Being confident is your ability to trust in who you are as a person, in your skills, and knowledge. But, it’s more nuanced than most people realize. It involves a combination of self-assurance, resilience, and several other emotional intelligence-based factors that can be hard to learn. Once you master being confident, however, it can be a powerful thing to have on hand during both your personal and professional life.
- Being confident is a combination of self-assurance, self-esteem, and several other factors.
- Learning to be confident takes practise and time, but doing things like shifting your perspective can help the process along.
- Being overconfident can prevent you from making good decisions, and identifying when this happens is key for progress.
What does it mean to be truly confident?
We’re willing to bet that most of your ideas of what confidence is involve someone who will say, do, or look however they want to. They won’t care what anyone else thinks, and they’ll do only what makes them happy. And while this is true, it’s not the only way confidence can look like.
Being confident is a mix of being self-assured, self-aware, and secure in who you are and what you bring to the table. Confident people know where their skills and abilities lie. But, it doesn’t only mean knowing you’re good at something, it also means knowing what you lack and accepting those limits without trying to hide them.
Essentially, confidence is a mix of emotional intelligence-based skills that help center and balance you so you never feel the need to be anyone else but yourself. Below we discussed a few of these skills more in detail:
Self-assurance is the ability to be confident in your own skills, abilities, and judgment. This generally comes after practicing a task for a long time, or by building off of the other factors on this list. You can be self-assured in your ability to deal with problems at work if you’ve already had to face several similar ones, for example. You can also be self-assured in your ability to walk into a room of strangers because you’ve done it before and you had a good time.
Self-awareness is knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are and where they come from. Being objective about your personality and you present yourselves, and knowing you’re not perfect but still be ok with that. If you’re self-aware you’re able to look into why your actions don’t align with your inner self and how you can address that.
Someone who is secure in themselves will be calm and collected when interacting with other people, for example. They won’t worry if what they said will come across as silly because they know that impressing another person is not something they need to do
Someone confident is someone who’s also resilient. This means you’re able to deal when things go wrong or when stress creeps into your life. A resilient person knows that even if they fall down, they can get back up and try again.
What is overconfidence, and why does overconfidence happen?
While being confident is something most people want to achieve, there is such as thing as being too confident. Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist and economist focused on how the human brain make choices and judges situations, talks about this more in depth in his best selling book Thinking, Fast and Slow. Kahneman spent years researching and developing theories about the subject, and in 2002 he was given the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
In his book, he states that people tend to overestimate how much knowledge or skills they actually have which ends up in them being overconfident. Our mind will make a snap decision of what’s in front of them and most of the time will not consider alternatives. For example, they’ll look at a news headline online, convinced it’s real only to realize it’s not from a reputable outlet.
He also explains this can play against you since it can prevent you from seeing gaps in your abilities or character. Basically, if you think you know more than you actually do, then you won’t be able to realize what you don’t know and address that.
5 ways to build your confidence
Becoming a confident person that’s completely sure of who they are and what they can offer the world takes effort. It also takes time, consistency, and commitment.
But, starting the journey to being a more confident person can bring life-changing outcomes for the future you. To start you off, we wanted to share 5 ways to build your confidence you can put into effect right away:
Change your perception
The thing about being confident is that it’s in large part a state of mind. It rarely has anything to do with what’s going on around you, or what people are saying or doing. Changing your perception of yourself and what you can offer can help you make insane progress when it comes to confidence.
Set realistic goals
The easiest way to ruin any progress you’ve made when it comes to confidence is not setting yourself up for success. Creating a goal that’s basically impossible to achieve will only make you feel bad when you inevitably don’t reach it. So, be sure to set a realistic goal that you’re actually able to reach in the first place.
Deal with insecurity
When insecurity flares up give yourself permission to slow down. Fighting through it and trying to pretend it’s not happening will probably not work. Instead, try to look at the situation logically. Did that person really think you said something unintelligent, or did you just assume that? Did you making that mistake really make your boss decide to fire you, or is that just what your brain is telling you? What we think in the middle of a flare-up is very rarely real.
Learn what you’re good at
This is one of the best tips on this list and for good reason. Understanding what your baseline is will work wonders. For starters, people who lack confidence tend to have the wrong view of their strengths. They’ll focus more on what they’re bad at forgetting that they have tons of wonderful qualities. Taking a personality test like this free DISC assessment is a great first step.
Face your fears
There’s nothing like a little exposure therapy to help build up your confidence. Fears, most of the time, are a matter of thinking of them as something you can’t overcome. Gradually exposing yourself to the things that trigger you the more you’ll learn how to act when faced with those situations. Knowing you’ve dealt with it once will teach you can deal with it every time.
Getting People Right (GPR) is an educational website providing professionals from all types of businesses with practical education in entrepreneurial leadership. To keep evolving your leadership toolkit, additional GPR resources below will be useful: