great opportunity to share!
    http://aishasoasis.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/ep-4-joyride-to-egypt-salam-wa-smiles-40-years-old-55/

  4. Pingback: My Self-Confidence Paradox | A New Life Wandering

    • We are sooooo similar! Amazing, I have to read more on your blog, I just fell in and dont want to leave. Your writing style is very clear and you describe what problems I have with my family and neighbors perfectly. God knows how I hate chit chat! It’s awesome that you found a spouse so comfortable to be with, lol like that adorable cat. For most people, I am so different that I know I am a liabilty for them if I become friends, we are so totally on different pages, and like you, I’ve always been the nonjudgmental one… unfortunately meaning I am usually the one judged, lol! Anyway, great to meet you, and looking forward to reading more from your blog! ; ^)

  5. Interesting prompt, once I get home from work I’ll sit down and think about what I want to write. I agree with you about parties; I don’t particularly enjoy them or have much interest either.

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