Why Confidence Matters

Wanting to achieve success in your life often requires a certain level of confidence. But it’s not just about professional achievement. Self confidence can make a difference in all areas of your life – professional, personal, and everything in between. Before learning to increase your confidence, the first step is knowing what confidence really means, and why it matters.

What is Self-Confidence?

Two main things contribute to self-confidence: self-efficacy and self-esteem.

We gain a sense of self-efficacy when we see ourselves (and others similar to ourselves) mastering skills and achieving goals that matter in those skill areas. This is the confidence that, if we learn and work hard in a particular area, we’ll succeed; and it’s this type of confidence that leads people to accept difficult challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks.

This overlaps with the idea of self-esteem , which is a more general sense that we can cope with what’s going on in our lives, and that we have a right to be happy. Partly, this comes from a feeling that the people around us approve of us, which we may or may not be able to control. However, it also comes from the sense that we are behaving virtuously, that we’re competent at what we do, and that we can compete successfully when we put our minds to it.

Some people believe that self-confidence can be built with affirmations and positive thinking . At Mind Tools, we believe that there’s some truth in this, but that it’s just as important to build self-confidence by setting and achieving goals – thereby building competence. Without this underlying competence, you don’t have self-confidence: you have shallow over-confidence, with all of the issues, upset and failure that this brings.
– via www.mindtools.com

Knowing what confidence is and how it affects you is only half the battle – next you need steps to actively improve your self confidence and start taking more control of your life.

Being able to change the way people see you can help you see an even better version of yourself.

Improving Your Self Confidence

Research how to dress better: If you’ve never taken steps to assess and improve your wardrobe, you may not realize the dramatic effect it can have on your confidence level. Everything from the style of your shirts to the color of your glasses frames affects how people view you. When how you appear is in sync with how you want people to view you, confidence can easily follow.

Explain something you understand well. Everyone has something they understand on an above average level. Giving someone a primer on a topic that you’re knowledgeable about is a quick way to get the confidence juices flowing. You know your territory, you’re in a position of relative power (you know something they don’t), and being able to articulate it proves you have value.

Enter competitions you can do well in: I know what you’re thinking. “How will beating people who aren’t as good as me make me feel better?” Well, for starters, you’re already thinking like a winner if you can even ask that question. However, the snowball effect that comes from winning can lead to even more confidence down the road.

– via Lifehacker

Have you discovered any great tips to improve your confidence? What role have you seen self-confidence play in your own life?

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