Processing – Confidence

What is confidence? 

Where does it originate? 

Why are some people apparently confident and others not?

These are questions that I have asked myself lately.  I will start by saying here, now, that I don’t have answers, but I have some theories.  I’d love to hear yours too, so please add your comments below, when you have read through.

A rough definition (according to Google!) is:

  1. The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust: “we had every confidence in the staff”.
  2. The state of feeling certain about the truth of something.

OK, so it’s having trust in something or someone.  But where does it come from?  I think there are several things that contribute.  This is not an exhaustive list.

  • past experience
  • an inbuilt certainty, perhaps it could be called “ego” in some cases
  • a secure state, a sense of being
  • being regularly affirmed and encouraged

These points actually help us understand why some people are confident and others are not.  Past experiences of trying new things and taking risks outside of your comfort zone can be an indication of a confident person, but it can also build up confidence.  However, people who may have been told over the years that they “don’t amount to anything”, are “stupid and useless” often lack confidence.  No wonder.  Hearing those words often enough will stifle any attempt to take a risk or try something new.

Many people have confidence in their own abilities.  Do something over and over and soon you will become confident in that act.  There are instances where a person is great at doing something but is very unconfident in themselves.   Why could that be?  Are you like that?

The most confident people I know are very secure in themselves.   They are calmly self-assured, and this may be because they have been brought up to know that they are valued, loved and wanted.   They seem to know who they are.  Many have experienced regular affirmation from parents or significant others and have been encouraged to take risks.

I know that there is more to confidence than those things I have mentioned here, but I have looked at myself recently to try to understand the confidence I have.  These four points have been significant in my life in shaping my confidence.

Is there any similarity in your lives?  What have you found to be significant to your confidence?

Thanks for visiting.  I’m looking forward to hearing your points so please join in the conversation.

About katehobbs

Mother to two who are now independant and living away from home. Wife to Steve, for the last 26yrs and looking forward to many more years. I have enjoyed 18 months in the Okanagan, something that I have longed to have the opportunity to do for a while. Living a dream, you could say. Now, I am interning with Living Waters Canada based in Vancouver until end of April 2013. I love to grow my own food - it tastes so much better. I also build up, train and encourage others to achieve more than they thought possible.
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13 Responses to Processing – Confidence

  1. Sonel says:

    What a stunning post once again Kate! Gosh woman, you can write and you do it so well! Wish I had the confidence to do that! 🙂
    Well, it might surprise you but I don’t have any at all. I avoid people as much as I can because yes, I’ve been one of those who’s always been belittled as a child, been told that I am useless and worthless, etc. but as I grew older I realised it had nothing to do with me, it was my parents…all 4 of them but well, the damage was done and since then I never believed anyone unless I felt and knew in my heart that it was so and yeah, that is me. Seems confident on the outside but on the inside is all scrambled up. hehehehe
    Hubby tries his best, always encouraging me but I am my own worst critic and that is still a lesson i am learning and struggling with. I am really, really hard-headed. LOL!
    Thanks for yet another stunning post hon! Loved it! 🙂
    *big hugs*

    • katehobbs says:

      Sonel, it hurst to hear that you have been put down as a child. I think, finally, some people are beginning to understand the power of their words and how it can affect peoples lives. Many just need to be shown that they are causing damage in what they say. I pray that you will learn to trust again.
      We will talk soon I’m sure….

      • Sonel says:

        Oh, you get through it hon and life goes on. Yes, words can break a person or lift them up and it’s true what you say, lots of people do realise that. There is a definite shift in consciousness. It is hard to trust people you don’t know but I do teach the boys that it doesn’t matter how much others hurt you, you just have to dust yourself off because life is a journey and there are lessons to be learned. I’ve learned mine and I am still learning. Thanks again for a lovely post hon. 🙂

  2. Inga says:

    You really do make us think, Kate. I like that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. When it comes to myself I feel that I have lots of confidence in some areas, and very little in others. I do feel that experience helps. If I through my experience feels that I’m can do well, then my confidence strengthens. Like in my work. And also great feedback is essential, I think. For instance when it comes to photography. One time a few years ago someone that I had only known for a few days told me that she and her friend had found out that I was a person that was easy to like. That was such a great compliment and boosted my confidence.

    • katehobbs says:

      I’m so glad that you find my posts though provoking. I appreciate your comments. As you say, feedback is essential. Encouragement gives us confidence. I hope we continue to encourage each other, with our photos and with our writings.

  3. Such a thought-provoking post. I love the way you’ve laid at your points.

    Some past experiences have given me confidence to move forward in areas of my life, and then there are some without affirmation and positive encouragement that have caused me to have less confidence in myself and others.

    I will chew on your post for a while and challenge myself to build up my confidence.
    Thanks for sharing, Would love to Reblog your post, if that’s ok with you?

    • katehobbs says:

      Thank you for your comments. I have no problems with you reblogging this post.
      I’m glad you found it challenging. I hope that areas where you have lacked affirmation will be recognisable to you and that you will be restored in those areas.

  4. Reblogged this on Changeversations and commented:
    Such a thought-provoking post. I love the way you’ve laid out your points. Thanks for allowing me to Reblog.

  5. stuartart says:

    Hi Kate, excellent post. I think I was fortunate to grow up in a house where we were all encouraged to be who we were, to follow our dream and to believe we could anything we set our minds to. Having said that, there were times when harsh words from teachers or peers would set me back and still do from time to time. I’ve learned that actually I’m in charge of my confidence levels. Whenever I feel a lack of confidence creeping up on me I use one of my booster techniques to see it off. A favourite is one I learned from Tony Robbins: Association. I revist a time in my life when I was flying high and feeling really confident and I make the memory brighter, louder and more visceral in every way until I get the feeling back. I really think Sonel who commented here would benefit from some practical techniques in confidence boosting. We don’t have to be the person we were, we can change, anytime, in an instant. Thanks for the post. 🙂

    • katehobbs says:

      Hi Stuart and welcome,
      Thanks for joining in the conversation. I’m interested by your booster technique. I’m sure there are others out there who would be interested too and try it out. I agree totally that I am the only one in charge of my confidence levels. My mindset has an important part to play in this.
      Thanks again.

  6. Some of it appears to be born into an individual, and some nurtured. I’m very confident. Have always wanted to succeed and do my best. But recently I was told that based upon my upbringing I was very fortunate not have fallen into drug usage or alcoholism. I was talking to someone about my father – how controlling he can be. How ‘keep an open mind’ is his favourite phrase, yet only if your mind agrees with his. Even at 78 years old he goes off in huffs like a spoiled two year old if some minor comment displeases him – and you’re always wondering which one will. I know I can’t change it, and I know I’m successful despite it.

    I always wanted to do well in school – and when I came home with a 95% he’d ask ‘what went wrong’. If my brother came home with a 65% he’d get a well done. My daughter now is the same way – she attempts to excel at everything – and generally does. 13 years old, did her first public speaking gig this year and outshone many of the more experienced folks. My attitude has always been more emphasis on effort than results. My son is much more laid back. I’m thrilled when he comes home with an 80% because he tried. He’d be in trouble when he didn’t hand assignments in. He’s quietly confident in his own way. I’ve raised both kids the same way, and encouraged them to ask for things themselves, and be independent. It helps build confidence. But I also think some of it is innate.

    • katehobbs says:

      HI Suzan, thanks again for commenting on these posts. I appreciate your input.
      Your kids sound like mine….. My son is so laid back that he could easily fall over! Yet he is so confident in himself. He has just finished university and excelled. My daughter is relatively shy. But I have seen her confidence grow in the last couple of years as she has become an adult, and we have related to her as an adult. I don’t know whether that is what ‘freed’ her but it helped.
      I think confidence and feeling secure and loved go hand in hand.
      Our parents…… the good, the bad, the ugly…… we can all look back and see things in them that have affected us, how we react and respond, and because we not perfect ourselves, then we will be the same to our kids.
      As my father ages, I know that the things that I would love to hear from him may never come to me. I have to let my expectations go, because I will now only damamge myself.

      Thanks for joining in the conversation, Suzan. It is good to see you here.

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