The Awesome Power of Self-Confidence

What is self-confidence, and what could you do with more of it? It is often depicted as the “x-factor,” like a magic pill that, if swallowed, will open your eyes and mind to a new paradigm of power and possibility. When we hear stories of people who evolve from social anxiety to social butterfly, from dreamer to doer, or reactive to proactive, we witness self-confidence in action. 

For shy people, self-confidence may be the antidote to overcoming shyness. For those who feel stuck, self-confidence may be a shot-in-the-arm. If you can’t recognize your talents and strengths, self-confidence can make you believe in yourself and your capabilities. If you feel you are a people pleaser and put others before yourself, self-confidence will enable you to honor and prioritize yourself.  

Self-confidence is fundamental to mental health because it can help reduce anxiety and minimize depression; it can lift your self-esteem, increase your self-worth, and allow you to take healthy risks. In addition, if you want to spice up your life, self-confidence can stimulate you to learn something new, quit bad habits, conquer fear, meet new friends, have new experiences, and embark on new endeavors. This is all possible because self-confidence has the unique ability to inspire hope and belief!

Begin Again Life Coaching surveyed 100 industry experts and coaching clients about self-confidence. The results showed that a majority of participants felt self-confidence allowed them to hold their heads high and value themselves while feeling respected by others. This sense of self-value cultivates a winning attitude, allowing you to believe you can achieve whatever you desire and gain the motivation to go after it. 

Self-confidence is more an emotion than it is a personality trait. Understanding this is crucial if you want to gain more self-confidence. Whereas personality traits such as intelligence, ambition, or generosity are more constant and less apt to diminish or fluctuate, self-confidence, on the other hand, fluctuates and changes, rising in good times and waning or evaporating during difficult times. Possessing it is not as simple as saying ‘either you have it, or you don’t.’ Just as you can be peaceful today and angry tomorrow, self-confidence ebbs and flows according to your mental and emotional state.  

We turned to the survey participants to clarify the impact of emotionally intense events and self-confidence. We asked them to identify a specific memory of a past negative experience that diminished or evaporated their self-confidence.  Once identified, we asked them to name the emotions most associated with the negative experience. The top feelings that factored into siphoning self-confidence were shame, embarrassment, and disappointment. When you experience such intense emotions, it’s easy to sink into self-blame, negative self-judgment, and feeling like a failure. These proved to be self-confidence killers! 

To balance the equation, we asked participants to identify a specific memory of a positive experience that elevated their self-confidence. Once identified, they were instructed to name the emotions most associated with the positive experience. The top emotions reported by the group from positive experiences were the emotions of love, feeling proud, and gratitude. If you want to increase your self-confidence, create experiences that accentuate these! 

Self-confidence is an emotion that fuels a belief and optimism that one can balance, and win in life, both internally and externally. It merges many factors, including experiences, emotions, thoughts, behaviors, successes, and the people in our circles. Self-confidence is a culmination of who you are and what you feel, influencing your identity and reality.  

While self-confidence is multi-faceted and complex, it is attainable. When you strive for and gain self-confidence, you will find it is as refreshing as the air you breathe. So, let’s get to work together. 

Change The Meaning

We give meaning to every situation, experience and event in our lives. From the person who compliments us, bores us, flirts with us, cheats us, or provokes us – to the common stresses, struggles and challenges of daily life. All day, everyday, we give meaning to these circumstances and further reinforce and validate them by our own internal monologue of building ourselves up or tearing ourselves down – the cumulative effect of which gives birth to the beliefs about ourselves.

This automatic and ingenious brain function of applying meaning and assumptions to just about everything, and then reinforcing it with supporting dialogue, is utterly fascinating and amazing – except when it’s wrong. What happens when your assumptions, presumptions or the meaning you apply to matters are either incorrect or even correct, yet counterproductive and self-deprecating?

The meaning we give to certain aspects of our lives is what we react to, respond to, and they dictate our behavior, and later, our results, productivity and overall sense of balance. If you arrive at wrong or unhealthy conclusions, you’ll arrive at wrong or negative beliefs and the action that follows the belief will also be wrong. A vicious, downward spiral of unease and immobility.

We find ourselves believing and saying things like; nothing good ever happens to me; I always screw up, my life is a mess, I look like crap, I feel like crap, I’m too old, I have no energy, I’m not qualified, no one will hire me, I waited to long, I’ll never be happily married, I’ll never make enough money, who will take care of me, etc, etc.

What negative conclusions have you accepted about you? The details and specifics are not important. What is important is the meaning that you give to matters that involve you. And the meaning you give it, is a result of your perceived reality – not reality itself, therefore you can change it.

So if the meanings that you are forming, make you feel bad, sad or unfulfilled, then all you have to do is re-interpret or change the meaning that you apply to the various situations in your life. After all, you’re the one in charge, it’s your brain, and you can choose to interpret matters in a way that is healthy and productive and drives you to a more desirable, and satisfying objective.