Does Confidence Start with a Promise?

I saw this quote shared on Instagram recently and it’s been making me think.

Confidence starts with the promises we keep to ourselves.

-Ed Mylett

I’ve decided that I’ve been thinking about that one particularly because it’s wrong. Kinda harsh to say someone’s words are wrong? Hear me out.

If this is something Ed said – I don’t even know Ed so it’s genuinely nothing personal – it rubs me the wrong way. It sounds like you make a promise and hold it close, and never share it. I understand not everything in life it necessary for public sharing or consumption, despite what today’s technology and social sharing tells us.

When I was looking into who Ed Mylett even was and if he really said this I found variations of the “quote” and came across this article on Medium. The writer had also seen the “quote” on IG, but worded a bit differently…

As quoted in an article by Tavian Jean-Pierre on Medium.

It made so much more sense to me. It’s why I decided the version I saw was wrong. Tavian elaborates on confidence and talks about it being more about being yourself, not just promising you’ll do something for yourself.

I’m a naturally extroverted person. I have been for as long as I can remember. But I haven’t been confident in myself most of that time. Since I’ve been doing so much self discovery and work these last five+ years, I can totally see how confidence has built within me as I learn more about myself…and do more being myself.

Tavian’s article goes on to say what I think Ed was saying. “Facing our fears, being kind to ourselves, and taking care of our bodies are a result of the trust we have in ourselves. And that trust is built up over time as we continue to show up.” Maybe for me, a promise I can make is to write x number of days per week. Keeping that promise to myself will build confidence in me as a writer and likely encourage me to write more.

What’s the point of writing all this out for you? Quotes alone are not the end all, be all. I also think they’re highly subjective. I could read the same quote at varying times of my life and it’ll mean something different to me. Has one of your friends or colleagues ever shared a quote on social media that makes you question how you can even relate to this person that you thought you knew? Yeah, me too. But something about that quote resonated with them when they read it and maybe you just felt like I did when I saw Ed’s version of the confidence quote.

The next time you see a quote that kinda rubs you the wrong way, sit with it for a minute (or weeks) and see if maybe it’s just worded wrong for you. This kind of pause and reflection is stuff I work on in my perpetual discovery.

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