Being confident does not just mean not being shy. It is not just one trait of a person. It can be a personality, too. It’s okay to be timid and aloof, but in a lot of instances in our life, we would need to express or portray ourselves. But you probably kinda know that. For many people, confidence really has a lot of advantages in many aspects.
What does it mean to have confidence? According to Psychology Today, confidence is having a “realistic sense” and “feeling secure” of what you can do. Moreover, a sense of confidence is also a crucial aspect of communication. When we present ourselves, those around us would like assurance that they can count on us. Would you listen to a sales pitch from someone who is stuttering or unsure? But on the flip side, you might think some people are full of themselves because of their abundance of confidence. Who likes a showoff, anyway?
Don’t think of confidence as something mastered exclusively by leaders, or for actors only. We would all need it at some point. It is not also something you’re just born with, but a skill you try to master. The funny thing is, we all seem to possess different levels of it. Some people seem to lack it, while others overflow with it. Too much or too little can have unpleasant consequences.
There are some who might exude a lot of confidence. But have you noticed that if in excess, it can be so obnoxious? Actually, we are not really a good expert of our own capabilities, at least according to the phenomenon called the Dunning-Kruger effect. What it means is that people might have a wrong gauge of their own abilities. People might overestimate their own capabilities and could be inclined to overlook their flaws or shortcomings. This results in an unhealthy, and sometimes dangerous surplus of confidence. Worse, it could even lead to arrogance.
On the other hand, some people tend to doubt themselves so much. They have so much self-doubt which hinders them from reaching their true potential. These kinds of people may not be aware of their self-worth that they don’t trust that they can do something at all. And this doubt could even lead to a lack of trying or effort. Rather than do what they need or love, they’d punish themselves for some mistakes they have not even made yet.
So, having the right amount of sense of confidence can take you farther. It could actually help you succeed in your career, find more opportunities, or even strengthen personal relationships. It is best not to lean on one side of the extremes (too much or too little). But remember that with any other skills, it takes practice and discipline.
Just remember that it also begins with the way you think. For example, if you think you’re not perfectly capable, keep in mind that it’s okay to get things wrong sometimes. But if you try to learn with enthusiasm and keen interest, you’re bound to master it eventually. You are not defined by your limitations. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks, but be inspired by what you’ll get from them.
Or if you’re on the other end (if you think you are too confident), maybe it is worth taking a moment to pause and rethink. How much of what I know is really true? Or the bigger question is, how much of it have I yet to know? Don’t forget the Dunning-Kruger effect, Again, keep an open mind to learn new things. Don’t be confined within the bubble you create for yourself. You could even gain a wider perspective. And on the side, people might stop being so eager in spotting your mistakes.
Whatever you are (or if either at different times), learn to appreciate. If you appreciate other people, you won’t have an abundance of yourself (lots of doubt or lots of confidence). And if you give yourself credit, you could boost your self-confidence. Another important thing: stop the comparison. We are pacing at our own timelines, we have different yardsticks for success and happiness, we are all individuals trying to move forward.
So, what does it mean to have confidence? Actually, having the right amount of confidence is one heck of a life skill to master. But some people overindulge in being confident, or there are those who hold back. We are not here to tell you your self-worth (only you can define yourself). We just want you to find the balance in maintaining a healthy and positive expression of yourself be it at work, on your passion, or with personal relationships. Too much self-confidence can suffocate those around you, while too little may loosen the grip of relationships (or opportunities). Start with a changed mindset and what it truly means to have confidence, and everything else will eventually follow suit, that you can be confident of.
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