“Have confidence!” is one of the most essential pieces of advice you’ll receive in life that makes no sense if you’ve never done it. You know what confident people look like, the advantages they get, and that it’s something worth emulating. How do you get there, though?
What is Confidence Anyway?
In the purest sense, confidence is knowing what you’re good at, the value you provide, and acting in a way that conveys that to others. Contrast this with arrogance which typically involves believing you are better in a particular area than you are, or low self-esteem which involves believing you’re less valuable than you think. The closer your self-assessment is to that reality in the middle, and the more you behave accordingly, the closer you are to displaying healthy confidence.
Why does this definition matter? Because if you want to raise your confidence to a level that helps (rather than harms) you, it’s important to know what you’re aiming for. Blindly thinking positive won’t necessarily help, and it’s possible to go too far. In some cases, the latter is referred to as the Dunning-Kruger effect. Namely, it’s when someone overestimates their own abilities, displaying more confidence than their skill level deserves.
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