Self-confidence is more than just feeling good in your own skin.
It does not only affect you, but also the people around you.
We asked 18 experts “Why is self-confidence important?“
Learn a thing or two from their insights below.
Mental health author | Motivational speaker
Self-confidence is the basis of self-love, which is the basis for loving others and loving your life. Without self-confidence, you end up using a fraction of your potential of being uniquely “you.” With low self-confidence, self-love will not be enough to replace your self-doubt and feelings of not being “good enough.”
Lack of confidence usually is correlated with being too critical judgmental on yourself and comparing yourself to others.
When you do that, you’ll always find someone who is smarter, more attractive, skinnier, has more than you do, smarter kids, better luck and all around appearing to have a better life.
What is the solution?
Self-compassion puts you on the fast track to self-esteem and self-confidence. Instead of needing to be better than average, and avoiding failure, you embrace your vulnerability and your humanity instead of being critical of your shortcomings.
How can you stop this?
Try this simple activity to think about what you say to yourself that undermines your self-confidence and think of whether you would say those things to someone you love.
Would you say these things to a good friend? If the answer is “no” then why would you say them to yourself, the one person with whom you have a lifelong relationship?
When you are self-compassionate, you are not focused on being better than anyone else – after all, only 50 % of us can be better than average!
Rather you are focused on being self-forgiving, self-loving, and kind to yourself instead of beating yourself up when you don’t make the mark.
Legally Blind Speaker | Trainer | Coach | Author | Athlete
Self- confidence is an integral of success in our personal and professional lives. As a blind athlete, speaker, and coach; self-confidence is essential for me to function in the world and one of the main areas in which I work with clients.
Blind individuals have no choice but to be confident in order to achieve even the little things of daily living such as navigating a busy urban environment, making a cup of tea without burning oneself, or speaking up when assistance is needed.
Beyond that, I am also an athlete who trains 5 days a week and competes in obstacle races throughout the year. Without self-confidence, my accomplishments would not be possible and life would not be as bright.
As a coach and speaker, lack of self- confidence is one of the most common problems I encounter with others. It stops clients from advancing in their professional lives, building the types of relationships they want, and pursuing their life dreams.
When clients become comfortable with uncertainty in life, reconnect with who they are on a deeper level, and let go of doubt (either from themselves or others) life and possibilities blossom around them.
Self-confidence is not forceful or arrogant. It is calm, stable, and flexible. When you are self-confident you take actions toward creating the life you want, you easily gain support from others when needed, and you become naturally resilient.
Related: Arrogance vs Confidence – What Are the Key Differences?
Self-confidence doesn’t mean feeling certain you will succeed. It is being certain that who you are is not defined by the end result of your endeavors.
Chelsea Leigh Trescott MFA, CPC
Breakup Coach | Advice Columnist | Certified Solution Focused- Life Coach
In order to live not only the length of one’s life but the breadth, one needs self-confidence. The reason for this is, that without it, one is overcome by shame, self-scrutiny, low self-efficacy and, in time, paralysis due to fear.
Without confidence what one fears, more than anything becomes their inability to lead their lives and therefore the inevitable sadness and regret that will come from finding that they never lived with vibrancy and intention at all. In an effort to outrun or outsmart their fear, what a person will do is cling to a partnership.
However, because their love is motivated by fear, the relationship will only exacerbate the underlying anxiety that he cannot care for themselves.
The point is, not even love can distract a person with little confidence long enough from the aching sense that they, alone, are not convinced that there is reason enough to love themselves.
Another component of this is, a person who struggles with self-confidence will often fantasize that all they need is a partner who believes in them enough to soothe them from their own insecurity.
Rather than inspiring you to believe in yourself, a person with low confidence will feel further threatened by someone’s glowing opinion of them, fearful that it’s only a matter of time that they discover the truth that who they are is lacking in distinction.
The power of self-confidence is it empowers a person to show up as they are right now. This strength in self fosters a sense of self-trust and, therein, self-direction, whereby everything—every relationship, every job offer, every chance, and opportunity—becomes a choice rather than a need born out of fear, dependency, escapism, and disbelief in self.
Self-confidence is vital for a happy, healthy and successful life. This includes your private as well as professional life.
When you have low self-confidence you put little value in your own opinions and ideas. Instead, you focus on your perceived weaknesses and faults, ignoring your strengths and skills.
You believe that others are more capable, more successful, and more deserving. You might have difficulty accepting positive feedback. You may also fear failure, which can hold you back from trying hard to succeed.
When you have high self-confidence you have a more balanced, accurate view of yourself. You have a good opinion of your abilities but recognize your flaws.
When self-confidence is healthy and grounded in reality, you can’t have too much of it. Boasting and feeling superior to others isn’t a sign of too much self-confidence. It’s more a sign of insecurity and low self-confidence.
When you value yourself and have good self-confidence, you feel secure and worthwhile. You don’t need to boast or prove yourself. You have more positive relationships with others and feel confident about your abilities. You are also more open to learning and feedback, which can help you gain new skills.
You are also more assertive in expressing your needs and opinions. This can help you get what you want in life. You are also more able to handle setbacks and keep going.
Self-confidence affects most aspects of your life. Maintaining a healthy, realistic view of yourself isn’t about showing off. It’s about learning to like and respect yourself, faults and all. It will help you lead a happier, healthier and more successful life.
Benjamin Ritter, MBA, MPH, EdD
Founder of Live for Yourself Consulting, and The Breakup Supplement | Author of The Live for Yourself Journal, and The Essentials
Self-confidence is the key to dealing with a multitude of emotions that hold people back and prevent them from happiness.
Self-confidence is the belief in yourself, self-esteem, and in your capabilities, self-efficacy. It is a belief that is cultivated from a decision to believe in the self.
You do not need to be successful or have proof in the self to be confident but confidence is made more powerful by success and achievement.
Confidence is a belief that combats stress, anxiety, rejection, failure, limiting beliefs, and more. Confidence laughs in the face of negative self-reflection and alters how you perceive situations that could make you doubt yourself. Without confidence, a person would wallow in self-hate, comfort, and be too nervous to “risk” growth.
A healthy level of confidence is needed to have positive relationships, grow professionally, and ultimately be happy.
Speaker | Writer | Anti-Bullying Champion
I have been all over the country speaking about bullying, particularly as in impacts the LGBTQ community. My novel, Rounding Third was published just as the bullying crisis started making the news so it created the opportunity to speak about the issue.
One of the most powerful bulwarks against bullying—whether it in school as a child, or the workplace as an adult—is self-confidence.
Carrying yourself with an attitude of being okay with yourself makes people less likely to attack anything about you. Whether it is purple hair or a wheelchair that makes you different, treating that as just another aspect of who you are rather than having it as a target for criticism.
If I like myself enough, nothing anyone else says matters too much. If I like myself enough, I don’t have to try to diminish others to make myself feel better.
People who have full self-confidence have a certain radiance I call the ability to coruscate. They sparkle from within that projects a feeling of “I’m very okay with who I am.”
This lack of pretense and ego—there is no arrogance to this okay-ness—puts other people at ease to be their most authentic selves.
Self-confidence is a symptom of self-worth. When you believe in the beauty of all that makes you who you are, you’re often outwardly confident as you move through life.
When self-confidence is lacking, it means we don’t value ourselves enough and we spend extreme amounts of energy attempting to make up for that in what are usually highly unhealthy ways. Examples are people pleasing, inappropriate relationships, self-abusive behavior, etc.
Self-confidence means freedom. It’s the ability to move through life in the way that you want and need without worrying whether others approve of your choices.
It’s loving yourself, no matter what, and knowing that you deserve to enjoy a life where you get to feel good about being you.
Co-founder of Vivio Life Sciences
Self-confidence facilitates laughter, with confidence you can enjoy humor. Self-deprecating humor, situational, group laughter, levity, and an amalgam of other enjoyments.
Having confidence will lead to the most stimulating events in your life, you will see, hear, and experience new things.
Adventures will be endless, and you will have the state of mind and self to enjoy the present and live in the moment, quite often an interesting and hilarious moment.
Writer | Editor | Brand Strategist
I’ve never been much for “Act as if” and “Fake it ‘til you make it.” While I appreciate the concise, direct phrasing of the former and the rhyme of the latter, neither serve anyone.
Why? If I don’t actually believe in myself and know that I can and will do what I seek, I may as well not try.
Self-confidence acts as fuel.
It doesn’t cost anything, it doesn’t adhere to or needs to be a trend, and it requires only one person to create and sustain it.
Without it, I could never tap into courage or take risks.
Without it, I would not step forward from crazy, bad, and limiting things.
Without it, I could not find success in the things I yearn to do.
With it, I have moved the needle on things I never thought I could do.
With it, I have made possible that which people much smarter and more successful than I am said I could not (or would not) do.
And with it, I have learned to design, define, and divine the life I seek and the ability, willingness, and desire to continue to try.
President & CEO | Success & Wellness Coach
So many people hold back from sharing their real opinions and talents. They try to conform to what they think people will approve of and like.
Self-confidence provides the impetus to unabashedly release your gifts into the world which is the true path to joy, fulfillment and abundant living.
When you believe in yourself, it is easier to push past your comfort zone, as well as perceived or real obstacles. It prompts you to set big goals and put yourself in the running for opportunities instead of shying away from change.
The unknown can be viewed as exciting versus fearful. If something doesn’t go exactly as planned, you tend to move on versus stay stuck beating up on yourself.
When you pair self-confidence with intentional action, then you have a winning formula for authentic success.
Owner, Advocate | HEART Consulting, LLC
I work with individuals with intellectual disabilities around safe and healthy relationships, and one barrier I have seen to be in a healthy relationship is a lack of self-confidence.
This is important in relationships because if you struggle to love yourself, you are more likely to spend your time with people who don’t value you, either.
I’ve seen too many people with disabilities who, after years of bullying, exclusion, and isolation, are not able to see how important and valued they truly are.
This can be dangerous when it comes to any type of relationship. Abusers frequently feed on someone’s insecurities as a means of manipulation and emotional abuse, making their victims feel that they are “worthless” and don’t deserve better.
Abuse is never the fault of the victim, but abusers will often make it seem that way to their victims as a way to manipulate them.
Often times when people don’t believe in themselves, they are hesitant to seek opportunities in life.
For example, when someone is encouraged to apply for a promotion but they don’t think they’re good enough or aren’t confident that they possess the skills to be successful, this can lead to them not pursuing this opportunity.
The same is true in relationships. When individuals aren’t confident in all of the great qualities they may have, it can hold them back from putting themselves out there for fear of rejection (which, if realized, would essentially play a part in confirming their cognitive bias).
When individuals are able to truly believe in themselves and are confident in all they have to offer, they are much more successful in their daily life, career, and relationships.
Healthy Lifestyle Expert | TEDx Speaker | Brand Strategist
While qualities like education, experience, and intelligence can be incredible resources for success and life, they are vehicles that don’t get far without the fuel of confidence.
Confidence is paramount, in making decisions to move your life forward, in pursuing your passions and in creating impact. Any business owner or entrepreneur can tell you that rejection, failure, and negative feedback isn’t only part of the journey, it’s a BIG part of the journey.
The reason so many people don’t start something new (whether that be eating healthier, aside passion or a big step like writing a book or starting their own business) is a lack of confidence, not skill or knowledge.
No one starts anything with mastery (or often, even competence). It’s passion and confidence combined with action that creates an experience, even when failing forward. And it is experience again and again and again that creates mastery.
Without confidence, I see so many people constantly talking about what they want to do or change, but never taking action to realize it.
Katie Leikam, LCSW, LISW-CP, BC-TMH
Gender Therapist | LGBTQ Specialist
Self-confidence is important because it is the building block of your most personal achievements.
It’s hard to move forward with emotional health if you don’t have a base of being self-confident. You need to feel sure of your emotions and feelings to be able to make decisions and move up in your life and have purpose and meaning in life.
Having self-confidence allows you to thrive.
Speaker | Author
Because if YOU don’t believe in YOU…why would anybody else?
If you doubt your ability to get the project off the ground…why should your partners believe you can?
If you doubt your ability to succeed in the relationship…why should your significant other believe any differently?
If you’re lacking in confidence before you take on the goal, the relationship, the whatever…the goal is losing helium from the very beginning.
Every time…the first thing I write on down on the step-by-step list for a goal is this: #1: I can do this.
Master energy coach | Spiritual teacher
When we lack confidence, we rely on others to provide us with what we’re lacking within.
And this results in codependent relationships where often we are giving ourselves away and being undervalued because we’re desperate for the things we can’t provide for ourselves.
But with a healthy dose of self-confidence, we can change these types of behaviors and develop healthy boundaries by knowing our worth and being our own source of love and positive reinforcement. A self-reliant person is also self-confident which leads to more success and a happier life.
Author | Consultant | Speaker
Self-confidence is important because the following are attached to it: Your actions or lack thereof, your success or failure, and your progression or regression.
Those who possess self-confidence are bold and have self-assurance that they are capable and competent to pursue their dreams, take leaps of faith, and accomplish whatever goals they set out to achieve.
Bottom line, if you don’t have confidence in yourself, how can you expect others to have confidence in you?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a lack of self-confidence lead to mental health issues?
A lack of self-confidence can indeed lead to mental health issues. When someone constantly doubts their abilities, they may experience anxiety, depression, or increased stress. Over time, these negative emotions can take a toll on a person’s mental well-being.
Moreover, low self-confidence can also limit an individual’s opportunities in life and affect their overall happiness and satisfaction. It’s crucial to recognize and address low self-confidence to prevent it from escalating into more serious mental health concerns.
Can self-confidence be developed or improved?
Yes, self-confidence can be developed and improved. Like any other skill, it takes practice and effort to build up one’s self-esteem. The key is to challenge your self-limiting beliefs and engage in positive self-affirmations.
Surrounding yourself with supportive people, setting realistic goals, and learning from your experiences are other effective ways to enhance self-confidence. Remember, self-confidence is not a fixed trait; it’s a lifelong journey of growth and self-discovery.
How to improve self-confidence?
Improving self-confidence involves a combination of mental and physical practices. Here are some strategies to help you build a stronger sense of self-worth:
• Positive self-talk: Replace negative thoughts with empowering and constructive statements.
• Goal setting: Set achievable and specific goals that can be broken down into smaller steps.
• Embrace failure: View failures as opportunities for growth and learning.
• Visualize success: Imagine yourself accomplishing your goals and overcoming challenges.
• Stay active: Exercise regularly to boost your mood and overall well-being.
• Dress confidently: Choose outfits that make you feel comfortable and confident.
• Celebrate achievements: Acknowledge and reward yourself for accomplishments, big or small.
What is the difference between self-confidence and arrogance?
Self-confidence and arrogance are often misunderstood as similar traits, but they are distinct in nature. Self-confidence is a healthy belief in your abilities and self-worth. In contrast, arrogance is an exaggerated sense of self-importance, often accompanied by a disregard for others’ feelings or opinions.
Confident people are open to feedback and learning, while arrogant individuals are defensive and resistant to change. It’s essential to balance believing in yourself and respecting others.
Can a person be too confident?
Yes, a person can be too confident. Overconfidence can lead to unrealistic expectations, underestimating challenges, and overlooking potential risks. Excessive self-assurance may result in hasty decision-making and a reluctance to seek help or advice. Striving for a healthy level of self-confidence involves recognizing your strengths and weaknesses while maintaining a realistic view of your capabilities.
Is it possible to fake self-confidence?
Faking self-confidence is possible, but it’s not a sustainable or authentic approach to personal growth. While “faking it until you make it” may help you navigate short-term situations, it’s not a solution for long-term self-improvement.
Instead of pretending, focus on building genuine self-confidence through self-reflection, goal-setting, and embracing your unique qualities. Authentic confidence will enable you to face challenges and opportunities with resilience and courage.
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