Part 1 of Part 5
Do you remember the last time you felt on top of the world? You felt invincible – ready to take on whatever life would throw your way. Perhaps it was the perfect spring day, sun shining, breeze softly blowing, and flowers bursting into bloom. Your mood matched the moment. You felt capable, positive, and alive!
Or maybe you just landed a new client, got a call from a “certain someone” or received praise for a job well done. Just thinking about those moments can cause a lift in your spirits, bring a smile to your face, and a bounce to your step.
That’s mojo! You know what it is. You’ve heard the phrases, “He’s got his mojo back.” “My mojo’s working!” “Watch out, she’s got mojo!”
And we know exactly what the feeling and words are all about. But just in case you don’t, according to the urban dictionary, mojo is a slang term used to describe self-confidence or a belief in one’s self in a situation. Mojo is also the belief in your ability to bounce back after life throws you a curve ball – and we all know that life will throw us an occasional curve ball.
This week’s BLOG is Part one of a four-part series and is designed to help you get more mojo in your life – or recapture it if yours has gone missing. We will take a look at confidence; what it is and what it isn’t. We will explore the difference between natural confidence and situational confidence, and how to gauge your confidence level and improve it. And finally, we will talk about how to make deposits in your confidence bank account.
Confidence – What Is It Really?
In 1966 a new television series aired and was an instant success. Marlo Thomas starred as Anne Marie in the weekly sitcom, That Girl. The show was historically significant because it was the first time in television that a young, single, career woman played the lead character on a television program. But, the most important thing about the show is that Anne Marie was portrayed as a confident, independent, single woman. Most females on television up to that point were dependent on a husband, boyfriend, or friends to carry the story and were secondary characters. Not That Girl. Sure, Anne Marie did have a great haircut, was physically appealing, and, of course, was a fictional television character. But what she represented was something that spoke to the hearts of a new generation. That Girl was confident. She defined her life instead of letting life define her. She liked herself and was true to herself. And she had her share of foibles, failures, and flukes. But when it was all said and done, she smiled at the world, and with flair her persona shouted, “I’m going to make it! I can count on myself. I am okay!” She had mojo! She had confidence!
Confidence is about letting go of the need to be what others want you to be and becoming who you are destined to be. Confidence is about being comfortable in our own skin. We are confident when who we are on the outside is congruent with who we are on the inside. It’s about experiencing self-worth – knowing that we are valued and valuable. Confidence is the belief that whatever comes our way, we can handle. It is like an aura that surrounds us, making us aware of what we can do and giving us faith in our ability to try.
Our inner most desire is to be accepted for who we are – to be okay. But for many of us, somewhere along the way we went from being a celebrated infant and toddler to being told what to do and who to be. Here’s a story that says it all:
Zeke was a typical 6-year-old boy — full of life, laughter, and mischief. As adults are prone to do, someone asked him one day, “Zeke, what do you want to be when you grow up.” He looked up excitedly and replied, “Zeke!”
Now fast forward several years. Someone asks him again, “Zeke, what do you want to be when you grow up.” His reply, “I guess I’ll be Zeke, that’s what people call me, anyway.”
As you take time to think about this story, you can see the profound implications. As children we lose bits and pieces of who we are, thinking that we must become the person that others want us to be.
Then we grow into the tumultuous teenage years, trying to differentiate ourselves from our parents by becoming carbon copies of our peers. And self-esteem is determined by how much we “fit in.”
We eventually outgrow that phase (hopefully) and as young adults begin to realize and appreciate our uniqueness. Yet, we continue to struggle with meeting a certain standard and measuring up to a specific image. If we are not aware, life becomes a contest of comparing and competing. We look around a room to see if we are the smartest, the healthiest, the most popular, the wealthiest, or the best dressed. The old adage, “The one with the most toys, wins!” can easily make life more about having and less about being. Self-worth is the recognition that who we are defines us – not what we have.
Stay tuned for next week to learn why your confidence goes up and down.