Image suggesting self-confidence
What is self confidence ?

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 sexual partners.

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 nervous.

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 you can 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.

Mental 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 all situations.

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 difficult.

 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 those situations.

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.

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