Confidence - What Is It?

Many people believe they lack confidence. But what exactly is confidence? 

A good way to approach this question is to think about what a confident person would be like. What would that person do, how would they talk, walk, act and be? And what would you be like if you had the confidence you feel you lack?

It can also be useful to think of someone you admire for their confidence, and list their qualities, how they would act in certain situations, etc. 

For example, I’m a fan of Alex Polizzi, the British hotelier and presenter. She seems to me to be to be congruent, driven and honest, while also caring and able to compromise. Now, I’m not suggesting that you try to ‘become’ this person that you admire – I’m suggesting that by focusing on the qualities you like about that person, you can discover qualities that you would like to have for yourself. 

By doing this exercise you’ll hopefully come up with your own ideas of what it means for you to be confident. It might be having the ability to speak in front of others, being more organised, more relaxed in social situations, etc. 

Once you’ve decided what qualities mean ‘confidence’ to you, just take a few moments to think whether you have actually already have some of those qualities yourself. If you have them in even a small measure - how can you increase them? This might mean pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, trying new things, putting up with feeling uncomfortable until you start to acclimatise. 

Having confidence doesn't mean always getting everything right, because that’s impossible. But it does mean learning from your mistakes and moving forward – not letting setbacks get you down. 

The only way we can get better at something is to practice. So, if for instance, you want to be able to speak in public, you'll have to find a way to practice that. And whatever you decide to do to build your confidence, you can do it in small steps. To improve public speaking you could start by filming yourself giving a speech or presentation (at home), then review it, improve it, do it again - until eventually you feel ready. 

So, the first step to improving your confidence is to find out exactly what confidence means for you - then, step-by-step, work on building those qualities. Remember - anything worth having is worth working for.

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