What Is Self-Confidence ?

Self-confidence, then, is the courage to know yourself, believe in yourself, and act on your beliefs. A definition of self-confidence is a positive feeling about oneself and the world that leads to courageous actions born out of a sense of self-respect.

The above definition explains what self-confidence is. These examples illustrate what self-confidence can look like. Self-confidence means:

  • Valuing yourself for who you are regardless of the blunders you make, the type of work you do or don’t do, etc.
  • Feeling good about yourself; feeling worthy despite imperfections
  • Being courageous enough to stand up for yourself and be assertive
  • Knowing that you’re worthy of others’ respect and friendship
  • Knowing and accepting the whole of you, both your strengths and weaknesses

What Self-Confidence Is Not

To better understand what self-confidence is, it’s helpful to know what self-confidence is not. Self-confidence is not:

  • Believing that you’re perfect, or thinking that you should be perfect
  • Holding yourself to unrealistic expectations and standards
  • Living a life free of problems, pain, and difficulty (but self-confidence does help you cope with life’s problems, pain, and difficulties)
  • Being selfish (quite the opposite, for when you’re confident in who you are and what you can do, you’re more likely to reach out to and connect with others)

A lack of self-confidence negatively impacts someone’s quality of life. Having little self-confidence creates feelings of

  • Self-doubt
  • Unworthiness
  • Inferiority to others
  • Apathy
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges

Self-confidence is experiencing genuinely positive feelings about yourself while accepting your faults and foibles. A definition of self-confidence is acting assertively because you believe in your inherent worth. Self-confidence means that even when you don’t like things about yourself, you love your whole self.