Self Confidence

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.

Dr Seuss Succeed

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).

Dr Seuss Youer than You

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.

Thank you Dr Seuss

Thank you Dr Seuss

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.”

~Barrie Davenport


3 thoughts on “Self Confidence

  1. Self confidence for me is much more about acting that anything else. I think therefore I am. By portraying it so well though it can become a burden as everyone thinks that you can cope more easily with criticism or you are taken for granted and not thanked for your contribution. The old Aussie adage “she’ll be right mate”. It’s hard to show vulnerability or frailty of one’s self when the perception is you are supremely confident. Perception is reality and perhaps we need to think more about self efficacy as more important – how one views oneself rather than how you portray yourself to other people.


    • You are so right Sue there are high expectations of our capacity to endure against the odds when we are seen as an achiever and a problem solver. Our Australian way doesn’t encourage us to acknowledge ourselves in any way, unless to denigrate our efforts which makes it difficult to see those attributes in ourselves that can help raise our personal capacity.


  2. Reblogged this on Wangiwriter's Blog and commented:
    This post sums up my own experience of self-confidence, which Linda Stewart, the blogger rightly asserts includes self-efficacy and self-esteem. I would also add that, for me at least, my self-confidence is also often undermined and exacerbated by my sense of guilt at not being perfect (caused to a great extent by my Catholic upbringing), which I find difficult to overcome.
    I would recommend anyone who is interested in looking behind the actions of their lives to the reasons for them to check out Linda’s blog Queasypeasy


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