What is self-confidence?
I think most of us now what self
confidence means: we usually define it in
relation to what we want to do, but feel too
anxious, nervous or worried about!
So for one person self confidence might
be about speaking in public.
For another, it
might be about being confident in social
situations. For a third, it might mean
having the confidence to approach potential
But whatever the situation that reveals
our lack of confidence, the definition of
confidence that is implicit here is always
something about being self-assured, showing
self-reliance, or not being anxious or
Another common definition of
self-confidence centers on being assertive,
on getting what you want. This is about
standing up for yourself, about having the
presence, the personal power, if you like,
to regard yourself as equal to others and to
behave in a way that reflect this.
Although you may not know it at the
moment, there are some key factors which
make you feel less confident.
An important one is not being in control
- or at least not feeling that you're in
control. If you think of situations where
you feel less confident, you're almost
certain to recognize that the common factor
is that they are beyond your control.
This is why
increase your confidence by
rehearsing for some situations: going on
stage, being in an interview, taking an exam
- all of these things can be rehearsed to
some extent, and the more you do so, the
more confident you feel when you're in the
situation "for real."
Of course it follows that the greater the
element of unpredictability, the less
confident you may feel, since the less
control you have over the situation.
One way to deal with this is to focus
mentally on your strengths. In all
situations, you have some abilities and
skills which are helpful, strengths which
can help you survive the stress, and get you
through the anxiety.
Again, the rote to success is based - in
part - on thinking positively, on keeping
your strengths in mind and not allowing
self-doubt to swamp you with negative
thoughts and feelings.
Of course this may be difficult when you
are experiencing a rush of mental thoughts
and feelings which serve to confuse you.
confusion often goes with a lack of
confidence. Indeed, it's a very common
symptom of a lack of confidence, and it's a
by-product of the stress response you
experience when faced with a challenge that
you're not sure you can cope with.
The solution here is to learn a system of
relaxation that allows you to keep your
mental and physical processes under control.
You may not feel totally relaxed, but you
can certainly learn to reduce your stress
response, the adrenalin release, and all the
symptoms that go with it, including mental
confusion, with the aid of some relaxation
techniques. We'll look at these on another
page of this website. You can also find some
great information here -
You'll see from our definition of
self-confidence that different people feel
different degrees of confidence in different
situations. Of course, this is true for each
one of us - you won't feel as confident in
While giving a presentation to your work
colleagues may be an ordeal for you, when it
comes to partying, you might be the person
everyone wants to know!
If you're highly successful in business,
you might find personal relationships
And so it goes on - that's why a
lot of the treatments for a lack of
confidence are designed specifically for
particular situations. They can be extremely
helpful in increasing your confidence in
If you're a person who feels a little
less confident than you would like in many
different situations, then you might prefer
to work on your overall self-image, to
change it so that you see your self as
fundamentally more confident as a person.
Again, we'll have a look at this on another
page of the website.