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How to have clarity by building courage and confidence

Both courage and confidence are emotions. When courage and confidence are present in your life, you say “I’m courageous” or “I feel confident”. And when you are courageous or confident, those around you can see it. But what does it mean to have clarity?

To have clarity means to know specific details about a specific thing.

For example, having clarity over the English language means that you can understand the message I’m trying to deliver to you. You know the words and can use them to understand the communication process.

I’ve started recently to learn Spanish and I struggle a lot with speaking the language. Even though sometimes I can understand what others are telling me, I’m not able to reply back.

This makes me think that the more specific details I know about a specific thing, the more clarity I have.

Let’s take another example: cooking.

The more specific details you know about ingredients, the better you can combine them to give food taste. If, in general, you’re using only salt and pepper, you’ll be fascinated when you’ll add, for example, mediterranean herbs to whatever you’re cooking.

  • What does it mean to have courage?
  • What does it mean to have confidence?
  • Courage + confidence = ?
  • Courage + confidence + _____ = clarity
  • How to have more courage
  • How to have more confidence

What does it mean to have courage?

When I think about my life and the experiences I had until now, for me to have courage means to do the things I want to do, no matter what others are recommending me to do. Maybe it means the same thing for you as well.

I quit college and continued to do the things I wanted to do, even though the society always told me to finish my studies, even though my parents expected to see my bachelor’s degree, or even when my mentor from back then insisted that I should finish my studies because it’s the only way.

I finished a 64-kilometer ultra-marathon without too much training, even though my friends and family were telling me that it was too dangerous.

I even did things that can be considered stupid just because I wanted to experiment things out. At a point in 2017, I drew a square on my forehead with a marker to … but I think it’s better you read the whole story instead of me just mentioning here one idea. Click here: https://davidtheoptimist.com/inner-strength/

For me, courage has always meant doing the things that I want to do. In fact, I’ve never thought that what I wanted has something to do with being courageous. Being courageous was only the tag others put on me.

Next month, in March, I’ll be doing one of the Camino de Santiago hiking routes. It’s a short route of 12 days and I don’t believe I need courage to do it. But those who knew about it have asked me if I’ll be able to do it or if I’m afraid of the unknown. To be honest, I don’t think about those things.

What does it mean to have confidence?

In a way, I see confidence as being at the opposite pole of courage.

I don’t think you need to have courage to be confident, or to be confident in order to have courage. These two are completing each other but are not co-dependent.

For me, confidence is about how much you can repeat doing something.

I ended up feeling confident speaking in front of people only after I did it enough times.

I remember my first moments of speaking in front of people – they were so random that the first time I was nervous, the second time I practiced so much I knew what I had to say, and the third time I didn’t give a crap and wasn’t able to speak more than two minutes.

The more I do the things I want to do, the more confident I feel.

While courage is optional, confidence is important when you want to have more clarity.

Courage + confidence

Courage + confidence = ?

I don’t believe that courage and confidence are enough to have clarity. But I believe that both courage and confidence are important steps toward clarity.

Being courageous is optional and by that I mean that you can look at things from a discipline point of view and you can do something because you are disciplined.

While being courageous gives you the energy to do something spontaneous, without thinking about risks or compromises, being disciplined helps you rationalize things so you do whatever you want to do at your own phase, without stepping out of your comfort zone for too much in a short timeframe.

Both discipline and courage have the purpose of helping you act on something and you need at least one of them because without action you can’t become confident.

Confidence works only by repetition and repetition has to be relevant to where you want to become confident.

It doesn’t make sense to cook every single day if you’re interested in becoming a better painter and feel confident when you paint. If you want to feel confident in your skills to paint, then paint every day.

It doesn’t make sense to read books about how to paint if you don’t put into practice what you read.

When we speak about confidence, it all comes down to a practical repetition.

The pain behind unfounded confidence

Let’s assume you don’t want to do things in order to become confident because you are confident anyway, without any effort. And whatever others are telling about you and what you do, the confidence is there.

Do you really think that’s how things work?

It would be really weird to go to a dancing competition, without practicing at all before, and be so confident that you believe you’ll be the winner of that competition.

It would be really weird to join a marathon without running at all in the last 5 years and not training at all before the competition. But to have so much confidence that you’ll finish the marathon in the 1st place.

The confidence that doesn’t have a solid foundation, build around practical repetition, is dumb confidence. It will disconnect you from the reality around you and, eventually, you’ll become disappointed and frustrated because things are not how you want them to be.

Fun Fact: 0 % More Successful

Did you know that optimists are 40% more likely to get a promotion at work?

Courage + confidence + _____ = clarity

In this equation, there’s an important element missing in order to have clarity.

Let’s assume you want to apply for a job and you know you’ll be creating websites. If, when you apply for that specific job, the key element from the above equation is missing, you won’t have clarity and won’t be able to know what are the things you deserve.

The key element is analysis – an analysis of yourself and your efforts.

If you’ve been creating websites for the past four years, then analyze your efforts and be aware of them.

Here’s another example.

Let’s assume you have a business and you want to ask an investor to put some money into your business. If you don’t know how much money you have in your business, how much money you made in the last year, and how big your expenses are to maintain the business, you won’t know how much to ask for.

But this analysis isn’t only for you. This analysis isn’t providing clarity only to you.

When you know your past efforts, you know really well what are the things you’re good what. When you’re able to explain your past efforts further, those you’ll interact with will have the same clarity as you do.

Do you want to take care of my future website and believe you’re worth 2000 euros? Show me the websites you’ve built before and help me understand that your work is worth 2000 euros.

Do you want me to invest 10000 euros in your business? Show me the way your business grew in the last years and help me understand I won’t lose the investment.

And then, after you show me, you need again courage and confidence.

If you’re not courageous and confident enough to say ‘NO’ when I’m offering you 1400 euros instead of 2000 euros, you’ll be easily manipulated.

There are so many people who don’t want to see the offer you’re providing. And when they see it, they ignore it. I’ve met so many entrepreneurs who made money ignoring others’ value.

But this doesn’t happen only in the business environment.

You’ll always find people who’ll try to take advantage of you.

If you:

  • Don’t know your value
  • Don’t have the courage to do things your way
  • Don’t have the confidence to do things the way you want to do them

… others will take advantage of you.

How to have more courage

How to have more courage

As previously mentioned, for me to have courage means to do the things I want to do, no matter what others are recommending me to do. But this may not be really helpful, in case you want to become more courageous.

To have more courage, I believe it’s important to understand one single thing.

Courage doesn’t exist. Instead, there are things at the opposite pole of courage, like fear. Courage is just a tag that you get when you do things, even if you were afraid of doing them.

Therefore, to have more courage, do the things you’re afraid of.

But how do you do that?

Fear is an emotion and, if you want to lower its intensity, you have to go to the opposite pole of emotions – which means you have to become more rational.

Next time you’re afraid, think about all the reasons that it’s worth to keep doing what you started doing. Think about all the things you won’t be able to have if you choose to be afraid and do nothing.

When you see things this way and act accordingly, you won’t need to feel courageous because courage doesn’t exist. Instead, you’ll feel enthusiastic.

Whenever you’ll feel enthusiastic about something, become aware of that specific emotion, especially when you’re afraid. It will help you make one step forward, no matter how small, towards the things you want to have in your life.

How to have more confidence

When it comes to confidence, things are simple, but also difficult.

Things are simple because you have to become some sort of a robot. You have to repeat something enough times – at least until you’re happy with the result.

Things are difficult because you need to have patience. The confidence you’re looking for won’t be built by tomorrow.

Imagine you want to learn copywriting and feel confident when you’re doing it. Copywriting is so big that when you want to learn it, you have to break it down into specific activities and take it step by step.

You’ll have to learn about words, their power, and the energy behind them. Then you’ll have to learn about how and where to use these words, and how to combine them so you can deliver your message in a unique way.

Patience is vital when you want to become confident. It’s vital because without patience you won’t have the chance to put things into practice enough times to become great at whatever you do so you have the confidence you did a great job.

With love and optimism,
David

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