What is self-confidence?
Self-confidence is an individual’s trust in his or her abilities, capacities, and judgments, or belief that he or she can successfully face day to day challenges and demands (Psychology Dictionary Online).
One of the most cited sources about self-confidence refers to it as simply believing in oneself (Bénabou & Tirole, 2002). Another popular article defines self-confidence as an individual’s expectations of performance and self-evaluations of abilities and prior performance (Lenney, 1977).
Self-confidence also brings about more happiness. Typically, when you are confident in your abilities you are happier due to your successes. When you are feeling better about your capabilities, the more energized and motivated you are to take action and achieve your goals.
Low self-esteem (and a lack of confidence in yourself) often leads to feeling bad about ourselves and our lives. People who struggle with feelings of worthlessness hold themselves in lower regard, often feel unlovable, unwanted, and incompetent.
People who struggle with low self-esteem also tend to be hypersensitive to the world around them. It's very common in this situation to have a fragile sense of self that is often driven by feelings of worthlessness and an unmanageable lack of confidence.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theorizes that there are several needs that humans must have met to be truly fulfilled, but, generally, the most basic needs must be met before more complex
needs can be met (1943). In his pyramid, self-esteem is the second-highest level of need, just under self-actualization.
According to Maslow, humans must have their needs of physiological stability, safety, love, and belonging met before they can develop healthy self-esteem. He also noted that there are two kinds of self-esteem, a “higher” and a “lower,” the lower self-esteem derived from the respect of others, while the higher self-esteem comes from within.
What are the signs of confidence?
High self-esteem is associated with better health, better social lives, protection against mental disorders and social problems, healthy coping, and mental well-being (Mann, Hosman, Schaalma, & de Vries, 2004).
Children with high self-confidence perform better at school and, later in life, have higher job satisfaction in middle age. Self-esteem is also strongly linked to happiness, with higher levels of self-esteem predicting higher levels of happiness. High self-confidence has even been found to increase the chances of survival after a serious surgical procedure (Mann et al., 2004).
Studies show a strong relationship between self-confidence and positive mental health (Atherton et al., 2016). The success of individuals with high self-esteem lies in these six attributes:
· A greater sense of self-worth
· Greater enjoyment in life and activities
· Freedom from self-doubt
· Freedom from fear and anxiety, freedom from social anxiety, and less stress
· More energy and motivation to act
· More enjoyable time interacting with other people at social gatherings. When you are relaxed and confident others will feel at ease around you.
Quotes on self-confidence
Self-confidence quotes help you when your self-esteem and confidence is lagging. They can bolster your courage, remind you of your strength, and help you come out of a slump.
1. It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.
2. Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it.
3. Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.
– Mark Victor Hansen
4. What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?
5. If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
–Vincent Van Gogh
6. Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.
– Samuel Johnson
7. With the realization of one’s potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.
– Dalai Lama
8. Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
– Lucille Ball
9. Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do and, at some point, you will.
– Venus Williams
10. Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.
— Golda Meir
11. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
12. Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.
— Peter T. Mcintyre
13. A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
— Mark Twain
14. Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.
– Lao Tzu
15. Love who you are, embrace who you are. Love yourself. When you love yourself, people can kind of pick up on that: they can see confidence, they can see self-esteem, and naturally, people gravitate towards you.
– Lilly Singh
16. Self-respect, self-worth, and self-love, all start with self. Stop looking outside of yourself for your value.
– Rob Liano
17. The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
18. Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
– Marie Curie
19. You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.
– Zig Ziglar
· Bénabou, R., & Tirole, J. (2002). Self-confidence and personal motivation. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117, 871-915
· Lenney, E. (1977). Women’s self-confidence in achievement settings. Psychological Bulletin, 84, 1-13
· Mann, M., Hosman, C. M. H., Schaalma, H. P., & de Vries, N. K. (2004). Self-esteem is a broad-spectrum approach to mental health promotion. Health Education Research, 19, 357-372
· Atherton, S., Antley, A., Evans, N., Cernis, E., Lister, R., Dunn, G., Slater, M., & Freeman, D. (2016). Self-confidence and paranoia: An experimental study using an immersive virtual reality social situation. Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 44, 56-64
Munodiwa Zvemhara is a consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.
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