Confidence – how important is it?


Have you experienced a lapse in confidence? We all have them. Once in a while, the little lapse lasts longer than it should. Sometimes the little lapse turns into a yawning chasm. That’s the moment when folk suddenly start to believe that they’re really not very good at doing whatever it is. They forget to ask themselves about the state of their confidence, and just assume the worst.

Our low confidence impacts on our behavior. That in turn informs how others see us and expect us to behave. Before you know it you are trapped in a cycle of low confidence and low expectations both from yourself and others.

Does that sound familiar? Here is a little exercise you can do to check in with your confidence levels.

First of all, think about a time in your life when you felt very confident. Write down the goals you set yourself then, and the things you achieved. Now write down your latest goals for the next 1 – 3 years. Score your goals for how stretching are they compared to the goals you set at your most confident Score from 1 – 10, with 1 not stretching at all, and 10 very stretching.

Score your likelihood to achieve your goals, again from1 – 10 with 1 for unlikely to achieve, and 10 for certain to achieve. Now take your mind back to your most confident self and re-score your current goals on likelihood to achieve, but this time using your super confident mindset. Is there a notable difference?

Comparing your confident self with your current self, are there are large discrepancies between ambition and likelihood to achieve? What has made you a different person? What helped you when you were more confident and what could you do now that would give you some of that confidence back?

Some times you just have to act confident to feel confident, however confidence often comes from how we feel and think, neither of which are 100% reliable. It is important to look for evidence of your achievements rather than relying on your feeling and thoughts to assess whether you are capable of achieving a task or a goal.

There is a school of thought that argues it is evidence that determine how we perform. For example if you have recorded a time of 15 seconds to run 100 meters whether you are confident or not you know you can run 100 meters in 15 seconds.

It’s important to remember confidence is a fluctuating thing skills are not. You are not less capable when you are less confident. Base your assessment of yourself on hard evidence, not thoughts and feelings.

In summary look for evidence of your capabilities, then with a knowing mindset do the doing, the more you do the more confident you will become.