: a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something
: a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something
: the feeling of being certain that something will happen or that something is true
Source: Merriam Webster dictionary
"What are your plans?"
The question confronted me during a dinner in a Chinese restaurant with a couple of friends. One talked about the local businesses he had set up. The other mentioned the condominium she bought. They turned to me and the question came out.
“I'm writing a book and there's a change of dynamics happening with my career,” I replied.
Though I had mentioned on separate occasions to both of them that I was writing a book, I hadn't mentioned anything about my career. The steel confidence I felt when I answered the question surprised me. Flashbacks of shameful and doubtful opposite moments immediately streamed through my brain while waiting for the dim sum, pork, vegetables, and rice to arrive. “You've come a long way baby,” I mentally told myself after briefly recalling the past. “I'm proud of you.”
Being a writer is my dream. Talking about it used to be a dream within a dream, a reflection of my lack of confidence with it. But things have changed. I'm confident now.
How can you tell if you have confidence in your dreams?
1. YOU HAVE A PLAN.
When you already have a plan on how you'll pursue your dream, then you have taken the first step. It is easy to think about wanting something but until you have come up with a blueprint of what you must do, then your dream is just a thought. It's an abstract dream.
Having a blueprint means that you really want to achieve your dream. If you have decided on a course to take, it shows you have confidence that your “dream” is the dream you really want.
Having a plan pushes you into going down the path of doing and away from the path of wishing. For each step you successfully complete, your abstract dream is one step closer to becoming concrete.
2. YOU DON'T ENVY OTHER PEOPLE'S SUCCESS.
When my friend shared details about his business, I could've thought, “Damn, why don't I have a business of my own?” When my friend talked about her new condominium, I could've thought, “Heck, I should be owning one myself now.”
But I didn't.
@@There's no room for jealousy on other people's success if you possess a strong belief in your own dreams.@@ Why would you envy them? You should act and feel, not from a place of insecurity, but from a place of conviction that they earned what they got and you would earn yours too. Your success and theirs are different. They created their own. You will create yours.
3. YOU DON'T LET OTHERS DICTATE YOU.
Sometimes, when we share our dreams to others, they give their opinions or suggest a direction you should go to. It may be well-intended, it may be not. Keep in mind that when you talk about your dreams, noise will be there to distract you. If you cave in to that noise (if you allow them to steer you in their direction instead of yours), you betray the meaning of the word confidence.
Trusting one's guts is easier said than done. Ilya Pozin, founder of Pluto.TV, said that often our gut instincts are more powerful and intelligent than the “common sense” brought by fear. What's the worse that can happen if you trust your gut? You fail but you have no else to blame, which is actually a good thing. You alone should always be accountable and responsible for everything that happens to you. On the flip side of it, you succeed and your reward will feel more deserved because you listened to your voice, you trusted yourself. Sometimes, we call this “taking the leap of faith”.
Before, it was hard for me to hear other people make suggestions or criticise my dream. Now, their words go in from one ear and go out the other.
4. YOU'RE ALWAYS HUNGRY WITH LEARNING.
True confidence is not the belief that you know everything. @@True confidence is the belief that you trust what you presently know, and still believe there's more room to grow.@@ The only way to go after up is up. Continuous learning arms you more weapons and tools that you can use in your pursuit of your dream.
Confidence comes with the humble reminder that you are always a work-in-progress version of yourself. Today is the best version of you so far, tomorrow you'll be a better one.
Even if I have published blog posts and short stories, I still study vocabulary and grammar. I read fiction and non-fiction books to broaden my knowledge, and I subscribe to articles from good writers to learn from them.
5. YOU'RE NOT ASHAMED TO SAY IT.
A decade ago, I couldn't admit I wanted to be a writer. Five years later, I was still only dreaming about it even after sharing to a few trusted people. Last year, I was able to express it more and finally called myself an “aspiring writer”. This year, I'm no longer aspiring. I am a writer.
You have to be your own number one fan. @@If you do not believe in yourself, how do you expect others to believe in yourself?@@ A bird can never learn to fly until it believes it can do so.
“I am writing a book. I am a writer,” I now express, no longer ashamed.
6. YOU'RE NOT AFRAID TO FACE THE UNKNOWN PATH AHEAD.
The biggest test of confidence is the courage to face the unknown. Let's face it (pun intended), the road to our dream is not a definite one. It can take us to places we do not expect, it can take longer than we want, it can steer us off to directions we never anticipated. When this happens, the brave carries on. The confidence in the dream is so strong that the unknown ahead does not scare him. In fact, it makes the journey more exciting and adventurous.
Sometimes, being ready is all you need to go.
What about you? What are your dreams? How do you show confidence with them? Share with us in the comments section below!