Confidence is a word that we use in every day language but rarely do we stop and think about what it actually means.
Confidence plays such a massive role in our ability to function at or above our potential. So, suffice it to say we need to understand what it is and how we can develop this skill – a skill that will enable us to live life to our potential.
WHAT IS CONFIDENCE?
Most dictionaries and online resources define confidence as our belief in our ability to carry out a specific task or our belief in people, plans or the future.
Confidence is our willingness to invest in choices that will mould our future and help us reach our potential. Therefor, it is not just a feeling but also a judgment about our choices and future.
People often confuse confidence with self esteem so its important to draw the distinction! Confidence refers to how we feel about our abilities whilst self esteem refers to how we feel about ourselves - our worth and value!
TWO TYPES OF SELF CONFIDENCE
General self-confidence is that that “I can handle it feeling”. People who are generally self-confident do not dwell on negative consequences and usually view outcomes optimistically. They have high self-esteem, which basically refers to the emotional feeling we have about our own self worth. Generally self-confident people appear to take more risks, do not question themselves and believe that they can handle any problem.
Specific self-confidence is based on experience and is that “I’ve been successful in this area before” feeling. People who have specific self-confidence have experienced success and generally do not question their ability or worth in this task. People who have specific self-confidence may have low self esteem or self belief outside the area they are confident in.
Some psychologists believe that general confidence is a personality trait but that specific confidence is a state of mind and can be learned, influenced and developed. Therefor, specific confidence can be the building block for general confidence.
You have probably felt this distinction in your every day life before? You can perform very complex tasks in work, interact and converse with your colleagues with confidence but if approached by a guy in a bar you become shy and introverted.
There is a lot more to confidence than what you might think! It is possible to be very confident in one area (specific self-confidence) but feel like in other areas of life you have very low (general) self-confidence. The good news is that you can build on and increase your confidence!