This quote from Oriah ‘Mountain Dreamer’ House, a Canadian author and teacher, is much like the ‘quiet confidence’ that I speak to clients about. The quietness that one lives their life can be so much more powerful than a loud, brash, bragging kind of confidence.
When I talk to clients about confidence, I ask them to describe what confidence looks like. I ask them to describe how a confident person acts, what they say and how they behave. I even ask them to image what a confident person might feel.
There are times when the answers they suggest about what confidence is includes arrogance, bravado, loud, domineering, directing, controlling among a few others. Yet, confidence can also be a quietness, a stillness and an assuredness. I always suggest that confidence, true confidence, does not need to be loud, big and bold, it can be soft, small and firm.
This quiet confident person might be secure in knowing who they are and what they are doing. They have no need to brag or tell others how great, fantastic or successful they are because they know. They have no need to put others down to make themselves feel better. They know deep within themselves that they are OK just the way they are. There is a level of self-acceptance that the outwardly arrogant person might not have.
Those loud, brash, arrogant people are in fact seeking outside validation to their worth. They do not have the same level of self-acceptance as those quietly confident people. I see almost as a direct inverse proportion that the louder they are, the more they lack confidence in themselves. Now, when I see someone who is over the top brimming with this ‘exterior confidence’, I see it as if they are covering up their own insecurities.
When I see, what I perceive to be, truly confident people; they demonstrate a certain quietness and assuredness. They do whatever they do in a sure manner, do not hesitate and just get on with things. They have not need to tell others how great they are nor the need to put others down. They are who they are and that is fine.
Coming back to the quote, the quiet courage is like the quiet confidence. We never really know what might be going on in someone’s life, what is happening, what they are thinking or how they are feeling. Everyone has their own battles to fight and you never know who might be fighting what. Courage can come in all shapes and forms, and you never know who is being a hero in their own life or in someone else’s’. Put things into perspective and try to see the bigger picture to help with your understanding of the person and their behavior.
Point to Ponder: How quietly confident are you? Where do you demonstrate quiet courage? What might it take for you to be OK just the way you are?