I’ve been thinking about self-confidence lately. When I think of confidence, I think of a big guy puffing out his chest. A search on Google shows images of people jumping or throwing their arms up in victory.
I want to live my life with confidence, but I don’t want to run around with my chest out or jump around with my arms in the air.
Contentment seems more my style.
Contentment is about being comfortable with where I am now. That’s how I want to live my life. Some people refer to it as being present.
Being content doesn’t mean I don’t want change. It doesn’t imply I have no goals or I’m not driven to excel. I have all those things. Contentment, for me, means that right here, right now, I’m doing exactly what I should be doing.
For much of my life, I’ve felt I should be somewhere else, doing something else. If I’m talking to someone, I should be talking to someone else. If I’m at home, I should be at work. If I’m at work, I should be at the gym. You get the idea.
I’m learning to be content with where I am now. I can still want to do other things and be other places. But I realize I can’t be there now. I can only be here now.
For me, contentment has a certain feel. When I’m content, I can look around and be okay with all I see. I know I’m where I should be and doing what I should be doing. Being content is the opposite of being anxious and always wanting to be somewhere else.
Confidence has a different feel
The other day I was walking along a trail over lunch. Up ahead was a group of people walking towards me. If I want to act confident, I feel I must stand straight and walk with my chest out a bit, put a smile on my face or look business serious. In other words, I need to put on a show to act confident!
Instead, as I approached the group, I was feeling contentment. When I’m content, there is no need for a show. The whole idea of contentment is being comfortable with who I am, what I’m doing, and where I am. I’m content with how I’m walking and what I look like. It’s all about me, not anyone else.
Other people can’t make me content. Only I can. They can’t make me confident either, but if they look at me with disapproval, it might erode my confidence, but it won’t affect my contentment.
I choose self-contentment over self-confidence. I want confidence, but realize before confidence comes contentment.