Confidence is more than we often think… and we toss around the notion when we say things like “I wish I had more Confidence.” or “They show such Confidence.” But, what is Confidence?

Strength in facing and walking through life; self assured in that we will make it through. The capacity to practice Trust, while knowing that we can and will learn from our mistakes. The patient practice of what I call “studentry”. Fully expressing and manifesting our knowledge, skills, abilities, talents, capacities and temperament. Walking with true Optimism. These are all faces of Confidence in practice.

And, I often suggest that Confidence can be surgical or holistic. In other words, there is a form of Confidence that we develop as we get better at something… some knowledge, skill, ability, talent, or capacity. That Confidence comes from practice. We start with new information, try it out, observe the results, make adjustments and try again. It is the practice of learning and adapting and growing. It is surgical in that it is targeted on something specific.

The more holistic or broad stroke Confidence is a greater Confidence in life that can be likened to Optimism and understanding the infinite game, if you will. It understands that all things pass… good, bad and in between… that life is like a river and we sail it in Trust, learning as we go forward.

This form of Confidence is advanced by looking at our current and past “track record”. We can inventory all kinds of defining moments in our lives and mine the lessons throughout, while fully understanding that we are on the other side of them. We have survived and even thrived through them. The reflection on our lives and teachable moments can powerfully serve in building this Confidence.

In my 40+ years in leadership training and development… my 25+ years as a College business educator, my 19 years with The Virtues Project, my 15 years working around temperament, and my 14 years with Dale Carnegie Training 20 years ago… I have seen these two at work. I have witnessed tens of thousands of examples of the practice of building Confidence through new knowledge, skill, ability, talent, and capacity. And, I have observed the power of reflection on defining and teachable moments in crafting a broad stroke Confidence. I have seen both in action… and I have been an active player in orchestrating their exploration.

For now. three things occur to me. First, this is a time for me to practice my own “studentry” ever more so.

Second, my missed #bestlittledogintheworld Panda practiced such and was a shining example of same… from whom to learn. As she grew and grew older, she kept learning, and even through her sickness and passing in February. She taught me much.

Third, my humble but assertive suggestion is that you forge a personal and/or collective culture of Confidence building by encouraging practice (including the mistakes that come with same) of new knowledge, skill, ability, talent, and capacity… and by fostering space for reflection on teachable moments and what they say about our ultimate capacity to ride the waves. In particular, reflect on aspects of Character that show up in those teachable moments for those strengths are our most resilient, resourceful and effective in times of change and challenge. This is true of our own internal, personal culture and that of our family, school, work, business or community. Cultures of genuine Confidence building matter in these times and going forward.

Most recently, I have written on Leadership and Management … Consultation … Resourcefulness… Certitude… CleanlinessCommitment… and our Core Four. Through it all, building both surgical and broad stroke Confidence is so very important. From childhood into our adult lives… with both, we are better able to move forward together, stronger.

Peace, passion and prosperity…

Barry Lewis Green, The Unity Guy with Epic Engage.

“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ― Abraham Lincoln