How would you rate your self-confidence?
There are pockets of life in which my self-confidence would rate reasonably high. On a scale of 1 – 10 where 1 is oh so low and 10 is way too high, my marker would hover around 7 or 8. However, other pockets of my life are filled with stressful content. In those circumstances the marker lurks around 3 or 4. I never gave myself credit for acting but when people tell me I present as someone who is self-confident I have to wonder if I missed my calling.
Before I unpack that paragraph let’s take a look at what self-confidence is.
Self Confidence = Self-efficacy + Self-esteem
Big concept, self-efficacy but in terms of confidence it simply means knowing that we have the skills to get the job done; we have what it takes to be successful and achieve a good outcome. Another way to look at it is in terms of personal capacity – capabilities, skills, talents, intellect, insight, compassion, empathy and so on. So self-efficacy is founded on how well we feel we are equipped to be successful at a particular task, or life for that matter.
On the other hand self-esteem is built on how we perceive others feel about us: how they treat or think about us. If others validate our achievements, who we are, then we feel accepted and approved – our self-esteem increases because we measure up in their eyes; we’re okay. There you have it: self-efficacy (I have what it takes) + self-esteem (I feel you think so too) = self-confidence (I have what it takes and because you have reflected your belief in me therefore I believe I can too).
The other side of self esteem has to do with how similar situations panned out in the past. Confused? I don’t blame you but it does get more complicated when we throw our past experiences into the mix. How effective we’ve been in achieving success at other times will influence how we think we will manage this situation.
Back to the scaling markers. The 7 or 8 self-confidence marker is about being able to problem solve, make decisions, think quickly, maintain control of the situation and emotions, embrace change and not be afraid to take risks or try new things. I feel confident at home, within my family, established social networks and at work when things are going well. In that environment I feel optimistic that whatever the obstacle it can be overcome.
The 3 or 4 marker is about stressful situations which I find difficult to manage; particularly difficult people at work. It irks me that I’m on the fence when stressed. I cannot make decisions, I am fearful of the repercussions and the idea that anything I say or do may make the situations worse generally immobilises me. Not good.
“True beauty is the flame of self-confidence that shines from the inside out.”