Confidence: What It Means to be Truly Confident

confidence

We all have the potential for self-confidence, but for some it is harder to access.  Confidence is one’s belief in his or her personal ability in handling situations and problems.  Essentially, self-confidence equates to self-assurance, or one’s ability to believe they can “handle” it….whatever “it” may be.

Having confidence means knowing what you are good at, and knowing your value.   Any conversation about confidence must include discussion of self-esteem. 

Two main elements when it comes to confidence: self-efficacy and self-esteem.

Confidence and Arrogance

When you explore the true meaning of confidence, it is significant to look at it within the context of arrogance.  Sometimes, confidence and arrogance can be erroneously interchanged.  Yet, there is a distinct difference.

Arrogant people tend to believe they are better than others, while confident people inspire confidence in other individuals.  Arrogance thrives off of other’s weaknesses; confidence flourishes within the framework of personal competence.  Also important to note when discussing arrogance is it’s impact on the expression of self-confidence.  Because of the negative undertone of arrogance, individuals are often hesitant to explore and express their confidence (frequently out of worry they will be looked down upon by others as arrogant).

How Confidence Affects You

Your level of confidence affects everything you do, whether you know it or not.  Self-confidence impacts how you think and act, how you make decisions, and how you push yourself towards personal goals and success.  Having a healthy sense of self-confidence allows you to have a positive (yet realistic!) outlook on life.

Confidence allows you to thrive socially, and feel capable of reaching your goals.  Having a healthy sense of confidence also decreases your chances of engaging in unhealthy behaviors.  Individuals with low self-confidence often compensate or try to cover up these feelings with unhealthy behaviors like drugs, alcohol, anger, or other self-destructive ways.

When discussing confidence, its vital to explore what a confident person actually looks like, behaviorally, emotionally, and socially.

Traits Of A Confident Person:

It’s easy to spot arrogant or cocky people because they are often unlikable and negative. However, truly confident people all have certain traits and qualities in common:

  • They know their strengths and weaknesses
  •  They can ask for help.
  • They believe in themselves and their own ideas, plans and abilities.
  • They listen more than they speak.
  •  They aren’t afraid to look silly or be embarrassed
  •  They are not afraid to be wrong (don’t always think they are right).
  •  They use criticism as a way to learn.
  • They always want to be the best version of themselves.
  • They learn from their mistakes.
  •  They never feel the need to put others down.
  • They don’t fear challenges.
  •  They focus on their strengths and ignore their weaknesses.
  • They accept compliments in a gracious manner.
  •  They don’t feel the need to make up stories to impress.
  • They stand up straight and walk with their heads held high
  • They are hardworking, determined and self-assured.

We all have the innate ability to be truly confident, yet sometimes, life gets in the way of our ability to feel genuinely confident.  Surprisingly, external influences are not the biggest cause of self-doubt.  Instead, self-doubt seems to be the leading confidence killer.  Whether you doubt yourself in specific aspects of your life, or have a general sense of inability and unworthiness, self-doubt can make it especially challenging to access the part of you that is truly confident.

So, if you are someone who struggles to feel confident, rest assured, it is a learnable trait.  Start making some small changes that can have a big impact.

Tips on How to be Confident

 Stop badmouthing others.

If you are not feeling confident, chances are you put yourself down and have a lot of negative self-talk going on.  This also means that you are most likely speaking poorly of and judging others.  Well, stop.

Constantly judging and bad mouthing others is not going to help anything.  It will not help you feel better about yourself; it may just increase your chances of experiencing a fleeting sense of arrogance.  Confident people do not waste their time judging others.

Identify and play to your strengths.

A strength is defined as the ability to provide consistent performance in a given activity. Everyone is blessed with their own unique set of strengths and attributes that come naturally to them and make certain tasks a lot easier to perform. Identify what your strengths and use them to guide you in your career.

Strive to be the version of yourself.

Once you have identified your strengths, focus on the talents and attributes that you already have and work toward improving them. Believe in yourself. Have dreams, set personal goals and  do something that will bring you closer to becoming the super person you want to be. Strive to be the best at whatever it is that you do.

 Stop Comparing yourself to others.

If you struggle with low self-confidence, the culprit might be comparing.  Comparing to others only makes you recognize what you don’t have, rather than what you are happy about.  Everyone is unique, so comparing serves no purpose, especially in terms of confidence building.

Exercise more.

People who exercise tend to feel more competent intellectually, socially, and physically.  Exercising more also increases self-esteem and body image.  Now, exercising more doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym seven days a week, or push yourself to your limit.  Exercise means being physically active, which can take many forms (i.e. – playing a sport, taking a hike, etc.)

Be Grateful.

Individuals who experience great self-confidence take time to acknowledge and express gratitude for the things and people in their lives.  Integrating gratitude can be a humbling, positive experience, which in turn can move you towards greater self-confidence.

Feel good about yourself and know your values.

Individuals who know their values and morals and live by them tend to feel better about themselves.  Feeling good about yourself is the crux of self-confidence.