What Is Confidence?
Are you a confident woman? How do you know? Do you believe confidence is a feeling, a state of being, just an idea? When you meet someone with confidence, what are you responding to? Confidence is like gravity – you can’t see it, but you know it’s there or not there.
First order of business, we’ll identify what confidence is NOT. It’s not the same as self-esteem or self-worth. Self-esteem is defined as “a favorable impression of oneself.” Self-worth is defined as “a sense of one’s own value as a person.” We all need both self-esteem and self-worth in order to feel confident.
At the same time, some people come across as arrogant – perhaps in their own minds they have confused confidence with self-importance or entitlement or superiority. Generally these folks have neither self-esteem nor self-worth, although they are working really hard to convince you of their value. Don’t be confused: confidence is not arrogance or overblown self-importance. I’m pretty sure most of you can spot those imposters and not be fooled by them, and hopefully not want them as your role models.
Confidence is the assurance you have in yourself, and in the powers or abilities you possess. When you see yourself in a positive light (self-esteem) and you value the contributions you make (knowing your worth), then your confidence shows from the inside out.
When we don’t feel confident, we find it hard to ask for what we want or what we’re worth, or speak up for ourselves. A lack of confidence usually stems from the doubts we harbor about:
- Not being good enough
- Thinking people won’t want to hear what we have to say
- Believing we will fail
The next time you feel this way, give your confidence a boost by using one of the three confidence boosters below.
Boost Your Confidence
Here are three short exercises to use as often as you want. Using them will increase your confidence. Read each statement and complete it using something real from your life.
Confidence Booster #1: For some people, confidence is being able to prove they are competent in an area of work, home or some other arena that is important to them.
- I am confident in my ________ ability because (list evidence of past success).
- Here’s mine: I am confident in my ability to write because I consistently publish my blog and have done so for almost 2 years.
Confidence Booster #2: For other people, their inner dialogue plays a big role in how they feel about themselves. If that’s you (and it’s all of us to some degree and on some days), then you can keep your confidence high by telling yourself positive thoughts about who you are.
- Look in the mirror and affirm a strength or attitude that boosts your confidence. (My recommendation is to use the same statement for at least 90 days to really implant it in your belief system.)
- Here’s mine, from the days when I felt I had to work 24/7 to prove myself: I looked in the mirror and told myself, “I am enough!”
Confidence Booster #3: Feeling nervous and off-center, whether it’s your annual performance review or selling services to a high-end client, can wipe out your sense of confidence. To get back in touch with being present, alert and articulate, do something to reconnect with your body.
- Take several slow breaths, breathing both in and out for a count of three.
- Here’s mine: After years of work on my body/mind connection, I am able to do a quick body scan and find the spot where all my tension is; then I breathe into the tension and release it. Doing this quickly and accurately takes practice but it’s truly worth it, because you get right to the right spot where the physical and emotional knot is undermining your ability to speak with confidence and clarity.
In the Comments, please post about your success with using these confidence boosters and share any that you use that other readers might find helpful.
To your success!