Confidence, for me, is connected to the external. Someone else can have confidence in you whereas self-confidence only comes from within. When we place something like confidence outside of ourselves we become dependent on others for approval, evaluation and input.
There are times when information from external sources, like a senior manager, can help us to improve or elevate our skills, which in turn, can increase our confidence. However, the true power lies in self-confidence. When you are able to internalize and integrate the external as part of the process of personal growth you give yourself the power to be your own change agent.
Mastery is very similar. It lives in the arena of mastering a skill or a task. We can be challenged by this, advance our level of ability and even gain confidence from mastery.
However, self-mastery is the journey during which we learn skills, tools and approaches to negotiate the sometimes rocky terrain of our internal life. Mastery of the self moves us far beyond simply having an advanced set of skills or abilities. It puts us in charge of our lives and allows us to design a present and future that most inspires us. We’re no longer attached to a particular outcome but instead committed to the larger view of a lifelong path.
Adding self- to mastery and confidence puts us in the driver’s seat. Who knew the power of four letters and a hyphen?