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4-H Cares: Confidence

Several Extension Agents have worked together to develop the 4-H Cares Virtual Program that will help youth and adults to examine those character traits that can help us to be better people and have better relationships. This month the 4-H Cares Virtual Program brings you Confidence as our character trait. We’re going to kick off this month of confidence with a good comparison that can help you define confidence.

From watching television or social media in the last year probably you can see that there’s a Fine line between confidence and arrogance. Confidence is not when you know that everyone else thinks that you’re great. It’s when you don’t care as much about what everyone thinks, and you still know that you will succeed. Arrogance on the other hand is when you know you’re right, and you’re not willing to make any changes that could better you. Why? Because you think you’re already perfect.

Let’s dig a little deeper though. According to Merriam-Webster:

Confidence \ ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s \ is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

 

Arrogance \ ˈer-ə-gən(t)s \ is an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.

In layman’s terms, put a little more simply, confidence is having a sense of peace with who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and what you’re doing all while knowing that you are not perfect and that you do in fact have areas that you can improve. Arrogance can be described as never accepting that you are wrong or that you have any areas that would be opened to change and that you are better than most of those around you.

Fine lines

As mentioned before, a rather fine line exists between arrogance and self-confidence. These two can be separated only by empathy. An arrogant person feels they must assert their ego always to feel superior, while a confident person knows their worth without having to prove it. Arrogance points to low self-esteem because you feel threatened by other people and believe you must defend yourself. Confident people don’t have anything to show because they know their value. People who lack confidence have excuses, whereas people with confidence have ambition. With the power of confidence, you cannot fail.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas A. Edison

Spend the month of March doing some things to work on your confidence. Here are some steps to try:
  • Take action. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in self-pity. Work toward those things you want to achieve and believe in yourself. You have what it takes to achieve those goals.
  • Speak positively about yourself. End that negative self-talk. Remember, your thoughts form your reality every second of every day. Choose to be loving toward yourself and accept compliments from others. It is okay to say thank you!
  • Acknowledge your feelings and believe in your emotional strength. Even if you don’t feel confident now, you can work on your self-image and build yourself up. However, don’t give in with the unpleasant feelings. Instead, feel them and allow them to move through you without getting attached to them. Just take them as another thought running through your mind. Nothing to dwell on.
  • Speak your truth, even if not everyone else agrees. You’ve got great morals and don’t let others sway you from what you know is right. Another way to build confidence is to say what you feel in a polite, respectful way. Don’t let yourself become a doormat.

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