5 Things I’ve Learned About Self-Confidence

by theslowman

For reasons both personal and professional, I’ve been on a bit of research kick around the idea of confidence. The short version of the story is that I came to a realization recently that I will never achieve any of my goals and desires if I don’t figure out how to get more self-confidence.¬†Publishing this site is a part of my process to deal with self-confidence, in fact.

Some people who know me personally might be a little bit surprised by that confession, but it’s no lie. I’ve struggled a long time with a somewhat warped sense of self-confidence — believing in myself up to a point, but never far enough to take too many risks. Put that together with being a natural introvert and you realize it’s always a challenge living ¬†in a world where confidence (often without competence, but we’ll get to that in a bit) is vastly more rewarded than just merely being good at something.

So, I needed to find out a few things. Is confidence merely a state of mind? Is it a set of trainable behaviors? Can you fake it when you need to? In the little bit of reading and personal discovery I’ve been through over the last few weeks, I came up with a small (but growing) list of things I learned about confidence:

  • Confidence and self-esteem are not the same thing. You can be confident without self-esteem and vice versa. It’s important to recognize the difference.
  • Confidence cannot be given to you. You have to take it for yourself. If you rely on others to give you a sense of confidence, you end up codependent.
  • Building your confidence requires taking risks — often. Get used to it.
  • Yes, you can fake confidence. Just be sure you have the competence to back up what you’re doing, eventually.
  • One surprising thing I’ve discovered — be eager to give and share. It’s amazing what a boost this can be.

I believe confidence is the key to achieving everything you want. Sure, you need the world to cooperate for some of your goals and dreams, but who will the world better listen to: the wallflower who doubts every other word he says, or the vocal, forthright, steadfast person oozing self-confidence that not only wants to get what’s his or hers, but is willing to share it with you in the process?

I will write more about all of this in future posts. For now, tell me, how confident do you think you are? Are you doing anything to improve your self-confidence?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Armand

Great topic, Gordon! I have to admit that I’m not the world’s most confident person. Although, you now have me wondering what- exactly- confidence is? Could we try to peg it down as the ability to socially broadcast belief in yourself both in regard to your talents and to your future? I’m curious as to how it differs from self-esteem too.

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David Chen

Well said and defined…I agree whole-heartedly. True success comes with confidence…and sometimes you have to fake confidence when you are at a loss in order to inspire others around you to perform at their best. In the army we’re told to never show indecision in front of your soldiers…you have to be confident for yourself and for others.

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theslowman

thanks guys for the comments. I have more thoughts about what confidence is. Will throw them down in a few, I think.

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