Build Confidence by Going the Extra Mile
by: Tim Sosin, MA, NCC
Your mind is incredible, as is the body to which it belongs, housing your unique and irreplaceable soul! Among many other stunning qualities, your mind is resourceful, resilient and it remembers. It is capable of taking opportunities for growth and introspection on a regular basis, but these opportunities are often passed up due to a lack of confidence or willingness to go the extra mile. The goal of this post is to boost your confidence in your own mind by offering a simple way to teach your mind to follow through and not give up. This is an excellent skill for adults, students and young children as well.
While we have been provided excellent thinking abilities, many of us often become quickly discouraged when we are asked for some piece of information we cannot recall right away. We get nervous when we are sitting with someone asking for information that does not immediately come to mind, or when a question challenges us to think deeply and personally. For some, this experience of not knowing what to say is uncomfortable, and feels like too much to handle. Many have picked up the habit of muttering a simple “I don’t know” to create some quick relief from the feeling of ambiguity, or to avoid engaging their mind. True, it can be risky to take inventory of what is going on up there, however it is by far safer than leaving the mind unexamined and unguarded. Lack of awareness, and a mind left unchecked has historically produced a lot of heartache on so many levels.
The quick “I don’t know” fix is not always the best choice, or the truth. It sometimes just takes time to think something through or to remember. When someone says “I don’t know,” not only do they lose out on an opportunity to exercise their mind muscles and experience the satisfaction of remembering or learning something new, but they inadvertently tear themselves down. Saying “I don’t know” is to build upon a negative belief that you are inadequate or not worth hearing or waiting for. This habit can severely affect confidence and healthy processing.
To go the extra mile, making an effort to think things through instead of quickly settling for “I don’t know,” is to say, “My thoughts are meaningful and I matter. Even though I cannot respond right away, I will take the time and not give up. If it’s something I truly do not know, I can find the answer.” Instead of becoming discouraged, whether outwardly or inwardly when information does not immediately present itself, take a few more seconds to think; say to your mind, “Don’t give up.” Instead of closing an issue, another option is to just temporarily put the matter on the back burner. The mind does not always act like a microwave, it sometimes is more like a crockpot. Your incredible brain continues to process information even if it is not on the “top of your head,” and you might be surprised what will trigger recall!
In conclusion, give grace to yourself; be willing to examine your thoughts and feelings and make a habit of going the extra mile. Don’t give up! Your mind will thank you, your relationships and conversations will grow, and you will be all the wiser.