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Success looks different for everyone, but there is one key characteristic that binds all successful people together: self-confidence. But why is self-confidence important to success?
According to Mark Manson, bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, life is full of mind-boggling, yet true, paradoxes. One of the paradoxes he talks about stood out to me the most because it actually is the core meaning of today’s article:
“The more you’re afraid to fail, the more likely you are to fail. The more you’re okay with failure, the less likely failure becomes.” This phenomenon is what we call a self-fulfilling prophecy, a.k.a. a belief that subconsciously affects our behaviors, making it more likely for the belief to come true.
Self-confident individuals draw their sense of self-worth mostly from intrinsic sources. They do not solely validate themselves through achievements and external recognition. This means they have detached their self-worth from the pursuit of success.
They can still believe in themselves even if they haven’t succeeded in anything yet or even if no one believes in them. Having firm faith in their abilities and knowledge gives them an optimistic outlook on their endeavors. They don’t exert themselves striving for success; they attract it.
Want to join their club? Me too! So, let’s dive deeper into what makes self-confidence so key to success and how people like you and me can build it for themselves.
What Is Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence is more complicated than you might think. It does not stem from things you own or how you look. Surely, a new haircut or a flashy car can give you an instant but short-lived confidence boost.
However, when their effect settles down, you must search for the next external confidence booster. On the contrary, sustainable self-confidence is self-sourced. It can fluctuate from time to time, but it will not run dry on a bad day.
So, how can we define self-confidence? Self-confidence is not one-dimensional; it encompasses various factors like:
- Your idea of self-worth
- Belief in your powers to achieve personal goals
- Effective communication skills and satisfying relationships
- Being resilient and adaptable when challenges arise
- Setting boundaries and filtering criticism
- Seeing failure as a learning opportunity
Signs Of Low Self-Confidence
Low self-esteem creates a visceral feeling, yet it may still elude you. However, there are some telltale signs you might have low self-esteem. These include:
- Constant self-criticism
- Fear of failure and perfectionism
- Constant comparison to others
- Difficulty accepting compliments
- People-pleasing behaviors
- Feelings of inadequacy
Why Is Self-Confidence Important To Success?
According to statistics, 93% of people believe self-confidence is critical to professional success. But its benefits expand well beyond the professional realm. So, without further delay, let’s answer, “Why is self-confidence important to success?”
Self-confidence Makes You More Reliable and Trustworthy
On an episode of Women Of Impact, behavioral scientist and bestselling author Vanessa Van Edwards talks about Jamie Siminoff’s pitch on Shark Tank. Siminoff later became the founder of Ring, which rose to be a billion-dollar company. Yet, when he first pitched the idea on the show, he couldn’t get any of the Sharks to invest in it. Why?
Vanessa argues it is because of the tone of his voice in his first sentences: “Hi, it’s Jamie? Here to pitch?” He used question inflections, making it seem like he was asking his own name. Vanessa goes on to say, “Asking your own name is the fastest and biggest way to give away your power.” If you are not confident enough in yourself, you cannot convince anyone to believe in your strength.
Self-confidence Fosters a Firm Belief in Your Strengths and Special Abilities
When you are confident in your power, you rest assured, knowing that you can handle any challenges that come your way. This creates an optimistic outlook that can overpower the anxiety caused by life’s unpredictability. Moreover, if you have a well-established sense of self-worth, you do not take criticism at heart.
Self-confidence Allows You to Identify and Seize Opportunities
Opportunities often arise out of the blue and also vanish as quickly. This means you need to be alert to board the train before it leaves. Self-confident people tend to doubt less about their competence and worthiness.
This means they are less likely to hesitate to come forth when a proposal or an opening presents itself. Similarly, they dare to promote their skills and professionalism to create new opportunities for themselves.
Self-confidence Empowers You to Communicate Your Wishes and Boundaries More Assertively
Low self-esteem can be the main reason for not claiming what’s best for you. Whether that is a well-earned promotion, a raise, a career switch, or even a request to a partner. Statistics show that people with low self-confidence earn an average of 8000 less per year than people with high self-confidence!
Also, self-confidence and a strong sense of self-worth are necessary for asserting boundaries. Saying no and prioritizing your well-being is often considered radical or met with consequences. That is why it takes knowing your worth and not settling for anything less than what you deserve.
Self-confidence Is Essential for Decision-making and Risk-taking
Bold decisions sometimes involve great risk. And risk-taking requires a level of being comfortable with the idea of stepping outside of your comfort zone. Self-confident individuals are more likely to take that leap of faith due to believing in their powers and having faith in their ability to see things through.
Self-confidence Empowers Leadership and Organizational Skills
Leaders are often people who dare to step into the spotlight and undertake responsibilities. Self-confident individuals tend to have greater communication and negotiation skills, are more assertive, and are willing to take risks, all necessary for a successful and respected leadership figure.
Self-confidence Decreases Self-sabotage
Most people fear others hindering their path when, realistically, we should be wary of getting in our own way. Low self-confidence can generate self-doubt and paint a negative self-image, discouraging us from pursuing bold endeavors and forcing us to settle for less.
Self-confidence Promotes Resilience and Adaptability
Self-confident individuals are more goal-oriented and, therefore, cannot be easily discouraged by minor inconveniences. They tend to view challenges as opportunities for learning and growing. They tend to avoid rigid behaviors and routines and remain flexible to accommodate unexpected changes.
How To Build Self-Confidence
We have gone through 8 reasons that make self-confidence important for success, and I could think of many more. But what if your self-esteem is not really going through the roof? Is there a way to tap into that superpower?
The good news is that self-confidence is not an asset you are born with but a skill you can conquer. Here are some simple yet impactful methods that can help you work on that muscle:
1. Trace The Root Of Low Self-Esteem
Understanding where low self-esteem originates is the first step toward overcoming it. Sometimes, this process is much more scrutinizing than we expect, involving tracing back to situations, interactions, or relationships that may not have allowed your self-esteem to blossom. A therapist can provide valuable assistance in this effort.
2. Challenge Your Inner Critic
More often than not, we are our harshest judges. We build negative narratives about ourselves (I am weak, I am too emotional, I cannot do this, etc.), making us doubt our ability to juggle challenges. Therefore, when they do arise, the mind gives up first, convincing us to step down before even trying.
Being mindful of your inner dialogue can hugely shift your self-image and mindset. Through an avalanche effect, this will impact your behaviors and decisions.
Some ways to do this include:
- Pausing and noticing the thoughts that run through your head.
- Journaling about limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns and actively challenging them.
- Minding the words you use to talk about yourself. No more cursing and belittling. Instead, focus on developing a loving and understanding language.
- Use positive affirmations.
3. Identify Your Strengths
The other day, I was listening to a podcast by a Greek creator (Penelope Anastasiadou), who said something lovely and wholesome: Everyone has a special ability they are better at than everyone else. That can be as “silly” as making the best doodles while on the phone.
Nothing is too small or too insignificant. Write down your strengths, including every aspect of your life. You can employ the help of friends and family. They can each share a characteristic of yours they hold dearly in their hearts. In no time, you will have a testament proving how uniquely amazing you are.
4. Track Your Accomplishments
We strive to push forward and expand our achievements so obsessively that we forget how much we have already accomplished. Take a step out of the action and into the shoes of an observer. Look at your life from an external perspective and honor where you are, who you are, and what you have.
5. Learn New Skills
Expanding your knowledge and skillset can do wonders for your self-confidence. Focus on pursuing things you are deeply interested in, and that will add value to your life (like making you happy). Improving yourself and interacting with fellow learners can increase your sense of competence.
6. Place Boundaries
How can you deem yourself high when you spread yourself too thin and do everyone’s bidding? Prioritizing your needs and placing boundaries in both your professional and personal life is the ultimate act of self-love and self-care. Learning to say no will teach you a lot about your value and contribute to your self-esteem.
By approaching the question, “Why is self-confidence important to success?” we concluded that this skill is essential in all core aspects of our lives.
However, building self-confidence isn’t easy. It is a constant process that requires effort, commitment, and emotional resilience. Throughout your journey, you may doubt yourself again and again. However, when you manage to let go of whatever is holding you back and realize how much you deserve to succeed in whatever you desire, nothing will be holding you back!