So you want to take the lead on that project at the office? Do you want to ask that girl out? And you are also looking for a raise?
Yes, you want all of those things, but what’s stopping you?
Self-doubt rears its ugly head, and suddenly, you are crippled by it and you start complaining that if it weren’t for this nagging sense of self-doubt and low confidence, you would be a completely different person.
Who hasn’t wished for a little more self-confidence at some point in their lives?
At times, all you want is a little bit of self-belief to push through obstacles.
But what does it mean to have confidence; to be self-confident? Is it that important for success?
Put simply, self-confidence is believing yourself to be a capable and worthy person no matter the odds. We know that life is not full of roses, and that’s all right.
Remember this: diamonds are only formed under extreme pressure.
Self-confidence is a worthy leadership trait. It doesn’t matter where or what industry you work in there will be times you will have to make tough decisions.
And when it all comes down to the wire, confidence can carry you over the fence.
So let’s dive a little deeper into the definition, importance, and benefits of self-confidence.
We’ll be covering the following topics:
What is Self Confidence?
Self-confidence is putting stock in your own emotions, epiphanies, judgments and decisions.
According to Bandura, a leading expert on the science of self-confidence, individual behavior is heavily regulated by self-confidence.
This means that self-confidence is an important aspect of motivation itself.
Your self-efficacy (a term loosely used by Bandura for self-confidence) is a perception of competence.
And it is highly responsible for you wanting to take action or not. People tend to do things they feel confident about despite the inherent risks.
Think about it. If the ‘thoughts influence actions’ is true, and it is true, then self-confidence is the thought in your head telling you that you are capable; that you can do it.
Having such a belief in yourself can make you unstoppable.
That’s why self-confidence is also a fundamental leadership trait because it makes you courageous to take that risky next step.
But before going into how important self-confidence is to your success, let me first show how you can differentiate between self-confidence and self-esteem, two very interrelated concepts.
Self Confidence vs. Self Esteem
Self-confidence and self-esteem may mean the same thing to a novice, but there is a stark difference between the two.
As mentioned in the article on self-esteem versus self-worth, self-esteem springs from value judgments that you assign to your own performance.
Consider self-esteem to be a performance-based metric that rises and falls given how competent you perceive yourself to be.
Self-esteem can boost your self-confidence by making you believe in your abilities.
However, when it comes to self-confidence, I think of it as more closely related to self-worth.
Remember, self-worth is considering yourself worthy or deserving not because you are great at this or that. It is unconditional love and compassion.
Your self-confidence wouldn’t take a hit because of a setback, but your self-esteem might.
People who have high self-confidence in themselves are their own cheerleaders.
On the contrary, people with low self-confidence are highly critical of themselves. They will think of a hundred self-sabotaging reasons before they can say yes to something.
Inherently, the problem is having a bad relationship with yourself. And that’s where self-worth, self-love, and compassion come in.
On the other extreme, we have narcissism or arrogance, the outcome of an unhealthy level of self-esteem. Narcissistic behavior is also sometimes confused with confidence.
Boastful arrogance is a sign of insecurity used to hide feelings of lack behind a façade of arrogance.
12 Benefits of Increasing Self Confidence
So let’s explore the huge benefits we can see in our lives when we develop self-confidence.
1. Elimination of Self-Doubt
When you develop self-confidence you will get rid of your biggest enemy: You.
Self-sabotage and self-doubt are your worst enemies and by developing the self-confidence you will flip your internal script on its head.
So instead of thinking, “I can’t do this”, you will be jumping at opportunities to learn wherever and whenever
2. Increased Motivation
You will experience that you are willing to do more things, acquire new skills, and meet new people.
You might even surprise yourself with how much energy and motivation you find after you develop self-confidence.
3. Compassion and Self-Love
Do you demand too much of yourself? Or are you too hard on yourself?
Although, there is no getting around a little hard work, but you should beware of taking it too far and demanding perfection of yourself each and every time.
Practice self-love. Everyone makes mistakes.
You owe it to yourself to forgive yourself each time you fall short on a target. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Self-confidence is closely associated with self-worth.
That’s why when you develop a little self-confidence you will start to value yourself and your own opinions.
5. Positive Outlook
Questioning yourself with each and every step can take its toll and make you more pessimistic; and pessimists are downers.
And I don’t think anyone likes the energy downers bring to the table.
Having self-confidence, though, is not only a very attractive trait, but it makes you cheerful and content with what life has to offer.
6. A Sense of Control in Life
Self-confidence will make you feel more in control of your life.
Being helpless in the face of circumstances is extremely draining on your mental health.
With a little self-confidence, you will feel that you alone are ‘the captain of your ship; the master of your fate.’
7. Self-Acceptance Becomes Easier
Self-confidence does not give you a twisted view of yourself.
You know your flaws, you accept them, and you don’t let them put you down.
A self-confident person accepts these things about himself, and despite that finds confidence because he believes he is worthy of respect and love.
8. Improved Social Skills
Confident people radiate energy that attracts people towards them. Think of the social guys and girls in your life.
Almost all of them, without exception, will be confident individuals and leaders of their social circles.
Self-confidence will give you that kind of attractiveness when it comes to socializing. Confidence truly is sexy.
9. Greater Influence Over Others
According to this study, self-confident people can influence our behavior, especially behaviors related to purchasing something.
Influencing other people requires that we have conviction in the ideas that we are trying to propagate. Also, you cannot influence other people if you aren’t confident in yourself.
10. Being More Courageous
Self-confidence will give you the courage to try out new things; the courage to put yourself out there.
11. Better Posture and Body Language
Have you ever noticed people with confidence?
They stand tall, they talk in a calm and confident tone, and they move with grace and every movement is measured.
By being a little more sure of yourself in your life, you can exude that calm and silent confidence that is oh so classy.
12. Better Performance
Confidence actually comes with the knowledge that you have put in the hours.
Start by working at one thing at a time and practice, practice, practice. And presto! You will have achieved more confidence in that skill.
Having self-confidence in your abilities will improve your performance in every endeavor that you take up in life.
To further explore the benefits of self confidence, we recommend this TED Talk by Dr. Ivan Joseph:
Why is Self Confidence Important?
According to this study, self-confidence has been found to be a key ingredient and a proven predictor of success.
Self-confidence is also an indispensable aspect of motivation.
It is that valuable trait that can make us truly confident in ourselves, and confidence is something that you can never have too much of.
People who lack this valuable trait are less assertive. Self-confidence gives you the gumption to stand up against unjust and unfair behavior and speak your mind.
For leaders, not having self-confidence is like a knight without his armor in the heat of the battle: exposed and vulnerable.
It is the prerequisite of great leaders that they make a decision based on their judgments and then stand by it.
Imagine if Abraham Lincoln lacked self-confidence in his beliefs that slavery was bad. Do you think he would have stood up to the pro-slavery states and abolished slavery?
In short, what I am trying to say is that self-confidence gives you the courage to stand by your choices through thick and thin; get what is rightly yours despite the odds; and through a sheer conviction of ideas, achieve success.
Self-confidence is believing yourself and your decisions even when the odds are stacked against you.
A low self-confidence is associated with being highly demanding of yourself and chasing perfection all the time.
So it is recommended to accompany your confidence with a little self-worth and compassion.
You can realize all the benefits that can be had from developing a little self-confidence with a little time and effort. You can start by having a good relationship with yourself.
Sikandar is opinionated on a diverse set of topics that include, but are not limited to, Productivity, Health, Fitness, Motivation, and Career. He is in love with the written word and writes mainly to help others on their self-actualizing journeys. A journalist by education, getting to the bottom of things is his modus operandi. Often, he finds himself moonlighting as a life coach to his family, friends, and colleagues. He can be reached at his LinkedIn for collaboration.