Confidence has become a buzzword that we hear all the time. People tell us, “Be confident.” We read articles entitled, “How to Build More Confidence.” We even attend seminars and hire coaches to help us learn how to make ourselves look and feel confident.
All of these things are useful, and it’s a popular topic. However, have you ever thought about why confidence is so talked about? Sure, it makes us feel good to feel confident, but there’s more to it than that. Confidence is actually an integral part of a person’s health and well-being.
Confidence vs. Arrogance
Before we dive in, though, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Confidence and arrogance are completely different. Knowing you’re good at something is one thing, but being vain and boastful about it is taking it too far.
Confidence is part of being a normal, healthy human being. It is only about you, and it is for the benefit of you. Arrogance, on the other hand, is unhealthy. It is a delusion, a way of lying to yourself to compensate for hidden insecurity. Arrogance is a display for others. It doesn’t serve you. In fact, whereas confidence builds you up and makes you stronger, arrogance will only tear you down and make you feel more self-conscious.
How Confidence Benefits You
Let’s go beyond the obvious things we know about confidence. Of course, it gives you a nice, positive feeling, and it helps you perform tasks that you know you’re good at. It can also help you in times when you’re out of your comfort zone and need to shore up your courage. But let’s go deeper than that. Why is confidence so important to have and cultivate in your life?
Know your value and stand up for it
First and foremost, being confident means knowing yourself and what your strengths are. It’s not just about what you can do or what you can offer. It’s about knowing who you are.
When you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you have value, you instantly become a stronger person. You respect yourself, and you demand respect. You realize that just by being you, you have the right to take up space on this planet, to breathe the air, and to be in the same room as everyone else.
No more shying away or feeling self-conscious. You are valuable, and you have gifts and talents to bring to the table. And if anyone questions that, you can stand up for yourself because you KNOW that you are good at what you do, and that there is no other person who is like you. Just the fact that you’re here, as yourself, interacting with other people and leaving some kind of impact, gives you immense value. No one else can do you except you, and that’s priceless.
Makes you perform better
Confidence isn’t just about knowing you’re good at something; it pushes you to be even better. When you’re strong in an area or adept at some skill, you don’t sit back and become complacent about it. Instead, you take pride in it and continue cultivating it.
You may not have thought about this before, but confidence breeds competition – and a little competition is healthy. Whether you’re competing with others to be the best at what you do, or you just want to raise your own personal standard, confidence makes you want to keep working and improving.
On top of that, confidence begets more confidence. The better you become and the more you grow, the better you feel about yourself and your ability. This, in turn, increases your passion and interest in what you do, which makes you want to invest even more of yourself into it. In the end, it becomes a positive cycle that feeds itself, and you have a greater sense of enjoyment and fulfillment.
While self-worth is more about how much value you believe you have, like the earlier point, self-esteem is about what you think of yourself. It’s more about whether you like yourself and accept yourself for who you are, as you are. It does go hand-in-hand with self-worth, but self-esteem is its own aspect, which is closely aligned with the mindset and mental well-being.
When you have confidence, it empowers you. You can get up every day and look at yourself in the mirror and truly love the person looking back at you. It doesn’t mean there’s nothing you want to change or improve. It means that you acknowledge and accept that you are imperfect and that you are on a journey – and you give yourself the space to learn and grow.
In fact, the more confident you become, the less afraid you are of making mistakes because you know that mistakes equal learning. They’re a necessary part of the process. So instead of being hard on yourself and overly critical, you embrace the learning experience, make some adjustments, and try again. As your self-esteem increases, you don’t take things personally but instead, just view “failures” as valuable feedback for growth.
Makes a difference to others
Lastly, confidence is contagious. You’ve probably experienced it yourself where someone you were working with didn’t seem very confident about what they were doing or about a situation, and it made you start to have worries and doubts, too. Conversely, when you were the one feeling uncertain and another person felt confident, their positivity probably turned you right around. Both scenarios have a strong effect on others – positive or negative.
Although confidence is something that happens within yourself, it (or the lack of it) can be clearly seen and felt by those around you. Think about motivational speakers. The reason they have such an impact on people is because of their confident, “can do” attitudes. It’s contagious.
This is invaluable. As humans, we have the drive to make a difference in other people’s lives, our communities, and even the world. As crazy as it sounds, confidence is the key to change. By building your own confidence and knowing your value, striving to be the best you can be, and allowing yourself to be empowered by who you are, you absolutely will impact the lives of others.
Being more confident is not just some trivial goal or resolution. It is truly an important part of our lives. It affects how you see yourself, how you perform, and how you interact with others. It gives you choices and the power to make real change. You can either be the shrinking violet in the corner or the candle that lights up a darkened room, giving hope and courage to those around you. So make it a priority to start actively increasing your confidence, and you’ll see the positive effects in all areas of your life.