Ironically enough, confidence and lack of confidence can be expressions of the same thing: a false projection of the self through role playing. In the case of “confident” the role may be that of stable and secure persona with a mastery of self, particularly in the company of others.
The “lack of confidence” role might be an insecure and generally lacking persona that is particularly inadequate around others. One role may be often sought after and considered attractive — confident — with the other seen as a detriment and unwanted — lack of confidence — but neither is an ideal if they amount to role playing, because neither is genuine.
It takes a good deal of effort and energy to project a role to the world; and roles, by their very nature, are unstable and so may fall apart at any time — perhaps at the most inopportune time.
Perhaps at a time when we most want the role to remain in place: an “important” interaction or event possibly. Will our intended audience see behind the curtain? If they should, what will they see? This is an anxiety many who don’t feel “confident” have; it is also an anxiety however of a fair number of “confident” types because their confidence needs reinforcing and so is, in reality, shaky.
An ideal place to be is where we genuinely don’t give any consideration to confidence. Can such a state of being really exist? Absolutely — it’s where we aren’t confident nor lacking confidence… we simply are. Some might say this is the same as indifference, or is denying the importance of certain life events that really do call for confidence.
I say it’s being free from the influence of mental stories telling us that our behavior or feelings are either acceptable or not.
I’ve got it all together.
I need to pull it together!
Where we don’t fall into mental stories and allow them to dictate our lives then we are beyond confidence and have ascended into security: there isn’t any fear and there isn’t a sense of obligation to live up to a role. And it goes beyond security even… it’s true freedom.
If you want to have this experience, to go beyond notions of confidence, then stop accepting mental stories within your awareness as absolute life truth. Learn to observe mental stories about the need for confidence, and whatever else (money, love, relationships, etc). Don’t deny or affirm these stories: simply observe them without judgment.
This will create space between you and these stories and the stories will ultimately lose their charge. You’ll feel less compelled to follow the admonitions of these stories where they insist you “must” feel this way or that, or behave this way or that way. In time you’ll come to see that all your worry about confidence was really nothing more than mental static.
The idea that confidence isn’t something solid and real but is, in fact, a mental abstraction may be hard — and even impossible — for some people to believe. Fair enough. I do however encourage trying the method outlined above for a time and personally seeing what the results are.