From time to time I go through a personal development binge. I start watching Tony Robbins speeches on YouTube, reading books like The Magic of Big Thinking, and re-watching the ever amusing “documentary,” The Secret. I immerse myself in this stuff and go all out, in typical multipod fashion.
Usually my personal development binges happen after I’ve had my head down for a while, and I’ve been so busy with other things that I’ve neglected my usual confidence-maintenance rituals, such as taking mini-risks, giving gratitude, and keeping track of my Small Wins on a daily basis.
But building confidence is like bathing. You can’t just do it once and be done with it. You need to condition yourself regularly.
What is confidence?
I like to start any conversation about confidence with a definition, since it’s one of those overly used words. I like how Matthew Hussey defines it as control:
“Our internal confidence is determined by how much control we have over closing the gap between where we are now and where we want to be.”
It’s a sense that you have power in this world to make things happen. It’s trusting that your character will carry you through and knowing that you can handle whatever life throws your way.
Why confidence is so important for multipotentialites
Having strong internal confidence (and knowing how to get it back when it drops), is vital for multipotentialites. There will always be people in your life who believe that someone who is good at many things is good at nothing. They will repeat this mantra as though it is Truth, and not a socially-constructed idea, likely born out of the industrial revolution. They will repeat the jack-of-all-trades assumption without giving it a second thought or looking around at all of the brilliant people in our society who are breaking that mold.
There will always be irritating family members who make you feel like there’s something wrong with you for exploring your interests and following your heart. There will be people who don’t get this whole “smooshing” business and will tell you that mastery is the answer. Or maybe they’ll tell you to stop being immature, and do something practical with your life. You can “dabble” in your “hobbies” in your “spare time.”
Confident multipotentialtes are able to pursue their interests freely, because they know that the problem is with society, not them.
The naysayers and self-righteous specialists are not going away, so you’d better have a solid inner voice– one that believes in big dreams, and one that believes that your multipotentiality is a gift granted to you for some larger purpose like changing the world or bringing love and inspiration into peoples lives. Whatever your destinIES may be, you can bet it’s far bigger than merely mastering some singular craft.
Creating a confidence toolbox
I’ve got a number of techniques that I use to build up my confidence. When I was first doing this in my mid-twenties, I was literally correcting a lifetime of negative thoughts and limiting beliefs, and it took months before I started to feel good about myself. But now it’s just a matter of maintenance—regular “bathing” if you will.
Whether you’re starting at zero or at -10, building a toolbox of confidence rituals will help. It’s a matter of practicing your rituals on a regular basis, and of course testing and tweaking to find the practices that work best for you.
My tools include the ones I mentioned earlier, like taking mini-risks, practicing gratitude, keeping a tally of my small wins, taking on leadership roles, being assertive, standing and moving the way a supremely confident person would stand and move (i.e. body language), and just taking action on my goals.
I also immerse myself in the words of mentors who keep me feeling inspired. Daily doses of podcasts, a few minutes of reading or a YouTube video is enough. However, it’s important not to get stuck only consuming information without taking action, because it’s the latter that will really have an impact on how you feel about yourself.
The power of community
Finally, there’s community: the people that you choose to surround yourself with.
Having a group of people in your daily life who believe in you is monumentally important. I cannot stress this enough. The best way to create and maintain the confidence to live a multipotentialite lifestyle is by surrounding yourself with those who are doing the same.
This is the reason that creating Puttylike was such an important part of my personal evolution. It helped boost my confidence for two main reasons. The first is that I was taking action on a goal (action erases fear, while inaction magnifies it). The second is that this blog brought me into contact with you guys– other multipotentialites who believed in this vision, and in each other.
While I continue to get a great deal out of blogging, the Puttytribe is where I’ve really witnessed the power that community can have on people’s evolution. I see it more and more every day; Puttypeep becoming more secure with themselves and taking more and more action on their projects. Stepping into their multipotentialite selves, if you will.
But I guess that’s just what happens when you’ve got a group of people around who understand you, believe in you, and want to help you succeed. In an environment like that, it’s hard not to feel good about yourself.
What tools do you have in your confidence toolbox?