Although happiness and success are often put together, as if they mean the same thing, they actually support each other by degrees. A first kiss in a new relationship can provide, or stand for, both happiness and success. Each person in the relationship may however, have completely different expectations over what that kiss represents for the relationship to provide complete happiness or success.
In competitive sport, scoring a point can provide some happiness, although it usually represents limited success. Real happiness and success will only be felt when a final victory is achieved. The measurement of happiness or success in every situation develops independently, because every individual is different. That is evidenced by one person in the relationship wanting to move more slowly than the other, and the sports team leader cautioning against over-excitement, until final victory is achieved.
Additionally, someone who is physically disadvantaged may get great happiness from being independently mobile. Their success may be measured with what they can do with the mobility that everyone else takes for granted. A retiree may express real happiness from receiving a positive medical report. While success for a retiree with a limited income, may mean being able to afford an occasional holiday.
Finally, for anyone who is incarcerated, happiness and success will probably be represented by a combination of freedom, getting away with some misdeeds, and/or fitting back in to a society that had rejected them. Self-confidence provides certainty for each person on what happiness and success personally means to them.
It will clarify what relationships, situations, or circumstances each individual is seeking for those conditions to become a reality. Self-confidence will also allow people to recognise any barriers in their lives, which may be worth avoiding, when looking for ongoing happiness or success.
The intent here will be to provide enough self-confidence for people to take whatever steps are necessary for finding enough happiness and success to reflect their own needs. If we have no doubts about what will make us feel good, and what amount of success provides contentment, we're much more likely to follow that pathway.
Delivering that certainty will be done by explaining how self-confidence works, and how it is connected to happiness and success. Self-confidence is the mental attitude of having trust in, respect for, and reliance on, your own judgement and/or abilities.
It embodies the confidence you have in yourself, and it can develop through two different streams. The first stream is via achievements and the many other external providers. Those providers, associated with success and happiness, could in part include family support, a loving partner, a satisfying career, outside interests, genuine friends and financial security.
Naturally if all of those providers are in place you're already doing quite well for yourself. However, even if all those supporting providers of external self-confidence are available, that doesn't necessarily mean they're working sufficiently for you to feel completely happy or successful.
The pressures and stress associated with living a normal life could make all the conditions supporting our happiness and success hard to identify. It is also possible that some people believe that complete contentment is beyond their reach. Self-confidence gives you the ability to satisfy yourself that you have correctly identified all of the conditions needed for your own happiness, and that will contribute to your success. Once recognised, those conditions will create peace of mind and a happy, more successful life.
Further, self-confidence will allow you an opportunity to discover, and enjoy, many other areas within your life that will play a part in your happiness and success.
Those opportunities will be completed by exposure to the second stream of self-confidence. That stream is the internal development process, which assists you to learn more about yourself.
The difference between the two streams of self-confidence is that one is delivered by achievements, balanced with all the other external providers, against any perceived failures. The other stream delivers a mental attitude of belief in your self-worth and abilities that remain unshakeable, irrespective of any self-imposed limits for achieving, including those related to happiness or success.
Both streams are important; however to discover the best options for each person's contentment with life we need them to work in unison. The reason for that lies in the strength of our natural abilities to overcome the enemies of self-confidence. All of our achievements, successes in life and support from partners, family and friends, can build some defences against self-doubt, uncertainty and fear.
On the other hand, those supporting comments successes and achievements often need to be repeated constantly to maintain that defence. Consider how those enemies attempt to control us, and you can see the difficulties we can have in maintaining a defence against their destruction of our self-confidence.
Self-doubt is usually imposed by the comments of others. As an example, suppose you feel happy with your relationship, and you've spent many extra hours at work in the expectation that it will lead to promotion. The big day comes, your promotion is secured, although it does mean even longer work hours; and you've just told one of your closest friends the good news.
Their response is, "Congratulations, and how happy do you think your family really feels about seeing less of you, while you further your own career"? It may just be a friendly throwaway jibe, reflecting their knowledge of how hard you've worked to provide a secure future for yourself and your family. On the other hand, if one or more people ask the same question over the next couple of days, self-doubt may begin to creep in.
However, let's assume there have not been any comments from anyone, and when you tell your family the news you look carefully at their faces expecting real support and delight. Although they congratulate you, their enthusiasm does not seem to match the excitement you expected. This is where uncertainty can begin its work.
Uncertainty, closely related to self-doubt, is often a figment of our own thoughts and does not require any comments from others. You always believed your work efforts were for the benefit of the entire family, and yet their response did appear subdued.
Positive thoughts of how hard you are prepared to work, to bring happiness and success to your entire family, can in the short term be helpful. Reinforcement of those thoughts from family, or other supporters, can also assist you to build some barriers against uncertainty and any ensuing fear. On the other hand, even if we have constantly achieved, and had that reinforced by our own thoughts, and by positive comments from others, there can be further difficulties.
The self-confidence enemies, uncertainty, self-doubt, and fear, may not be working alone to disrupt any plans for complete happiness and success. The enemies of self-confidence represented by the conflict of conscience, guilt, and arrogance will not be affected by our achievements or the comments of others. As examples, those three enemies work by creating a conflict of conscience questions about whether we may be seeking our own happiness and success, irrespective of our family's views.
Further, they can create guilt about any past failures to take note of comments from loved ones, about extended absences because of work. Finally, they can encourage us to arrogantly believe that our happiness and success will be accepted and shared, by those loved ones, as also reflecting their best interests.
Even if our family says that our success and happiness is theirs also, we don't want the enemies of self-confidence to throw up questions of doubt. It is only the internal development processes that can effectively overcome all self-confidence enemies as one. They develop, and deliver, self-confidence at the same time. Therefore to get the balance between the streams of self-confidence correct – and we will – it is important to explain how the internal development process works…