In their study Bushman et al. (2011) revealed that college students prefer a boost in confidence over eating their favourite food, drinking alcohol, getting paid, having sex or seeing their best friend! So they would rather be confident than do all their favourite things? Shocking huh?
So what does it actually mean to be confident? Contrary to popular belief it has nothing to do with being the loudest person in the room, throwing ones' weight around or being aggressive in one's pursuits. You probably just pictured someone as you read that sentence. We all know them, it's okay! If your mind loves egotistic individuals as much as mine you possible had an immediate "yuk" reaction too. So let's get into REAL confidence shall we?
1. Belief in your skills
This is the most obvious and most common type of confidence. We focus on what we are good at, develop our skills in the area and feel confident about what we can do. It means that you feel confident in your ability to do your job, run 10km or speak in public BUT it has nothing to do with your confidence in yourself as a person. It is possible for someone to be confident at work and for that same person to completely shrink when they go to a social event. So if you are feeling confident in your "craft" but not so much in any other area in your life, keep reading!
2. Belief in yourself
This one is my favourite. In it's simplicity it's about you feeling confident about who you are. Not what you can do, not what you have, not what you have accomplished, just for being you. This belief in unshakeable despite of what others think of you, how they treat you or what life throws at you. You can feel confident in who you are no matter what your house looks like, what your bank balance says or how many followers you have on Instagram. This one takes some deep digging and self-love to get to and it's often personified as a warm, content, calm vibe.
3. Belief in your ability to "do it"
To arrive at the final part of confidence we kind of need a mixture of the first two! If you have ever gone through the process of learning, practising and as a result automating strong skills in any area of your life, you start to believe that you can do that again! If in addition to this you are not scared of failing and having a go, because you like who you are without all the accolades, then you my friend have the perfect cocktail to know that you can do whatever it takes! The belief in our ability to "do it" means that we approach life, challenges and situations knowing that we have what it takes to get the job done, without the external pressures, negative self-talk and doubt that many face in new situations!
In Conclusion, we are all a work in progress in one of three areas of confidence. Some of us are struggling with having the confidence to try something new, while others are hiding their true self behind work, achievements and pleasing others. Where is your edge? What can you work on? To explore this further check this out!