We all talk about confidence. We speak of it in terms of having it, or not having it. We go to conferences to find out how to get more of it. But, what is it really?  Let investigate what confidence is, by discovering what it is not. According to Google Scholar, confidence differs from certainty, in that, confidence relies upon our emotional experience of an event. Whereas, certainty is the assurance that whatever decision you need to make is the right — which does not depend upon your emotions. So, confidence arises out of our emotions. 

Confidence also relates to how we think of ourselves and our abilities. Certainty assumes that our expectations of any outcome will definitely turn out the way we want it to. If you have the opportunity to speak in front of a large crowd, and you feel like you would do a great job – that is confidence. However, if you know that beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will do well no matter how you feel – that is certainty. 

The circumstances that short circuit both of these experiences is fear. If we use confidence as the basis for what fear is – we are led to the conclusion that fear is an emotional reaction to certain things that might/might not happen. It is either defined by something you experienced in your past and has framed your expectations of an event that has yet to happen.

It could be that you failed one of your tests in elementary school and was chastised by your teacher publicly in front of your peers. This could give you either a fear of rejection, fear of performing under pressure (i.e., work deadlines and etc.) and/or both of the above.

This is why mindfulness is extremely valuable and should not be treated as a fad. Neuroscience has shown that meditation and emotional awareness gives us the tools to down-regulate and reduce stress based neurotransmitters like cortisol – which has been known to increase inflammation.

Make sure you get in touch today to find out how Next Breath Counseling can help you with any fear or stress you might be experiencing.