Self-confidence has become a widely used term among the qualities in describing successful people. Throughout history, it has been known that one of the major requirements necessary to succeed in life, live happily, and achieve your goals is self-confidence.
As Arthur Ashe said – “One of the keys to success is self-confidence. An important key to success is preparation.”
Having confidence is a key ingredient one should possess that contributes immensely to just about every part of your life.
It seems very easy to identify someone who is confident. Grasping the concept of self-confidence and being able to measure its significance is one that most people find challenging. Often times we think a person is self-confident if they are the first to speak or that person who is so sure of their opinion. Certain times, confidence is mistaken for being cocky or full of one’s self. There’s still a lot of confusion about what self-confidence really is.
So What Is Self-confidence, Really?
An article by The University of Queensland described self-confidence as simply believing in oneself and abilities. Psychology Today describes self-confidence as an individual’s trust in his or her own abilities, capacities, and judgments. In grasping the concept of self-confidence one must first understand what confidence really is. Confidence is that trust, belief, faith, conviction, feeling that you can have faith in, trust, or rely on someone or something, whatever it is.
“Confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have. If not, how can anyone see how great you are if you do not see it for yourself?”- Anonymous
Being self-confident is simply having the trust in yourself, the conviction you have in your abilities, the belief in yourself, trust in what you can do. With confidence, you feel great about who you are, and your capabilities. You become happier, optimistic, enthusiastic, more energized, and motivated to achieve your goals.
There is a misconception most people have that only a select group of people have confidence which is why they are successful. This thought process not only limits their capabilities but rubs them of their potentials which in turn deprives them of successful living.
Let’s dive in and get a clear understanding of self-confidence.
No one person has ever been born with self-confidence. It was learned, developed, inculcated in one’s self over the years, at different stages and experiences in life.
Confidence and self-esteem are terms that are often used interchangeably. Although they overlap each other, there are also subtle differences.
Self-confidence relates to how we feel about ourselves and our abilities whereas self-esteem refers to how we appreciate and value ourselves.
Personally, self-confidence is the new cool, an elite luxurious brand for everyone to have regardless of your origin, background, qualifications, looks, age, sex, and region. A strong belief in oneself, abilities, and capabilities.
Interestingly, confidence belongs to no one and no one owns confidence. Neither you nor I came into the world at birth saying “hey there, I have confidence”. However, some persons were opportune to have their parents nurture them at an early age to build confidence.
Your Level of Self-confidence
Anyone and everyone you know that has an enormous amount of confidence in themselves acquired it through learning and goes on learning. You can learn it too. The degree of your confidence comes from how you perceive yourself and that in turn determines how people perceive you as well. It’s like a mirror, what is placed before the mirror is reflected. The same principle applies that what you reflect as who you are, confident or not is reflected in others as well.
This implies that if your level or degree of confidence is low, you are focusing on negative things like what you are doing wrong.
When I was a teenager, I always saw myself as a child with no real skill because I didn’t believe in myself let alone my abilities. As a result, I became my enemy. Portraying to others that I was incapable of speaking to people and that affected how others perceived me. My thoughts on negative things such as my weaknesses rather than my strengths and abilities. When your focus on your weaknesses, it drags with it your strengths, your confidence levels, and energy level.
The great thing is that you can alter your perception of who you are and develop your self-confidence. Self-confident people trust their skills and abilities. They possess a great sense of self-influence in their lives, and believe they can do what they desire, plan, and anticipate.
Here’s the catch, having self-confidence does not exactly mean that you will be able to do everything. However, it does mean that even if your expectations are not met, you are still positive and you accept yourself regardless.
Unfortunately today, a lot of people who are lack self-confidence rely greatly on the opinions of others to feel good about themselves. It’s common for them to avoid taking risks simply because they do not expect to succeed. In addition, they have an act disregarding remarks and praises paid to them because they don’t believe their potentials are worth the praise.
Contrary to these people, self-confident people are willing to risk the disapproval of others because they believe in themselves and their abilities. You will often find that they accept their skills, abilities, and themselves regardless. of others’ opinions. It’s not common for them to conform to the opinions of people in order to be accepted.
Take Aways on Self-Confidence
Self-confidence is not a general trait or characteristic that cuts across all aspects of a person’s life. There are some areas in a person’s life where they feel confident such as sports, academics, speaking, writing other fields but don’t feel confident in other areas such as their physical appearance, style, relationships, social life among others. As a result, their confidence levels are high in certain areas and low in some others. Knowing what self-confidence is, its relevance in life is the basics to understanding how it contributes to your success.
Start acting on your confidence, build, improve, boost it and experience the dynamic shift towards successful living. Here are books to help build your self-confidence.