Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What is confidence?

Can self-confidence be acquired? Is it possible for us to transform from shrinking violets to blossoming roses? I came across this phrase many times, when asked as to what personality trait people would like to improve on and the most common answer was self confidence.

Unfortunately, we do not have any magic potion that would instantly give us long lasting self confidence. Confidence deficiency is the inability to survive in social situations and in problems of distress or anxiety. People in such need should consult a mental health professional which is very critical. Lack of self confidence impacts the choices or decisions we make at every walk of life.

We should first understand in true sense what self-esteem and confidence levels are. In what way do they impact on our daily lives? We often mistake them to be the same, but they are two separate distinct characteristics. Self-esteem is typified by deep rooted feelings like are we of value? Are we worthy of happiness and success? On the other hand confidence is one’s own belief or capacity to do things without experiencing fear or hesitation.

From the above meaning, we can infer that both are closely related. It is believed that a person of high self-esteem possess high levels of self-confidence. This may not always be the case though. If a person speaks well and he is chosen to give a speech, though he may be high of self-esteem, he may not be capable of delivering a good speech because of fear of speaking in public and hence is hesitant to use his speaking talent to his advantage.

A serious self-esteem issue generally requires a lot a hard work and time. To improve a person’s self esteem is a challenging task to achieve for those who are committed in doing so. On the other hand one can improve confidence if one posses high self-esteem. We need lot of perseverance and determination to improve confidence levels by initiating simple routine practices to approach challenges.

Confidence requires a lot of practice. We often regard confidence paramount to attitude or skill. We can gain confidence in swimming only when we overcome the fear of taking that first dive in the swimming pool. Whenever we fail, we often bury our heads in the sand for the fear of people insulting us. If we resist this and emerge with confidence that comes from having faced our fears head on, we may be successful. After all failures are the stepping stones of success. Another interesting fact to note here is the internal dialogue. How often did you call yourself a stupid or an idiot? While it may not look so serious, the language we use can have a profound effect on our image. We always need to be conscious of the words we use to describe ourselves. For example, instead of referring yourself as an idiot when you make a mistake, you can always say that "I made a mistake, but that doesn’t mean I am an idiot." This distinction is trivial because it brings in a sense of confidence in our internal dialogue which can be critical.

Confidence is directly linked to self-esteem. What benefits one will definitely benefit the other. By confronting our mistakes without fear we can achieve confidence. Though this may not be an overnight reality a gradual change may be visible and possible.

1 comment:

Smriti said...

I agree Mini self esteem works magic while interacting with people.