What defines 'confidence'? The majority of us discuss confidence as if it were the preserve of a more gregarious individual. But how many of us really know what confidence is?
What is Confidence?
Confidence isn't the easiest adjective to explain. But if I were to attempt to simplify it, I would say that confidence is a state of mind. Being confident is about possessing the ability to believe in yourself and what you are capable of. It's also about being able to trust in other people and an uncertain future.
How Does Confidence Affect Us?
Confidence can have a wide range of effects on us; these effects differ depending upon whether we are the one that feels confident, or whether we are observing another individual that possesses confidence.
It's common for our behaviour to change or become altered when we feel confident. When we are confident in ourselves and what we are capable of we tend to open up more and share our opinions or thoughts with others; we also become increasingly sociable as we are less afraid to interact with others. Feeling confident can also put us in an improved mood as it is closely linked with a positive perspective and an acceptance of who we are.
Due to the fact that confidence is linked with an acceptance of the personality - including flaws - we are increasingly likely to feel affection for, or a friendship with, those who are confident in themselves. There are a vast amount of people that manipulate this natural inclination in order to influence and often control other people. It is people with this domineering tendency that usually become con artists.
Con artists specialise in performing confidence tricks; a trick that allows them to exploit the characteristics of confidence - usually trust. This is one of the disadvantages of confidence as not only are we inclined to feel more trusting due to our confident personality, but we're also intrigued by the display of confidence that the artist exhibits.
Confidence and Relationships
Feeling and acting confident can have an incredible effect on one's dating exploits. Treading the fine line between confidence and arrogance is an art, and can be the difference between attracting and repelling a lot of potential partners. Conversely, a lack of confidence or low self-esteem can be an unattractive quality. This is not due to the personality of the individual in question or any of their physical traits, but because of the connotations that we associate with a low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
A lack of confidence can have one of the most damaging effects upon a relationship. Those with low self-esteem tend to act destructively in a relationship and often perform self-sabotaging behaviours. Outside of a relationship, a lack of confidence can lead to a significant fear of rejection and further knocks to your self-esteem.
There are a variety of ways available to aid you in your quest for an increased self-esteem, such as self-help books to teach you how to accept yourself and become more confident without being arrogant or brash. Although, just as a little tip: the first step towards confidence is to accept your flaws and overcome them. Remember, nobody is perfect - so why should you be any different?
Brett Harding is the Co-Founder of Lovestruck, a website dedicated to dating events and establishing relationships online. Confidence is an elusive and attractive quality but one that we're all capable of achieving.