Understanding What Self-confidence Is

Understanding what self-confidence is important…

Self-confidence is an attitude which allows individuals to have positive yet realistic views of themselves and their situations.

Self-confident people trust their own abilities and have a general sense of control in their lives and also believe that, within reason…

They will be able to do what they wish, plan, and expect.

Having self-confidence does not mean that individuals will be able to do everything.

Self-confident people have expectations that are realistic.

Even when some of their expectations are not met…

They continue to be positive and to accept themselves.


People who are not self-confident depend excessively on the approval of others in order to feel good about themselves.

They tend to avoid taking risks because they fear failure.

They generally do not expect to be successful.

They often put themselves down and tend to discount or ignore compliments paid to them.

By contrast, self-confident people are willing to risk the disapproval of others because they generally trust their own abilities.

They tend to accept themselves…

They don’t feel they have to conform in order to be accepted.

Self-confidence is not necessarily a general characteristic which pervades all aspects of a person’s life.

Typically, individuals will have some areas of their lives where they feel quite confident…

Such as, academics, athletics.

While at the same time they do not feel at all confident in other areas…

Such as, personal appearance, social relationships…

How is Self-Confidence Initially Developed?Self-Confidence Initially Developed

Many factors affect the development of self-confidence.

Parents’ attitudes are crucial to children’s feelings about themselves and particularly in children’s early years.

When parents provide acceptance then children receive a solid foundation for good feelings about themselves.

If one or both parents are excessively critical or demanding or if they are overprotective and discourage moves toward independence…

Then children may come to believe they are incapable, inadequate, or inferior.

But if parents encourage children’s moves toward self-reliance, accept and love their children when they make mistakes…

Then children will learn to accept themselves and will be on their way to developing self-confidence.

Surprisingly, lack of self-confidence is not necessarily related to lack of ability.

Instead it is often the result of focusing too much on the unrealistic expectations or standards of others, especially parents and society.

Friends’ influences can be as powerful or more powerful than those of parents and society in shaping feelings about one’s self.

Students in their college years re-examine values and develop their own identities and are particularly vulnerable to the influence of their friends.

Assumptions that Continue to Influence Self-Confidence

In response to external influences, people develop assumptions and some of these are constructive and some are harmful.

Several assumptions that can interfere with self-confidence and alternative ways of thinking are:


I must always have love or approval from every significant person in my life.
This is a perfectionistic, unattainable goal.

It is more realistic and desirable to develop personal standards and values that are not completely dependent on the approval of others.

Assumption: I must be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all important areas of my life.
This again is a perfectionistic, unattainable goal and suggests that personal worth is determined by achievement.

Achievement can be satisfying but does not make you more worthy.

Instead, worth is an inherent quality and all people possess it.

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My past remains all important and control my feelings and behaviors in the present.
While it is true that your confidence was especially vulnerable to external influences during your childhood

As you grow older you can gain awareness and perspective on what those influences have been.

In doing so, you can choose which influences you will continue to allow to have an effect on your life.

You don’t have to be helpless in the face of past events.

Self-Defeating Thought Patterns
Self-Defeating Thought Patterns

Subscribing to these harmful assumptions leaves you vulnerable to the following self-defeating thought patterns:

  • All or Nothing Thinking.

I am a total failure when my performance is not perfect.

  • Seeing Only Dark Clouds.

Disaster lurks around every corner and comes to be expected.

Such as, a single negative detail, piece of criticism, or passing comment darkens all reality.

or I failed one Chemistry test, now I’ll never get into medical school.

  • Magnification of Negative/Minimization of Positive.

Good things don’t count nearly as much as bad ones.

or I know I won five chess games in a row, but losing this one makes me feel terrible about myself.

  • Uncritical Acceptance of Emotions as Truth.

 I feel ugly so it must be true…

  • Overemphasis On and I Should” Statements.

I Should statements are often perfectionistic and reflective of others’ expectations…

Rather than expressive of your own wants and desires.

or Everyone should have a career plan when they come to college.

I don’t so there must be something wrong with me.

Labeling is a simplistic process and often conveys a sense of blame.

I am a loser and it’s my fault.

  • Difficulty Accepting Compliments.

You like this outfit?

I think it makes me look fat.

The following strategies may help overcome such self-defeating thought patterns.
Self-Defeating Thought Patterns

Strategies for Developing Confidence

  • Emphasize Strengths.

Give yourself credit for everything you try.

By focusing on what you can do and applaud yourself for efforts rather than emphasizing end products.

Starting from a base of what you should do.

Will help you live within the bounds of your inevitable limitations.

  • Take Risks.

Approach new experiences as opportunities to learn, rather than occasions to win or lose.

Doing so opens you up to new possibilities and can increase your sense of self-acceptance.

Not doing so turns every possibility into an opportunity for failure and inhibits personal growth.

  • Use Self-Talk.

Use self-talk as an opportunity to counter harmful assumptions.

Then, tell yourself to and I stop and substitute more reasonable assumptions.

Such as, when you catch yourself expecting perfection…

Remind yourself that you can’t do everything perfectly…

That it’s only possible to try to do things and to try to do them well.

This allows you to accept yourself while still striving to improve.

  • Self-Evaluate.

Learn to evaluate yourself independently.

Doing so allows you to avoid the constant sense of turmoil…

That comes from relying exclusively on the opinions of others.

Focusing internally on how you feel about your own behavior, work, etc.

This will give you a stronger sense of self and will prevent you from giving your personal power away to others.

Believe in Yourself – Motivational Video

My next post will be about: How to Build Your Self-confidence

Here is an interesting article on: How to Be Self Confident

Read my latest blog on: 35 Procrastination Quotes for Your Business

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About Maria Barina

Maria Barina is a mother and grandmother who worked for the NYC Board of Education as Laboratory Specialist Bio/GS for 26yrs till the age of 56. Her husband, after 37 of marriage, passed away from Lung Cancer. She came to myEmpirePRO to seek guidance on how to get freedom that an online business can provide. Freedom to her is being able to do what she wants, when she wants to and to show others they can do the same to. Since she done that she is able to do this by working anywhere she goes and became a mobile-prenuer

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