What is Self-Confidence? How do I Increase my Self Confidence? Plus, take a free Self-Confidence Assessment

What is Self-Confidence?

How do I Increase my Self Confidence?

Plus, take a free Self-Confidence Assessment

“If you hear a voice within you saying, ‘ you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

-Vincent Van Gogh

“Whether you think you can or think you can not you are right.”

-Henry Ford

If you were more confident, what would you be thinking, feeling or doing then that you are not now?

The confidence dilemma.

Everybody would like to be a bit more confident in at least one area of their life!

Often confidence is defined as a feeling, “ I feel confident that I will perform well in the upcoming competition,” or “ I feel confident in this upcoming job interview or meeting.”

Here, confidence is associated with composure, calm, and assurance. We feel confident, thus we anticipate being successful. 

Here is the dilemma with confidence being a feeling: if we do not feel confident, then we will likely not try it. If I don’t feel confident on the day of the big game, interview, or meeting, then I will get in my own head, overthink, and live out that negative self-fulfilling prophecy based on a feeling, or lack thereof. The dilemma with feelings is that feelings are real but not always reality

In her book, The Self-Confidence Workbook, Dr. Barbara Markway proposes another definition for confidence. In Latin, confidence means “with trust.” Acting with trust usually means you are not entirely sure of the outcome (no 100% assurance), but you will show up and try. You will take the leap of faith. Our actions or behaviors can actually help us feel confident. Not always vice versa. 


Dee is a woman who typically is more reserved and quiet. She has been feeling more isolated lately and wanting to connect with others in her same season of life, so she really wanted to go to this new group. But, being more on the shy-side and not knowing these women as well, she was understandably very nervous and talked herself out of going already a few times. 

However, after reminding herself how important connection and community is right now and how lonely she’s been, she bravely decided to just try it. No pressure, just start with attending one meeting–even if she had knots in her stomach. She didn’t wait for her nervousness to melt away completely. She didn’t wait to feel entirely confident. Because if we waited for either of those unrealistic expectations we’d be waiting and we’d be stuck forever. Although the risk is great, the risk of staying stagnant and lonely is greater. The pain of pushing through is difficult; but not as difficult as living with the pain of regret and “I wish I had…” 

In fact, the more Dee showed up to these groups, the more confident and connected she felt. And things like anxiety, stress, depression, most other negative feelings and experiences cannot grow in a safe community. In fact, confidence can grow in a community. 

Values drive Confidence.

Finding what matters to you, matters.It can be the biggest difference-maker. 

  • Actions come before feelings. 
  • Actions are guided by our values (the things we really care about).
  • Process >> Outcome.

Therefore, Dr.Markway suggests that “confidence really is more defined as the willingness to take a step toward valued goals, even if you’re anxious and the outcome is unknown.” 

What is one step you can take to grow in confidence today? 

Maybe that is reaching out to a safe friend, family member, or even counsellor. 

Self-Confidence Scale from The Self-Confidence Workbook

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