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Developing Self-Confidence

+Self-Confidence (My Validation by Self)

Our working definition of +Self-Confidence is:

Self-validated self-assurance; freedom from doubt; a belief in yourself and your abilities to the point of trusting and relying on yourself as you interact with others. The self-assurance that flows from +Self-Confidence is ultimately manifested in one’s ability to succeed by developing new skills and abilities, in overcoming obstacles, and in achieving difficult/challenging goals.

Self-esteem and a healthy self-concept are precursors of +Self-Confidence and represent the foundations upon which it is built.

Synonyms for +Self-Confidence are:

Self-assurance, Self-possession, Confidence, Poise, Belief in Self, Inner Strength.

Where Does Self–Confidence Come From?

For others to have confidence in you, you must first have confidence in yourself, and then behave in a manner that shows that confidence to them. Others will naturally respond to your projected confidence, as well as to your projected lack of confidence. Think of it this way, if you reflect your confidence to them, they will give it back as the impression they have of you.

The Self-Confidence that comes from within yourself is based on your own personal assessment of your skills, abilities and accomplishments. It is also based upon your view of how others assess your competencies, as the result of their observations of your behaviors and interactions with you.

Therefore, we can conclude that our Self-Confidence or “belief in self” has its origins in three major areas:

  1. the reflections of the opinions of others,
  2. your internal assessment of the opinions of others about your competencies, and finally,
  3. your own opinion, in a given situation or circumstance, of the adequacy of your personal inventory of skills, abilities, and achievements.

Each of the three factors outlined above work together to influence our Self-Confidence index at any given point in time. Thus, the overall trust that others have in you, and the overall trust that you have in yourself is impacted by the ebb and flow of the influences of each of these factors – it is a dynamic, changing process.

The good news is that all three are influenced by you and therefore within your ability to control! As you examine the steps you can take, you will see there are many things you can do to improve your overall Self-Confidence. Let us begin that process by considering the following thoughts.

Why is Self-Confidence Important?

From a Leadership perspective, Self-Confidence is critically important. The answer to the question of why Self-Confidence is such an important quality in a Leader can be illustrated through the following analogy. Think of Self-Confidence as the fuel injector on the engine that drives the will to act. That engine was built from the component parts of our personality that make up our Self-Esteem and self-concept. It is started by a belief in self, and then Self-Confidence revs the engine at high RPM using the fuel present from the Leader’s substantive skills, and demonstrated abilities.

In addition to an abundance of Self-Confidence that must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of potential followers, they are also seeking reassurances that their aspiring leader has the requisite skills, abilities, vision, tenacity, and character traits to lead successfully.

Here is a very important point to keep in mind. As we have elaborated in this website, followers also need and are increasingly looking for the demonstrated presence of such Leadership Values as Integrity, Achievement, Responsibility, and Courage.

Visualizing Success: Belief in One’s Self

"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity
to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning." - Mahatma Gandhi

As we develop our skills and abilities to the satisfaction of self and in turn start to see them validated by others, something wonderful happens! The belief in self that we call Self-Confidence begins to energize and stimulate our desire to excel, succeed, and accomplish, to be more and to do more.

The internal viewpoint we have on ourselves shifts from an inward focus on our developing Self-Esteem and resulting Self-Concept, to an outward focus on our emerging accomplishments and relationships with others. The achievements and personal growth in social skills that comes from those relationships begin to increasingly shape and drive our Self-Confidence. The stage is thus set for an Attitude of Expectations as the next logical developmental stage.