There's no question that confidence is a valuable asset.
We all want to be confident people, but sometimes it seems like an unattainable goal.
But what exactly does confidence depend on?
Is it simply about having high self-esteem, or are there other factors at play?
Let's take a closer look at what confidence really means and how you can start cultivating it in your own life.
The Different Aspects Of Confidence
By definition, the word confidence translates to “to trust,” which essentially has taken the meaning of trusting that a certain thing we believe in is correct.
If we take this meaning and apply it to ourselves, it will result in (surprise, surprise) self-confidence.
But then again, is it simply feeling good about ourselves?
Or is it something more than that?
There are many aspects of confidence when it comes to the different strengths and skills we have.
For example, some people might be confident in their physical abilities, while others might be confident in their mental abilities.
So confidence is not simply an overall state of mind, but it rather focuses on a particular trait or skill we might have.
So far, so good, but let’s dive even deeper into the factors that play a role in our confidence levels.
What Factors In?
It's no secret that confidence is an important quality in both personal and professional settings, and this is something we will focus on in the second part of our Confidence Series.
But why is it that some people appear more confident than others?
Is this something that comes naturally, or is it a product of something else?
There are a few possible explanations.
It could be that they have a higher level of self-efficacy.
Self-efficacy is, simply put, the belief that you have the qualities of capacity to reach a certain goal.
While it is not necessarily the main quality needed for self-confidence, it plays a huge role in developing this trait.
Self-efficacy is what gives us the motivation to jump head-first into challenges and stay persistent in the face of any obstacles.
This willingness to put ourselves out there can lead to greater success, which in turn reinforces our confidence.
The concept of self-esteem is very closely connected to the idea of being self-efficient.
Self-esteem in and of itself is the belief that we are worthy - respecting ourselves and the qualities we have are the driving force behind confidence.
Just think about it - if you are more prone to doubting yourself, this will lead to you being less confident.
On the other hand, someone who is less hard on themselves can easily find the courage to try new things, leading to them developing a strong sense of self-confidence.
This is a no-brainer.
There is no doubt the environment you grew up in, and the one you are in now, has a huge impact not only on your self-esteem but, consequently, on your confidence.
For example, the feedback and the treatment we receive from our parents are part of what shapes our attitudes toward ourselves.
If you grow up in a household where there is a lot of yelling and criticism, you may have a more distorted perception of your skills and abilities, thus not being confident enough.
The people around us also impact how we feel about ourselves and our abilities - consider all the expectations that society has put on us.
Interestingly this relationship could go both ways - higher expectations may lead to us feeling not adequate enough, thus lowering our general confidence.
But expectations can also serve as a motivation to keep bettering ourselves.
This, in turn, can make us more willing to continue pursuing our goals and build self-confidence toward a better version of ourselves.
Confidence Vs. Arrogance
We can't talk about confidence without also mentioning arrogance.
It's easy to see how confidence and arrogance could be confused, whether this is within ourselves or when looking at other people.
Both involve feeling comfortable in oneself and one's abilities.
However, there is a big difference between the two.
Arrogance is often characterized by a sense of superiority without much ground, whereas confidence is simply feeling secure and capable.
Arrogance often leads to people putting others down, either directly or indirectly, to make themselves feel better.
Confidence, on the other hand, does not require putting others down.
In fact, confident people are usually secure enough in themselves that they don't feel the need to do so.
To Sum Up
We all know a confident person when we see one - they will just project an air of assurance.
So, what makes someone confident in the first place?
It's all about the entangled relationship between self-esteem, self-efficacy, and the environment you are in.
Do you want to learn how to boost your confidence levels?
Take a look at the second part of our Confidence Series to find out how you can feel more confident in everything you do!